Friday, 29 June 2018

Boat Ownership Vs Boat Club Membership

Owning your own boat is great if you can afford it and have the time to arrange all the maintenance, insurance, cleaning, fuelling etc.  It’s a great investment and will give you years of fun and wonderful memories.

However, if you don’t want to own a boat, or perhaps you’ve sold your boat (or are thinking of selling your boat), but you still want to spend time on the water, then a boat club is the answer you’ve been looking for.

Similarly, if you’re new to boating and are looking to buy but can’t decide on the type of boat you want, then you can get loads of experience from a boat club with a large fleet of boats.

Picture this for a moment:
The sun is shining and the cloudless sky is bright blue.  You pull up in the car park with your friends and family and walk down the pontoon.  You step aboard your choice of 1 of 7 beautiful boats which has been launched, cleaned and fuelled especially for you…there is even a picnic waiting on board.  The water is twinkling as you cast off and you’re free to explore and swim in the Solent’s waters, enjoy bbq’s on the various beaches and visit sea-side towns.  What better way to spend a day.

With Boat Club Trafalgar, this could be you every day.

Twice a month Boat Club Trafalgar runs guided tours around the Solent for its members. Current Drystack members, marina and boat storage customers are also very welcome to join these trips on their own boats, there is no charge for this.  Just book on with Jake or Steve.  These tours are led by highly experience RYA Instructors.  It’s such a great way to spend the day.

Last Tuesday, Boat Club Trafalgar ran a Solent guided tour with 5 boats and 12 members to Colwell Bay.  All the images shown here were taken on this trip.  On the way they popped into Newtown Creek, a very picturesque anchorage on the Isle of Wight.  From there they carried onto Colwell Bay where they all dropped anchor and relaxed for an hour or so enjoying the amazing 28 degree sunshine and weather.  It was like being in the Mediterranean with crystal clear waters and sandy sea bed, perfect for a swim.  After this they headed to Lymington to the Yacht Haven for lunch, which is one of many stunning locations within the Solent. The crews then boarded their boats and started the route back to Trafalgar Wharf on the mirror calm sea.  A very enjoyable trip.

The next trip will be on the 12th July which is to Yarmouth via Newtown creek.

If you’d like to book a place on the next guided trip with your own boat, or if you’d like more information about joining Boat Club Trafalgar then give either Jake or Steve a call or email.  02392 706599 or

If you’re thinking of selling your boat, then give Tom or Gareth a call at JBT Marine on 02392 397000 or

We’re all part of The Trafalgar Wharf Group and all based together down at Trafalgar Wharf in Portsmouth. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Boat Club Trafalgar - rough and ready!!

This is what happens when the MD borrows the company iPhone, goes out into the yard and makes a video all by himself, ha-ha!

It's a bit rough and ready (not our usual polished style) but still interesting and informative and you'll learn a thing or two about the boat club. 

You may have thought that we 'just store boats' at Trafalgar Wharf - but there is most certainly more going on here than meets the eye.  Boat Club Trafalgar is part of the Trafalgar Wharf Group, based here in Portsmouth, and offers unlimited boating for a simple monthly fee.  It’s the perfect, zero hassle way to get out on the water whether you are a total beginner or super experienced.

If you'd like any further information on anything Jonny has spoken about in the video then please do give Steve or Jake from the boat club a call and they'll be happy to help. You can get them on 02392 706599.  Alternatively check out the website or ping them a quick email -

Friday, 8 June 2018

Our very own weather station

Did you know that we have our very own weather station here at The Trafalgar Wharf Group.
So what is a weather station and what does it do?
A weather station is an observation facility or post, either on land or sea, where weather conditions and meteorological data are observed and recorded with instruments and equipment to provide information for weather forecasts and to study the weather and climate.  Manual observations are taken at least once daily, while automated measurements are taken at least once an hour. 
Weather conditions out at sea are taken by ships and buoys, which measure slightly different meteorological quantities such as sea surface temperature (SST), wave height, and wave period.  Drifting weather buoys outnumber their moored versions by a significant amount. 
It's vital that you ALWAYS check the weather before you go out on the water.
Here are 5 vital  weather checks you should do before every boating trip:
1. Are warnings current for your boating area?

2. Are there weather conditions affecting safe navigation and comfort?
3. What are the wind trends?
4. What are the wave conditions?
5. When is the next high and low tide?
And here is a pre-departure checklist (you can never be too safe):
Weather Forecast; always check the weather forecast before going boating and have a radio on board to receive weather updates.
Life Jackets; make sure you have at least one life jacket per person on board.  A little tip – attach a whistle and light to each jacket.
Sound Producing Devices; a horn capable of producing a four-second blast audible for at least 1/2 mile and a spare can or air.
Lights; make sure you have all the navigation lights as required for your boat and check that all instrument lights are working.  Don’t forget a flash light and spar batteries.
Distress Signals; make sure your flares, day signals, etc. are accessible and ensure they are stored in a dry location.  Also inform anyone on your boat of the location and safety rules for proper usage.
Tools and Spares; make sure you carry a basic toolbox with tools and spares appropriate for your boat.  Spares should including fuel filter, light bulbs, head parts, through-hull plugs, etc. and always remember you first-aid kit.
Fuel and Oil; top up your fuel tanks and make sure you have enough fuel to provide a reasonable margin of safety for your return.  Check the engine oil and coolant levels too.
Fire Extinguishers; carry at least one fire extinguisher and make sure it is accessible. Check to be sure mounts are secure and functional before departure and make sure everyone on your boat knows where this is and how to use it.
Bilges; check that the bilges are reasonably dry and that pumps are not running excessively.  Clean up any spilled oil or waste in bilges to prevent overboard discharge.
Battery Care; if you have a dual charging system, make sure the selector switch in the correct position and make sure the power is on to the entire vessel.  Have aboard spare batteries for accessories such as your handheld radio, flashlight, portable navigational aid, etc.
Docking and Anchoring Tips; have at least one anchor set up and bent-on to your anchor line.  Carry two or three extra dock lines in case you encounter unusual conditions dockside. Visually inspect the lines you use for chafe or wear and carry at least two fenders on-board for docking or towing if required.
Enjoy your time afloat and stay safe :)