8th May 2020

Member Comments on the CHC Pontoon Development Ballot

These comments and responses supplement the explanations contained in the Pontoon Development Options document circulated to the membership on 10th May 2020 and updated with comments from the President on Tuesday 16th June.

Monday 11th May

Comment 1

I’ve a few concerns as a resident who backs onto the club.
1. What consideration has been given for the extra cars parking from visitors in Clarence Rd as parking is a nightmare as it is.
2. What consideration has been given to residents with the extra noise at all hours of the gate banging shut and people walking up and down the ally to gain access.
3. I also think that it is wrong to send out a vote whilst people are on lock-down and unable to discuss this amongst themselves at the club and ask questions of the committee & I am not alone in thinking this.
I would urge you to reconsider the timing of the vote.
Peter Ball

Response 1

  1. If the club is linked to the new CHC pontoon, access will be for club members only. I believe there will be no (or a minimal) increase in membership. What is likely to happen is that existing members moored elsewhere on the river, and using dinghies stored at the club to travel to their boats, will instead walk ashore through the new security gate.
  2. I’ve not been to the club since 23rd March. If the spring in the gate has broken again and the gate is being slammed shut, we’ll need to fork-out for a better solution. I don’t believe there will be increased night use of the alley. Unlike fishing boats, cruising yachts tend not to put to to sea or return at anti-social hours.  I don’t believe there will be any increase in our fishing membership outside the usual ebb and flow.
  3. I fear that large gatherings like an EGM will not be possible until we have a vaccine available for this dreadful disease and many of our older members will not be socialising at the club even when the restrictions are eased. Planning permission has been granted and the CHC will go ahead with or without our input.  This way all our members have a chance to influence the outcome.

David Nixon

Comment 2

You will see will see from the attached emails (emails not included) that I was in correspondence with Conal in January, when CHC put the planning in to the IWCC. As you will see from the end application, I did contact the IWCC, not to object to the plan but to pointed out that, there could be an issue with parking and the extra footfall from people using the entrance to the club and noise from the gate. This is still a concern, especially when people go through during the night, as does happen.

I was against the complete connection between D pontoon and the clubs, as it would restrict the use of Melody. I had pointed this out to Stuart McIntosh when Peter and I went to view the plans. Looking at the proposals, Peter and I think Option 2 is the best option, we will stay where we are and the club still has ease of use to the slipway.

Where you have dredging mentioned on the proposal, is this being done free of charge by CHC? If not what will be the cost to the club?
If it is free, we need to gain as much from it as possible. I know from the work at Beaulieu, it is a costly project and the consents are very hard to obtain. The club moorings have been silting up over the years and any help to alleviate will give the smaller boats greater usage. Perhaps, the point of dredging should be pointed out to members, as if the club had ever to do it on their own behalf, the cost would be phenomenal and we would not be able to do it without vastly increasing club fees.

Jane Paull

Response 2

Until Peter (Ball) wrote to me I had no idea how irritating the noise from the gate was to cottage residents. I’ll raise it at the next General Committee meeting in June. Peter has promised to bring me up to speed (and I think offer some suggestions). I’m sure the General Committee will authorise any reasonable expenditure required to quieten the gate.
I’ve covered footfall and night access in my responses to Peter’s comment. So I won’t repeat myself here.
I understand the dredging required for the pontoon development will be at no cost to the club. You make a really good point about additional dredging around club moorings. I know our negotiating team will be addressing this once we understand the club’s preferences for the CHC development.
David Nixon

 

Comment 3

Regarding the attachment to the general email from the club I received. I can see that the committee prefers option 2, but option 2, I Feel lacks details, as do all the options.

My understanding is the club will get 5 extra berths, 4 at 6m and 1 at 8m, with an 18m berth for visitors (which is equal to one third of all the additional berths, including the tidal berths).

