15th, 16th & 17th March
Premier Marinas is hosting two open days at its Chichester and Eastbourne Marinas this weekend. Billed as a great opportunity to meet the friendly staff and get a real feel for life at a Premier marina, the open day on Saturday at Chichester Marina will comprise of two tours, at 10am and 1.30pm, where attendees will be shown the berthing, toilet and shower facilities, fuel berth, berth holder parking and boatyard, as well as a brief overview of the lock. The open day on Sunday at Eastbourne Marina will commence at 11am and includes an introduction to the Sovereign Harbour Berth Holders’ Association and its activities, a visit to the Yacht Club, a tour of the marina and an introduction to how to transit the locks. Attendees can also sit in on a RYA powerboat training and family watersports presentation. In addition a light buffet lunch will be served at the Marina Reception at 12.45pm. To find out more and sign up to either, call Premier Chichester on: 01489 884060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Premier Eastbourne on 01323 470099 or email email@example.com. To find out more about what’s on at each Premier marina during the Open Days, visit www.premiermarinas.com/Marina-News-Events/Marina-Events.
The boat jumble season is finally upon us. It is the Suffolk Boat Jumble on Sunday, which is an indoor and outdoor event to be held at Trinity Park Events Centre in Ipswich (IP3 8UH). Again opening at 10am, admission is £5 (free for accompanied children), and there is free car parking on site.
For details of forthcoming boat jumbles visit www.boatjumbleassociation.co.uk
PHOTO: Premier Chichester Marina
Sunseeker founder, Robert Braithwaite CBE, DL has passed away
In the early hours of this morning, Sunseeker’s Robert Braithwaite CBE, DL passed away (7 March 2019) at the age of 75. Born in 1943, Robert Braithwaite was the founder and figurehead of what has become one of the largest boat builders in the UK, transforming from a small boat dealer establishing in Poole in 1969, into a globally-recognised boat brand, with a range today from 50-161 feet.
After leaving school at 14, Robert dreamt of building a new kind of boat. He set up a boat dealership selling a American brand of cruisers in the 60s, eventually he bought the moulds for these and began building his own range, renamed Sunseeker in the years that followed. Models such as the Hostess 17, Sports 23 and Daycab 23 were the first of many products by entrepreneurial Robert. He also went on to form close ties with racing pedigree boat designer, Don Shead, with the development of early models such as the Offshore 28 cruiser.
Christian Marti, CEO of Sunseeker International, said ‘Robert was an inspiration to everyone at Sunseeker and to the wider marine industry, recognised as a boating pioneer, a true visionary and someone who changed the face of boating forever. Robert was not only the company’s founder, but the father of the ‘Sunseeker family’ here in Dorset, and worldwide through our dealers and clients. He will always live on as the driving force behind our success. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his immediate family.’
The marine association, British Marine also paid tribute to the ‘man behind one of the industry’s most iconic brands and great personal friend to many’. ‘He was a boat show champion’ British Marine said, ‘one of the longest serving Chairman of National Boat Shows (now dissolved within British Marine), he spearheaded the Association’s two leading boat shows, London Boat Show and Southampton Boat Show’. Robert served as Chairman of National Boat Shows in 1991-92, 1997-98 and 2003-04.
Robert was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors in 2007, and amongst his list of recent accolades Robert received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Boat Builder Awards and an Outstanding Achievement award at the 2018 Luxury Briefing Awards. Away from his work in the boating industry, ‘generous’ Robert also gifted a surgical robot to the Dorset Cancer Centre, who had treated him for bowel cancer in early 2015. With Sunseekers appearing in several James Bond films, Robert appeared in a cameo role in ‘Quantum of Solace’ driving lead actor, Daniel Craig, aboard a restored classic Sunseeker Sovereign 17 on location in Italy. Accepting his lifetime achievement award in 2016, Robert said “I have dedicated much of my life to this industry and have strived to make Sunseeker the world-renowned luxury brand that it is today. I am very proud of what Sunseeker International has become over the last 47 years, it is quite an achievement. We are continuing to grow worldwide thanks to our investment in new products, shipyard facilities and our people, it is exciting to see what the future will hold.” Today Sunseeker is considered to be ‘Britain’s biggest boat builder’.
