Chairman’s Blog – 17th February 2017

Earlier this month, BHA Committee Yachts Rep (Margaret McGregor) and I had a meeting with Fraser Sturgeon, Marina Manager.

It’s clear that the new season is underway, with Port Edgar Marina bustling with activity.

I’ve set out some of the issues we discussed below.

Briggs’ Forth Sentinel has been dredging the East basin, pontoon fingers having been removed. The work there was due to take some 5 – 6 days, after which the dredger was expected to move to the West of the main pier for a further week’s work. Fingers there have been kept in place as long as possible, as they help protect the main pontoon. As well as deepening the basins on either side of the pier, the dredger will remove a seabed “lump” near Erin’s berth at D pontoon.

Work is progressing on improving the boat park facilities at the west end of the site. 3 lorry loads of hardcore standing have been spread. The whole marina landscape has been improved by cutting back the bushes between the road and beach, and on the slope above the parking area and the roadway.

A flood light at the North end of the Loop Shed has been installed temporarily due to problems with pod lighting on nearby pontoons.

Marina Security has not had any issues since a container theft over 8 months ago. An arrest was made. This has resulted in improved CCTV coverage of the main gate, as well as an increased number of security points around the marina, to be checked-in at and recorded by the security staff on irregularly timed patrols.

We’ve noticed that several of the information notices, such as the Plan of the Marina, are fading through age. It is planned to replace these as and when the development of the site is more complete.

Exploratory drilling on the former dinghy park site has been carried out in the expectation that the Sea Cadets will be building there. However, nothing has been formally confirmed.

Several pontoon fingers have offcuts of waffle boards (presumably sourced from a skip) fixed by owners, either to provide a firm foothold, or possibly to effect a repair in an area where the pontoon boards look insecure. The Marina is very emphatic that they place great importance on pontoon safety and urge berth holders to report any insecure boards. They target a repair/replacement within 24 hours of the report.

We discussed these points at this month’s PE BHA Committee meeting .

In addition we noted~:

The Berthing Fees application forms have been issued. This year we calculate the increase to be just under 2%.

The Association Notice Board on the Loop shed is being renovated, and we hope to have it back in service in the near future..

As soon as final decisions are made on a 2017 Jumble Sale, they will be advertised.

We hope you have had a chance to look at our new website pages. Committee members Willie and Debra have professionally updated the look and added more content, as well as setting up a Facebook page under Port Edgar Berth Holders Association. Follow us!

Russell Aitken, Marina Managing Director, has contacted me, to let people not already Bosun’s Account Holders know about the Bosun’s Locker Shop Account. This is open to all Bosun’s customer account holders, and entitles you to 5% off your monthly account at payment. Full details from the Bosun’s Locker.

The BHA are already negotiating Membership Incentives with service providers and retailers for our membership We look forward to announcing more details soon. If you are not already a PE BHA member, why not join and enjoy the Benefits?

Best Wishes for Fair Winds and Sunny Days –

Mike McGregor,

Chairman

Chairman’s Blog – 11th September 2016

Hello there –

Once again there has been an interruption to communications, but the lack of information from CCTV and the Weather Station have been beyond our control. I’ve set out below what’s been happening plus a few snippets of info for coming weeks

WiFi Outage and Improvements
Port Edgar Marina Ltd (“PEM”) had organised the changeover from their previous Broadband/Phone Line supplier to the Daisy chain. Unfortunately, the ex-supplier managed to institute the changeover a month earlier than the agreed date, cutting off all phone/computer/wifi communications.This resulted in maximum inconvenience for all, with PEM having to operate on mobiles while remedial action was taken. This has now been done, with the service due to restart in full on Tuesday 13th September. 16 new lines will be operational for the Marina complex, with new links to the Loop Shed.

Discussions on wifi upgrades have been held between BHA and PEM.These include wifi cover improvements through a new aerial on the old Crane. We’ll keep you posted..

Haul Out Season
The PEM Boat Hoist has been overhauled and is fully ready for the autumn Haul Out. This year an addition to Marina capability is the Manitou fork lift telehandler with extending boom and work cradle, enabling mast top work to be carried out without the need to take down masts.

Names on Cradles
Apparently, at this time of year, Marina staff waste a lot of time ensuring that they select the correct cradle or trailer for boats being hauled out. Too many cradles are anonymous, without any identification marks. PEM would like boatowners to ensure that the name of their boat is clearly marked on their cradle.

