Friday, 21 October 2016

Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier - Changes in Portsmouth Harbour

Earlier this week the Deputy Queen’s harbour Master, Gideon Sherwood, talked to a meeting of Gosport NCI (the local Coastwatch station) about the work going on in Portsmouth Harbour in preparation for the arrival of the new aircraft carrier, Queen Elizabeth (provisionally taking place in May 2017). The harbour entrance area is the busiest water space in the UK.

The current dredging activity is going OK, with only about two million cubic metres to go. The channel itself will be dredged to 9.5m for its full width with the main part having 10.5m. The notorious hazard of Hamilton Bank, just outside the Portsmouth channel to the NW of Spit Bank Fort, has already been reduced considerably in height but the plan is to deepen it by a further 4.2m. It is pretty likely that maintenance dredging will be needed at intervals after the current work is finished. Apart from the bulk dredging, fishing for ferrous objects detected by scanning has produced, among other things, a German unexploded bomb as well as the “friendly” torpedo that received good news coverage recently. More alarming was a non-ferrous German “ship-destroyer” mine that was picked up by accident.

The problem is that Queen Elizabeth needs to be on a straight course with only a six-degree margin approaching and passing through the harbour entrance, unlike the current ferries and freighters which can enter on a curving track. These limits mean that during entry or exit the harbour entrance will be closed to both outbound and inbound traffic (including small vessel traffic in the Boat Channel on the West side). Carrier movements are only likely to take place around HW Springs, and entry or exit will not take place if the wind exceeds 20 knots. 

Lots of new navigation marks have turned up over recent months. These mainly provide navigational transits for the carrier’s use.

• The large green pile between 2 Bar and Castle buoys (Castle Pile) provides a transit with the War Memorial.

• The sets of yellow piles in the Bomb Ketch area provide an entrance transit, while the sets in the Spit Bank Fort area provide exit transits.

You will have noticed some changes to buoyage – the movement westward of Outer Spit SC buoy is the most obvious. Most of these changes are temporary while dredging is taking place, but Admiralty charts are corrected very frequently so it would probably not be a good time to buy new charts or update your chart-plotter cards until all this has settled down. However, a permanent R channel buoy named Spit Elbow will be placed between Spit Refuge R and Outer Spit SC buoys.

Details of impending changes will appear in Navigational Warnings and Local Notices to Mariners.

Given the difficulty of entry and exit for the carrier, it may be expected that routine visits will use the anchorage near Stokes Bay, and escort vessels will be picked up at sea.

As might be expected, the MOD police presence on the water will be considerably beefed up, and QHM is getting new and better radar.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Who is the winner of 1 year’s free membership to Boat Club Trafalgar?

As you know, we launched Boat Club Trafalgar at the Southampton Boat Show last month, and whilst we were there we gathered just over 500 entries for our competition.

Watch the video to see who the winner is.

If you weren’t the lucky winner then just remember, if you join in the coming weeks you will get free use of the boats until the 1st March 2017.  No, we're not kidding!  Just join, then pay no monthly fee until 1st March next year.

Just imagine yourself with your friends or family, enjoying time out on the water on one of our 7 brand new boats.  Whether it be fishing, cruising or a blast over to the Isle of White.  Join Boat Club Trafalgar and start making the most of your leisure time.

Call Corinne today on 02392 706599 for more information on joining.

Friday, 7 October 2016

What do you have to swap with us?

You may have seen the video we sent out this time last year about barter deals, or trade exchange, but if you didn't then have a quick watch now.

Swapping trades, goods or services is a great way to do business.  Since sending this video last year we have 'swapped' with 7 new and existing customers. 

Let us know what you have, or can do, and we'll see if we can swap with you.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Catch a fish whilst out on your boat

At last, the weekend is here.

If you're going out on your boat this weekend to do a spot of fishing then watch this video to learn how to tie a handy fishing knot.  I'm not sure what size fish the guy in the video is planning on catching - I'm guessing a shark!?!

Safety whilst out boating is so important so please make sure you and your family have all the training and knowledge you need to make your trips safe and fun.  JBT Marine, the RIB sales company on our site, run lots of RYA training courses.  Why not give them a call and get booked in for some Autumn boating.

They are able to tailor their course dates to your needs so just let them know which courses you are interested in and which dates suit you, and they will figure out the rest.

The courses on offer include:
RYA Powerboat Level 2 Course - £279
RYA Intermediate Powerboat Course - £309
RYA VHF Radio Course - £100
RYA First Aid Course - £100
Own Boat Tuition - POA

Give Kat a call on 02392 397000 or email for more information about these courses and dates. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Boat Club Trafalgar - free use of boats until next year

Hi, if you read the official press release that we blogged last week you'll know that we have now launched our exciting new Boat Club Trafalgar.

If you join in the coming weeks you will get free use of the boats until the 1st March 2017.  No, we're not kidding!  Just join and pay no monthly fee until 1st March next year.

Call Corinne today on 02392 706599 for more information on joining Boat Club Trafalgar.


Friday, 16 September 2016

PRESS RELEASE - Boat Club Trafalgar Launches at Southampton Boat Show

If you’re looking for a smart way to enjoy boating then you might want to check out Boat Club Trafalgar, the brand new members club from the owners of Trafalgar Wharf & The Drystack in Portsmouth.

Billed as the ultimate in convenience, it’s probably the easiest way to get on the water without the hassle of owning your own boat. 

Jonny Boys, MD of Boat Club Trafalgar, explains the new launch.

“There are lots of people who don’t want the hassle and upfront cost of owning their own boat, they simply wouldn’t get full use out of it. We’re offering something that will appeal to boaters that want zero hassle and maximum flexibility.”

“Members get unlimited use of a fleet of brand new premium boats all powered by Yamaha engines. They can zoom over to Cowes in a Jeanneau Cap Camarat 7.5 or treat clients to a day out in a Ballistic 6.5 RIB. They can take their friends and family out for a birthday treat on a Jeanneau Merry Fisher and have a romantic overnighter the following week on our Finnmaster Pilot 7.”

Boat clubs are big in the US where people describe them as “the country club on water”, and it’s easy to understand the appeal when you take into account the normal ownership routine.

“Our members know that our team do all the work, that includes storing, cleaning, fuelling, maintenance and taking care of insurance. Club membership is about having a great experience and making the most of your leisure time.”

Boat Club Trafalgar builds on the success of The Drystack and offers the ultimate turn-up and go service. Jonny explains how the membership works on a day to day basis.

“Using the 24hr smart phone app members can instantly check availability. You can book up to four boats at any one time so you can easily plan ahead.  It’s zero hassle, maximum joy.”
Boat Club Trafalgar membership is not much more than the annual cost of storing your own boat and there are other significant benefits too.

 “As well as the fleet, you’ll also get all of the tuition you need, including RYA Level II Powerboat training as part of the membership. Even if you have never been on a boat before, we’ll get you handling one with confidence and skill.”

As Jonny says, Boat Club Trafalgar is the ultimate convenient way of getting on the water.
“We’ve got a great location at Trafalgar Wharf, which is ideal for the Solent. We’re just off junction 12 of the M27. We’ve got great boats. We’ve also got a great team that look after members’ every wish. 

“It’s the smart choice for intelligent people who want an effortless way to have fun.”

For more information call Boat Club Trafalgar on Portsmouth (02392) 706599 or email

Click here to view the Boat Club Trafalgar website.

Please quote Boat Show for your special Founder Member Membership offer.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Big Announcement

Watch the video below to find out about our new exciting Boat Club, a new boat brand addition to the JBT Marine range, and where to find us at the Southampton Boat Show.