Central Solent navigation landmark set to vanish in creation of new marina and village
The 198-metre chimney close to the entrance of Southampton Water in the Solent is to be demolished to make way for a £800m residential development. Fawley Power Station began operation in 1971 as a 2000-megawatt oil-fired power station, but closed in March 2013, and is now decommissioned. At the peak of its operation it employed in excess of 700 people, making it a major employer within the New Forest. Developer, Fawley Waterside, now owns the 3000-acre site and is initiating plans to demolish the station to make way for a proposed, traditional-Southampton-style harbour development with a canal and dock at its heart, featuring 1500 homes, an all-tides marina, a hotel, yacht club, shops, restaurants and marine industries, and a ferry service to Southampton. According to the Solent Protection Organisation, the same developer is proposing another 30 new homes at Calshot, as part of a Calshot Village development. The chimney tower at Fawley, near Calshot, on the west bank of Southampton Water was built in 1964 and has been an important navigation mark for Solent boaters ever since. Fawley Waterside state ‘We do recognise that the chimney is an important and popular landmark used by sailors, and those walking the New Forest to orientate themselves. For this reason it will be replaced by a building of sufficient scale and height that can be seen from the Solent’s eastern and western approaches. This proposed building will be 100m high and combine a mixture of residential and commercial use.'
British boat builder looks to relaunch through crowd funding
Birchwood Marine Ltd has announced that it is ‘relaunching’ the Birchwood brand via crowd funding investment and what is being described as a ‘joint venture manufacturing association’. Birchwood’s Chairman and Managing Director for the past 16 years, Ernie Vick, explained ‘Due to the recession we stopped manufacturing in the UK and decided to look further afield, subsequently we had boats built at a shipyard in South East China, but due to their economic downturn the yard decided to close. We have since acquired a (MOU) /Joint Manufacturing Agreement with an established yard in Argentina with a range of models from 34ft-74ft with both sport and flybridge models. These will be ‘Birchwood branded’ for the UK, EU, US, with potentially the UAE and China markets.” The Birchwood brand dates back to the 1950s, but closed its doors in 2002. The investment is being raised through Crowdcube.com and Ernie also told Motorboat Owner that this “will be used initially to fund two boats or more, depending on the level of funding raised and displayed at the forthcoming Southampton Boat Show 2019 and then to the Boot Düsseldorf boat show in 2020 with representation from dealers in our various countries.” Initial launch models from the 34ft-74ft range are to be the 640 and 430, both flybridges, and the company is also looking to use technological advances in hybrid power in its models. You can see a video presentation on the proposed relaunch, which includes interviews with MD Ernie Vick, Owner and CFO, Paul Wagstaff and John Pridmore of the Birchwood Classics website, here.
Mariner 2.5hp prize is handed over at Plymouth
Derek Robinson from Plymouth is the winner of the Motorboat Owner Reader Survey prize, a Mariner 2.5hp outboard, supplied by Barrus. The outboard was presented to Derek over today (29th January) by Dave Mallett at Plymouth Marine and Barrus Area Sales Manager, Mick Matthews. The Motorboat Owner reader survey was launched at the Southampton Boat Show and ran across the September and October issues. MBO Editor, Neale said “I would like to thank all the readers that took part in the survey, it is wonderful to hear that you are enjoying the magazine. I would also like to thank Barrus for providing the incredible prize.” Winner, Derek said “I’m lost for words winning such a tremendous prize and I have to thank MBO and Barrus for this.”
Swedish motorboat builder acquires Finnish boat ranges
The Swedish motorboat manufacturer, Nimbus, has acquired Finnish builder, Bella Boats. Known as Bella-Veneet Oy, it was established in 1970 and was owned by founder, Raimo Sonninen and Brunswick Marine. Bella, as a group, manufactures four different motorboat brands, Bella, Flipper, Aquador and, the most recent addition, the aluminium boat series, Falcon.
