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Upgrade work on 4km of Keyhaven River moorings

A ‘Jumbo spud leg’ barge is being used to strengthen 4km of boat moorings on Keyhaven River
A ‘Jumbo spud leg’ barge is being used to strengthen 4km of boat moorings on Keyhaven River

UPGRADE work has begun to strengthen 4km of boat moorings on Keyhaven River.

The eight-week improvement project will replace the current 19-millimetre-thick ground chain with a heavier and more durable one, up to twice the size, which is expected to last at least 10 years.

David Hurd, Keyhaven River manager for New Forest District Council which manages the moorings in the river, explained: “A boat mooring system, put simply, is like a parking space for boats. It needs to be secure and strong enough to keep boats safe in the worst of weathers.

“The chain we’ll use will be 28-38mm thick and is made of heavy iron. This thicker and heavier ground chain will sink deeper into the mud, making it more secure and extending the working life of it, reducing maintenance costs.”

The first stage of works will remove and replace 200 metres of chain at a time. All chain recovered will be checked and any suitable parts reused in the river, with the rest sold for scrap.

Around 60% of the chain being used is reclaimed, with some of it heavy mooring chain previously used by marine safety charity Trinity House to secure navigation marks to the coastal seabed.

NFDC has not revealed the cost of the works, saying that it is currently commercially embargoed. A spokesperson said it is being part-funded out of its planned maintenance budget.

Recently NFDC cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Alison Hoare, greenlit a series of fee increases for 2021 for sailors using the river, including the almost doubling of a single launch of a kayak, canoe or paddleboard and the cost of a seasonal launch of the same craft going up 87%.

The work is being overseen by Kent-based DiveCo Marine, which has an office in Lymington. It is using a specialist “Jumbo spud leg” barge to recover and relay the 200-metre sections of chain and mud anchors.

DiveCo projects director Drew Allan said it was “proud” to get the contract, adding: “Our marine engineering and construction experience in some of the most tidal waters in the UK stands us in good stead to complete the works at Keyhaven.”

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