We had a special guest at our March SMAC Monthly meeting: Dave Frey, the new manager at Premier Southsea Marina. Dave was invited along to meet and get to know the SMAC folk and also answer any questions from members.

After serving in the police force, Dave joined Premier Marinas first at Brighton then Gosport Marinas before moving to Southsea as Manager. Although there is a lot for him to catch up with at Southsea, Dave was very open to our questions and feedback. He was clearly very sympathetic to some of our issues being a boat owner himself. He explained that there are some company policies he is unable to change however although he is very willing to be a channel for our feedback to Premier.

There are local things that Dave can help with and we were pleased to hear that. He promised to look into the possibility of providing multiple “Lift & Scrub” packages; providing a new shed for our combined use and approaching LHB to see what can be done to remove the obstructions on the point that continue to ambush propellors at dead low water.

Unfortunately, some of our issues will go head-to-head with company policy. The restriction on overnight camper vans is unlikely to be relaxed, nor a time extension for boats on blocks.Although LHB show a reduced rate for harbour dues if paid through a club, this only applies if the club or business administers all the collection of fees. This would be a significant administrative overhead if Premier did this for 315 berth holders, because each one would have to be checked to see if they used the harbour. Liveaboards and boats stored afloat would not require harbour dues if they didn’t go outside the marina. It would probably cost more to do this than the savings would bring, so it isn’t a vaible option unfortunately.

Overall, it was good to meet Dave and I think we all felt it was a beneficial meeting. He is certainly more aware of SMAC now and we all look forward to getting to know him better individually.

Now on to monthly club matters. We all agreed that the Presentation Night on Saturday was a resounding success and the generosity of members with the raffle means we have a very healthy cash tin to support events and continencies. Our next events will be the Open Bream Competition in May, and the SMAC BBQ on a date to be agreed at our next meeting.

There being no fish weighed in during February, the Fish Of The Month Award was transmuted to Neville Of The Month Award. As only one of those was weighed in, he was given the medal in recognition of services rendered.

The SMAC caps and beanies have arrived and are on sale from the Club Shop (which is a grand name for a cardboard box) for £10 each, while stocks last. Kids sizes are available too.

Now that we are all enthused about club merchandise, we agreed to go ahead with the purchase of a small batch of SMAC burgees. These will go on sales at about £20 each. There was interest on both the Richard Pack design and the Bass design. We will be ordering a small quantity of each so everyone will be happy. We hope to have these available by the next meeting.

The next SMAC monthly meeting will be on Tuesday 9th April at 7pm in the Marina Bar.