The days are getting much longer, it is warming up, and thankfully Knysna has had a little bit of rain over the past two months. It is time to start preparing your boats and equipment for summer, time to check all the fishing equipment, and definitely time to get out on the water. The entire coastal belt from Cape Town all the way to East London is still in the grip of a severe drought, and its effects are definitely felt here in Knysna. Fortunately we have had some good rain, particularly during August, so the vegetation is recovering as are the gardens and Knysna is beginning to look really good. However, the rain has not been sufficient to make much of an impression on our dams and we are still subject to strict water restrictions. This means that no municipal water may be used for watering the gardens and definitely not for washing boats or flushing motors. We are fortunate on Leisure Isle to have spike water for the gardens and this is available at the boat wash bay as well.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The LIBC Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday, 18 December 2017 at the Club. Please try to attend, because it gives you an opportunity to hear what the Club is doing for you, and to give us your views on Club matters.
The LIBC financial year end is 30 September, and the Committee has reviewed the financial status of the Club and its needs for the next twelve months and has prepared the budget for 2017/18. The objective of the budget is to achieve an acceptable balance between maintaining the current high standards while avoiding any unnecessary expenditure. Managing and maintaining a boat harbour takes a lot of effort and money, and it is very easy to allow costs to escalate out of control.
The Club is open seven days of the week, 364 days of the year (LIBC is closed on Xmas Day!), and the Management staff are on duty 12 hours every day. Financial management of salaries and wages, 400 odd Members, nearly 200 moorings, over 200 trailer parking bays, as well as berth sales, is a very onerous task. In addition, maintenance of the harbour, the parking areas and gardens all requires constant attention throughout the year. It is therefore not surprising that the Club employs two Harbour Managers, the Club Treasurer is remunerated for his financial administration services, and we have two Harbour Assistants to carry out all the general maintenance and repair work. The Club makes a conscious effort to undertake as much maintenance and repair work as possible in house and outside contractors are only brought in where absolutely necessary.
No wonder then that Salaries and Wages are the single largest expense on the Club’s Income Statement, and this is also the item that is most closely monitored and kept under control. The other significant cost item is, of course, maintenance and repairs. Apart from day-to-day maintenance and repairs to the harbour facilities, buildings and grounds, the Committee has identified the following major long-term projects for which funds will have to be available in the foreseeable future (up to about five years):
1. Replace 240 jetty poles (piles) - R480 000.00
2. Replace B,C,D and E jetties, including all finger jetties - R750 000.00
3. Replace eroded brick paving in slipway area - R150 000.00
4. Security upgrade - R250 000.00
5. Replace perimeter fencing - R250 000.00
TOTAL - R1 880 000.00
The above figures are all extremely rough and they are conservative, but they clearly indicate that the Club can expect to face significant expenditure over the next five years or so, and it is therefore essential that we plan accordingly and create adequate reserves. The Club currently has a reserve of about R800 000.00 and it is the Committee’s objective to budget for a surplus of R200 000.00 each year to ensure that we achieve the required level of funding.
The proposed budget for 2017/18 allows for the following amounts to be donated to various organisations:
NSRI: R20 000.00
Knysna Sports Academy: R40 000.00
Knysna Basin Project: R20 000.00
Every year there is a lot of debate about the amounts we donate, and it seems that about half our Members feel we should donate more, and the other half feel we donate too much. The Committee would love to increase the amounts because all three of our beneficiaries have a vital role to play in the Knysna community, but we are mindful of the fact that LIBC’s primary responsibility is to provide facilities for boating on Leisure Isle and we believe that the above amounts are a fair compromise. Members are encouraged to make private donations to any or all of the above organisations and LIBC will gladly facilitate the process. Last year a few Members decided to donate the proceeds of letting their berths over the Holiday Season, a wonderful gesture which was hugely appreciated. Please approach either Cecil Milne or Clive Garth-Davis in this regard. As a matter of interest, based on the above figures, LIBC’s donations are entirely funded by the slipway launch fee charged to visitors, and the temporary trailer parking fees.
In preparing the budget for 2017/18, the Committee reviewed the various income sources and attempted to allocate increases against items where the greatest expenditure is required. The Committee is also mindful of the fact that the Club has an influx of Visitors and Temporary members over the holiday season, and the facilities are stretched to the limit at this time, so the fees for visitors and temporary members have been increased accordingly. Out of season rates have been kept as low as possible. Being mindful that LIBC provides a service to the public and the broader Knysna community, we have kept the Visitors’ slipway launch fee unchanged.