Pictured, built by Bella Boats, the new Aquador 35 AQ
CO alarms to be included in BSS examinations from April 2019
From April onwards it will be a compulsory requirement of the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) to have a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm onboard a cabin boat. The decision, made by the BSS Management Committee, comes as a result of a public consultation, which saw an 84% vote in favour. All boats with accommodation spaces needing a BSS for 2019, which is a requirement for inland waterways licences, will now be checked for suitable CO alarms. The condition and location of the device will also be assessed. The BSS will be publishing the new checks in detail in January/February 2019 on its website and will also be launching a spring/ summer 2019 carbon monoxide campaign. In 2018, three inland boaters lost their lives due to fire on boats and several more boaters had to go to hospital due to explosions, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Called the silent killer, CO is a highly toxic poison that cannot be heard, seen, felt, tasted or smelt, and is the result of an incomplete or inefficient burn of any carbon-based fuel including wood, charcoal, coal, petrol, diesel, propane and butane. Those with an existing BSS certificate without an alarm are being urged to look at a list of recommended CO alarms and install one for their own safety. The BSS is a public safety initiative owned by the inland authorities, Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency, and its purpose is to help minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions, or pollution from boats harming visitors to the inland waterways, the waterways’ workforce and any other people on or near the waterway. More information about staying safe from CO on boats and the BSS is available at www.boatsafetyscheme.org/co
Winners of the five categories to be announced at this week's Berlin Boat and Fun boat show
The winners of the Best of Boats Awards will be announced this week at the Berlin Boat and Fun and the finalists include the likes of the Parker Monaco 110, Jeanneau NC33 and Beneteau Swift Trawler 35.
Known in the industry as the BOB awards, this year 21 finalists were whittled down from hundreds of boats tested by the 18 jury members over the last 12 months. With Motorboat Owner’s Neale Byart representing the UK, the jury is made up of boating journalists from Austria, USA, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Croatia and the Ukraine. The shortlisted finalist boats are divided into five categories ‘Best for’ fun, beginners, fishing, family and travel. The winners of each category will be announced at an awards ceremony at Berlin Boat and Fun on the 29th of November.
Best for Beginners
Best for Fishing
Best for Family
Best for Fun
Best for Travel
For more information visit www.bestofboats.com
Photo: Best For Family finalist, the Parker Monaco 110
Spanish boat builder announces new open fisher range and revitalises popular fisher cruiser
The Spanish commercial, military and leisure boat builder, Rodman will be launching two new models in 2019. Designed for leisure boating or fishing and the launch model of a new range, the 33 Offshore is a central console, open boat that is based on the hull of Rodman’s popular 33ft patrol boat. This outboard powered, T-topped fast fisher will be capable of 45 knots. The second new model will be the renewed 1040 ‘Evolution’, which will be available in two versions, Hard Top or Flybridge. The 6-berth 1040 has two separate cabins and will have an updated light and bright interior with hull windows for the cabin areas. Other features of its wheelhouse include stylish wraparound windows and a helmsman side door. Rodman has also announced that it will be making superstructure changes and interior design changes to its Fisher and Cruiser ranges. These include adding two stylish hull windows, with integrated circular portholes, to the Spirit models, and offering new choices of wood finishes and interior décor across all ranges.
HMRC loses battle for red diesel in a ruling that could end the use of red diesel for private pleasure craft in the UK
On the 17th of October, the HMRC lost its defence against use of marked fuel (red diesel) for the purposes of propelling private pleasure craft in the UK and Northern Ireland. The court ruled that the UK had failed to fulfil its obligations under Council Directive 95/60/ EC of 27 November 1995 on fiscal marking of gas oils and kerosene (OJ 1995 L 291, p. 46). The ruling could end the use of red diesel for private pleasure craft in the UK, until such time Brexit transpires, and the impact of both of these on recreational boating is yet unknown. The majority of diesel sold at British marinas is red diesel, which is taxed at 100% when used only for propulsion, with a lower rate of tax when it is used for boat heating. A directive states that EU members must add a ‘fiscal marker’ (a red dye in the UK) to diesel which is not taxed at the full rate. Desputing the UKs practices, the European Commission indicated its intention to commence infraction proceedings against the UK in July 2011. In May 2013 the European Commission formally requested that the UK amend its legislation “to ensure that private pleasure boats such as luxury yachts can no longer buy lower taxed fuel intended for fishing boats” and issued a reasoned opinion to the UK Government, which HMRC indicated its intention to challenge in July 2013. As a result, in July 2014, the European Commission indicated that it had decided to refer the UK to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The October 2018 judgment ruling means that, while the UK remains subject to the fuel marker directive, the UK must bring its practices into line with this ruling. HMRC is now examining the judgment and will announce how and when the UK will adjust its practices in due course. The two marine bodies, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and British Marine are concerned and will be examining the impact on the leisure marine industry, and seeking urgent meetings with HMRC to discuss the next steps. The RYA said “The crux of the matter is ensuring the continued availability of diesel for the leisure boating community.”
