Troon Cruising Club Newsletter
Welcome to TCC’s Winter Newsletter. This summer we enjoyed a reasonable amount of fine weather, enough to go out sailing on our boats more than once or twice, but now the temperature has plummeted, the days continue to shorten and once again the compound is chock-a-block full of boats, high and dry undergoing maintenance, repair, sale and some just waiting for better weather. Drowning out the seagulls and the rhythmic sounds of scrapers, are the very loud, shrill sounds of power tools working hard on hulls up and down the compound. Sails are being packed away and masts rest horizontal. Close inspections reveal the appetite of the sea for aluminium and electrics. For many this is a busy time of the year and every hour of available daylight, without rain, hail or sub-zero temperatures is precious. For some it is a restful time, whichever it is for you, I wish you well for the coming festive season.
Earlier in the year our Club was shocked and saddened to experience the devastating fire that took hold late one night aboard Peter McClurg’s boat, Gwen Stacey. Peter’s boat burnt-out and totally and sank to the bottom, and 2 Club boats, Rainbow Rider and Sailfish, were also fire-damaged and assessed as being beyond economic repair. The isolated location of our island pontoon posed difficulties for the attending emergency services and highlighted the challenges that exist in fighting fires on Club boats. Had the wind been blowing harder or in a different direction, many more Club boats may have been damaged or lost. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, although Peter himself received hospital treatment that night for the burns he sustained. However, below every dark cloud there is a silver lining; Ewan Black lost Rainbow Rider but now has Ostara, Peter Barker lost Sailfish, then found L’Ecumoir following John Paton’s acquisition of Taurus, and on goes the chain. It’s good to see old boats with new owners. Well done everyone who has helped in one way or another, to deal with the unexpected, focus ahead, put new safety measures in place and make time for fellow Club members. I’m happy to say that Ewan and Peter B are both up and running again with new sailing boats, while Peter McClurg has made a steady recovery following the incident.
In the wake of the fire, the Committee established a review team to report on the incident, gather statements, investigate the issues, explore the failings, identify our weaknesses and develop strategies to help protect the Club from any such similar incident. There have been a number of fruitful and informative discussions with various organisations at both local and national level. The review continues and important improvements are already in place, e.g. an overnight register has been introduced for safety.
Looking out to sea, the increased support that the Club racing and mustering events have enjoyed this season is measurable, encouraging and I have an optimistic outlook for the Club’s future development in these areas of activity.
Thank you to all those members who have volunteered, assembled and beavered away on a number of occasions to assist with the various ongoing Club projects. In the compound this summer, there has been further progress on the dinghy retaining wall and the security lighting has been upgraded. We have made efforts this year to freshen and brighten-up the Clubhouse. The western gable end wall has received a much needed fresh coat of roughcast, windows have been sanded filled and repainted on the outside, a bright welcoming TCC mural on the inside, a splash of paint in the galley, loft ladder installed and a well-lit, freshly-floored loft space to inhabit, as well as an up-to-date chart showing TCC’s “cruising area” up on the wall. The flagpole has been refurbished and repainted. It looks so much better and atop it, the flag seems to fly a little higher!! These achievements have only been possible with the support and engagement of the members.
Looking to the future, your Committee are discussing the introduction of a Family Membership, which will require the development of guardianship and training programmes for youngsters. These programmes will require planning and commitment to devise and deliver. Thus, we hope to increase our membership numbers, so that more people can enjoy the sport of sailing, and the future of our Club will be a little safer.
Carolyn Voisey (Commodore)
A huge thank you, to all the members who, in oh! so many ways, have assisted and supported the Club over the last few months. Together we have hosted a number of mostly Clubhouse-based social events; Mediterranean Night in May, Gin Tasting, the Lift-In and Lift-Out Galleys, Family Gala Day, and more recently the Prize-Giving Dinner Dance at The South Beach Hotel. Planning and participating in events are quite different things: both essential, each requiring different skills, neither any good without the other. So thank you to all those who gave of their time, their energy, their contacts or simple their know-how, and to those who simply turned up. Without your contributions, these occasions would not happen and the spiritual health of the Club would fade.
During the school holidays in July, the Club hosted a Family Gala Day. The public were invited to come along, stroll around the Club, meet the members and engage in taster sessions on the water. The event was well attended and Club members escorted altogether, over 120 people onto the water aboard keel boats, canoes, RIBs and dinghies. What a fantastic achievement, and no incidents or accidents to report! For some visitors, it was a first-time experience on the water, for others it was an opportunity to experience the feel of a keel boat. It was an energetic all-day event, enthusiastically supported by a few crucial members. The day gave everyone involved a lot of joy, and for the members, pride in what had been achieved. Importantly for the Club, it provided several new members. We have learned a lot. With intelligent planning and more support from the membership, next time the event will run much more smoothly.
