Saltire former RNLI

November 13, 2017

One of the older boats berthed in the marina is back in the water after spending much of the summer in the boatyard. Saltire, the former RNLB City of Edinburgh 802, has now been repainted to acknowledge her lifeboat heritage. She was designed by G.L.Watson & Co and built in 1938 at Alexander Robertson’s on Clydebank at a cost of just under £9000 the equivalent of about £500,000 today.  She went into service at Wick that year with the naming ceremony taking place in August the following year just before the outbreak of World War Two.

In the thirty years she was stationed at Wick she was launched 134 times and saved 204 lives.  Her first call out was early on September 2nd 1939 to go to the aid of the Grimsby trawler Washington which had run aground. Having managed to refloat the vessel and get it back to Wick, City of Edinburgh was then called out again in the evening to the fishing boat Navarre which had run onto rocks and rescued its crew of nine. Her first wartime call out was on October 23rd to look for a missing RAF plane which the crew were unable to trace. The following year, in March 1940, she went to the rescue of survivors from two Danish fishing boats that had been torpedoed. It wasn’t just submarines that posed a risk in the waters off Wick. A newspaper report of the time said the Coxswain, Neil Stewart, would order the engines stopped if he heard a plane overhead as enemy pilots were known to drop bombs on moving ships using the phosphorescence of the wake to locate their target.

City of Edinburgh was one of 28 Watson 46 class lifeboats built and put into service with two further incomplete boats destroyed in an air raid on the Isle of Wight. In 1966 she was re-engined with 65hp Ford Parsons Barracudas and in 1968 assigned to the reserve fleet, a period of service which included a spell at Workington in 1974 when the coxswain, Albert Brown, won the RNLI’s Bronze Medal following the rescue of seven crew from the fishing boat Kia-Ora. She was eventually sold off in 1974 and converted to a cruiser, although many of the original deck fittings remain as do a number of features below decks.

After lying on the Caledonian Canal and then the Crinan Canal for a number of years she was brought down to Whitehaven in 2014. Her current custodian is researching her history in greater detail and plans to produce a modest publication next year.

Written by owner Will Tillotson



Saltire 1965 - photo from RNLI


Saltire berthed at Whitehaven 2014


Saltire after her repaint 2017



Filed under: Latest News — Whitehaven Marina @ 4:30 pm

Winter Boatyard Offers

October 17, 2017

Filed under: Latest News — Whitehaven Marina @ 10:45 am

James Cook Sails from Whitehaven Summer 2017

October 4, 2017

Ocean Youth Trust North inspires young people to rise above personal or domestic difficulties and make changes to their lives. Engaging them through ‘Adventure under Sail’ we use the sailing experience as a tool for personal and social development. On board our vessels, in addition to formal qualifications, they acquire a sense of purpose and learn a variety of transferable skills while working as a team and taking on ‘The Challenge of the Sea’. The results are profound; living and working together, sometimes under adverse conditions, they are motivated by setting and achieving their own goals while accepting responsibility for all aspects of running an ocean going yacht. Young people thrive in the on-board environment where the familiar routine and close living means they develop trusting relationships with those around them. Every aspect of a voyage promotes personal growth that they can take forward to their futures. The unpredictable nature of life at sea presents real physical, mental and emotional challenges. The result is a noticeable increase in wellbeing.

Below shows question and answers with skipper Andy Reed ….

Q.1 How long have you been the skipper on James Cook?

On a full time basis, only since April although I have had a close involvement with Ocean Youth Trust North and formerly Ocean Youth Club for more than 40 years. I started out as a young crewmember and then became a volunteer and more recently worked for the charity as a relief mate/ skipper.  I also work as an RYA Instructor/ Examiner.

 Q.2 What has been your most memorable moment(s) of this year’s trips?

Seeing the kids’ faces when they see dolphins for the first time in the wild.

Q.3 What do you enjoy the most about James Cook and the Ocean Youth tours?

Watching young people develop personally in the unique and confined environment in which we operate. Our motto is ‘changing lives, inspiring futures’. Sometimes the impact of our work takes years to become apparent, sometimes it is more immediate and that is very rewarding.

Q.4 Have you had any scary experiences on board?

 Only taking a 20m, 55tonne ketch into the sea lock, inbound in a swell!

Q.5 Where has been your favourite destination to sail James Cook?

Personally I have really enjoyed our visits to the Isle of Man. We have also undertaken voyages to Anglesey, Ireland, the West Coast of Scotland as well as trips from coast to coast around the top of Scotland via the Orkney Isles.  It is hard to choose.

Q.6 What do you think the children enjoy most and what is the main thing they gain from the trips?

Our young crews feel secure in having strict boundaries while onboard and the routine of the watch system gives them a sense of order.  They meet different people, make new friends and develop a feeling of family and belonging.  They enter as strangers, leave as friends. They gain a sense of achievement from setting and meeting their own objectives for the voyage.  It is amazing how quickly their confidence develops and you can see them grow in stature during the six days they are aboard.

Q.7 Where is James Cook heading to once she finishes her time sailing from Whitehaven?

James Cook is now safely back in Newcastle where she will be based for the rest of the season until mid-October when she will sail to Ipswich for a major refit.  She is 30 years old this month and during her lifetime has taken over 9000 young people to sea.  (We currently engage with 500 young people each year).  She deserves some t.l.c. and we want to have her shipshape in time for the Tall Ships Races in 2018 when she will sail to Denmark, Norway and Holland.