Invasive Species
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (“SEPA”) have contacted PEM to advise that Japanese Wakame Seaweed has been found in the Marina. This is an invasive species which SEPA wish to eradicate before it gains a foothold in Scotland. Owners are asked to Bag and Bin any of these weeds if seen after hauling out or when using the drying out berth to maintain their boats. SEPA and the RYA provide advice as follows:

Japanese wakame identification: https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/downloadDocument.cfm?id=152

Japanese wakame background information : http://www.nonnativespecies.org/factsheet/factsheet.cfm?speciesId=3643

http://www.rya.org.uk/infoadvice/planningenvironment/advice/Pages/AdviceonAlienSpecies.aspx

Recreational users

RYA advice –
Recreation water users info – Check Clean Dry is a generic message to marine users with regards to biosecurity of equipment and applies to some water craft also – Check Clean Dry

Dredging
During the coming winter, dredging will be carried out by the Forth Sentinel to the East of the Main Pier, and between pontoons A and B. This will necessitate the removal of pontoon fingers and temporary relocation of remaining boats to other berths. The Marina will advise berth holders affected. As usual, dredging will be to 2m below Chart Datum.

That’s all for now – as ever, contact us if you have any issues you would like us to take further.

Mike McGregor

Chairman’s Blog – 31st July 2016

Hi! I’m Mike McGregor, Chair of the Port Edgar Berth Holders Asociation. There’s sailors and there’s berth holders, and most people with boats are obviously both. I’m happy to be classed mainly in the latter category. For me, a sunny windless afternoon at the pontoon, relaxing in the cockpit with a small beverage is more congenial than tacking against wind, tide and rain from beyond the bridges.

I’m sorry there’s been quite a gap since the last Blog, but we’ve been rejigging the online stuff, and I intend to keep in better communincation in future, to give you a few thoughts on current and proposed happenings at Port Edgar and around our coasts. So here we go!

The Clock Change to BST has been and gone, as has 1st June, and the Summer Solstice. It’s Summertime, in fact August is upon us, however much the recent chills and downpours may make you doubt it.

Boats are back in the water, though I’m still carrying out essential maintenance before managing that first trip past the marina entrance. We all look forward to it.

The PE BHA Committee met at the end of May. Our minutes are on the BHA notice board on the Loop Shed. Since then I’ve been talking with Fraser Sturgeon of Port Edgar Marina (PEM) management about some of the issues.A few items from our discussions :

Pontoon Safety: I must say I like the inspection routines in force to keep tabs on Health & Safety. Location schematics showing positions of Rescue Ladders, Life Buoys and Fire Extinguishers are posted on the notice boards outside the PEM Admin Office and on the Loop Shed. We had raised some issues about their accuracy, but they are now fully up to date. It’s worth having a check to see how things are sited near your berth. I have also seen details of the procedures for the testing and checking on extinguishers to ensure they are available and in working order. These seem totally practical.

Drinking Water: The committee had concerns on the availability of drinking water. Tests are carried out on the supplies to the toilets in the Mens and Women’s changing areas, where the sinks have notices to indicate the water is not drinking water. The main reason for the notices is that the water is not off the Mains. It does undergo regular tests for purity, especially to prevent problems such as Legionnaire’s disease emanating from the Showers. There is drinking water available from the cooler in the PEM Office.

Changing Room Security: Lockers are available in the changing areas, but are not lockable. Problems of replacing lost keys are the reason. It is expected that there will be a change in the current arrangements in the near future.

The BHA Committeee will be keeping these and other issues under consideration, and will keep you in touch.

Finally, if you have any issues that you would like to raise as a Berth Holder – or even as another User of, or Visitor to Port Edgar – and you feel we might be able to assist in any way, why not contact us? Our email address is on the Website.

Mike McGregor, PE BHA Chair.

Chairman’s Blog – December 2014

Dear Berth-holders

As many of you will know, I have taken over as chairman from Frank Pullen until the next AGM which will be held on 23rd March 2015. Mike McGregor has joined the committee as vice-chairman. We are very grateful to Frank for his 5 years in post when he has fought our corner with marina managers, Edinburgh Leisure and Edinburgh Council, to ensure that facilities in the marina were properly maintained and charges were reasonable. We have kept our members informed through our website, notice board on the loop shed and regular email blogs and have set up the weather station and live web scan. With our encouragement and assistance the new marina managers have installed free WiFi to the pontoons. They also give regular updates on their Facebook page. Next year’s charges have not yet been decided but are expected to rise by no more than 3%.