Our next social gathering in the Clubhouse is a Talk from Ian Johnson, ex-Coxswain of the Troon Lifeboat, recounting the Rescue of the crew of a grounded Dredger off Irvine Harbour in 1980. The talk is scheduled for Wednesday November 27th No tickets required, muster at 7 for a 7:30 start.
Children’s Christmas Party
The Club will be hosting a Children’s Christmas Party in the Clubhouse on Saturday 14th December from 2 – 5 pm. Last year members got together, did some festive shopping, decorated the Clubhouse, wrapped up presents and threw an old-fashioned party for a dozen youngsters. It was fun and everyone involved felt it well worth doing. Please let us know if you have any children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews who you think may enjoy a Christmas Party in the clubhouse with music, presents, games and an appearance from Santa, by contacting Victoria Proven on 07967194592. Thank you, as this will help to gauge the numbers coming.
Please be encouraged to share your ideas and suggestions for improvements or changes that you may wish to see to the Club’s Social calendar, through the various letter boxes that exist; committee room door, suggestions box in the galley, by post, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on our Club Facebook page.
The Clubhouse has been well used this month (October) a race day barbecue, food for two mast stations, with soup and salad rolls provided by Christine.
Lift-out day, a bit of a marathon for galleys 12 hour duty, providing sustenance for the willing few all day and into the night. A thanks to all for their help.
A loft ladder has been installed (thanks to Kenny McAlpine) enabling us to make use of the loft space to archive records. We are planning to floor more of the space and redundant water storage tanks have been removed thanks to George Hunter.
New lighting could be the next phase for the loft access improvement.
The galley remains well stocked with biscuits, tea, coffee, fizzy juice, and the newly introduced cup-a-soup! Unfortunately, we have no grazing for a cow to keep the milk supply 24/7. So, when you use the last drop please replace it, the shop has so much it sells it. If you provide a receipt a member of the committee will reimburse you.
During the night of the recent fire on a club pontoon, it became obvious the Emergency Services and we had no idea if anyone was aboard their boat that night. To assist all we have made an overnight register; and this is located just inside the front door. Please use this if you are staying aboard your boat, even if your boat is out of the water.
Thank you to Ian Gordon for painting the windows and frames on the outside of the clubhouse.
Thank you….. Andy McRoberts, and my assistant, Christine.
The first trip away for the club this year took place on the 11/12th May up to Largs Yacht Haven. We saw 3 boats set sail for Largs. In the evening 18 members enjoyed a three course meal in the Bosun’s Table.
The Arran Muster was held on the 22/23rd June when we saw 5 boats set sail for Arran and anchored behind Holy Isle. At night around 14 members enjoyed a curry night aboard one of the boats. The next morning some rambled around Holy Isle while others explored Lamlash. Everyone involved enjoyed the weekend immensely.
Due to poor weather, the muster to Bute scheduled for the 20/21st July was cancelled.
For the first time in a long while the Club had a trip away, outside the Clyde. On Saturday 3rd August four boats headed off from TCC westwards, bound initially for Campbeltown and then on to the island of Gigha. On arrival in Campbeltown two of the boats in the small flotilla encountered problems and made decisions to stay in the Clyde. The other two boats continued on around the Mull, going on to arrive in Gigha on the Sunday.
The year’s best turn out for boats to a muster was on the 7/8th September up at Largs Yacht Haven. In fine weather, but very light winds, a total of 8 boats headed off from the Club on the Saturday. The marina accommodated all the Club boats quite close together so that pre and after dinner drinks and nibbles were easily shared around. Once again, the Bosun’s Table provided us with a super 3 course evening meal.
The last planned muster of the season to Portavadie at the end of September did not take place on account of unfavourable weather.
This year’s Cruising Trophies were awarded to:
Trophy Skipper/Crew Boat
The REDWING TROPHY Martin Strachan JESTER
NAUTICAL NARRATIVE Bill Stewart SAHONA
TANKARD TROPHY Carolyn Voisey NOODLE
SATURN SAILS TROPHY Mark Johnstone SPARKLER
The NEBULA TROPHY John Haston ARLIL
Ewan Black (Cruising Convenor)
RACING REPORT 2019
The club has seen somewhat of a resurgence in interest this year mainly through promotion via the TCC WhatsApp racing group. If you would even consider racing in the 2020 season contact Connor McGaughey to ensure you are getting the updates, sailing instructions and educational meetings information.
