Chairman’s Blog – 13 Aug 2019

PE BHA Chairman’s Blog

Hullo all you Bertholders, Members and Potential Members of our BHA!

Former Chairman Frank Pullen and I met with Port Edgar Marina Chief, Russell Aitken, on Friday 9th August, for an exchange of information and viewpoints on various issues concerning the Marina.

Here’s a Note of what we discussed:

Site security and CCTV:
PEM cameras are located to provide site security. Weather and tide cameras have been set up by PEBHA with PEM co-operation. PEM are responsible for their CCTV security and only PEM authorised staff can view what has been recorded. What weather and tide cameras show over the Internet is not recorded and there is no information as to what has been broadcast. It is uncertain whether this requires any regulation and it was agreed that the BHA would check the position with Colin Henderson who administers the system.

Toilet Provision:
The Sea Cadet accommodation block is now under construction in what was formerly of the dinghy park, and work has also started on the new Port Edgar Yacht Club (PEYC) clubhouse. Both will have toilet facilities and the BHA committee suggested that this might be an opportunity for PEM to provide toilet facilities linked into the new buildings’ own arrangements.
However it turns out that the sea cadets are arranging for sewage to be pumped into the mains system above the sewage works at the west end of the marina site. The PEYC have come to an arrangement with the sea cadets to share their facility.
Sewage treatment arrangements for PEM are totally site separate, and they will not be providing new facilities at this time. No plans for future toilets for the marina exist or are currently under consideration. There is a disabled toilet at the far end of the boat park which is available for anyone in need but a code is required for access.

Pontoon Maintenance:
Where pontoon repairs are required this will be brought to the attention of the PM management as quickly as possible for prompt action . There is some concern that the nylon waffle boards on the main walkways are covering a deteriorating timber structure below. The PEBHA are concerned that this could be a safety issue. PEM are aware of this. There is an ongoing schedule for replacement but this is over a long term programme.
It was pointed out that some cleats at the walkway hammerheads are missing – not a good impression for new visitors. RA pointed out that larger vessels would be secured round the pile guides but would check further on the cleat position.

Grounding & Dredging:
Also areas have been dredged over the past winter as part of the ongoing program but no bathymetric survey charts had been produced. The PEBHA welcomed these charts despite their snapshot nature, inevitable due to the shifting of mud by tides, as they gave users a reasonable idea of the best routes in the marina, though changing over time.
FP pointed out that his yacht was fast in the mud in low tides and looked forward to further dredging. He also suggested that a marker pole should be erected at the west side of the east breakwater for a extended reef, particularly noticeable and hazardous at low tide. RA pointed out that it would have to be a more substantial marker than a pole, given the tidal range here. He also considered this would have to be accepted by Forth Ports Authority. He would look further into it and seek advice.
Marina staff regularly checked mooring lines, especially after storms. Security staff were not involved in such checks, but PEM staff would not be available outwith normal working hours, and would not be allowed onto pontoons in dangerous weather. They would make checks when safe and problems would be passed to the administration office for them to contact berth holders.

Marina Fees:
RA Stated that the fees for next season had not been considered as yet. It was unlikely that any increase would exceed inflation and even not impossible that they be kept at current levels.
Marina Handbook:
BHA representatives reiterated the need for information on the BHA to be included in the Handbook. It was also suggested that there could be some mention of pontoon etiquette, as a reminder to marina users to be considerate toward others. RA doubted if the handbook was the place for this, but did note the need for an updated visitor map. It was agreed that a draft of a visitor map might be something the BHA could assist with.

Next year will be Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Water, 2020, and will be celebrated with a programme of activities for visitors and locals to explore and experience our shores. The Marina will be involved with its Open Day in May, next year slightly later in order to ensure tidal conditions are at their best.

The meeting closed with agreement to try to ensure maximum communication between PEM and the PE BHA.

Chairman’s Blog – 11 June 2018

Frank Pullen and I had a meeting with Russell Aitken yesterday to discuss Marina matters and below is a summary of those topics:

1. Site Development. Russell ran through the imminent opening of the restaurant, with its new Terrace currently under construction, and intimated that there are more plans for added attractions and industry but plans are not firmed up, nor planning permission sought. The Sea Cadet and Yacht Club plans are getting nearer to construction but it seems, especially with the Sea Cadets, that there is some delay.

2. Marina Handbook. The latest copy of the Marina Handbook does not contain any mention of the BHA. Inclusion of BHA material would be welcome and should be passed to Russell by Christmas this year for inclusion. In addition, he would accept some reminder notes to marina users such as lifejackets for youngsters, no running on pontoons, knowledge of safety measures, care over electricity usage, conduct during dark hours especially when visitors are moored after long voyages.

3. BHA importance. Once again the topic of the value of the BHA to the Marina was raised and Russell offered space at the next Open Day when we should staff a pop up stand to publicise and promote the BHA. In addition he recommended Facebook as a valuable promotion means, and possibly some social function, eg in the new restaurant.

4. Wash from vessels. The wash from commercial vessels has caused concern, especially those using “bucket” steering and engines in standard throttle settings. Russell agreed to talk to the owners.

5. External support companies. We discussed the use of “outside” companies for the maintenance of our boats and their engineering. Already there are some contacts promulgated in the Handbook. In addition there are company business cards on the Marina Office counter for boatowners to use. We suggested that we might have a display in the office of companies that are available to work here. Russell agreed to consider what could be done. He admitted that at times the lead time for tasks to be completed by his team could be lengthy and recognised that others may have to be brought in. The Marina did not want to be a Monopoly.

6. Groundings. Groundings are still a problem at times, especially when an excessively low tide. These are reported regularly by Yacht Club racers, as they are the most frequent users, and occasionally by visitors unused to the area. The Bathymetric survey completed and displayed last year has yet to be completed for this year post dredging. It is yet to be done but will be publicised as soon as available.

7. Access times. The opening of the restaurant will mean a change to marina (shore-side) opening times. As you can imagine restaurant customers will leave after their meal…midnight. The plan for security is not yet complete nor barriers/routes built. The revisions will be publicised.

Mike McGregor
Chairman, BHA

Chairman’s Blog – 15th March 2018

In a few days time ,on Wednesday 21st March, the Berth Holders will be holding their Annual General Meeting. Members have already been notified .

It is my intention to stand down as Chairman at the AGM. Various circumstances have made it difficult for me to give the position the input it should have. I am hopeful that someone with closer connections to sailing and the marina will be able to take on this job.

The Berth Holders Association is a valuable and valued link with Port Edgar Marina (PEM) Management. When the marina was in Local Authority control, with management subject to a chain of pressures, Berth Holders had a responsible body to make a case to the highest levels of the City Council.

Things have changed, in that Russell Aitken, PEM’s Managing Director, is approachable and ready to act on customers concerns. Berth Holders are finding it less necessary to go through the BHA . However, far rom reducing the necessity of an Association the enlargement of the marina is making it more necessary .

More organisations with limited marine connections are moving in, including Shapes, and, in summer, the new Restaurant. Port Edgar Marina will serve these organisations but their bread-and-butter will remain the boats which berth here.

Berth Holders need and deserve a combined voice to ensure our priorities get heard.

If you’re not already a member and would like to know more, possibly join us, come to our AGM in the Port Edgar Yacht Club building, 7 p.m. for 7.30, on Wednesday 21st March.
For the meagre sum of £3.00 – join us. Give us your ideas & feedback We’re ready to act.

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’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:

Japanese wakame background information :

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

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