Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-09-2016, 03:07   #1
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 18,308
Moving to Cowes

With a heavy heart, Iíve decided to give up my beloved Hamble River mooring.

This has been an incredible privilege Ė a little spot all my own in this beautiful place, an ancient center of ship-building and yachting. My mooring is far up the river near the famous Jolly Sailor pub, which dates from the 17th century, and almost on the very spot where Admiral Nelsonís flagship (Battle of Copenhagen) the Elephant was built. The bones of Henry Vís flagship, Grace Dieu, built in 1418, lie near here, and can still be seen on a very low spring tide.

The water is brackish up here, and so there is little fouling, which allows me to go three or four months between bottom scrubs. On top of all of it, I share my pontoon with the best neighbor in the world, a most lovely guy whose boat, one of Kim Holmanís last designs, is one of the most beautiful on the river.

The waiting list for a Hamble mooring runs about 20 years, and those lucky enough to get through it, are granted this wonderful privilege for life. As a Hamble mooring holder, you pay annual harbour dues and a small rent for your piece of the river bottom to the Royal Estate (as the Queen owns all the estuaries in the UK except Beaulieu). It amounts to about $2000 a year, which is about 1/10 of what a marina berth costs on the Hamble for this size boat.

For someone living and working in or around London (Berkeley Square is just 90 minutes away by car), sailing on weekends and holidays, and/or cruising the South Coast in summer, this is an ideal setup. As a lovely bonus, if you come down for a weekend, say, and donít feel like going out, being on your mooring is NOT like being in a marina. Itís like being at anchor somewhere, so you feel like youíre already out somewhere.

But there are a few serious drawbacks. First of all, you have to a place on shore to land your dinghy or harbor tender. There are a couple of public hards where you can launch but are technically not supposed to leave a dinghy permanently, but a few people do. Otherwise, you have to rent a dinghy berth at one of the marinas. This costs about $900 per year and makes you a ďcitizenĒ of the marina Ė meaning you can use the laundry rooms, showers, etc., and you can park there. Thatís not a bad deal if youíre using it year round.

Then, you have to have something to use as a harbor tender. If you use your normal dinghy, you will wear it out pretty fast with this duty. Plus it ends up staying in the water most of the time, and the bottom will foul. I have a small hard rowboat which I pull up onto my pontoon when Iím not using it, but it is not very good, and so I end up using the normal dinghy, and wearing it out.

Then, thereís no electrical power or water. No problem for the guy coming down from London for the weekend, but if you live on the boat for extended periods as I do, it means that you have to generate electrical power and make heat. 5 hours of generator use a day adds up Ė thatís 150 hours if you were to do it for a solid month, which is about $300 in fuel alone, plus one oil change and service. Bleh. Plus the Eberspacher heater which needs service every x number of hours of use, plus more fuel use. Of course I donít do it for a month solid at a time Ė Iím flying around Europe on business half the time, and when Iím on the boat I go out. But thatís yet another expense Ė instead of going out and being at anchor all the time, like I like, I will spend one or two nights in some marina getting a good charge on my batteries, hauling groceries, etc. On summer rates (April through October), thatís at least 45 and up to 75 pounds a night.

This stops making sense completely in the coldest months (December through February), so I have always spent these months in Cowes hooked up to electricity. This has worked out well as I have all my boatyard work done there anyway. But itís yet another expense, and when you add all of it up, itís not that far off the $20,000 a year I would have been paying in a Hamble marina, and a lot of trouble.

The last three years, I have been out cruising four months a year anyway Ė May through August. That means I have only used my mooring for a couple of months in the fall, and at most one month in the spring (and usually zero). Iíve been subletting my mooring during the summer to a friend, but the Queen gets the profit, I only get a small rebate of my fees. Heís been using my dinghy berth, using it far more than I, but not participating in the expense.

It just doesnít make sense. So Iím giving up the mooring and will make Cowes my permanent base. The good news is that I can pay a waiting list fee in Hamble and maintain my original (from 5 years ago) place on the waiting list, which means I can get it back, or another mooring, pretty much whenever I want, should my circumstances change.