It shows two tidal berths this is an addition of 1. Although not marked on the plan, but based on the size in the drawing of the other berths, 1 is roughly 5m and the other 6m, the larger of the two is smaller than the current tidal mooring.

The email says there will be more income to the club with the new mooring, but does not say how they will be allocated or if they are affordable to existing long standing club member’s. This could in effect disenfranchise some members in favour of newer and more affluent members, (this wouldn’t affect me as I have completed a form to say I would like to move out and be willing to pay the maximum). This would be the opposite of the clubs original foundations. Which I believe was to make boating affordable to the working man.

During these strange and difficult times to do what seems on the face of it rush through these proposals could be seen by some as having an ulterior motive, which I am sure isn’t the case, however logic says there will be an inevitable delays in the Harbour Masters plans, with the Medina river for all intent and purpose, in lock down. So why the hurry, unfortunately I was not able to attend the AGM, but I am sure at the committee meeting prior to the AGM that the Committee will go back to the general membership with strong proposal with assurances from the Harbour Master in the form of a contract and how the new pontoon would be managed by the club. Which is not clear from this.

Bob Spendley

Response 3

  1. Regarding the attachment to the general email from the club I received. I can see that the committee prefers option 2, but option 2, I Feel lacks details, as do all the options. Please ask any question to gain more clarity. I based the info on all the knowledge I’ve had with regards to all the options.
  2. My understanding is the club will get 5 extra berths, 4 at 6m and 1 at 8m, with an 18m berth for visitors (which is equal to one third of all the additional berths, including the tidal berths).  That’s a possible addition which the Committee will look into once it received precise costs. It will not be part of the ballot.
  3. It shows two tidal berths this is an addition of 1. Although not marked on the plan, but based on the size in the drawing of the other berths, 1 is roughly 5m and the other 6m, the larger of the two is smaller than the current tidal mooring. The drawings are for visualisation only and are subject to question 2.
  4. The email says there will be more income to the club with the new mooring, but does not say how they will be allocated or if they are affordable to existing long standing club member’s.  This could in effect disenfranchise some members in favour of newer and more affluent members, (this wouldn’t affect me as I have completed a form to say I would like to move out and be willing to pay the maximum). This would be the opposite of the clubs original foundations.  Which I believe was to make boating affordable to the working man. The allocation of CHC pontoon moorings will be the responsibility of the CHC. The allocation of ECSC pontoon mooring (Hammerhead and potential additional leased pontoons) will remain with the ECSC. Allocation will be handled as it is currently also incorporating the waiting list.
  5.  During these strange and difficult times to do what seems on the face of it rush through these proposals could be seen by some as having an ulterior motive, which I am sure isn’t the case, however logic says there will be an inevitable delays in the Harbour Masters plans, with the Medina river for all intent and purpose, in lock down. So why the hurry, unfortunately I was not able to attend the AGM, but I am sure at the committee meeting prior to the AGM that the Committee will go back to the general membership with strong proposal with assurances from the Harbour Master in the form of a contract and how the new pontoon would be managed by the club.  Which is not clear from this. I had confirmation from the CHM that the project schedule has not changed. Whatever our involvement the CHM has to raise the orders for the work, equipment and materials by Jul 20. However in the current situation a mass gathering of people will not be possible (and won’t happen for the foreseeable future). We, therefore, choose the next best possible tool to engaged the membership. 

Torsten Richter

Comment 4

I’m happy with option 2, I assume my current CHC pile mooring will become a pontoon one, and walk ashore through the club. I’d happily swap that though for an unserviced row-ashore pontoon one if anyone interested. I’d also be quite happy with option 1 though, but I don’t think it’s in the best long-term interest of the Club. The more of the on-water maintenance (pontoons, dredging, pile etc) we can off-load to the CHC the better.

Mike Maguire

Response 4

I assume your assumption is correct but surly the CHM will offer you a choice. If there is space available, Pontoon E would be cheaper but still more expensive than your original piles. There are already a number of club boats on the pontoon whose crews generally row ashore.

