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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Stormy Sunday Night: The Chaos Katie Caused.

Storm Katie lashed the South Coast on Sunday night. Our house felt as if the wall was going to be ripped out and we're half a mile from the shore of Langstone harbour behind a wood and the A27 embankment!

During breakfast, the various updates on Facebook on Monday morning told me there might be carnage out in the harbour. And there was.

First off on Facebook during breakfast I got this picture:

Yes, that's the harbour board tug stuck under the Hayling Island bridge. Spectacular in a number of ways. The first is that a Harbour Board vessel broke it's moorings, especially with the amount of references to checking moorings on this year's fee renewal notice! The second is that the boat made it all the way from its mooring at the harbour entrance, up the length of the harbour without running aground. The third is that it made its way through the pilings for the old Billy Line railway bridge. It's something that's tight even for a normal yacht.

Another post on Facebook from the Portsmouth News newspaper showed a few yachts up on the foreshore at Port Solent at the top of Portsmouth Harbour. It's pretty rare that boats break their moorings there.

When I got to the car it was covered with salt spray.... the wind has carried it quite a way!

So I knew that I'd find a few "issues" down at Eastney when I went to check on Sprite. I wasn't wrong. For some unfortunate boat owners, the day would be pretty bad, as they realised their pride and joy was either beached, sunk or damaged.

The first things I noticed was a small speed boat had sunk and the Hurley behind it had started unfurling it's main sail:

Then over near the entrance one of the big yachts on the deep water moorings had unfurled and shredded it's jib:

Then walking along the beach to check on Sprite, this Westerley was on it's side. I'm not going to even consider how it got in that state:

I'm not entirely sure how the owner is going to right it either.

The "Floating Skip" as I call it had the hatch blown open. I say hatch, it's more like a large caravan skylight:

Lazy Days has now unfurled its mainsail. Its jib was shredded earlier in the winter, it looks like its main is due to go the same way unless the owner sorts it:

Two yachts were also up on the beach over on the Hayling side:

There were two other boats on the beach at the top of the harbour too.

So the scene wasn't quite carnage, but enough boats were affected by storm Katie. Too many really. Owners really need to keep an eye on the state of their mooring ropes and chains and to make sure their mooring tackle is substantial enough..

A case in point is John's boat Seaboo: it dragged it's mooring so much it dragged his old boat up the beach (Seaboo is tied to it) and Seaboo ended up 20ft along the beach and is now near Nicky's boat Meagles.

The reason? An insubstantial mooring. Here's what is supposed to hold a 26ft yacht in place:

A car tyre filled with concrete and a rusty old anchor. Hardly substantial enough to hold the boat. Plus it wasn't even buried!

The proof that John has had trouble with Seaboo moving is the rats nest of ropes tying her to anything in an attempt to keep her in place.

Literally the only rope that stopped her floating off up the harbour was the one connected to his old boat. But in the process she dragged his old boat (now owned by Steve) up the beach. It's the yellow one behind Meagles. It's usually at the high water mark where the seaweed is. It got dragged a lot higher.

Its a wonder it wasn't turned on its side like the Westerley. Had the keels dug in, it probably would have.

This morning on the way to work there was another yacht on the seawall at the top of Langstone harbour by the Eastern Road. that won't be moving until the next Spring tide... tides are dropping at the moment. But yet another escapee.... really.


  1. Lord above... I would have thought Imogen was a "heads up" enough for the owners to get moorings and sails sorted... glad Sprite was OK.. I escaped with a small slap as a reminder to be more careful..

    PS. Tell "Steve", the owner of the yellow boat, that I run the Fantasie 19 owners group on Yahoo, which is what she is... :o))

  2. He may already be on there. I just couldn't remember her model name or the name of the boat. I think it's Anne Marie.
    I did laugh when I saw the HM boat under the bridge on Sunday morning.
    The yacht at the top of the Eastern Road will be a hard one to move. Its right in the corner against the sea wall, I'm not sure theres enough water to float it on a normal spring tide.