We believe that the various charges levied by LIBC compare extremely attractively when compared with similar facilities elsewhere.
The 2017 Financial Statements and the full Budget for 2017/18 will be presented for approval at the LIBC AGM in December this year, but in the meantime the following table sets out the revised fees for 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018, as determined by the LIBC Committee
Please click here to see the latest Fees
* Note: Visitors who arrive by boat and wish to park in the harbour for the day or part thereof, will be required to pay the applicable daily Berth Hire Rate, PLUS the R100.00 launch fee, regardless of whether or not they use the slipway, and subject to the availability of berths. Note also that the transit jetty is strictly for loading and unloading of passengers and equipment. Boats may NOT be moored there for longer than five minutes.
Invoices for the annual subscriptions will be sent out during October, so please remit your payments as soon as possible, remembering that the Club cannot survive without the subscriptions. Make sure that you provide the correct reference when you make an electronic payment. PLEASE USE YOUR SURNAME AND INITIALS, AND/OR YOUR LIBC MEMBERSHIP NUMBER AS THE REFERENCE. Even the invoice number will assist the treasurer, but without a reference, we have no way of knowing where the payment comes from. Many payments are made without any reference at all, but references like “Boat Club”, “LIBC”, or (in one case!) “Karel”, do not help us at all, and do not be offended if you receive a reminder because we have no record of your payment!
KNYSNA FIRES- THE AFTERMATH
I suppose that a number of you who have not visited Knysna since the terrible events of 7-10 June 2017, are a bit apprehensive, and are wondering what you will find. I know that a number of people have told me that they do not want to see the devastation. Well, I fully understand the way you feel and the cost, not just in terms of money, but more especially the trauma of losing one’s home and everything you have worked for and owned, is terrible beyond words. The physical devastation in and around Knysna is also quite indescribable and unbelievable, particularly if you look beyond the Main Road through town.
And yet, Knysna is fighting back and the town is rebuilding.
The most obvious destruction is the entire area from way beyond the White Bridge on the N2, stretching all the way through Belvidere, Brenton-on-Lake and Brenton-on-Sea, and right down to the Western Head. It is a scene of utter devastation, and yet, if I look across the lagoon right now, there is lots of green appearing and soon the fynbos will be regenerating and nature will recover. Massive efforts are being made by the authorities and various agencies to assist and support nature, and everywhere in and around Knysna there is feverish activity, clearing burnt bush, felling trees, rebuilding fences and general clearing up. And many damaged and destroyed houses are already rising again and clearly many building owners are intent on being ready for the Holiday Season. One unusual activity which is happening wherever there are steep slopes that could slip in the event of heavy rain, is the placement of huge environmentally friendly and bio-degradable mats to stabilise the slopes, such as the one evident at Featherbed Bay in the above picture.
When I am asked, I tell people that Knysna will never be back to normal, but we are definitely well on our way to the “New Normal” and, despite all the horror, there are many positives. I have no doubt that Knysna will be different from what it was but it is certainly every bit as beautiful and good as ever. And one of the most positive aspects of the whole tragedy has been the way people have responded, and all of a sudden Knysna has become a place where people really care for one another, and strangers will meet in the street and talk properly to each other. In that way, this has been a strangely uplifting experience. So, come and visit us with confidence and be assured that your stay here in Knysna will be better than ever!
It is pleasing to report that no security problems have been reported this year. The raised guard hut has definitely improved surveillance of the harbour and parking area at night and the security lighting has been upgraded and improved, particularly at the entrance channel. Notwithstanding this good news, we must remain vigilant because thefts of outboard motors from boats elsewhere around Knysna have been reported during the past few months. The target definitely appears to be smaller sized motors which are portable, so if you own an outboard motor of 20 hp or less, you are urged to take special care to avoid being a crime victim. As a minimum, all motors should be securely bolted and chained and padlocked on to the boat to make it more difficult to remove from the transom.
We again request that Members cooperate with the guard when entering the club premises between 18 00 and 06 00 by completing the entry form, and also please report any instances of apparent non-performance by the security guard to Harbour Management, as this is the only way we can properly monitor what is happening. Also, Members whose boats/trailers are parked adjacent to the perimeter fence are asked to maintain a gap of at least one meter away from the fence. This is to improve visibility, allow for foot patrols, and to make sure that your boat and/or trailer cannot be used as a stepladder. Finally and most importantly, please report ANY incidents to Harbour Management as soon as possible, and always remember that the Club does not accept any responsibility for loss or damage to boats and equipment.
