Thursday, 17 December 2009

Staff at Thornham Marina in Chichester Harbour

Everyone who keeps their boat at the Thornham marina will know Dave Vivash as a helpful friendly lift technician. What you possibly don't know is that, in his spare time, Dave breeds, trains and shows German Shepards.
'It started as a hobby and the rest is history', adds Dave 'I really enjoyed helping other owners if they had problem or difficult dogs and trained to develop that skill. I think I wanted to be another Ceasar Milan'.

In September this year he took 18 month old Doley, pictured below, to the Boxgrove All Breed show. The result was yet another first in the 'Best in Show' category beating all other breeds. Dave has been showing the very handsome Doley for just over a year and he has already won an outstanding 12 similar awards.

So for all you dog owners out there next time you see Dave don't forget to mention Doley!

Advice on out of date flares

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) currently provide a limited storage facility for some Time Expired Pyrotechnics (TEPs) through HM Coastguard, prior to disposal.
Coastguard facilities are very limited and are only able to receive and store small amounts of TEPs from individual members of the public and from small independent fishing vessels. HM Coastguard does not provide a collection service; arrangements for the disposal of TEPs must be made through your local Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) . To arrange a date to hand them over locally call Solent Coastguard on tel 02392 552100.

MRCC advice:
  • Make sure your TEP's are kept in a safe storage place.
  • Make sure TEP's can be transferred to the MRCC safely, using the original container if possible.
  • Damaged, split, heavily rusted or seeping TEP's should not be handled
  • Always point TEP's away from people
  • Do not let children handle them

If in doubt call 02392 552100

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Inventive customers at Thornham Marina

David Young has kept his boat 'Why' a Hunter Pilot 27, at Thornham Marina , during the winter, for many years. The combination of intuitive problem solving and a love of sailing inspired him to design the Paralock Plotter which plots GPS positions onto paper charts and derives way points from paper charts useful for electronic navigators.
David comments 'I just saw the need for something very simple and robust, that was intuitive to operate, and could be used on a small chart table to very quickly plot latitude or longitude as well as be used as a conventional parallel rule'.

Using the ParaLock makes plotting GPS positions really straightforward. What's more its compact and particularly suited for modern small chart tables. Just use the big black knob to lock it at the latitude or longitude scale position, slide it down a chart grid line and mark a position. Used in reverse it's a quick and easy way to work out way points from a chart.

David adds; 'Feedback from thousands of navigators in the US, UK and NZ has been very positive. Many boaters use all-electronics navigation but its a good idea to have a working knowledge of the older skills. Sometimes salt water and electronics don’t mix well!'

This extremely handy piece of equipment is made by Weems & Plath in the USA and marketed in the UK by Kelvin Hughes

Friday, 11 December 2009

Sea Sense

The RYA has published a useful leaflet called 'Sea Sense' reminding water users of a few basic points. A lot of the information is common sense but it doesn't hurt to refresh our minds.

The Sea Sense message aims to ensure that the many different forms of our sport using coastal waters, do so in harmony. Every sport feels that they should have priority on the waters. Who does have priority is defined by the COLREGs. If knowing and applying them spoils your fun, perhaps you are playing in the wrong place or maybe you need to look at them a little more closely to make sure that you fully understand them - after all they are there for your protection.
· Look around & be aware
· Look before you tack
· Give sea room, watch your wash, cut your speed
· Be friendly - don`t buzz
· Use your motoring cone when motoring
· Use your anchor ball & give anchored craft a wide berth
· Boozing and boating don't mix
To read more download the Sea Sense leaflet. Hard copies of this leaflet can be obtained by emailing the Cruising Department or calling 0845 345 0370 / 023 8060 4233.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Thornham Marina customers

Now most of our boats are ashore for winter I thought it would be nice to find out more about our boat owners, what they think of the marina and if they have anything interesting I can tell everyone about, I must admit its good fun being nosy. I chatted to Chris Morrin who owns a Rival 32, Trelise and this is what he had to say....

'I have wintered at Thornham Marina for the past two years. I used to winter at Port Solent but a friend’s recommendation brought me closer to home. During the summer months ‘Trelise’ is on a Harbour Conservancy mooring in the Emsworth Channel. It has been a great move bringing my boat to Thornham in the winter. The combination of great service and such a convenient location is perfect. What more can I ask for?


I am impressed with the state of the art equipment you use, in particular the 12 ton submersible lift (built by Sublift AB Sweden), its fascinating to watch it go into the water and come out with the keel of my boat no more than 2 feet from the ground. In the recent extreme weather I popped down to see if Trelise was ok, even though she is in a cradle and had shores around her, I was pleased to see that the guys at the yard had put even more shores around her as a further precaution. The boats are very well looked after and nothing is too much trouble for the staff. I have real peace of mind keeping my boat here’.


Chris is the Cruiser Class Captain at Emsworth Sailing Club organising rallies in the Solent and over to France. In his spare time he can also be seen at the helm of Terror a restored Oyster boat built around 1880 now used for trips around the harbour. To skipper the boat you need a Yachtmasters' certificate and a Chichester Harbour boatman’s license. To add to this already impressive list of qualifications Chris is also an RYA powerboat instructor.