David Nixon

Tuesday 12th May

Comment 5

Whilst I think future membership would probably prefer to join a club with pontoons that have both water and electricity, I can appreciate that those with boats on pontoons now have done without water and electricity for some time now and they would not welcome the consequence increase in annual fees.

I also see the advantages of having D pontoon joined to the new stretch of CHC pontoons providing increased walk-ashore facilities. However, those currently on D pontoon will already have dinghies and habits that work for them now, so they gain little other than extra cost.

If keeping the cost to current members down is a primary concern, clearly Option 2 is the best compromise; if we are looking forward with new membership in mind, options 4 make more sense to us.

Graham Stone and Jo Townsend

Thursday 14th May

Comment 6

There appears to be an urgency to push these unapproved proposals through without full consideration of ALL the members which they affect and the long-term effect it may have on ECSC.

  • Navigation Point 4 of the summary by Mr Tosswell states no change to Navigation.

This is incorrect. Current state is that the 31 berths to the North side of the ECSC  pontoon (including the “off grid” Pontoon and 2 sets of piles) and the 2 berths on the East side of the hammerhead currently have 2 options on how to leave or reach their berths from the river. A large entrance from the North end of the hammerhead directly onto the river or around the North of the hammerhead and South along to the exit opposite Clarence boatyard. Weather and tide/traffic dictates the safe option on the day.

Should a pontoon be adjoined to the North of ECSC hammerhead those 31 berth holders will be forced to navigate a narrow corridor along the GKN sea wall only to exit in the narrowest and busiest point of the river in the strongest tide and within a few meters of the chain ferry. A recipe for carnage.

On the return to their berth they will be forced against the flow of river traffic (i.e. entering on the Port side of the river rather than the correct starboard side. to make the narrow entrance South of the chain ferry.

Please note those 31 berth holders are 50% of all ECSC mooring holders who contribute much needed funds and have a right to be considered.

  • Proposed ECSC hammerhead position. There has been spin that the Hammerhead will be positioned out by at least 10ft. this is not strictly correct, the drawing clearly shows and states that the South pile will remain in its current position, only the North pile will move and the drawing shows the North end of the pontoon only, moves approx. 5 or 6ft to align with the wooden Dolphin.

Current state is that the boats on the North East side of the hammerhead are unable to leave their berths at low water springs so moving the pontoon will still not be enough to enable boats to pass one another to exit or return including on any new proposed pontoon.

  • MLWl . In my opinion the MLW line shown on the drawing appears to be very optimistic. Maybe a few years ago it would have been correct. It gives a distorted view on how much room there currently is on the proposed East channel.

What are the benefits of the proposals to ECSC   At first look the idea of CHC taking on the hammerhead responsibilities sounds good sense, follow that with a sprinkling of doom regarding what should happen if and when disaster strikes and the hammerhead gives up the will to live?  Is it really that alarming? From memory its 2 pontoons and 2 piles, future planning on replacements and funding which should already be in place would and should be part of the club’s future strategy. If not then we are in a sense accusing past committees of creating a non-sustainable future for ECSC.

Not wishing to create death by a word doc here are a number of points to consider.

  • ECSC would have no control on who has moorings with CHC
  • To control who enters ECSC property would be impossible in practice
  • Rights of way through club entrance and the entry road, is it legal or not legal?
  • Use of club’s facilities (toilets etc)
  • Upsetting of club’s neighbours
  • Car parking
  • ECSC would lose/dictated control of the club’s main pontoon by CHC
  • Yard activities would be curtailed by increased passing pedestrians
  • CHC mooring holders would only join ECSC to gain access, is that the type of membership we want or that is good for the club?
  • Income from CHC mooring holders would be minimal to ECSC
  • ECSC would lose money income from members moving to the new pontoon due to no longer requiring dinghy storage.
  • ECSC has survived for over 100 years, why does it now become necessary to sell out its independence.
  • I notice nobody has raised the topic of fees for these proposed annual berths !!! which may be the reason why option 2 is being pushed by the committee who just may have more interest regarding boats on the South CHC pontoon wishing to stay as they are?