Apart from the normal ongoing maintenance and repair work all over the LIBC premises, Harbour Management has been kept busy this year with a number of different projects all aimed at improving the facilities. The public toilet block has been upgraded and renovated thanks to Roger Voysey and Steenbok Nature Reserve who carried out all the work. The building is kept locked at night and is cleaned daily by the LIBC staff and the facilities are now in pristine condition. The reason why Steenbok Nature Reserve was involved was to provide a facility suitable for use by small visiting tour groups and other visitors to Leisure Isle and Steenbok Nature Reserve.
Members are of course also able to use the Members’ toilets in the Clubhouse but the public toilet block is often more convenient, and if it is locked you may obtain the key from the Harbour Manager or Security Guard. If you experience any problems, or find the facilities in a less than perfect condition, please report this to Harbour Management to assist us in ensuring that LIBC continues to provide a first class facility of which we can all be proud.
Soon after the Toilet Block was complete, some serious work was undertaken to improve the gardens at the entrance to the club. Margie and her team put in a huge amount of work to landscape the area and replant various trees, shrubs and flower beds all aimed at creating water wise and indigenous gardens. I am sure you will all agree that the results are truly magnificent. And, by the way, all this took place during winter when the staff had time available. Well done, Margie, Michael and Joseph!
While Margie was busy gardening, Clive undertook the upgrading of the security lighting by firstly replacing and adjusting all faulty light fittings and then overseeing the installation of new floodlights, particularly at the west end of the parking area and overlooking the harbour entrance. You may find the lights a bit troublesome when entering the harbour at night, but remember that they are there to improve visibility and security.
The biggest project undertaken this year has been to improve the staff restroom and ablution facilities. A new shower and toilet have been constructed and the existing workshop has been converted, while the old store will now become the new workshop and the carport will be used as a shed for gardening equipment. The work is well advanced and will soon be finished, and Michael and Joseph are already enjoying the long-needed ablution facilities. A massive thank you goes to our Member, David Alexander, a long established and highly regarded building contractor in Knysna. David donated all the labour needed for the project, free of charge, in return for the use of one of the Club harbour berths for a year. Thank you, David, for making this project a reality!
Part of the work has included replacing the roof sheets that were damaged and blown off during the devastating wind storm that took place on the day of the June Knysna fires. It is interesting to note that the wind that blew on 7 June was quite unbelievable, and under “normal” circumstances the weather alone would have made headlines. As it was, of course, the horrific fires completely overshadowed everything else, and the wind was treated as just a minor issue!
As reported last year, LIBC has embarked on a long term project to replace the Jetty Piles which have been attacked by a marine organism known as gribble. The first thirty poles were replaced early this year and a further fifty poles have been ordered and will be installed when they are delivered. The poles have to be specially treated because they are permanently immersed in seawater, and the result is that they take a long time to manufacture and deliver.
On this note, LIBC is also awaiting delivery of timber to carry out repair work to some of the jetties, and we also want to construct a few prototype new finger jetties in an attempt to achieve a more robust design that will be less wobbly. One consequence of the June fires is that all the timber suppliers in Knysna are stretched to the limit and we are struggling to get the correct material supplied and delivered.
Apart from the above, the staff will all be hard at work preparing the harbour and all the facilities for the holiday season which is almost upon us! There is varnishing to be done, jetty repairs, and all the usual maintenance of the gardens. We need to remind ourselves that up until the harbour was upgraded and extended in 2004, the grassed area was actually quite small. Then after 2004, for several years the trailer parking area was covered with wood chips and required relatively little maintenance. It is therefore only in the last five or so years that keeping the trailer park, and all the rest of the grassed areas and hedges trimmed and neat and tidy has become a major and ongoing task.
Another major problem is to try to keep the harbour reasonably clear of unwanted marine growth. Luckily the sea cabbage has not been as bad as in the past few years, but there are signs of its return. The LIBC staff do their best to remove the weed but this is a thankless and very difficult task. Extreme care also has to be taken not to disturb marine life, specifically the sea horses. The biggest issue right now is the sea lettuce which settles in the approach channel and decomposes, causing the disgusting rotten egg smell that is apparent when entering or exiting the harbour. This is a problem which occurs all over the lagoon. The Committee is considering various means of removing the matter, but it must be understood that this is a challenge which will be almost impossible to overcome. The matter at the bottom of the channel is a black sludge which cannot be picked up with a net, and once removed, its disposal will be extremely difficult. We will keep you informed!