Southampton Boat Show organiser backs boat show at St Katharine Docks, London
The UK’s marine trade association and Southampton Boat Show organiser, British Marine has formed a new partnership with the May boat show, London On-Water. Now in it’s fifth year and held at St Katharine Docks in the heart of the city, next to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, the show has new superyachts, motorboats, cars, luxury brands and marine equipment on display on the water and the land. Organisers are claiming that the show will triple in size for 2019, with more boats and new features. British Marine hope to develop and enhance the event for exhibitors, sponsors and visitors alike.
CEO, Lesley Robinson said “We are delighted to confirm our partnership with The London On-Water Boat Show and are very excited to be working with them to deliver a world class luxury event in this historic location at the heart of the capital.”
The 4-day London On-Water Boat Show will take place Thursday 9th – Sunday 12th May 2019.
Scheduled winter works sees the closure of several locks on the River Thames
The Environment Agency will be carrying out its annual investment programme of works on the River Thames this winter, between October and Easter, and this will see the closure of a number of locks. The following locks will be closed from the first date listed and re-open on the day after the final date: Molesey Lock 29th October-31st January 2019, Teddington Lock 29th October-15th March 2019, Rushey Lock 1st December-1st March 2019, Cookham Lock 7th January-10th February 2019 and Caversham Lock 7th January-15th March 2019. A map showing the above closures is available via the Environment Agency website.
15th & 16th September
The 50th Southampton Boat Show is underway this weekend. Open until the 23rd September, the show takes place in Mayflower Park and has a huge temporary marina hosting approximately 330 boats. Throughout the weekend show visitors will be able to book a free ‘Try a Boat’ ride on a RIB or a motorboat upon entry to the show at West Quay (stand A101). For a second year in a row, the passenger boat, Ocean Scene, will be operating free 20-minute tours of Southampton Water from the show marina. Tours are available from 12 noon or 1pm, until 4pm daily. Out on the pontoons will be the usual array of boats, with several worldwide and UK debuts, such as the Princess R35, Jeanneau Merry Fisher 605 Marlin, Fairline Targa 43 Open and UK debuts from the Italian boat builder Cranchi, including the Z35. New features this year include a Harbourside Gin Festival, with brands such as Silent Pool, Salcombe Gin and Mr Hobbs Gin available at a pop-up garden, with live music and a Gin Lounge with ‘mixology masterclasses’ available (£30.50 each inc. show admission). The 1940s, 46-metre tall ship and film star, the Kaskelot, as well as the research ship, RV Callista, will be welcoming visitors aboard. The RNLI also have a lifeboat on the marina allowing visitors to get aboard and speak to its crew. The show is opening daily 10am-6:30pm and 10am-6pm on the last Sunday. Standard day tickets start at £15.50 for adults, with gate prices £21-£25 depending on the day you visit. Motorboat Owner readers can save up to £12 on gate purchases by booking tickets online. The exclusive ticket offer code, EPTO18JKB9, entitles readers to anyday flexible entry tickets priced at £13 when booking via the Southampton Boat Show website www.southamptonboatshow.com
Elsewhere, on the river Hamble, there are two used boat shows running concurrently alongside the boat show. The south coast broker and boat dealer, Why Boats, will be hosting its fifth Used Boat Show at Deacons Marina at Bursledon. Billed as ‘the largest event of its kind on the south coast’, it will be open daily 9am-6pm and a catalogue of boats for sale is available via the Why Boats website. Premier Marinas will also be hosting its 39th annual Used Boat Show at Swanwick Marina. The show will feature a display of pre-owned boats for sale through the marinas onsite brokerage offices, Ancasta International Boat Sales, Clipper Marine, Princess Motor Yachts, Sea Ventures and Sunseeker Southampton. The event will be open daily from 10am-6pm. Visit www.premiermarinas.com for details
10-day boat show to host two RNLI lifeboats on the marina
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been named Official Show Charity for this year’s TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show and the 10-day show is set to host two lifeboats afloat in the show marina. From Friday 14th to Tuesday 18th September, one of the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboats, a 13.6-metre Shannon class, will be on display on marina berth M698, with an inshore lifeboat, a B-class lifeboat (Atlantic 85), replacing this on Wednesday 19th until the end of the show (Sunday 23rd September). Both lifeboats will be available for visitors to view and speak to its crew members.