When I think about Cowes, my spirit is lifted again. I love this place! The Hamble is gorgeous, but the marina of which I was a citizen has, since the demise of the Moody boatyard, gradually become a center of giant motor yachts and has become an increasingly alien place culturally. I feel out of place walking through it in my oil-stained work clothes, amongst the Princess yacht owners in their canary yellow pants. Cowes, on the contrary, is jam packed with sweaty racers during the summer Ė Cowes being, of course, the worldís epicenter of sail racing. And in the winter time is full of quirky Caulkheads, who speak more slowly and gently than the ďOvernersĒ (mainlanders) from the other side of the Solent. And do not wear canary yellow pants or shiny shoes. Rather than gourmet gastro-pubs (like the one I got food poisoning in in Hamble Village last year), Cowes is full of sleazy sailor dives. The yacht haven is at the ancient town quay in the center of West Cowes, so three minutes walk from two good grocery stores, an absolutely awesome 19th century style ironmongers, an excellent old fashioned chandler (Jolliffes Offshore Chandlers, est. 1853), and a multitude of other infrastructure. London is two hours door to door by public transportation via the high speed cat ferry to Southampton.

The yacht haven itself is quite unlike the giant boat parking lots on the mainland. The floating part is small (the hardstanding, however, is huge). Tall ships and naval vessels berth on the outside of the breakwater. The staff are the most friendly and helpful Iíve ever encountered in a marina, and itís all the same people who were there 5 years ago Ė apparently zero staff turnover, unlike in the mainland marinas

I'm even tempted to try to get into the RORC, which has now merged with the Royal Corinthian. This would give me the advantage of having a club in London, and the fellowship in Cowes must be pretty interesting, too. On the other hand, why put down roots anywhere? One of the best things about cruising is the constantly changing scenery. Have to think about that one.

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040378.jpg
Views:	85
Size:	431.4 KB
ID:	131290

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040377.jpg
Views:	85
Size:	457.4 KB
ID:	131291

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040376.jpg
Views:	79
Size:	462.6 KB
ID:	131292

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040373.jpg
Views:	80
Size:	428.2 KB
ID:	131293

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040363.jpg
Views:	88
Size:	459.1 KB
ID:	131294

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040357.jpg
Views:	82
Size:	416.8 KB
ID:	131295
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 03:17   #2
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 18,308
Re: Moving to Cowes

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040371.jpg
Views:	70
Size:	447.5 KB
ID:	131296

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040366.jpg
Views:	72
Size:	434.3 KB
ID:	131297

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040349.jpg
Views:	75
Size:	430.6 KB
ID:	131298

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040354.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	457.9 KB
ID:	131299

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040351.jpg
Views:	68
Size:	420.7 KB
ID:	131300

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040352.jpg
Views:	66
Size:	453.7 KB
ID:	131301
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 03:19   #3
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 18,308
Re: Moving to Cowes

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040353.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	427.6 KB
ID:	131302

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040361.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	415.8 KB
ID:	131303

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040368.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	367.3 KB
ID:	131304

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1040369.jpg
Views:	72
Size:	427.3 KB
ID:	131305
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 17:33   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,640
Re: Moving to Cowes

I hope you truly enjoy the new hood.
__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 18:02   #5
Registered User
 
Steady Hand's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Crewing All of 2017 Available Globally
Boat: OPB = Crewing in 2017
Posts: 4,473
Re: Moving to Cowes

DOCKHEAD,
I enjoyed reading this post with the details of life on the Hamble and the change to Coews with the photos too. Very Good post. Great place for a sailor! Was the home of Uffa Fox, one of sailing's most noteworthy designers (International 14).
__________________
Ahoy All Sailors! Need experienced crew for a passage or delivery in Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, PNW, ICW, coastal or across an ocean anytime in 2017? I am available on 24hr notice. See my CF Profile "About Me" page for details. Happy to lend a hand!
Steady Hand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 18:14   #6
Registered User
 
Panope's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Washington State
Boat: Colvin, Saugeen Witch (Aluminum), 34'
Posts: 1,546
Re: Moving to Cowes

Just took a Google Earth "flight" through the area. Very nice. Found the pub and everything.