As previously reported LIBC has a set of Rules, the contents of which must be read, understood and adhered to by every person using the Club facilities. A copy of the Rules is attached to this Newsletter for Members’ information, and they are available on the website.
Copies will also be handed to all Temporary members and to all Day Visitors to the club. Everyone hates being regulated, but please understand that the Rules are purely intended to make usage of the LIBC facilities safe for everyone, and to make sure you have a pleasant boating experience.
You are urged to read and abide by the Rules and remember that they are binding on you.
HARBOUR BERTHS AND TRAILER PARKING BAYS
There are currently two berths on offer for sale as follows:
• T Lloyd Berth No C14 Price R100 000.00 Contact: tomlloydsgroup.net
• H Doeringer Berth No E24 Price R320 000.00 including boat
Remember that, if you wish to sell your berth, in terms of the LIBC by-laws and the berth owner’s agreements, you MUST first offer it to LIBC members. There is nothing to stop you coming to a private arrangement with a member, but you may not offer to sell a berth, or come to any arrangement with a non-member before first offering your berth to members, which may be done privately, or in this newsletter, on the website, or on the club notice board. If no club member takes up the offer to sell within a reasonable time (normally one month), you may then offer the berth to non-members, at the same asking price. Non-members may only purchase a berth AFTER they have applied for membership, paid the entrance fee and annual subscription, and been accepted as a member of the club. Furthermore, all berth sales MUST be processed through the LIBC Secretary, who draws up the sale and berth owner’s agreement, and 20% of the profit on the sale of a berth goes to the Club.
LIBC WEBSITE AND MEMBERSHIP
LEISURE ISLE BOAT CLUB (LIBC)
RULES APPLICABLE TO THE USE OF THE HARBOUR AND CLUB FACILITIES - MARCH 2017
The following Rules, which are in accordance with the LIBC Constitution and based on the LIBC By-Laws, are applicable to all persons using the Leisure Isle Boat Club Harbour and facilities, including Members and their family and guests, Temporary Members, and Day Visitors who have paid the daily slipway launch fee. It must be understood that the Leisure Isle harbour was conceived, designed, and constructed to provide suitable facilities for the safe operation of small boats, and the harbour has now reached the limit of its capacity in terms of both the number and size of boats accommodated therein. Strict adherence to these Rules is therefore essential, and any person who fails to do so may be required to leave the Harbour area.
1. Right of admission to the Leisure Isle Small Boat Harbour is reserved. The Harbour includes the access channel, the slipway, public parking area, numbered boat parking and all the jetties A,B,C,D, and E, in other words, the entire area beyond the entrance boom at the Guard Hut. In terms of a lease agreement with the Knysna Municipality the Harbour falls under the control of the LIBC.
2. All persons entering or using the Leisure Isle Small Boat Harbour and/or its facilities do so entirely at their own risk and LIBC, the Committee, and LIBC Employees accept no liability whatsoever for any injury or loss caused to any such person due to whatsoever cause. This includes children whether or not accompanied by an adult.
3. Access to the Members’ enclosure and the jetties is limited to Members and Temporary Members, their families, and guests (when accompanied by a Member).
4. There are strict restrictions on the dimensions of boats allowed to be launched, used, or berthed in the LIBC Harbour. The following are the maximum dimensions and details can be found here
5. Speed at all times within the harbour and in the channel shall be DEAD SLOW (a speed that will not create a bow wash)
6. Towing of wakeboards, tubes, or similar is strictly forbidden anywhere in the harbour or approach channel.
7. All persons entering the LIBC Harbour facilities between 18 00 and 06 00 MUST complete and sign the Security register which will be presented to them by the Allsound security guard. The guard may be patrolling the premises at the time when you arrive in which case it is your duty to open the boom and close it behind you.
8. Persons using the LIBC facilities shall comply with all relevant statutory legislation, regulations, by-laws and rules laid down by any relevant national and/or local authorities. The following shall apply:
4.1 All boats to have a SAMSA Certificate of Fitness and to display a current, valid SANPARKS sticker. Fishermen to have a valid Recreational Fishing Permit issued by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, obtainable at the SA Post Office.
