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 Newsletter Christmas 2018ShipmatesFurther to my round-robin email to all our members about the new partnership between the Boat Club and the RNLI I'm pleased that I've received several very positive responses from members about the idea of their being involved as RNLI Community Safety Volunteers (CSVs). However, we do need to demonstrate to the RNLI that we have a good number of members likely to be involved, so please give some serious consideration as to whether you might be able to get involved I would emphasise that there's NO specific commitment needed as regards your time, the RNLI is mainly looking for MNA members as experienced seafarers to provide advice and guidance to organisations such as hire-boat operators, marinas etc. involved in inland waterway or coastal activities as and when an appropriate opportunity arises.You'll see I headed this email "re-invigorating the MNA Boat Club" because I really believe we can not only play a part in enhancing safety on the water through our SeaVue Scheme and now with the RNLI's "Respect the Water" campaign, but we really ought also to find a means for members to get together to exchange ideas, reminisces, and even just to socialise!Fortunately, Gareth Peaston, one of our MNA National Councillors, and a Boat Club member, has come up with the idea of "regionalising" our membership with the idea that the members of each region might be able to meet once or twice a year I’ve therefore drafted a suggested regional structure, as described below, and would welcome your feedback as to whether you think this is a good idea in principle, and if you think my suggested five regions (each with around 40 members) is a sensible approach. If there is broad agreement about this “regional approach” then I would suggest that we should consider electing/appointing a member from each region as regional chairman who would then become a rear commodore of the Club and who would undertake to organise at least one, preferably two, annual events for members of their region (I’ve suggested a couple of towns in each region that might perhaps be suitably convenient places to meet, and which are situated on inland waterways or the coast)Suggested MNA Boat Club RegionsThames Region: with currently 46 members in London, Kent, Sussex, Hants, Berks, Herts and Surrey with meeting venues in London (HQS Wellington?) and Tonbridge (on the Medway) Avon & Severn Region: with currently 40 members in Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Wilts, Avon and Gloucestershire (meetings at Weymouth and Bristol perhaps)Wales & Mersey Region: with currently 41 members in Wales, Cheshire, Lancs, Salop and Staffs (meetings at Wrexham and Liverpool)Scotland & The North East Region:: Covering Scotland, the Lake district and the Borders. With 44 members in Scotland, Cumbria, Northumbria, Yorks, Derbyshire and Notts. (meetings at Fort Augustus and Leeds?)East Anglian Region: Covering the Broads, The Fens and the south-east with 37 members in Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincs, Cambs, Essex, Beds and Northants (Meeting places at Norwich & Boston?) These are really just suggestions but they do provide for regions with a roughly equal number of Boat Club members and that are sufficiently self-contained to enable meeting places within reasonable travelling distancesPlease do let me have your thoughts about this idea, and please also let me know if you would be interested in becoming the regional chair/rear commodoreWith vest best wishes for the festive season and for a Happy New YearWarm regardsClive