It was great chatting with Chris. Next week I will be chatting with David Young owner of Yacht Why. I heard through the grapevine that he is a successful inventor and has recently patented and invented the ParaLock Navigational Plotter - log in next week to find out all about it.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Pacific Ocean Adventures

In our last newsletter we asked our boat owners to send in any sailing adventures or stories for the Blog. Martin Hopton, who has wintered at Thornham for several years and now owner of ‘Shemar’ pictured below, kindly sent in his amusing account of his Pacific crossing on a 38ft Rival in March 2009.

This is a précis of the adventure; for the very entertaining full length version just send Jeanette an email info@thornhammarnia.com and she will forward it to you.
On March 27th 2009 the three intrepid sailors set off on 'Takaroa' heading for the French Polynesian Islands over 3,000 miles away. After a few days the Trade winds picked up and with favourable currents ‘Takaroa’ made good progress. With the sails winged out and a rolling sea the crew was rather uncomfortable but secure.

A daily routine of heaving to at midday for a swim around the boat was soon established followed by Pimms and lunch. One of the crew, Bill, was quickly appointed Head Chef with Martin taking the role of Sous Chef responsible for hearty breakfasts, coffee breaks and regular afternoon teas plus the inevitable washing up.

As it is dark in the Tropics from 6pm to 6am skipper, Trevor, set up three hour watches in rotation.
‘There was an overwhelming feeling of being alone in the universe with no other ships or planes to see just the stars. ‘Martin recounts ‘It was very peaceful and quiet apart from the eerie blowing of whales that seemed to be nearby.... or were they?’

Although ‘Takaroa’ set off with plenty of fresh water on board supplies started to run a little low. Luckily two nights of torrential rain sorted this out with rainwater collecting on the Bimini cover channelling down a pipe to refill the tanks. After a while fresh food was also in short supply until the crew caught a huge spearfish which fed them for a week! Surprisingly there was not much wild life to be seen apart from flying fish which regularly landed on the deck and the dolphins that came to play in the bow waves.


On Sunday April 19 land was sighted after a passage of 3,055 miles which took 23 days and five hours. The crew anchored ‘Takaroa’ in the Baie de Hanavave in the Marquesa Islands and still firm friends reflected on their great achievement.

Let Thornham do your dirty work

If you don't want your boat to look like this call now for our special offer on Antifouling.


To Antifoul a 10m boat would normally cost £249.50 but if you book before 30th January 2010 with a discount of £24.95, the total cost is only £224.55. Plus big savings on time and hassle!

Two coats of Seajet Shogun will be applied to your boat, a prize winning self polishing antifouling suitable for all types of boats. The high copper content is particularly suited for boats in Chichester harbour - 5 Star award and Premium Product Choice - Yachting Monthly Antifouling Test March 06.


Call 01243 375 335 or email info@thornhammarina.com for a personal qoute.

We guarantee a clean bottom when your boat goes back into the water!

Summer Sizzler at Thornham

Our annual free summer BBQ at Thornham Marina in August, was another great success. Despite some of you being away on holiday or sailing for the weekend we had a good turn out. The weather was superb with bright blue skies and lovely sunshine. Guests were entertained by an Irish duo who played typical Irish jigs while children enjoyed playing snakes and ladders and swing ball. A delicious hog roast prepared by The Barbecue & Banqueting Company, was enjoyed by all along with a refreshing Pimms mixed by Jeanette.

All the marina staff enjoyed the day as well as you can see from their smiling faces below.

We look forward to seeing you at next summer’s party.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Six tips when your boat is ashore

Some top tips from Simon Oatley, a valuable member of Thornham marina now the Operations Manager at our sisiter site Tragalgar Wharf. Simon recently married Jeanette the manager of Thornham marina. He recommends that while your vessel is ashore for the winter there are several things that should be checked and serviced for a problem free season the following year.

Seacocks - look at them from the outside and check the condition of the through-hull skin fittings. If they are bright and shiny you have a problem with electrolysis, this needs to be dealt with otherwise they will eventually break off. Next go inside and check they all operate correctly and easily. The more modern ball type valves are fairly maintenance free but do sometimes get stiff with marine growth if not opened and shut regularly. They can often be freed up, if stiff, by someone standing outside spraying WD40 (other brands also available) into the fitting while you work the valve back and forth from the inside. Also check the handles on these valves as they are prone to rusting and usually break off at the wrong time. The older Blakes type valves need to be stripped down and serviced correctly each year to avoid them jamming. Also check for signs of weeping from the valves and hose clips as this is a sure sign of trouble to come! Finally, check that each through-hull fitting has a wooden bung of the correct size tied to it, so if something does go wrong you can plug the hole quickly.

Stern glands - as important as the seacocks preventing water coming in around the propeller shaft. Many these days are of the maintenance free rubber type. Check around the area for signs of drips, if in doubt replace these immediately as when they go, they go, and you may not even be on board at the time. Older styles, with gland packing in, are maintenance intensive and should be checked and greased each winter. If the packing is hard replace it.

Yachts with sail drives should check where the drive leg goes through the hull. There is a large seal or doughnut which can perish over time, especially if in contact with rust, so keep the area clean.

Motor boats with outdrives should also be checked around the transom seals and bolts for signs of weeping and drips.

Propellers and shafts should again have a visual inspection. Shiny bits or pitting indicate electrolysis problems which should be dealt with. Most vessels with propeller shafts will have a cutlass bearing to help support the shaft, these should be checked for wear as, if excessive it will cause a lot of vibration and may even damage the shaft.

Finally anodes - if they are more than 50% gone replace them. You probably won’t see them again for a year and if they go during the season you could end up with an expensive bill next winter.