4.2 Only persons with a SAMSA skipper’s certificate may be in control of a boat operated anywhere within the harbour– it is important to note that this excludes persons under 16 years of age.
4.3 Upon request by a Committee Member or LIBC employee, any person operating a vessel in the harbour must provide proof of compliance with the above requirements. Failure to do so may result in the boat not been allowed to launch and/or to be removed from the LIBC premises.
9. The slipway and jetties are extremely slippery when wet. Exercise the utmost caution at all times.
10. Only proprietary boat fenders are permitted, and fenders must be used in such way as to prevent damage to neighbouring boats.
11. All boats must have adequate, strong mooring lines. Boats must not be moored to jetty poles (piles) – any costs incurred in replacing poles pulled out through non-compliance will be for the account of the party responsible.
12. No refuelling of any nature is allowed on the jetties. Refuelling on boats to be by proprietary syphon tubes only. Decanting from a container via a funnel is prohibited anywhere in the harbour. Outboard fuel and lubricants damage the polystyrene flotation cells of the jetties, damage the environment, and pose a serious fire hazard. Syphon pumps are available for purchase at the Office.
13. At all times be courteous to other lagoon users, especially non-powered craft like sailing boats, canoes, etc, and fishing boats. Give all such vessels a wide berth and remember the wake from your power boat can capsize smaller boats.
14. Power boats to give way to non-power boats and always keep another boat on your port (left) side whether overtaking another boat or approaching an oncoming boat. Keep to the starboard (right) side of all channels. The channel poles are not to be used as mooring poles except in the case of extreme urgency.
15. Pollution of the harbour and lagoon in whatever form (either solid or fluid waste) must be prevented. Persons who disregard this shall be required to make good the resulting environmental damage at their own cost.
16. Dogs may only enter the Members’ enclosure if they are on a lead.
17. No fish may be cleaned in the harbour or slipway area. The fish cleaning table is the only place where this activity is permitted. The facility is only for the cleaning of fish. All fish offal must be removed from the property by the fisherman.
18. LIBC employees may ONLY assist with cleaning of boats and fish, or other activities, as a private arrangement between the employee and the Member, or Temporary Member and by prior arrangement with the Harbour Manager, provided that all such activities MUST take place outside of the employees’ normal LIBC working hours, and strictly when it is convenient to the employee.
19. No throw nets may be used in the harbour, including the approach channel.
20. Recreational swimming (including diving) and fishing in the harbour basin are prohibited.
21. LIBC will be managed in such a way as to reasonably safeguard assets. Vehicles, trailers, boats, and the contents thereof, parked in the LIBC premises, are entirely at the owner’s risk. LIBC, the Committee and LIBC Employees will not be held responsible for any loss or damage of any nature whatsoever that may occur to any assets within the club grounds.
22. Trailers must display in a prominent position a decal supplied by LIBC giving a membership number and if applicable, trailer park number. Trailers failing to display these particulars may be removed from the premises. Trailers in the Members’ area are to be parked only in the marked parking bays. Trailers and/or boats outside these areas may be removed and parked outside the club grounds.
23. Boats occupying a berth or parked in the Members’ area must display in a prominent position a decal supplied by the club giving Membership number and if applicable, berth number.
24. Boats which cannot be identified by means of the abovementioned decal, will be deemed to be UNAUTHORISED and may be removed from the club grounds and harbour at the owner’s risk.
25. Unaccompanied children under the age of 11 (eleven) years, are not allowed in the club premises. This is a safety requirement.
26. Members must ensure no physical contact with the Gabion Walls as damage to the mesh of the gabions could invalidate the 25 year product warranty provided by the supplier.
27. Access to and use of boats may be extended to the immediate family (spouse/children) of club Members, provided that authorization is proven through the presentation of a current access disc.
28. Transfer of access discs to non-Members is strictly forbidden and non-Members are not permitted within the Members’ enclosure, unless accompanied by a Member.
29. Any Berth Owner wishing to sell a berth must offer the berth for sale to a Member before offering it to non-Members. Furthermore, all berth sales MUST be processed through the LIBC Secretary, who draws up the sale and berth owner’s agreement.
30. It shall be the responsibility of all Members, Temporary Members and Day Visitors to ensure that these Rules are respected.
31. LIBC reserves the right to amend or add to these Rules at any time.