Q. 8 How many people are on a typical tour? Staff and crew?

Typically, we have a skipper, mate and 2 voluntary watch leaders with up to 12 young people and space for up to 2 group leaders, so 18 persons in all.


Ocean Youth Trust North is grateful to Whitehaven Marina staff, berth-holders and the general public on the Quayside for all their goodwill and support while we have been in port.  We look forward to seeing you all next year.

In the meantime you can read our brochure: watch our video: or follow us on Facebook:

Filed under: Latest News — Whitehaven Marina @ 8:37 am

Winterisation Workshop 7th October 2017

September 27, 2017

Filed under: Latest News — Whitehaven Marina @ 1:15 pm

Whitehaven Marina Open Day – 15th and 16th July 2017

June 16, 2017

Make sure you have the weekend of 15th and 16th July 2017 pencilled into your diary as a day to come along to Whitehaven Marina for our Open Days. The events will include a cake and coffee morning; BBQ; sail taster sessions via the WSBA; sealock guided tours; boat jumble and more.

We are repeating our successful events  of last year and combining them into one weekend and you can see photos from 2016 below.

We look forward to an even better event in 2017 and do hope you will support it. More details to follow soon.


Filed under: Latest News — linda @ 10:43 am

Whitehaven Welcomes Superyachts

May 9, 2017

For those who missed her Lady M stopped off in Whitehaven Marina recently on a tour of the Irish Sea and the Western Isles of Scotland. At 65metres and 9.5 metres wide Lady M  is far too long to fit through the sealock under normal conditions so the marina staff lowered the sea level in the marina to allow both sets of gates to be opened and let the vessel through on free flow. The sealock is 30 metres long and 13 metres wide; with only a couple of metres leeway the captain expertly manoeuvred through the lock before swinging round to the berth on Sugar Tongue.

Lady M’s owner and his family enjoyed a fantastic day out exploring the Lake District. The crew were really impressed with the marina and all of them said that they wished they had planned to stay a few more days. She certainly attracted a few onlookers locally. Tony Taylor, Marina Supervisor estimated that around 2500 people came to the marina to see her. He said “Lots of people were surprised to see such a large vessel on the Sugar Tongue when they woke up this morning and couldn’t work out how we got it in”

A Whitehaven berth holder also commented “it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the world and in a town with such a lovely setting and history. Why wouldn’t people want to visit?”

Marina Manager Simone Morgan added “We are fully equipped to deal with vessels like Lady M at Whitehaven Marina and we look forward to welcoming more.

Next stop for the Lady M is the Isle of Man. Lady M is a PJ 210, flagship in Palmer Johnson’s Sport Yacht series, built in the US. This 720-gross ton yacht is capable of going from zero to 28-plus knots in one minute, 28 seconds.

Filed under: Latest News — linda @ 4:03 pm

Seabins coming to Whitehaven Marina

Whitehaven Marina is delighted to announce that the Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project has secured £18000 grant to install sea bins in the marina.

Marina Manager, Simone Morgan says “this project is so good for raising awareness about how litter and pollution can make its way into the marina but also about what can be done to help. We who work in the marina or berth boats here, obviously care passionately about pollution in our seas, but this is also a great way to educate everyone, young and old, about protecting our marine environment. Well done Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project!” 

For more information on SeaBins this link will take you to a video.


Filed under: Latest News — linda @ 4:02 pm

The Land Rover of the CCTV World

October 4, 2016

Recently installed the ‘state of the art’ CCTV system comprises 6 stainless steel Red Vision cameras, a high definition recorder and multi screen control system. The cameras are the ideal option to cope with the occasional inclement weather at Whitehaven Marina.

The cameras are monitored from the sea lock control tower, with our vigilant lock keepers on hand 24/7 to ensure that full security is maintained day and night.
Lock keeper Robin Lithgow comments “Paired with regular dock walks, the cameras are a great way to keep the site safe and secure – with the new, high definition system any unauthorised persons or untoward activity will be detected more easily.”
Filed under: Latest News — linda @ 2:47 pm

Events for our customers

We have had several very successful events this season. From Barbecues through to sailing races. Including Barts Bash on 18th September when 18 vessels locked out in the morning to take part, building on the success of last years event.
However the most recent event was “A talk through time”
On a wet and windy evening in Whitehaven, nearly 50 berth holders braved the elements to enjoy nibbles and wine, hosted by Sharon and Denver at Wellington Bistro before a historical presentation based on the development of Whitehaven and West Cumbria.

 “A Talk through time” was a pictorial exploration of the West Cumbria, split in two segments. The first focused on the history of Whitehaven over the last 100 years, with particular emphasis on the part played by the harbour in the industrial and social development of the town. The second half covered a wider geographical area and looked at a range of industry including mining, farming and the more recent nuclear developments.

The speakers were Gerard Richardson and Ivor Nicholas who have collaborated on four books comprising decades of images taken by Ivor Nicholas  during his career as a photographic journalist in the area.

The Wellington Bistro  are now participants in our Berth Holders Loyalty Club Card and offer 10% off for all annual berth holders.  Why not pop in for lunch or afternoon tea and cake and make use of your new discount.

The event was a great success and everyone seemed to find it enjoyable as well as informative.

Thank you to everyone who attended.


Filed under: Latest News — linda @ 2:34 pm

Staff movements

In addition to welcoming John Davies as our new Lock Keeper; Ashlea Long has also come back to the office for two days a week and Karl White who was in the Lock has moved over to Dock Master. His tasks will now involve assisting Allan in the yard and looking after the marina generally. (pictured below Karl helping with Allan with lifting boats.)

Filed under: Latest News — linda @ 2:30 pm
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