Parking: There is a beautiful new parking area where the derelict “Norwegian Block” used to be. It is intended that this will be reserved exclusively for berth holders and marina staff, with vehicle entry controlled by a gate, opened by a code or key fob. All visitors will use the red gravel, parking area close to the bridge.

The “Hub”: this new development to be built in 2016, on a site to the west of the scout hall, will house the administrative offices, a bar and Bistro and the Yacht Club which will rent a lounge/ meeting/ office area with balcony overlooking the Forth. PEYC committee are keen to share this premises with the berth holders, perhaps as Associate members at a reduced subscription.

Travel Hoist: My boat was taken out last week and it was a fairly painless experience (– except for the charge!) Following an accident, when a boat owner slipped off the hoist when coming down the ladder, a safety cage has been added to prevent further falls. Pressure washing is carried out by the site staff before the boat is transported to its cradle in the boat park.

Boat park: Electricity supply is being improved and connections for all boats are promised in the near future. Temporary cones are placed across the entrance to stop non boat owners bringing cars into this area. Punctures have been reported from sharp objects buried in the gravel.

Cardiac Defibrillator: this is now installed and all marina staff are trained in its use. If required the office staff or duty officer will bring it urgently.

Marina Facilities: For hygiene reasons, shared water hoses will not be provided on the pontoons. We noted that there are no longer disposal points for used oil cans and paint tins. Russell has promised to rectify this.

East Coast Sailing Festival: This will be held at Port Edgar between Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd August, 2015 by Forth Yacht Clubs Association and PEYC. It will comprise yacht racing, including restricted sail classes for the occasional racer, a rowing regatta and a cruiser muster. It is hoped that cruising yachts from other clubs on the Forth and Tay, as well as those at Port Edgar, will take part in this event. An interesting programme is planned including day cruises with civilised lunch stops at other clubs. The evening social events organised by the Yacht Club will be included. For those wishing to help, we would like some berth holders to assist in welcoming visitors and some yachts may be invited to act as committee boats during the event.

Boat Jumble: The BHA hope to hold its annual Boat Jumble sale in late February /early March. This will probably be in the Scout hall on a Sunday morning. Don’t throw out your useful junk yet. Someone might buy it!

Annual General Meeting: This will be held on Monday 23rd March in the Yacht Club with interesting speakers. We urgently need new members on the committee to take the Association forward into what promises to be an interesting and exciting future for Port Edgar- so how about it?

Yahoo Group: We are planning to set up an internetchat room” so that members can discuss matters of interest, request crew, offer advice to others or pass on complaints.

Contact Us: The committee welcomes any feedback, observations or information from members. Please look at our website (www.portedgarbha.org.uk ) and contact us on . For information about cruising on the Forth, look at (www.fyca.org.uk)

Murray Carmichael

Yacht insurance abroad…

I raised the following insurance query with PBO and I asked “If I am dismasted etc. in foreign waters, what cover have I, as skipper, to get my crew home and a replacement crew out when repair is complete?”  Here is a summary of the responses:
  • What’s important is that you chose a policy that complements your sailing and gives you the reassurance that should the scenario you mentioned occur you and your crew are looked after. Should you be sailing outside UK waters and alongside your own boat insurance it is paramount that all crew have a travel policy in place and they have fully disclosed sailing as an activity as some travel policies can exclude sailing.
  • Moving onto your own boat insurance I can’t comment for other insurers but Navigators include “Get You Home Cover” which gets added on to Brest-Elbe cruising ranges which gives cover up to a maximum of £1000 to pay for crew to return to the UK and to get a delivery crew to return the vessel to the home port. This is if the vessel is damaged rendering her unseaworthy by something covered by the policy if it puts it out of use for 7 days minimum, or if someone on board is injured or becomes ill preventing them from sailing for 7 days minimum and it leaves the crew without sufficient experienced crew.
  • If your crew and/or guests suffer financial loss as a result of an incident caused by your negligence as the owner/skipper then they may well be able to claim back some or all of their costs under the liability section of your insurance policy.
  • The absolute key is to fully understood the policy you have purchased and as a result enjoy your boating.
Those of you sailing abroad would do well to check insurance… it is all too easy to take cover for granted.

Frank.