Plans Submitted For Permanent Moorings At Porthcressa

A St Mary’s resident wants to place permanent visitor moorings in Porthcressa Bay.

The application by Charlie Carss of Little Porth has been submitted to the Marine Management Organisation, the body responsible for marine licensing in English inshore and offshore waters.

Porthcressa Bay is a popular mooring place for visiting yachtsmen who can avoid paying the fees for St Mary’s Harbour.

At present there are no permanent visitor moorings in this area and the plan is to bury twenty individual mooring sinkers on the seabed.

Harbourmaster Dale Clark told us the plan does not affect their own operations in St Mary’s Harbour as yachts already moor in the Porthcressa area.

However, he’s concerned that if a charge is made for mooring in Porthcressa, this could force non-paying yachts further out into more dangerous areas of the bay.

There were two incidents this summer when moored yachts had to be rescued by Coastguards off Porthcressa after drifting onto rocks.

Dale also thinks that yachts paying to moor overnight will prefer the facilities on offer in the harbour, such as free WiFi, showers and refuse disposal.

However, according to the Council’s Maritime Officer, Steve Watt, The Porthcressa regeneration plans will improve shower and toilet facilities for yacht crew under the Schiller shelter.

Chief Planning Officer Craig Dryden says the application does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Town Hall as it’s on the seabed, below the waterline and Steve Watt says Natural England are happy with the proposal.

The applicant will still need to gain the approval of Crown Estates, who manage most of the seabed around the UK and the application is expected to go before the MMO by Christmas.

5 Responses to Plans Submitted For Permanent Moorings At Porthcressa

  1. Ken December 4, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I’m surprised the WLT haven’t stepped in to support the sea grass that would be affected.

  2. Alex Pettigrew December 3, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I am much concerned at this proposal which seems to have little merit except as a money-raising exercise. I fully agree with the previous postings and the Harbour Master’s view regarding the potential danger. Loss of the safe (except in southerly conditions!) anchorage at Porth Cressa, which 20 moorings would cause, would make me think twice before visiting the islands and I suspect that other yachties would feel the same.

  3. James Edwards December 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Porthcressa is not suitable for yachts when there is strong wind and swell from the South. The tendency with moorings is for boats to snub with even a moderate swell making life very uncomfortable for those on board.
    Anchoring is much better and often good in Porthcressa when protected from the wind and with a low swell, or better still none at all. As a regular visitor from Falmouth spending two or more weeks on my boat each year in the Isles of Scilly, in my opinion the proposal for moorings is unwise and not necessary and I agree with the Harbour Master, could be dangerous.

  4. pete December 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

    putting moorings in porthcressa may lead to visiting yachtsmen/women being lulled into the idea that porthcressa is a safe haven and the moorings can be used in all weathers.As soon as the wind swings SSW round to ESE porthcressa becomes a dangerous anchoring spot. Mooring may reduce anchoring fouling and dragging but will they now rely on the moorings to hold the boats….the harbour moorings are exposed in certain condtions also but in the event of any incident there is always help in the form of harbour staff,rnli or locals within minutes….i dont really think free wi fi is a deal breaker in this arguement..!

    • Charles December 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      You’re absolutely correct Pete.
      I don’t want to see moorings in Porthcressa as they would take away an anchoring facility enjoyed by visiting yachts, catamarans and boats of ALL sizes.
      Porthcressa is the only feasible anchorage for deep draft yachts visiting Hugh Town, with its easy dinghy access. We don’t want to be pushed out into less safe waters by moorings.
      The joy for us yachtsmen visiting Scilly is having a choice of anchorages. For shallow draft boats and bilge keel yachts the choice is wide, but deep draft yachts have few.
      There are days when there are no boats in Porthcressa. On such days, do you really want to see 20 brightly coloured mooring buoys spoiling the seascape? On the other hand, yachts at anchor enhance the seascape.
      Regarding Wifi Pete, we visiting yachtsmen value this facility provided by St Mary’s Harbour.