Newsletter - January 2020

Ongoing Meetings & AGM 14 February 2020

Your Harbour Board works hard behind the scenes to maintain the Association’s property as a community amenity & to maximise the valued but finite resource for its members.  Board meetings are usually held on the first (sometimes second) Tuesday of the month with no meeting in December.  Please send communications in time for them to be shared and considered at meetings.

The Association’s AGM will be held on a Friday 14th February 2020,  1930 for 2000 start.  Whilst the Sailing Club cannot accommodate every member, the Board is always prepared to consider,  members’ views on viable suggestions at this time.

Trends in Members’ Requirements

A significant change came in 2016 with the introduction of licensing and rack storage for canoes.  Canoe numbers have since stabilised, whilst consideration of homebased paddleboards and other light craft is the current topic of interest.

Each license until now has applied to a specific vessel and berth.   Thus, every vessel using LFHA property displays a current License Label.  This already includes any vessel which is brought to the Harbour by hand to launch/retrieve daily.  However last autumn, requests were made to consider residents who might have more than one portable craft kept at home, but who only use one at a time.  This has developed into a license category with the acronym HPC for small craft brought onto LFHA property by hand on a day by day basis.

Homebased Portable Craft (HPC) - new for 2020

It is acknowledged that some families may own more than one craft of this type, but never use them all simultaneously in Lympstone.  For 2020, a launching-only annual license, may be applied to any one of several unspecified craft, on the understanding that every craft at any time using the Harbour shall always be displaying a License Label.  If two members of a family wish to use any two craft concurrently, then two Licenses must be applied for and so forth.  The annual fee for such a launching-only license is £10.

Whilst a standard License Label will be issued, owners are asked to apply it to some form of transferable tag, that can be attached to whichever craft is in use.

The identification of such craft as licensed is essential if we are to maintain our valued asset as a preserve of Association members.

This option maintains the principles that all users should contribute in some way to the upkeep of the property and that all vessels on LFHA property shall display a valid License Label at all times.  It does not allow the admission of motor vehicles onto LFHA property even for offloading.


Last October, the Harbour Board conducted a survey of all mooring buoys.  Many buoys were impossible to identify easily as any numbers were obliterated by growth or were unmarked.   Many buoys were not brightly coloured and some were small enough to be dragged underwater during swift tidal flows.  All mooring holders are requested to upgrade their moorings before the new season starts and keep them clean and identifiable throughout the year.  The Harbour Board reserves the right to remove unidentifiable or inappropriate buoys.

Craning Costs October 2019

The Harbour Board was surprised by the sudden 50% increase in the quote that our regular crane hire company announced ahead of last October’s craning.  Challenging this produced no immediate reduction and hasty enquiries for cheaper deals elsewhere came to nought on this occasion.   Compounding the issue  was an expected drop in the number of lifts required so, as crane hire cost is only shared by members requiring a lift, the charges were doubled.   The good news is that when the invoice for craning arrived, the charges were less than expected.  Rather than issue refunds, surpluses from the day will be used to reduce the April 2020 charges to £30 per lift for those who were previously craned ashore at £100.

To avoid extra charges for weekend working in future, the plan is to keep to weekday craning.  Whilst craning fees are increasing, members will appreciate that our combined charges for craning and storage remain extremely good value compared with other facilities on the Estuary.

Harbour Tidy & Mark-out before Craning Ashore

The Harbour will be closed to vehicular traffic during the activity.  Empty road trailers are never allowed on the hardstanding at any time unless with written  Harbour Board authority including during the tidy-up.  Members with vessels craned to a trailer for winter berthing on the hardstanding  may bring their trailers to the hardstanding from 1700 on the day of the tidy-up.

Craning Afloat Details for April 2020

 Wednesday 8th April: Deadline: all owner-launched vessels from hardstanding to have launched by 2000.  Only licensed tenders to launched vessels may remain on Ted’s Folly or against cliff wall.  No vessels with stepped masts to remain berthed on the eastern edge of the wet-harbour.

 Thursday 9th April: Harbour closed to public during craning operations.  Safety Briefing 0700,  1st lift 0715

 Good Friday

 Saturday 11th April:  1400 Work Party to slash & burn vegetation on cliff face and hardstanding

 Sunday 12th April:  Harbour Open to dinghies and other summer-licensed craft.  Start of first come first served brief period.  Harbour Board may adjust the positioning of the rows of dinghies as the days pass.    Probably within a fortnight but maybe earlier, the Harbour Board will declare the Hardstanding Closed.  Those without a berth from that day must seek emailed permission from Harbour Board to take up any specified spare berths that might develop.

Craning Ashore:  Autumn 2020

Wednesday 30 September 1900:  All privately-owned dinghies, & summer-only licensed tenders & craft to be removed from the Harbour to allow time for site preparation & marking out for craning the following day.

Thursday 1 October  hardstanding tidy-up and craning marking layout.  Members with vessels to be craned to a trailer for winter berthing on the hardstanding may bring their trailers to the Harbour from 1700.

Friday 2 October from 0630 craning of licensed vessels to the hardstanding.  

Craning planning – longer term

Every year we are asked for future craning dates.  Whilst the Harbour Board must make the final decision near the time, that decision is be based on adequate high tides in April & October.  A high tide of 3.8m is considered the minimum required and we aim for 2 weekday dates in case of bad weather.   If you don’t have an Almanac, we have a link on our website for predictions up to 2 years ahead which are quite good enough to give an idea of when craning will be.  Don’t be put off by the delightful graphical representation, just look for the darkest blue!  Many thanks to Tim Jupp. Planned dates for 2020 are on the website.

License Labels

Perennial plea for License Labels to be applied in such a position that when berthed/racked, the label is clearly visible for direct inspection, not hidden in the cliff face or under a cover.  There appears to be more canoes in the racks than now than license shave been applied for!

Reporting of Incidents in the Estuary

Apart from serious emergencies involving life or limb in which case the emergency services should be called immediately, as landowner encompassing Lympstone moorings, the Harbour Board should always be informed of any incident as soon as possible.  The Board holds contact details of owners of all licensed vessels on our property so is best placed to inform them swiftly.

Vehicular Access to the Harbour & Slipway

Lympstone Harbour is private property.  Every instance of non-members & commercial traffic using the slipway or hardstanding or a member inappropriately using the slipway as a car park sends the wrong message to others and strengthens the resolve of the Harbour Board to better protect the Association’s property.  We feel that the time is approaching when a vehicular barrier will need to be installed to obviate loss of control of our property.  

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