There is in my opinion a high risk of creating an us and them attitude in ECSC, the disaster of the last AGM only showed how many people are putting themselves first ahead of the interest of the club. The loud voices were of those seeing a chance of their own walk ashore mooring which became more like a fanatical political party election campaign and blow everybody else including their fellow club members

Thank you for reading

John Barnes

Response 6

There appears to be an urgency to push these unapproved proposals through without full consideration of ALL the members which they affect and the long-term effect it may have on ECSC.

Response: The entire process is being carried out in a controlled manner. The Committee is not rushing or pushing but have set out an exact timetable by when certain decisions have to be made. That allow for all members to ask questions and receive answers. Furthermore, all questions and answers can be read up on our website.

  • Navigation Point 4 of the summary by Mr Tosswell states no change to Navigation.

This is incorrect. Current state is that the 31 berths to the North side of the ECSC pontoon (including the “off grid” Pontoon and 2 sets of piles) and the 2 berths on the East side of the hammerhead currently have 2 options on how to leave or reach their berths from the river. A large entrance from the North end of the hammerhead directly onto the river or around the North of the hammerhead and South along to the exit opposite Clarence boatyard. Weather and tide/traffic dictates the safe option on the day.

Should a pontoon be adjoined to the North of ECSC hammerhead those 31 berth holders will be forced to navigate a narrow corridor along the GKN sea wall only to exit in the narrowest and busiest point of the river in the strongest tide and within a few meters of the chain ferry. A recipe for carnage.

On the return to their berth they will be forced against the flow of river traffic (i.e. entering on the Port side of the river rather than the correct starboard side. to make the narrow entrance South of the chain ferry.

Please note those 31 berth holders are 50% of all ECSC mooring holders who contribute much needed funds and have a right to be considered.

Response: The planning application only addresses the pontoons, access and egress to those. It does not address any navigational issues. That’s being considered in the MMO consent. Therefore, any issues regarding navigation and other river related issue have to be put to the MMO.

Future CHC pontoon mooring holders would have exactly the same issue and that’s why the CHC will carry out extensive dredging in that area and have offered the ECSC to be included in their dredging operation, free of charge.

  • Proposed ECSC hammerhead position. There has been spin that the Hammerhead will be positioned out by at least 10ft. this is not strictly correct, the drawing clearly shows and states that the South pile will remain in its current position, only the North pile will move and the drawing shows the North end of the pontoon only, moves approx. 5 or 6ft to align with the wooden Dolphin.

Current state is that the boats on the North East side of the hammerhead are unable to leave their berths at low water springs so moving the pontoon will still not be enough to enable boats to pass one another to exit or return including on any new proposed pontoon.

Response: It is not correct that the entire Hammerhead will be positioned out. It will be aligned so that in theory the entire pontoon assembly will form a straight line. Combined with the dredging it will be an advantage to all boats moored on the north east side.

  • MLWl . In my opinion the MLW line shown on the drawing appears to be very optimistic. Maybe a few years ago it would have been correct. It gives a distorted view on how much room there currently is on the proposed East channel.

Response: The latest MLW map was sent to you in my previous email to you. Would you have any evidence if you believe it isn’t correct? I’d take it back to the CHM.

What are the benefits of the proposals to ECSC At first look the idea of CHC taking on the hammerhead responsibilities sounds good sense, follow that with a sprinkling of doom regarding what should happen if and when disaster strikes and the hammerhead gives up the will to live? Is it really that alarming? From memory its 2 pontoons and 2 piles, future planning on replacements and funding which should already be in place would and should be part of the club’s future strategy. If not then we are in a sense accusing past committees of creating a non-sustainable future for ECSC.