Onshore, at the RNLI stand B028, show visitors will be able to get water safety advice and tips on staying safe at sea, view safety gadgets and try on a variety of lifejackets. Plus there will be lifesaving products available to win in daily giveaways.
Lesley Robinson, Chief Executive Officer at British Marine, comments: “We are delighted to be able to support the RNLI at TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show 2018 and promote the outstanding work it does to save lives at sea. As one of the UK’s most respected marine charities, its dedicated lifeguards, lifeboats and stations are a familiar and welcome sight on Britain and Ireland’s waters and its achievements can be seen across the world. We look forward to welcoming them and many of their crew to this year’s event.”
Gareth Morrison, Head of Community Engagement at the RNLI, says: “TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show is really important to the RNLI as it provides a unique opportunity to meet many of the thousands of people who take to the water each year and to talk through key safety messages, such as our Respect the Water campaign. Leisure activities on the water are great fun, but can also carry risks. There were 65 yacht sailing and motor boating deaths in the UK between 2011 and 2015 and anything we can do to reduce that figure and help save lives is time very well spent. The show is also a great way for us to engage with new supporters and for them to meet our incredible volunteers who do such much to keep our waters safe."
Photo: Shannon Class lifeboat by Dave James / RNLI
Norfolk Yacht Agency takes action for Broads boaters
After a recent spate of malfunctioning bridges on the Broads, one Norfolk yacht broker is taking action to tackle the problem for the Broads boating community. Norfolk Yacht Agency (NYA) is seeking legal advice and with it financial backing to determine the Rights of Passage for boaters. In an address to all Broads boaters, MD of NYA, James Fraser, wrote “Our Summer of discontent with regard to the opening of the Broadland Bridges continues. The Haven Bridge has finally been repaired after some five weeks out of service, but Somerleyton & Mutford swing bridges continue to cause regular problems. The fact is that the cost of replacement is significant (circa £30-million per bridge) and the relevant authorities seem to have their head in the sand hoping the problem (we boaters) will go away. I am in communication with John Packman, CEO of the Broads Authority, who is in communications with Network Rail. However, these discussions have been going on for many years. I fear we may soon be faced with a situation where one or more of the bridges fail and remain shut for months or years. In order to understand the full legal position regarding Rights of Passage and right to redress, I would like to seek Barristers opinion on the matter. This is estimated to cost in the region of £5,000 in legal fees, so I am asking for your help.” James added that NYA is seeking pledges of up to £200 maximum, saying that they will not be taking any money at this stage, but the more who agree to help, the cheaper the cost per head will be when the bill comes. NYA has said it will underwrite any shortfall beyond this amount. James added “I cannot promise that this will solve our problems, but a full understanding of the current legal position will stand us in good stead and inform you of your Navigation Rights. A full copy of the Barristers opinion will be forwarded to all donors.” At the time of writing a rally fleet of 12 motorboats were stuck the wrong side of Reedham Bridge pictured, due to it being reported as broken. With a Haven Bridge opening booked, they were due to head out to sea, bound for the River Orwell on the Suffolk coast.
Premier Marinas to host 39th Swanwick Used Boat Show during the Southampton Boat Show
The south coast marina operator, Premier Marinas, is getting ready to host its annual Swanwick Used Boat Show this September. Back for its 39th consecutive year and running concurrently with the Southampton Boat Show, 14th-23rd September, the Used Boat Show will feature a display of pre-owned boats for sale through the marinas onsite brokerage offices, Ancasta International Boat Sales, Clipper Marine, Princess Motor Yachts, Sea Ventures and Sunseeker Southampton. The event will be open daily from 10am-6pm. Visit www.premiermarinas.com for details.
South coast broker announces fifth used boat show
The south coast broker and boat dealer, Why Boats, has announced that it will be hosting its fifth Used Boat Show this September. Held at its Deacons Marina site at Bursledon concurrently during the Southampton Boat Show, it is being billed as ‘the largest event of its kind on the south coast’, and set to showcase 60 yachts and motorboats afloat and ashore. The show will be open daily 9am-6pm, 14th–23rd September, and a catalogue of boats for sale will be available via the website in early September.
