For those of you for whom this is your first visit to the MNA Boat Club Seafarersafloat.com website I guess I ought to say a few words by way of introducing myself. My family have been involved in shipping for several generations, but my own merchant shipping sea-going experience was limited to a short time as a cruise director in the 1960’s before joining Her Majesty’s Coastguard in 1973 where I spent eighteen years including a spell as reserve skipper of the Portland Coastguard patrol boat. More recently I completed three years as Station Manager of the NCI Lyme Bay Coastwatch Station before taking up my present post with the RNLI as Community Safety Officer for the Weymouth Lifeboat area.I was born at Leigh-on-Sea and brought up in Norfolk where I first learned to sail on The Broads, subsequently qualifying as an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor, but my experience with HMCG led me to becoming a rescue boat operator, and eventually Chief Rescue Officer for Yacht Clubs of Weymouth and the British Sailing Team.My boating these days is mainly in the Med where my partner Lois and I share an interest in a Yarding 27 Motor Cruiser which we keep on a permanent mooring at Port Ambonne in the south of France and use as a second home –and for cruising the Golfe du Lion ports and the Canal du Midi.Recently I’ve also acquired a new Westport Marine Pilot 4 – a small angling boat with a cuddy and powered by a 4-stroke 20hp Honda motor which gives a speed of about 15 kts which is great for pottering about Weymouth Bay and keeping an eye for potential hazards or incidents, both as a SeaVue Watchkeeper Afloat (see below) and as part of my recently acquired RNLI role too. Westport Marine, a company owned by my step-son who is a marine architect, builds a range of small boats including the Pilot 3, Pilot 4 and Pilot 6 as well as a number of rowing boats.As regards the MNA Boat Club along with our small MNABC committee we’ve initiated several ideas which thanks to our webmaster David Hearn have included launching this website. My aim is to try to involve many more of the membership than previously, but I’m also very aware that the MNABC is unusual in having its membership scattered around virtually throughout the whole of the UK (and even abroad) so that trying to get people together is extremely difficult, and very expensive. To address that problem we’ve needed to adopt a somewhat different approach to that used by most yacht/boat clubs. So following discussions with Sir Alan Massey chief executive of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in 2014 we launched our “SeaVue Scheme” that involves members acting in a practical way as “watchkeepers afloat” whenever they take to the water in terms of using their eyes and ears to aid and when necessary alert the Coastguard or appropriate inland waterway rescue co-ordination authority to actual or potential incidents which in most cases are then reported on in our www.seafarersafloat.comwebsite.Although a good few members have signed up to the SeaVue Scheme already, we still need more members to get involved if we’re to be able to make a significant contribution to supporting the nation’s SAR services, and if we’re to make the Seafarersafloat forum a really interesting read and means of networking .So if you haven’t yet signed up do please take a look at the Seavue page on this website and give some serious thought as to participating as a watchkeeper afloat. We’re also currently considering the idea of publishing our own MNABC “Boating Basics” DVD, and if any members, new or old, have any thoughts or ideas as regards what else the Club could be doing do please let me knowYours AyeClive Edwards MNICommodore
The proposal for the formation of a Merchant Navy Association Boat Club (MNABC) was initiated by Clive Marsh in 2008. Clive was based at the Rye Yacht Club and sailed a 17-foot GRP sloop. The MNABC is a group of like minded MNA members who are interested in sailing and boating, contributing to maritime safety, sharing information through multi-media linkages and meeting at least once a year at the MNA AGM.
Benefits of the Merchant Navy Association Boat Club
•Another way of keeping the Merchant Navy alive and active in local sailing communities boatyards, marinas both in the UK and abroad•Affiliation to the RYA and other organisations and clubs, exchanging ideas for members.•Exchange forum with our own dedicated club website•Lobby authorities on matters affecting safety, coastal watch and qualifications.•Member’s MNABC pennant flag and lapel badge for broader recognition.•Member’s meetings/dinners/regattas and fundraising events.•Increased awareness and credibility for the MNA and our lobbying activities.•Liaison with the RYA, RIN, MCA, NCI, MVS and training establishments.•The formation of special interest groups; The Seavue Watchkeepers Afloat Service, Navigation, Boat Building, Sea Cooking, Inland Waterways, Coastal Passages, •Regular half page in Full Ahead magazine plus a Commodores Log newsletter and the MNA’s e-newsletter.•Reaching out to those who may need support in times of need.
