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Minutes of CAYF meetings


The Crouch Area Yachting Federation  AGM

 held on Saturday 20 March 2021

held virtually on Zoom starting at14:30


1.Attendance and introductions

Nick Parsons Chair NFYC

Doug MacEwen Hon Secretary SWFYC

Jon Walmsley RSA

Mike Cowan ESC

Rosemary Prior BSC

Steve Barham RCYC

Paul Wigress LRSBC

Richard Bessey RSA

Matt Morton SWFYC

Nick Milton RCYC

Clem Freeman HSC, RAFC,

Edwin Buckley Chairman CHA


Apologies of Absence

Steve Harris URYC

Ken Wickham RAFC


Agree minutes of the 2020 AGM

Unanimously agreed as correct:

Proposed Matt Morton, seconded Richard Bessey

Chairmans’s Report

Dear Members,

 I trust that this report finds you in good spirits and coping with the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in, I wish it was possible to hold the AGM as normal, unfortunately this has not been possible, with restrictions on numbers physically attending meetings, virtual meetings are not nearly as satisfying from a social point of view, however we are able to make progress in the hope of better times to come.

Following the AGM in 2020, little did we know at the time that the covid 19 virus would force clubs to cancel most of their sailing programs and social events, so unfortunately slow progress has been made with establishing contacts although there has been a few opportunities to get out and meet with some of you. I also attended the RYA Eastern AGM. (Virtually).

I would like to thank the clubs who replied to myself regarding the Application for licensing Jet Ski’s, despite a solid consensus presented to the Advisory Committee that this river is not suitable for such machines, the application was passed by the authority as was the application for a large vessel to be located at Spitty Reach on the upper part of the Crouch, again, despite the planned use of the vessel as a houseboat and commercial storage.

 A number of complaints have also been received by users of Kayaks, canoes, sailboards & Paddle boards (SUP) regarding the registration of them and mainly concerned about the administration fee, CAYF supported the Harbour authority in ensuring that all river users are recorded, with the increasing fleet size of these vessels, it makes sense from a safety aspect, to know who is out there and that they are aware of the Harbour By –Laws. However, CAYF will be watching to see that the fee does not become an annual cash raising addition to the Harbour Authority’s funding.

Regarding the future, I remain convinced that CAYF needs to continue to build the links between the members of the federation, and in order to do this, CAYF needs to recruit members to join the committee, I am also aware that there needs to be a central point for communication coming from the committee, whilst retaining the constitutional requirements for representatives from the various parts of the Crouch & Roach

.None of these improvements require a change in the constitution, but merely a change in working practices. I am pleased to report that I have received support from members to this end already.

 I would like to thank my fellow committee members, Clem & Doug, thanks also to Richard for his web site support, and to those of you who continue to support CAYF, we look forward to working with you and encouraging those who we have not heard from for a while to come onboard.

Together we can ensure that the rivers continue to be great place to enjoy our leisure time and sport.

Nick Parsons, Chairman CAYF


Election of CAYF Chairman

Nick Parsons was willing to stand

Proposed Doug MacEwen, seconded Clem Freeman

Elected unanimously


Treasurers Report

Clem Freeman, CAYF  Treasurer reported the previous years the  balance was £252.32p but in year 2020 expenditure of £14.39 was  spent on the the new website licence. This leaves a balance of £237.93. The report was accepted.

In answer to a question raised by Mike Cowan in AOB, Richard Bessey pointed out that charging fees to CAYF member clubs was abolished when  the RYA stopped charging CAYF affiliation fees.


Election of CAYF Treasurer

Clem Freeman was willing to continue in post for 2021

Proposed: Matt Morton seconded by Richard Bessey

Elected unanimously


Election of  CAYF  Hon Secretary

Doug MacEwen was willing to continue in post for 2021

Proposed Clem Freeman, seconded by Steve Barham

Elected unanimously


Election of 2 CAYF representatives to the Crouch Harbour Authority Advisory Committee

Nick Parsons and Clem Freeman were willing to continue in post for 2021

Both proposed: Matt Morton, seconded Mike Cowan

Elected unanimously



Election of 2 CAYF representatives to the RYA East Region

Doug MacEwen and Nick Parsons were willing to continue in post for 2021

Both proposed: Steve Barham seconded by Matt Morton

Elected unanimously


Other Reps from  CAYF clubs willing to be on the CAYF Committee

Steve Barham was proposed by Doug MacEwen, accepted and was  elected unanimously


Any other Business

1 Crouch Harbour Dues,  

A.) Item raised by Richard Bessey and Jon Walmsley to Edwin Buckley CHA Chairman

The new proposals for CHA charges to kayaking, canoing and paddleboarding   seemed to have been introduced without any consultation. There is no mention of the CHA discussing the subject on the CHA website and wished to know the process of appeal. Although the published minutes of the CHA Advisory Committee show that the proposal was passed by the majority of those present,only 2 were from boating organisations.

Edwin Buckley answered that the harbour dues were introduced following an audit by the CHA Designated Person to the CHA , agreed by the Crouch Harbour Authority,  CHA Advisory Committee, the UK Harbourmasters Association.  in the interests of water safety and to document ownership. They were not introduced for profit,the charges levied were only to cover administration  costs. The matter was dealt with in”private session” of the Authority so would not appear in the published  Gold Minutes of the CHA on the CHA website.

B.) Question raised by Matt Morton to Edwin Buckley. 

Would the new proposals for payment include a requirement for 3rd party insurance?

Edwin Bucley replied that it was the CHA intention for all such vessels to have 3rd party insurance for up to £ 3 million this would be introduced later.


C.) Question raised by Mike Cowan to Edwin Buckley

Would the new catchment for harbour dues only result in existing club members paying, whereas the objective was to improve water safety by catching casual visitors to the rivers? The Good guys would end up paying .

Edwin Buckley replied that the CHA had formed an alliance with the British Kayak and Canoe Association, the RNLI and CHA volunteers to attend at South Woodham Ferrers and Hullbridge to inform members of the public launching into the rivers about the new requirements and issue CHA plaques, in return for payment over the Easter weekend. The experts of the RNLI would explain the safety issues of wearing personal floatation devices and waist leashes for paddleboards.

D. ) There were questions from Rosemary Prior and Paul Wilgress to Edwin Buckley

Q.Had  the British Canoe Union had been consulted as most of the kayakers at BSC  were members of the Canoe Union rather than the  British Kayakers Association.

Edwin Buckley said he would  check

Q What was the advice about personal floatation devices (pfds) ? A That all water users should wear them.

Q Why waist leashes rather than ankle leases for paddle boards? A. Waist leashes were safer if paddleboarders became trapped under pontoons.   

Q.Not all sailing dinghies were required to wear pfds   A That all water users should wear them

Q. What about one owner with multiple paddleboards ? Each would need a plaque registered to an owners

E.) Richard Bessey

The RSA were not complaining about  promoting safe practices, but that the CHA procedures were insufficient in consulting with stakeholders and being transparent, prior to introduction of the new fees structure.

Answer:   That the CHA would look at this complaint


2 SWFYC and WFWSC lease

Nick Parsons stated that :due to continued trespass and the legal requirements of the slipway lease covenants, the WFWSC & SWFYC had no choice but to erect fencing to protect the leased area. Public safety and the liabilities for the landowner/ tenants are very serious and I am aware that there are issues at Burnham with the private pontoons / slipways. We are looking for support from the CHA, RYA, marine police and local councils to help control this and minimise the chances of accidents or fatalities. Our updated risk assessment shows the risk is high.


The meetiing closed at 15:15




Minutes of Crouch Harbour Authority meetings


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