Chairman’s Address

Chairman’s Update Autumn 2021

Those of you who read my Summer Update will know I talked about the weather and hoping it would be a good Summer.  Well, that jinxed it didn’t it!

In this update.  Cobbs Quay Facilities improvements, New manager, Studland Bay, Cruising in Company, Cruising for 2022, Southampton Boat Show, Bridges Operating Board, Facebook, Newsletter and Web site and Feedback.

Cobbs Quay Facilities Improvements

Not too long ago there were a number of strong but justified comments on our Facebook Forum about the condition of the facilities at the marina.  This gave us the opportunity to speak directly with senior management about this and the need for improvement more generally.

MDL are fully committed to making the necessary changes to bring Cobbs back to being the ‘flagship’ marina in the group and we will be supporting where we can.

If you have any issues that you see need tackling, please raise them promptly with MDL and let us know how you got on.

New manager for Cobbs Quay

We are delighted to welcome the new manager, Dan Lewis, to Cobbs Quay and hope that he will be able to put his own stamp on our marina and continue with the improvements that have begun in the facilities and elsewhere.

We have had the chance to meet with Dan ahead of his induction and look forward to developing a great relationship.  He has clear ideas about standards and his expectations and we hope for great things!

Studland Bay – no anchoring?

A big issue at the moment.  The MMO are planning significant anchoring controls in this major cruising destination.  We are working with most/all other interested sailing and berth holder groups, led by the RYA, to both recognise the importance of protecting the sea grass but also ensuring that there are adequate and safe/practical mooring opportunities.

Cruising in Company

There were 5 cruises this year organised by us and all of them went ahead.  We went to Port Hamble, Ocean Village, Shepards Wharf, Portland and finished off the season with Weymouth.  It was a fantastic season for cruising with reports of people having a great time, making new friends and, most importantly, having the security of making the trip with others.  Big thanks must go to Peter Hayton for being ‘the good shepherd’ on all the cruises and helping with organisation at the marinas.

Cruising in Company for 2022

Cruising is the main reason we exist – ‘cruising in company’.  You get the reassurance of going on a cruise, maybe that bit further away, with the support and camaraderie of others.  So, we believe it is still essential that it remains at the core of our offering as a bertholders association.

We are looking forward to putting a programme of bookings together for next year and it would be great to have any ideas on where we should go.  We have had one suggestion of Lyme Regis as a different venue for example.

Our plan it to decide venues (although suggestions would be welcome) and book the marinas but for 12 boats only.  We will open the cruises for booking in early February as usual and, for those who book, we will advise the marinas names and boats and give you details of your fellow cruisers so that you can get in touch with each other.

How you run the cruise will be up to you as skippers.  It will be your cruise and not CQBHA’s.  As this year, as well as making the booking, we will provide some information about the passage and the port but planning things will be up to you.  That said, we are always available as individuals to give any hints and tips you might want.  You will decide when and how to go, the route, when to leave etc.

For those travelling on the trips to the marinas we have booked we also have a separate Facebook group dedicated to them.  This enables skippers to organise the trip and stay in touch with each other.

An option skippers may consider is meeting as a group on the night before the cruise to finalise any details and plan the departure.

As in previous years we hope to arrange training with Powerboat Training UK to cover the basics of route planning and pilotage to help those newer to boating.

Keep your eyes on the web site and look out for the newsletter for details of the destinations and bookings to start early next year as well as training opportunities.

Southampton Boat Show

Sadly, I didn’t get to go to the Southampton Boat Show this year.  MDL had opted not to take a stand this year but met bertholders at a hotel.  At least the weather was kind!

Largely as a result of the drive for ‘staycations’ it appears, boat sales have been strong with many marinas full.  This is of course great but also brings with it problems such as finding a marina berth – or even a boat!!  I guess the positive is that despite the pandemic interest in our passion is strong.

Bridges Operating Board (BOB)

This is the group that agrees lifts times and things that happen with the two bridges.

The BOB has not met since Covid-19 so it is a matter now of waiting until there is some action in that direction before picking up the baton again.

Facebook, Newsletter & Web Site

Facebook is now a key part of our communication with you, our members.  I think we are getting closer to 300 followers now on our Facebook page!  People are also commenting on and liking some of our posts which is great for us!!  If you are a Facebook user keep your eyes out for the pictures and videos of our antics!

We also have the CQBHA Facebook Members Forum group.  This is a closed group, you join by request, and it gives members the chance to discuss issues, ask for advice, find people to go with them on a trip and much more.

We use Facebook for things that need ‘instant’ contact such as bridge closures, short notice LNTMs and to show some of the goings on in photos so I hope it will be useful to you.

I would be interested to hear what you think about our Facebook page or Facebook Forum – or, if you are a Facebook user, maybe you would like to ‘like us’ or ask to join the Forum?

Jim prepares and sends out a monthly newsletter of topical items.  If you are not getting yours, please let me know.

Last but not least we have our web site for all the information on CQBHA and as a key resource for weather, marine services and a host of other interesting topics (Please make sure you mention the web site when you visit our advertisers).

Is anybody out there?

We would love to take it that your silence means that we are doing a good job but we need your feedback.  Could I once again ask that you let us know if we are doing a good job, a bad job or if want us to do something differently.

I wish you safe passage.

Jonathan Saunders