Advice for Cowes Harbour Moorings berth holders following ‘Storm Katie’:
Almost a month ago, in the early hours of the morning on Monday, 28th March ‘Storm Katie
’ battered large parts of England, leaving flights cancelled, property damaged and thousands of people without power. The strongest winds recorded were on the Isle of Wight, where gusts reached 106mph (92 knots)!
In Cowes Harbour, southerly gale force winds in excess of 60 knots created waves, reported to be in excess of 1 metre high, which caused extensive damage to a row of Harbour Commission owned pontoons on the River Medina. Resulting damage to third party vessels included snapped lines, popped fenders, scuffed gel coat to breached hulls, and even dismastings and capsizes. In the immediate aftermath of 'Storm Katie', Berthing Masters completed safety checks on all of the 500+ boats moored on CHC pontoons, piles and swinging moorings and replaced or refitted a number of parted lines, popped fenders, and sail covers.
Regular inspections, maintenance and repairs are carried out throughout the year; however, CHC strongly recommends that all berth holders ensure their boats are adequately secured with appropriate lines and fenders. It is important that the correct type of mooring line (with a stretch characteristic) is utilised, in other words, one that is suitable for uses that may shock load the rope. When mooring alongside a pontoon, the mooring lines may be loaded by the force of the wind or tide, or by the tide falling and the ropes need to have a percentage of stretch to accommodate these factors.Please remember: CHC mooring holders are responsible for maintaining a vessel’s mooring lines or mooring strop fit-for-purpose.