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.