Response: All pontoons are very close to or even past their life expectancy, considering they were second hand when installed. It would be great benefit to the club to offload the liability of the Hammerhead but keep full control (agreed and desired by the CHC) of it with a guarantied control period of either indefinite or i.e. 99 years. Funding for pontoon replacement in place and growing steadily but not enough for a full replacement. Every Committee is faced with their own challenges and like the current one has to spend money on club maintenance but also consider the local demography. ECSC, being one of the cheapest clubs (membership and mooring) on the south coast makes for a slow build up of big funds.

Not wishing to create death by a word doc here are a number of points to consider.

  • ECSC would have no control on who has moorings with CHC

Response: No change to the current setup. ECSC does not have control over CHC moorings

  • To control who enters ECSC property would be impossible in practice

Response: The consultation paper clearly states that security gates will be installed. The ECSC has a duty of care to all people on site and therefore only allows members of the ECSC to enter the premises unsupervised. Any guest must be accompanied by a member of the club. Regular entering as a guest to take part in sailing, fishing or other boating activities etc. would require for that person to become a member.

  • Rights of way through club entrance and the entry road, is it legal or not legal?

Response: as above

  • Use of club’s facilities (toilets etc)

Response: as above

  • Upsetting of club’s neighbours

Response: as above

  • Car parking

Response: That would not change. ECSC has no parking. Even with the majority of the current members decide to use the car to get to the club, parking would be difficult. A potential solution could be to identify a suitable space for club parking elsewhere.

  • ECSC would lose/dictated control of the club’s main pontoon by CHC

Response: The CHC has asked the ECSC, in the event of a full or partial connection to the new pontoons, to keep full control of it with regards to mooring allocation and mooring fees. In exchange the CHC has agreed to firstly to replace the Hammerhead and to be responsible for the maintenance at no cost to the club. No changes to the main pontoon of the club.

  • Yard activities would be curtailed by increased passing pedestrians

Response: Already covered in previous responses.

  •  CHC mooring holders would only join ECSC to gain access, is that the type of membership we want or that is good for the club?

Response: As much as we like to only have members committed to the club, in this day and age it’s just not possible anymore. We are living in fast moving times with fewer and fewer people wanting to commit to one thing only. We have members joined, who were really enthusiastic to at the interview but turning out to be anything but active. As a safeguard we have rules in place to expel members who are not doing their duties.

  • Income from CHC mooring holders would be minimal to ECSC

Response: No change to the current setup.

  • ECSC would lose money income from members moving to the new pontoon due to no longer requiring dinghy storage.

Response: You are certainly correct in assuming that there is a risk of losing income and there always is due to people changing their habits. However, it really depends on the option chosen be the members. Option 1 and 2 will have no impact on tender storage uptake. Even if the membership votes for either option 3 or 4 the impact could still be reduced by members still having a tender in the club as it is currently the case.

  • ECSC has survived for over 100 years, why does it now become necessary to sell out its independence.

Response: The ECSC remains an independent club. In addition, we will be having a contract, verified by a solicitor, with the CHC that regulates any option the membership votes for. Furthermore, getting involved with the CHC as equal partners, ensures that we have an input in the process. The CHC will go ahead regardless and will exclude ECSC property. In that case we will have no input and would not be able to influence the outcome i.e. how close the pontoons will be build to the Hammerhead.

  • I notice nobody has raised the topic of fees for these proposed annual berths !!! which may be the reason why option 2 is being pushed by the committee who just may have more interest regarding boats on the South CHC pontoon wishing to stay as they are?

Response: The annual mooring fees for the Hammerhead are reviewed on a regular basis (currently every 2 years) and are adjusted as necessary. There is no need to include those in the consultation papers. Option 2 is recommended by the Committee because it would benefit a wider majority of members. Please be aware that the drawings in the consultation paper are for visual effect only but do not reflect reality.

