The island of St Helena in the south Atlantic, now boasts ‘world class’ moorings, following an eight month project resulting in a high quality and robust mooring field, and marking the development of the island as a base for travelling yachts as well as a yachting destination.
With 23 moorings currently in place and a further two to be installed shortly, the moorings are situated on the western side of James’ Bay and have been professionally designed and specified by marine engineers. Designed to accommodate yachts of up to 50 tonnes and 60ft LOA, the moorings are based on trot moorings with a long central spine of over 500 metres of heavy ground chain, crossed by a further nine ground chains of varying lengths. All chains are anchored at each end with very high spec drag embedment anchors and at various points on the ground chain grid, high spec chains rise to specialist polymer buoys with integral mooring rings. Yachts of longer LOA within the weight limit may also be accommodated by arrangement with the Harbour Master.
Commissioned by the St Helena Government, in partnership with St Helena Tourism, the contract for the development of the moorings was awarded to offshore marine consulting engineers, Beckett Rankine, who produced a design based on a similar mooring field developed for open sea moorings in the Scilly Isles. The development was overseen by Project Manager, Chris ‘Hedge’ Shuter of Marine Maven (T&T) Ltd, with local St Helena contractors Keith and Crag Yon and Graham Sim also coming onboard with the project.
The new moorings were completed in time for the finish of the recent Governor’s Cup Yacht Race, a 1,750 nautical mile ocean yacht race from False Bay Yacht Club in Simon’s Town, South Africa to Jamestown, St Helena, closely followed by participants in the World ARC 2012/2013, and received fantastic comments from race participants.
Commenting on the new moorings, Project Manager, Hedge Shuter, said “The new moorings are a fine achievement by all those involved and initial feedback from users has been very positive. St Helena now has a yacht mooring field of world class quality and I’m sure word will spread around the yachting community, which will lead to more and more visitors arriving by sea.”
St Helena Deputy Chief Secretary, Gillian Francis, added, “We are delighted with the end result and SHG will now ensure the ongoing maintenance of the moorings so that the increase in yachts we hope to see can now visit the island, moor and enjoy their stay with peace of mind.”
Setting the context for the new moorings, Matt Joshua of Enterprise St Helena said, “Last year a third of tourists visiting the island were yachting enthusiasts. Improvements in yachting facilities and services, including refurbishing the wharf, improvements to the Yacht Club and of course the new moorings, should send a clear message to the yachting community that they are valued and that we as an island are keen to increase yacht visitor numbers. We look forward to welcoming them to St Helena soon!”