Harbour Master Report August 2018

Our Welsh Harp site, the sailing water and land facilities at the dam end,  is managed by a huge volunteer effort led by Welsh Harp Sailing Association (WHSA) Harbourmaster Brian Jefferies.  The WHSA is also responsible for our communal affairs and external relationships, especially with the Canal and Rivers Trust, who we lease all the facilities from.

This is a typical monthly report from Brian, of all the activities enabling us to enjoy our membership - afloat and ashore.

Site

General

We have continued to keep the site tidy by cutting the grass and picking up litter.

We have been using the reedman to cut weed – fortunately, it seems to be a good year. This is quite time-consuming but, hopefully, worthwhile.

Security

We have been erecting gates on the roadway to the dam to make it more difficult for people to wander onto the site. We will continue the fence down the wall by WHSC.
Oak Processionary Moth
Both these trees have been cut down.
Extending the L shaped pontoon
The new pontoon has been ordered but as it is a special there is quite long build time. We are in no rush. We will have to make a few new sinkers to restrain it and buy a lot of heavier chain.
We then need to build a slipway on the east side of the new pontoon.

The Headbank

Brtish waterways baoprd and now the Canal & Rivers Trust (CF&RT) are always on to us to clear the headbank in order that their inspector can check the condition of the rear of the dam; it was agreed at the time that it was our responsibility.. Some work was done under the guidance of Mike Gerschel but it has always proved difficult because of the problem of access. Because of work carried out by builders and the tendency to throw anything you don't want out the back the area was quite dangerous. We have also been unable to paint all of the rear of the sheds.

It has long been my aim to level the area. The necessity to remove the oak tree which prevented access by any machinery was a blessing in disguise. During the last week we, mainly Kieran (O'Farrell), have brought in 150 tons of soil and 90 tons of crushed concrete. The Tuesday team removed masses of vegetation, old chain link fencing and rubbish. Kieran then created a path from the crushed concrete and you could now drive down that path - preferably in a 4 x 4! The area behind the clubhouses has been graded so that it is no longer a death-trap and can be easily maintained.

I don't know the total cost but, in my view, it will be worth it.

I realise that most of our members are not even aware of the dam and the headbank but it is a condition of our lease that we maintain it.

Litter

Members continue to drop litter around the site and it would be helpful if the clubs remind members that there are bins available. Why do we need so many plastic bottles and why do we just drop them anywhere?

I would remind everybody that we need to put recyclable stuff in transparent bags and put it in the orange bin. Two blue bins should go out on Sunday evening and the orange one goes out on Thursday morning. WHSC should move the blue bins to be near the main gate on Saturday evening and WSC should put them out.

Berths

Boat licences should be paid for from the beginning of April. I am satisfied that the vast majority of boats are licensed. There are two Merlins that have been moving around the site in various places which have not been licensed for a long time. One is probably beyond repair.
I have no idea who owns the trailers in the trailer park and I doubt if it is worth the trouble to find out. Most of them have no identification, many of them are not roadworthy. Members like to have their own trailer, often, so they can sell it with the boat??? It is a major effort to tidy the trailer park as trailers are heavy, stuck in brambles and often with flat tyres. Whenever we can rake up the enthusiasm to tidy we usually throw a couple of trailers away as they are beyond economic repair. I would suggest that charging members to park their trailer is futile and the fee should be added to the boat berth fee.

Weed

We are now using the Reedman and keeping the main sailing area clear. We should not be fooled by the relative lack of weed this year – it could return with a vengeance next year.

WHSA Boats

Committee Boat 1

Is working although it could do with a good clean and tidy. The engine has been serviced.

Committee boat 2

The tilt mechanism on this boat has been repaired and the engine serviced. The starter motor is defective but the engine can easily be started manually. This boat is off the water until it is next needed. I would ask that I am informed a few weeks in advance if it is needed.

Reedman

The boat has been serviced by Reedman Services.

Safety Boats

We installed finger jetties for safety reasons by popular demand. This restricted the number of power boats that could be moored between the finger jetties. BUT we now have more powerboats than ever. I would prefer to see excess boats moored somewhere like the inside of the L shaped jetty but our members obviously cannot walk that far and boats are being tied onto the small pontoon where the Reedman is moored. I hope that our operatives can avoid the boats but it is a cumbersome beast. I also note that WSC have tied a boat in such a way that you would need to climb over the front which is why we built the finger jetties. Also, the Sea Cadets have somehow acquired another mini-Champ which is tied up on the same jetty reducing space.

I can’t help asking why we need so many power boats?

Future Plans

Site

The area at the top of the main slipway needs to be renewed.

Extending the L shaped pontoon.

Wembley Sailing Club has plans to extend Row H backwards.

Brian Jefferies

August 2018