To join the MNA Boat Club please download and complete an application form available in Word or PDF format by clicking Here
IntroductionThe National Council of the Merchant Navy Association agreed to the formation of a boat club in 2007. The Association Boat Club supports the objectives detailed in the MNA Constitution and this document gives additional considerations relevant to the management and administration of the Boat Club. Club Constitution1.NameThe Club shall be called “The Merchant Navy Association Boat Club” (MNABC). 2.EnsignThe Club shall fly the Red Ensign and the MNA Burgee. 3.ObjectivesThe objectives of the Club are to facilitate and promote the safe participation and enjoyment in yachting and boating activities on oceans, seas, lakes and inland waterways. We also seek to facilitate the training of prospective younger members and promote opportunities for careers in the leisure sector. 4.MembershipMembership is open to all national members of the MNA in UK and Overseas. All members should have some connection to those whose occupation is or was in the maritime sector. Any member, who has not paid their National membership subscription, after one reminder before the end of March each year, will be deemed to have resigned. Honorary Membership is available for distinguished service to the Club. All members must be at least 18 years of age although prospective younger members will be encouraged to participate in training and development programmes. 5.CommitteeThe Club’s affairs shall be managed by an elected Committee who shall remain in position for a period of three years. This Committee shall consist of the following officers: Commodore, Vice Commodore, up to three Rear Commodores, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Webmaster and the support of three co-opted members for their specific knowledge, experience and ability to advance the Club’s aims and initiatives. The Commodore and Vice Commodore are also the Club’s Flag Officers. One member of the MNABC Committee shall also be a member of the MNA National Executive and a Board member of the MNA Charity. MNABC Committee members are indemnified as detailed in the MNA Guideline’s and are covered by the National MNA Public Liability Insurance Policy. 6.FundingThe Club will not hold any permanent funds but will have access to the MNA General Fund and the MNA Welfare Fund should the need arise. The Treasurer shall keep a record of monies received and dispersed on behalf of the Club. This account will be included in the MNA’s end of year accounts presented to all MNA National members and the Charity Commission. Any fundraising activities shall be for the benefit of the wider seafaring community. 7.Club SecretariesThe Secretary shall maintain a record of all general meetings. The Membership Secretary shall keep a register of the Club members’ names, addresses and any boats they own. Members are responsible for notifying any changes to their details and boat ownership by contacting the Membership Secretary.8.SailingAny regattas or Dragon Boat races organised by the Club will be under RYA, IYRU or RORC rules. The sailing and/or safety instructions will state clearly which rules apply and any local modifications. 9.The Legal StructureThe Club is a non-profit, unincorporated volunteer organisation that also seeks to bring together others with the endeavor and energy to make a difference in their community of interest. 10.RYAThe Club shall, at all times, be affiliated to the Royal Yachting Association.
At the 2015 AGM the following Committee members were elected:Commodore: Clive EdwardsVice Commodore: Chris WoodsRear Commodores: Captain John Sail, Bryan DillonSecretary/Treasurer: Tim Brant Webmaster & Membership Secretary: David Hearn
Commodore’s Report October 2017During July we had a very successful AGM which this year was held at the Royal Dorset Yacht Club (RDYC) in Weymouth and “hosted” by Captain Paul Compton with the MNA Boat Club large size pennant (generously donated by Rodney Anderton) flying from the RDYC flag mast. Minutes of the meeting have been circulated already, but I really need to say a few words about the day as a whole which was thoroughly enjoyable. We started with a visit to the Weymouth Lifeboat Station and a talk from the Cox’n Andy Sargent and the Lifeboat Operations Manager Malcolm Wright MBE, followed by a visit to the Severn Class lifeboat itself. At midday, having witnessed the lifting of the Weymouth Town Bridge to allow several MNA Boat Club members boats, my own included, to enter the outer harbour all flying the MNABC burgees, members returned to the RDYC for a tasty buffet lunchAfter lunch and the formal business of the AGM we were treated to two very interesting talks – the first by Captain John Rose, CEO of CHIRP (The Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme) and the second by Malcolm Wright MBE on his 40 years as a member of the Portland Coastguard MRCC until its closure a few years ago when Malcolm transferred his allegiance to the RNLI! I think we all agreed that it was very enjoyable day, and I’m sure I can speak on everyone’s behalf in thanking all those involved including of course the Lifeboat Cox’n, the speakers, Paul Compton and his fellow members of the local MNA Weymouth Portland & District Branch and the RDYC, the caterers and the Harbour-master who let our members moor at the quay outside the RDYC for the day free of charge. The plan is to adopt the RDYC as our “host club” and to hold next year’s AGM there too. Since this time last year on the plus side our “Boating Basics” DVD has proved popular and during the year we provided supplies to a couple of boat-hire operators for use with their clients and the revenue from these “sales” proved sufficient to cover our production costs. We can supply more of these DVDs to individuals, clubs or commercial operators at a price that covers our production costs plus a small contribution to the MNA Boat Club funds so if any members know anyone or any organisations that might be interested do please let me, or our vice-commodore Chris Woods, know.Again on the plus side our Webmaster (and membership secretary!) Dave Hearn has done a great job keeping our www.seafarersafloat.com website up to date with interesting news