App replaces voluntary CG66 Coastguard scheme
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has joined forces to reveal RYA SafeTrx as HM Coastguard’s new official voluntary safety identification scheme. RYA SafeTrx is a free app designed to improve safety at sea and, in an emergency, has the ability to call 999 and also pinpoint a casualty’s location. The app also alerts designated emergency contacts should you fail to arrive on time and automatically informs HM Coastguard of voyage plans, vessel and crew information and location. The SafeTrx mobile app and website now supersedes the HM Coastguard CG66 scheme and can be used free of charge in UK territorial waters. It is also recognised by maritime search and rescue agencies in Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Finland, Norway, Cyprus, South Africa and Australia.
The end is nigh. Fleet boats return to their home berths
Sunday 15th July
It was the last morning of the cruise, and a bright, clear and very still one it was too. As crews surfaced everyone was soon gathering on the pontoon saying their goodbyes. Control Boat, T L Sea was the first to slip and departed Portland Harbour, before holding station at the second waypoint for one final fleet photoshoot in the morning sunshine.
Left behind at Portland Marina was Broom 395, Dacelo who were heading off to their home berth at Weymouth Marina later. Hythe-based Parker 800 Moonshadow was also leaving later in the day and Bavaria S450 Coupe, Weeks Away were staying on a few more days at Portland.
At sea, conditions were once again superb with dolphins spotted by some. Once off the distinctive cliffs of Durlston (near Swanage), Windy Scirocco 33, About Time peeled away from fleet. Owners Bill and Karen were heading for the anchorage at Studland Bay for some bacon butties, while they waited for the tide at their home berth at Christchurch.
With a few knots of spring tide underneath them, soon the fleet was entering the Needles Fairway. At the last waypoint, at the rather tidal-turbulent Hurst Narrows, crews were soon saying their goodbyes and signing off with control boat, T L Sea on the VHF.
Once all the Solent-based boats had logged safe arrivals with control boat T L Sea, making best use of the east-going tide and the mill-pond conditions, the Essex-based Sealine S28 continued on out of the Solent and onto Brighton and then Dover to refuel, before stopping overnight at Ramsgate, logging 178 miles in one day. By the afternoon of the next day boat was back on its home berth.
It has been a fantastic two weeks for boating and the weather could not have been better. Old friends were reunited and new friends met too, all sharing some very special and magical boating memories. Upon asking crews what their favourite port was, two common answers were given. It seems many had a real soft spot for the tranquil Mylor, but it was stunningly beautiful Fowey that came out on top. Until next time, happy boating.
PHOTO: Fairline Phantom 38 Portunas and Princess V39 Gîte off the Beaulieu River, western Solent
The MBO Fleet move to Portland Marina
Saturday 14th July
Crews awoke to a bright, very still morning in the Salcombe Bag. All was quiet and very calm with the sound of a cockerel in the distance. At 7am the boats bound for Brixham departed and an hour later the rest of the MBO fleet snaked out of the colourful and spectacular Salcombe Harbour.
Conditions were superb. Seas were flat, with a barely negligible wind. Running towards Start Point, the high cliffs topped with lush green fields looked stunning and the sea sparkled in the morning sunshine.
Dolphins were spotted while crossing the millpond-like Lyme Bay. However, a rather ominous grey mist lie ahead and, upon nearing Portland Bill, the fleet was enveloped by localised band of fog. Giving visibility no less than 1 mile, boats were able to continue on at a good, slowed pace and upon turning north, passing the east side of the Bill, skies cleared and the landscape was basked in sunshine again.
Triumphantly the fleet entered historic Portland Harbour and headed towards Portland Marina, the last official overnight stop of the West Country Cruise. By 1pm the fleet was assembled along the southern side of S pontoon leaving an afternoon to explore. A nice hot shower was on the agenda for many with crews traipsing across the impressive, huge marina to the facilities. Keen walkers, Penny and Steve of Gîte walked to Tout Quarry where they discovered 38 fascinating sculptures carved out of Portland stone. The friendly marina staff came around to the boats delivering ice creams to all the participants, a blessing in the scorching conditions.
At his last briefing, Cruise Leader Neale, detailed the return passage to the Solent. The fleet will depart at 7am to make best use of the tides through the Needles channel and Solent.
PHOTO: Sealine S38 Jazzbo & Princess V39 Gîte