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Home / News / Record tide tests boats on the Hard
Home / News / Record tide tests boats on the Hard

Record tide tests boats on the Hard

Published 15:43 on 24 Apr 2024

Around midnight on 8/9 April (immediately after the total eclipse which saw Earth, Sun and Moon in perfect alignment) the south coast experienced an exceptional tide boosted by a surge driven by high winds and a deep low pressure weather system. As the plot from Cambermet above shows, the tide rose to a level almost 1 metre higher than predicted making this the first 6M Chichester Harbour tide in living memory!

The impact was felt all around the Harbour with several sailing clubs' premises flooded. Above is the scene at Mengeham Rythe SC a popular destination for WWSC cruises. Medmerry caravan park near Selsey had to be evacuated.

WWSC boats on the Hard did not escape either as the pictures above illustrate.

Ivan Western sounded the alert and a willing band of volunteers turned out to rescue the situation and re-secure boats that had broken loose or, in some cases, hadn't been adequately secured in the first place. All this was completed before the following high tide at lunchtime on April 9 a fantastic illustration of WWSC spirit for which lots of members were really grateful.

So what are the lessons for those with boats on the Hard? In summary, make sure your boat is secured properly. The Club's advice (which is based on years of experience) is on our website here. Key parts of it are:

  • Make sure your boat has a line across it holding it tight down onto the trolley so both will float together
  • Make sure your trolley has criss-crossed lines to stop it swinging sideways when afloat
  • Make sure any lines fixed between your boat and the chains have enough slack ("scope") to allow for the boat floating upwards. If not, you'll risk ripping out the attachment points as the forces can be considerable (at least 4 WWSC dinghies had rudder fittings torn out as in picture above)

Finally, it is important regularly to check up on your boat and, if you're going away, do take a look at the tide tables to see if there are going to be any really high spring tides while you're gone.

Last updated 16:11 on 24 April 2024

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