I'll probably never make it over that way in a boat, but the endless estuaries of the British Isles sure are fascinating.

Steve
Panope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 18:50   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42
Posts: 1,808
Re: Moving to Cowes

I'm hoping you will find continued happiness in your new berth in Cowes. And the lovely Hamble River will still be there to visit.


S/V B'Shert
__________________
Tayana42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2016, 01:27   #8
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 18,308
Re: Moving to Cowes

Thanks for all the good wishes! You're all welcome to visit if you find yourselves in these parts.

Sent from my D6633 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2016, 02:57   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 6,116
Re: Moving to Cowes

Looks as though it has hardly changed since I was there over 50 years ago

Enjoy!
__________________
StuM is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2016, 03:52   #10
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 7,774
Images: 14
Re: Moving to Cowes

Well, that will make picking you up on route down to Keyhaven and Hurst Castle easier, with dinner in the Black Dog pub and cocktails in the very friendly Keyhaven YC. I am looking at second or third weekend in October if you are around.

Pete
__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2016, 04:19   #11
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 18,308
Re: Moving to Cowes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Well, that will make picking you up on route down to Keyhaven and Hurst Castle easier, with dinner in the Black Dog pub and cocktails in the very friendly Keyhaven YC. I am looking at second or third weekend in October if you are around.

Pete
That sounds like a plan!!

Sent from my D6633 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2016, 04:31   #12
Moderator
 
weavis's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: SEVILLE - MALLORCA
Posts: 9,453
Send a message via Skype™ to weavis
Re: Moving to Cowes

Many best wishes on the choice you made.
__________________
- Never test how deep the water is with both feet -
10% of conflicts are due to different opinions. 90% by the tone of voice.
Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
weavis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2016, 06:16   #13
Registered User
 
LakeSuperior's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Boat: Teak Yawl, 37'
Posts: 1,538
Images: 7
Re: Moving to Cowes

Both locations are spectacular and for an American like myself, the Hamble River is a place that stirs a feeling of history, the sea, and a sense of great and lessor things that one can never really know.

The change will remove any stagnation of status quo and open new doors. Good luck to you.
__________________
LakeSuperior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2016, 17:44   #14
Registered User
 
Alan Mighty's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Scarborough Marina, Moreton Bay
Posts: 594
Re: Moving to Cowes

I note that 2016 is the 60th anniversary of Mike Henderson (William Michael Henderson, 1924-2009) moving to Cowes. Mike set up a factory at Sun Hill, Cowes, to manufacture his improved diaphragm pump (the Henderson pump, of course, bought in 1975 by the Munster Simms Company). Mike was vice-commodore and then commodore of the Island Sailing Club, 1971-76.

So it's a propitious time to be moving to Cowes!


Should you have free time, researching the history of Spinlock should prove interesting. The company is remarkably close-mouthed about such things on-line. I'd be quite interested to learn who started the company and when.
__________________
ďOnly a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.Ē - Otto von Bismarck
Alan Mighty is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2016, 08:51   #15
Registered User
 
redhead's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: PNW 48.59'45N 122.45'50W
Boat: Ian Ross design ketch 63'
Posts: 682
Images: 5
Re: Moving to Cowes

What a lovely post. I'm sure, that with your appreciative outlook you will have many good times in your new harbor.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________

__________________
redhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale: Classic - Ratsey and Lapthorn of Cowes - boom staysail S Y Tuppenny Classifieds Archive 0 23-09-2012 18:22
Beautiful Cowes Dockhead Europe & Mediterranean 22 13-01-2012 08:45
Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker beneteau-500 The Sailor's Confessional 60 02-09-2011 08:07
anyone for Cowes? georgiehennessy Meets & Greets 2 12-08-2004 11:23


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.