M&HYC Future – A Discussion Document – by John Hodgson
When the sea defenses were done the club lost a major asset which was the wooden launching jetty – this jetty ran alongside the main slipway and was as high as the highest tide and extended out a long way down to ground level so it could be used all the time during the sailing time. Dinghies could be launched and tied to the jetty in preparation for racing and they could come in and land at any time.
Now initially we just have the main slipway to launch from – this is exposed to prevailing wind and waves, its surface is very rough and pitted and covered with seaweed and due to its narrow width and the wooden side barriers only one dinghy can be launched at any one time. This takes long enough if we have 15 dinghies to launch and almost impossible to cater for 30 or more – so the launching access is a severe limitation on the size of event that we can run.
About half an hour the tide level reaches the side slipway making this accessible and increasing the access with more shelter but still limited.
Once the dinghies are launched and are at sea and racing the tide obviously continues to rise, the wooden jetty becomes accessible but for only a short time because this jetty is quite level with perhaps only ½ meter rise/fall so a 9 meter and above tide quickly completely covers it rendering it almost inaccessible. So the situation that occurs at high water if the dinghy sailors want a short break is 1) there are usually quite large waves onto the main slipway and 2) the fencing severely limits the sailing approach or re-launch, together making this slipway inaccessible and 3) the wooden jetty is completely under water and becomes a hazard, the only access is the side slip which again is limited to perhaps 2 dinghies at one time and they have to be trolleyed out quickly to allow others to land and the subsequent difficult re-launch. So in practice the dinghies do not come ashore in between races and this can be very inconvenient.
The best solution to all these problems in this location would be
- Remove the wooden fencing on the east side of the main slipway
- Move the rocks on the east side from the lower end and back towards the shore and replace them on the west side to provide protection to the slipway from waves from a westerly-NW direction
- Finish all the slip and east side with a smooth surface to provide a wide launching/recovery apron and slipway.
A more radical and progressive approach would be to move the sailing area to the area near the RNLI Hovercraft Station.
The existing slipway there is much wider, smoother and sheltered from the prevailing westerly weather.
The wooden slipway there is longer and more accessible.
The sea area in this “corner” would provide a relatively protected area of sheltered water for all water use trainees.
Dinghy racing would be held to the east in a similar area to now.
To make this feasible the yacht club would require a summertime dinghy park nearby – down in the “old Bubbles” area would be ideal.
To provide a facility to really make this location work, to provide anytime berthing for the dinghies, local yachts, visiting yachts, canoes & kayaks, power boats, pleasure & trip boats etc a floating pontoon fixed to and running along the eastside of the stone jetty from the shore end to as far as possible is required. A very similar pontoon installation can be seen at Warren Point, NI.
This would be a fantastic amenity for all water users at relatively low cost and would replace all the wooden jetties and landing stages that Morecambe used to have.
And to go further a viewing area or a water sport centre could be provided.
This could be the present café building on the end of the stone jetty or new building on the jetty this would give club members / spectators viewing of all activities to the east as well as the kite / wind surfers to the west or perhaps a facility near the “Bubbles” / car park areas to the east.