There is in my opinion a high risk of creating an us and them attitude in ECSC, the disaster of the last AGM only showed how many people are putting themselves first ahead of the interest of the club. The loud voices were of those seeing a chance of their own walk ashore mooring which became more like a fanatical political party election campaign and blow everybody else including their fellow club members

Response: That’s exactly why we asked the membership to vote for their preferred option. It will avoid that only members with an interest, whichever way, can influence the decision.

Torsten Richter

Comment 7

Further to the email regarding the proposed CHC Pontoon Development, I feel strongly enough to add my comments. They are.

Firstly. I will declare my interest. I, along with most of the users of pontoon D are members of East Cowes Sailing Club. All the members I have spoken to are absolutely delighted that there is a possibility to be able to walk ashore to the Club by joining up pontoon D to the hammerhead.

I believe there may be an argument from someone on the Management Committee that if the members who have their boat on pontoon D don’t like not being joined to the Club, they can move to the new proposed pontoon to the north of the hammerhead.

Two points on that.

The first is that if the new proposed pontoon has no option but electricity & water, then then there is not a complete choice for the Clubs members.

The second point. Is there a cast iron guarantee that everyone on D pontoon will be automatically granted a berth on the new pontoons? If not, then again, Club members do not have a complete choice.

If the Club adopts Option 3, It gives every member of the club an option of.

  • A mud berth
  • A pontoon berth that can be accessed by water
  • A pontoon berth that you can walk ashore to, without extra facilities
  • A pontoon berth that you can walk ashore to, with all extra facilities.

Not only the above but the Club gains by having extra berths, can attract more members that will in turn increase revenue for the Club, and finally takes liability away from the Club and the enormous costs for future repairs and replacements.

If someone can argue against the above then please let us hear about it and why.

I believe that is it is both financially and morally wrong for any one person on the Management Committee to block proposal 3, as it benefits EVERY member whilst protecting the Club.

John Molyneux

Response 7

Thank you for your email. Every members is invited to ask questions and make comments. That’s exactly with this consultation period is designed to do.

As the, appointed by the club, “main negotiator” I’d like to answer your questions.

So far the CHM (CHC representative) has been very generous towards the club by agreeing to all of our demands i.e. having a say whether or not we would be involved, access to the club only for club members, taking the hammerhead of our hands but leaving it in our clubs hand to administer and other minor concession. The only big outstanding “issue” is, what and how far the club wants to go with the pontoons. Since it can/will have a major impact on the club, we have to ask the membership what they would like to have.

We also have to consider the CHC and what they would from the whole project and any solution has to be of benefit to both organisations.

I, therefore had to consider all, beneficial to both organisations, solutions which you’ve read.

The new pontoon to the north of the hammerhead will be a fully serviced pontoon which will be nonnegotiable. If it is connected to the hammerhead then it will be secure by a gate and, obviously, only club members will have access.

The real question, we ask the membership, is what to do with the existing D pontoon:

  • connect to the hammerhead – no service or fully serviced?
  • not connect to the hammerhead and keep the gap in order to keep unimpeded access to the slipway

In the option paper I’ve put the mooring fee prices for all the options.

The reason why the Committee prefers option 2 is, that we think (in the current state) it would benefit the club in the long term more than the other option.

I hope the membership will see it the same way.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Torsten Richter

