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Home / News / Presentation on the work of Queens Harbour Master (QHM)
Home / News / Presentation on the work of Queens Harbour Master (QHM)
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Presentation on the work of Queens Harbour Master (QHM)

Published 17:40 on 23 May 2022

by Becky Walford, Port Safety Officer, RYA Yachmaster/Examiner                       

26 Club Members attended a joint meeting with Hornet for another fascinating and absorbing evening.  

Founded in 1808, QHM is based in Semaphore Tower, and manned with 26 staff on watch 24/7, year round. The port is the second largest in the UK for traffic, ranging from PWCs to the Carriers.  

QHM sea area spans 55sq miles from East Cowes to Langstone Harbour entrance and south of the Island around to Sandown  

There are so many interesting statistics and facts, but here are just a few:  

  • 40% of all UK recreational sailing takes place in the Eastern Solent. Typically 4000 yacht movements - no wonder its so busy!
  • There are over 70,000 commercial vessel movements every year. Traffic includes Commercial, including the banana boats, Naval vessels, extensive naval support ships, ferries and more recently Cruise ships.
  • 3.5 million cubic metres of silt were dredged for the 2 Carriers, and 40 tonnes of WW2 unexploded bombs were removed!
  • The Carriers need 11 metres of depth clearance, and there is only 6 metres clearance either side at the harbour entrance!!       

Naturally, we were all reminded of the importance of using the SMALL BOAT Channel, from Ballast, BC Outer to 4 Bar see attached graphic handed out.  We should also listen on VHF Channel 11 when approaching from Gilkicker, and when possible and safe use the Inner Swashway.  See document below.

We were also encouraged to use the NCI Coastwatch on channel 65, reminded to wear our lifejackets and when using outboards to the kill cord!  

Finally, it is worth checking the QHM web site for daily shipping movements  

Our thanks to Becky who was very engaging, to Jem for organising and of course Hornet for hosting us and providing excellent refreshments again!

Report by Patrick Inskip


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Last updated 17:08 on 28 May 2022

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