24 races have been successfully completed this season with a total of 15 boats having competed throughout the season. The biggest fleet on any start line was 9 but generally 6-8 yachts have been competing regularly on the Wacky Wednesday evenings.
This year’s winners include:
Crystal Clear: Skipper Connor McGaughey – Early and Late series + 50th Anniversary Trophy
Green Kestrel: Skipper Stuart Powrie – Wacky Series 1
Storm: Skipper Iain Gairns – Wacky Races series 2 and Lady Isle Trophy
Overall Club Champion 2019 and winner of Helmsman’s trophy: Storm: Iain Gairns with crew Jim Hood & Kyle Stewart.
Winter Wednesdays will start on January 15th (time tbc) and will include an educational evening once or twice a month until racing restarts fully in the Spring. John from Saturn Sails is taking the 15th January evening but race management and strategy, splicing, diesel engine maintenance, rig tuning are some of the topic we intend to cover. More information on these nearer the time via the club Facebook page and via email.
Connor McGaughey (Racing Convenor)
Having just successfully competed the lift-out we would draw your attention to the following compound security issues:
All Members have a duty of care to make sure the Club Rules are followed with regard to compound security. Ensuring that after dark the main gate is always kept closed, and on leaving the premises that the gate is locked behind you regardless of whether or not other members are, or appear to be (parked cars) on the premises. If it appears you are the last out of the gate, please ensure that the garage and clubhouse are secured.
All gas cylinders should now be removed from all boats stored in the compound.
We would strongly suggest deterring thieves by removing any outboard engines that are mounted externally.
When visiting or working on your boat please make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean and tidy to avoid trip hazards and that masts and cradles are checked regularly to ensure both are secure and safe.
Pressure washers have now been winterised to avoid frost damage. Please do not try and use either of them without prior permission from a member of the compound committee.
There will be dates posted shortly for a work party to finish off the wall at the dinghy storage area.
Our compound lighting has been updated this winter with daytime/night-time sensors on two of our compound lighting units. Remedial and fault-finding work has kindly been carried out by Andy McRoberts.
We trust that we can rely on your cooperation in all of the above matters.
Kind regards …..Compound Committee.
We would like to remind all boat owners to return their Boat Mooring Form no later than the stipulated date of the 10th of January 2020, thus allowing the Moorings Committee to allocate berths in a timely manner.
The moorings committee has posted numerous requests, accompanied by a revised mooring layout for the wall moorings. Those members that use these berths must make sure that they are following the criteria laid out to ensure that as far as possible both their and neighbouring vessels are safe. The Moorings Committee intend carrying out a survey of all the wall moorings and will contact all individual members falling short of the required standards.
Numerous work parties are planned over the winter period to make improvements to the walkway along the wall by removing vegetation and debris along with the removal of rubbish and old chain along its lower side.
This is your club and in order that it is maintained and improved it requires your time and effort. We trust that we can rely on your cooperation and that these work parties are well attended allowing us to make more improvements over the winter months.
Kind regards……Moorings Committee.
FINANCIAL MATTERS REPORT
Fundraising, cut-backs and recent income have helped club finances.
Racers, supporters and David Grant from “The Jar” deserve a special mention. Many gave £20 each for the 2019 trophies, engraving and more. Local businesses gave raffle prizes and cash for the dinner dance. The net income was £895 plus £100 for the RNLI, who contributed prizes. Donations and raffle tickets at the Curry night raised another £78. The hard work of the Kitchen volunteers at the lifts has helped club funds for a long time. Many thanks for raising more than £270. The Open Day was a great success and membership income is up. Many new members are families. How do we encourage more?
The compound committee deferred work which reduced the deficit and allowed essential work on the clubhouse wall.
Please submit and pay any outstanding bills so that we can close the accounts on 30th November. We can then plan for 2020. We need to fund overdue work. The hard work and generosity of past and older members gave us the clubhouse, workshop and facilities. It would be good to continue that legacy, keep facilities up to date and make improvements for existing and potential members. We are considering the future of club fees, how to afford what needs to be done and plan longer term work. Recommendations should be in place for the AGM. Please contribute your well thought out and workable ideas.