Wednesday 20th May

Comment 8

I have today received a petition from 31 members of the club, including 3 members of the General Committee.
The petition states:
We the undersigned formally give notice to the committee of East Cowes Sailing Club that, in accordance with with section 13 if the East Cowes Rules General Constitution, we are calling for an EGM to be held as soon as reasonably possible. We feel that the proposed ballot paper has a lack of clarity and is biased in its presentation to option 2. We feel that before any informed decision can be made by the membership, we, the membership, must be brought up to date with any additional information gained from meetings with the CHC post the AGM as was promised at the AGM.
David Nixon
Response 8
There were two meetings with the CHC after the AGM. The first one was conducted by the previous Commodore according to the mandate he received from those attending the AGM. Shortly afterwards, the previous Commodore resigned from his co-opted position as lead negotiator.
The Vice Commodore formally accepted the role of lead negotiator at the March meeting of the General Committee and he conducted one meeting with the CHM.
The unpublished documents to which the petition refers are: Notes from the Meeting with the CHM 29th February 2020, Undated Minutes of the Meeting with the CHM (on CHM headed notepaper) also embeds three other documents including the draft Heads of Agreement for the contract between E.C.S.C. and CHC.
The documents are published below:
David Nixon
Friday 22nd May
Comment 9
Thank you for your email detailing the proposed development of the CHC pontoons.

Option 1: I have long felt the river around ECSC is under utilised, especially downstream of the hammerhead. Certainly if dredged and furnished with walk ashore pontoons greater utility would be gained from it. For this reason Option 1 is not attractive to me.

Option 2: Appears to offer the best compromise of greater utility of the river for all, and in best interests to the ECSC. In particular the maintenance of pontoons, piles and dredging will be of great benefit to the club. For this reason I agree with the General Committee that Option 2 is the best option if carefully managed especially with regard to CHC only berth holders accessing the hardstanding.

Option 3/4: Whilst I can see the advantage of Option 3 to pontoon berths, it would seem to require any craft using the slipway to always pass upstream to the gap adjacent to Cowes Dry Sailing centre to be able to access either the outer pontoon or main river channel. Depending on the tide state this may be prohibitively difficult to achieve. For this reason I do not support Options 3 or 4.

Phil Coultard

Wednesday 27th May

Comment 10

I have objected to both the Planning Application and the Marine Licence Application with concerns about Safety of Navigation.

1. If the gap between ECSC Hammerhead and the pontoons to the South is closed then access to the berths on East side of D pontoon will be only from the South.

At low water there exists only a narrow channel to the east side of the pontoon. Vessels will no longer have the option of berthing bow to tide, dependent on direction of flow. There is insufficient room to turn a vessel at, or near, low water. Attempting to navigate this narrow channel stern first against a running tide will be hazardous to say the least.

The present gap between Hammerhead and pontoons aligns with the ECSC slipway and is the primary route to the sea from the club. Any dinghy, under oars or sail, will have to make a considerable detour to the South, if the gap is closed, to reach the main channel. This will involve passing through moorings, or at low tide, competing with craft navigating the narrow channel along the East side of Pontoon D.

I am therefore strongly opposed to Options 3 and 4.

2. If the premium, fully serviced, berths are created to the North of ECSC Hammerhead, with gated access to the Club, how will the use of fobs be monitored? It seems likely that a proportion of these berths will not be occupied by moderate family sized boats but by larger vessels and possibly commercial concerns. Is it likely that every crew member of these vessels will wish to take up (or be accepted for) Club membership? More likely the owner will take up Club membership, and probably pay a work-avoidance fee, to obtain a fob which will then be used by the entire crew/crews.

Crews of vessels on the premium berths will be expecting better facilities than ECSC can, at present, offer. They will want more and improved toilet and shower arrangements. When the lobby from these people becomes sufficient they will want a bar etc. Club membership fees will have to rise and the transition from a Working Man Sailing Club to East Cowes Whitegates Luxury Yacht Marina will be inevitable.

3. Should the development from Option 2 go ahead, what Security of Tenure will the Club obtain over the Hammerhead and leased pontoons? The Draft Heads of Terms for Proposed Pontoon Development, dated 6th February 2020, as the very last item, 7.2 suggested CHC are willing to offer 5 years. This is obviously insufficient as after this period we could well find that we are priced off the water.

4. Did the CHC Consultation with D Pontoon berthholders ever take place? As they certainly didn’t contact me.

Tom and Julia Richards

Response 10

To follow

Thursday 28th May

Comment 11

Before offering my findings and considered opinions, as there are a number of members who are unaware of my boating and other relevant history, I have attached a resume which may help in understanding my views on the Pontoon Development (see below).