etc. and he’s also the webmaster for the MNA Weymouth, Portland & District Branch and has developed their website at www.mnaweyportdist.uk into a really informative website, including lots of photos and articles about the new Merchant Navy & Fishing Fleet Memorial that the local branch achieved in having erected on Weymouth seafront last November.On the downside, as far as our SeaVue Maritime Safety Scheme is concerned, 2016 has been a disappointing year because, after a lot of effort by both parties our joint venture with the Maritime Volunteer Service to establish a “Lyme Bay Resilience Region” with patrols at sea and along the shore both by boat and by vehicle failed to get up and running due to a lack of recruits, and this initiative has now therefore been shelved, at least for the time being. However the SeaVue Scheme itself is still thriving of course, although we could do with a lot more feedback from members about their boating experiences that Dave can add to the website please! Following the demise of the Lyme Bay joint venture with the MVS I’ve taken on a role as the RNLI Community Safety Officer for the Weymouth Lifeboat area. The Lifeboat Operations Manager for the Weymouth Lifeboats (guest speaker at our AGM this year) is an old friend and former Coastguard colleague who convinced me that the recent RNLI “Respect the Water” mission to extend their activities to include the notion of enhancing safety not just at sea but also along the coast and as regards inland waters too seems to complement the objectives of our own SeaVue Scheme, and is therefore something that we should get involved with as a means of extending our SeaVue activities. This RNLI initiative is not just a service to members of the public who go boating, windsurfing, kayaking etc. but also includes those members of the general public who are beach or riverside anglers, or who simply frequent our beaches, coastal paths, and river-banks for all sorts of reasons including for example dog-walking or flying a kite, and who are often just as vulnerable, and usually far less aware of the dangers, than boat owners are. The development by the RNLI of this Respect the Water campaign aims to reduce the number of fatalities resulting from drowning by 50% by the year 2024 and I see a very real opportunity for the MNA Boat Club’s SeaVue Scheme to contribute to this initiative especially as the RNLI are actively encouraging the establishment of “partnerships” in terms of the development of area “Coastal Community Lifesaving Plans” (CLPs) to achieve that 50% reduction in the number of lives lost. Having taken on the CSO role earlier this year I’ve been fortunate in having been able to recruit a team of very well-qualified and experienced people, including two members of the MNA, two former Coastguards, four members of the National Coastwatch, the RNLI Lifeguards Area Supervisor and the skipper of a charity boat running trips for the disabled locally!I’m also aware that other members of the MNA and MNABC have been involved in working as volunteers with the RNLI in a variety of capacities, include as Boat Safety Advisers, Sea Safety Advisers etc. and now with the introduction of the new RNLI Coastal Communities Lifesaving Plans (CLPs) I think there is scope for the MNABC SeaVue scheme to make a contribution not least by ensuring that our “Spot, Plot, Report & Record” watchkeeping role extends to keeping an eye on vulnerable members of the public using the coast in all sorts of ways as well as those undertaking “boating activities” In that context our webmaster David has been on something of a learning curve recently getting to grips with providing us with a presence on Facebook, which he has now succeeded in doing and which is a great response to the requests that we’ve received from some members for a “website forum”Although obviously I can’t speak for them, I’m sure that RNLI Community Safety Officers at other Lifeboat Stations around the coast would welcome being approached by any members of the MNA or MNABC who may be interested in becoming involved with the RNLI as members of the Community Safety teams working to deliver the Respect the Water campaign I’m also convinced that most if not all our Boat Club members, including those who seldom if ever go afloat themselves, must come across situations by the sea, on the coast or around inland waters during their day to day activities which are potentially hazardous, or even potentially life-threatening, or perhaps just interesting or even amusing and which if posted on our Facebook pages might be of interest to other members of the MNABC, and/or which might even justify a contribution to the Nautical Institute’s CHIRP programme, Before concluding this report I must mention other on-going activities that have progressed well du ring the year which have been the further development of the MNA Boat Club website www.seafarersafloat.com which, thanks mainly to the expertise and huge amount of work that David Hearn our MNABC webmaster and membership secretary has put into it is now being acclaimed by our members as an attractive, interesting and very useful resource; over the past year since my last report the website has received over 7,000 visits, including almost 4500 by first-timers, and a total of 67,594 “hits” Thanks again to David we now have a quite sophisticated membership database that includes details of members boats etc. as well as the usual contact details etc.For the future, my personal ambition is for the Club is to develop a still more pro-active role for the SeaVue Scheme and to continue to further develop our working relationships the RNLI, MCA and other organisations with an interest in maritime safety such as the NCI, the MVS, the NSBA the SSG and Trinity House as well as with the Nautical Institute’s CHIRP and MARS maritime safety alerting schemes. Of course everything we achieve is the result of teamwork on the part of your committee, and I must pay tribute to the work put in by all the members of our committee including of course our national chairman John Sail, and our representatives on the MNA national council Tim Brant (our secretary) and Rodney Anderton as well as our vice-commodore Chris Woods, and membership secretary/webmaster David Hearn .Clive Edwards