Jamie Allen (Finance Convenor)
SAILING IN THE AEGEAN 2020
Over the years I have organised many successful sailing holidays to Greece. This coming year the proposed dates the 9th of May to the 16th May Saturday to Saturday. Leaving and returning Edinburgh Airport.
At the present time, the cost of the flights with EasyJet are approximately £130 return per person. The cost of the yacht will depend on the numbers going and how many yachts are required. In the past through various charter companies, I have been able to negotiate exceptionally good prices. I can normally obtain a 50’ yacht for the week in the region of £1400. These holidays have been great fun in the past, visiting many interesting islands and enjoying the local food and atmosphere.
The last cruise I organised in October 2018 comprised 21 members and friends of Troon Cruising Club, and a couple new, to sailing enjoyed it so much that they signed up to do their competent crew. In May of this year I organised a sailing trip to Corfu for 7 of us and had a great week’s sailing in the Ionian. The rough cost per person was about £400 (not including spending money).
If interested and require any more details, please get in touch with John Woods – phone 07955-853558 as soon as possible, as I need to know numbers before ordering yacht or yachts. There are already a few members signed up.
Thank you, John Woods
TCC Overnight Register
An Overnight Register has been installed in the clubhouse; it exists as a simple, cork-backed pin-board, located immediately in front of you as you enter the clubhouse via the main door. If you are staying aboard your boat over-night, then please put a RED PIN beside your BOAT’S NAME. This will serve to indicate to others (including the emergency services if required), that you are aboard. You may also wish to indicate your presence & location by having your anchor light illuminated or by simply shining a torch into your rigging. Please be encouraged to use this simple system if you are staying aboard overnight.
The John McFarlane Memorial Trophy
This magnificent trophy is presented annually to the member who has done the most for the club in the past year, outwith sailing. There is a nomination form attached to this letter, as well as printed forms in the clubhouse, which members should please complete and return to the committee room, or post to the Club, no later than the 31st of December so that the Trophy can be presented at our AGM on 29th January 2020. Many thanks.
Parking outside the Club
Our neighbours, the residents of Garden Place, have been experiencing difficulty when turning right out of their road, onto Harbour Road. The dangers of pulling out, uphill, onto a fast road are made worse by the restricted visibility created by TCC members’ cars being parked close to the junction. The law is clear on this matter and governed by The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and also embodied in the Highway Code which states that motorists should not park opposite or within 10 metres of a junction. If members fail to comply and further complaints are received, then the Police will start to enforce the legislation and issue Fixed Penalty Notices for “unnecessary obstruction”. This could be as much as £100 depending on the seriousness of the obstruction. So please remember to park your car with consideration, away from junctions, make our entrance safer and help us to avoid any further complaints from our neighbours.
TCC Club Burgees for sale
Please let us know, before Christmas ideally, if you would like to purchase a high-quality TCC burgee, simple blue/white design ~ see picture at top of newsletter. They cost £22.50 each, and look terrific up the mast.
Antifouling & Epoxy Removal – On-site Sandblasting
If any of our members are interested getting their boat’s hull sand blasted whilst in the compound over the winter, then please contact Iain Gairns on 07988 232120 to make arrangements for an estimate. Ian has made contact with a local business “Mobile Sandblasting” and they do exactly what their name says! We hope that with sufficient interest to receive more favourable rates.
Donations to the Club
A large number of Admiralty charts were recently donated to the club. They have been left in the clubhouse for you to browse through. If there are any you wish to take home. Please feel free to do so.
Another member has kindly gifted us with four ring binders (gathered over a number of years) of reference material specific to many older-style sailing boats. These files contain specifications, reviews, hands-on hints for boat-owners etc. lots of useful information. This reference material is intended for all members to access and should not to be removed from the Clubhouse. Thank you.
Security at the Club
There have been a number of alarming security incidents recently and we would like to remind our all our members to close and lock doors & gates (dinghy cages, workshop, clubhouse front & back doors & the main gate) as they leave the Club after 5pm. Don’t worry that there may be someone in the compound/onboard their boat, if they are, then they should have a key themselves ~ anyhow exit from the TCC compound does not require a key. Let’s keep our Club as safe as we possibly can.
Notice of Annual General Meeting
The TCC AGM will take place in
The South Beach Hotel, Troon at 7:30 pm on Wednesday 29th January 2020.
This year, we lost a wonderful gentleman and a longstanding member of the Club, David Scott. David and Shirley sailed the west coast together on Gannet for many years. In his will, David kindly left the Club a bequest to be spent on tools for the workshop.
We would also like to extend our love and sympathies to all those members who have lost loved-ones this year.