It can be seen that I have a very rounded boating experience so am not biased towards any faction of The Club and am disappointed that biases exist which do not agree with The Club’s objectives in particular “ To encourage recreational sailing, yacht racing, fishing and other boating activities

As you know The Club was formed in 1912 by like-minded dingy sailors and boating enthusiasts who identified a need for a club which served the needs of all the working populace in the area, particularly East Cowes and after many successful years racing, welcomed members of the disbanded East Cowes Angling Society also latterly having links to GKN fishing section.

It is as well to note that at the end of the racing season three fishing competitions were organized in which the majority of skippers and crews took part.

Having made a careful study of the Planning Application, Conal’s report, CHC Meeting notes, members comments, various e-mails and letters, plus communications with Stuart McIntosh, I list my findings and considered opinions below.

  1. If ECSC does not agree to any of the options, which I believe neither The Club nor CHC want, and CHC invoke the plan as described in the application, there will be changes for CHC D berth holders i.e. there will be a walk ashore facility and potentially power and water and subsequently increased charges
  2. Whichever option is decided on, then boats inside the north end of the “Hammerhead” and extension thereof plus all boats North of and inside the pontoons will have to navigate the tight exit adjacent to the Dolphin.
  3. There have been concerns expressed some of our neighbor’s re; increased parking and footfall through the club both of which will only increase slightly as crews of boats moored north of the pontoon gates will not have access through The Club
  4. As I see it there is no urgent need for a decision by the Club as the Project has been held up by COVID-19 so I believe the proposed “Electronic EGM” is not necessary. Neither do I, in the light of the experiences of “Electronic Committee Meetings” where various members had communication problems, believe it will achieve a satisfactory and true reflection of the majority of member’s requirements.
  5. Whilst I don’t think the decision can wait until a formal EGM can be arranged an acceptable alternative would be to have a “Ballot Paper” issued to ALLmembers by either “E” or “snail” mail for them to vote for the option they want.
  6. Although whatever the outcome, as I am more than happy to retain my existing berth (N19), the effect on me personally is the same. However as one of the Officers who fought tooth and nail to retain direct access to the river when the then CHC wanted a double row of pontoons from the area which is now East Cowes marina north past the Dolphin I believe Option 2 will best serve ALL active members of The Club especially those with rowing & sailing dinghies also kayaks and canoes.

In conclusion the negotiating Committee(s) have achieved the best set of options available, so all thanks to them; it is now down to you and your committee to use the best method available to obtain the requirements of all of ECSC members which as stated above is a formal vote by ballot by the membership.

A D (Tony) Cole

ECSC President

My History to 2020

Friday 29th May

Comment 12

I’m disappointed in the negative comments, so want to redress the balance by voicing my view.

I have a mooring on E pontoon. And I visit my boat summer and winter most days!

Therefore, some would say I should vote no change as I would be inconvenienced by D pontoon linked to the Hammerhead. True;  but I think the club would benefit from the various schemes proposed.

I think that the proposed development would best serve the club if it includes options 3 and 4 and

the D pontoon should be joined to hammerhead.

The navigation issues are not significant compared to the benefits. Boats coming on or off the scrubbing pad only do so close to high water. Tenders and Dinghies launched off the slipway, will have adequate room to enter and exit given the tide needed for such activities. The detour around D pontoon is not a deal breaker. I often row this way round to my E pontoon berth in order to beat the tide.

The navigation problems for those north berth holders are grossly exaggerated by members averse to change; and in practice, won’t be an issue.

Should the club vote to not engage with any of CHC options, I am in favour of CHC putting a pontoon from E to D to the shore to give visitors access to shore. This seems to me a way the CHC could circumvent the “no change is good” members of ECSC.

Perry (Peter) Mason