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Benfleet Yacht Club buoyed by new pontoon

A pontoon, funded by the Port of London Authority (PLA), is helping the growing membership of Benfleet Yacht Club (BYC) set sail safely.

Among the beneficiaries of the new £9,500 facility are an increasing number of rowers using the club.

The low-level water access point also reduces the risk of stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers capsizing as they take to the water.

It supplements the club’s existing pontoon, purpose built for yachts.

Miles Featherstone, the PLA’s assistant harbour master for the lower tidal Thames, said: Our 2035 Thames Vision aims to increase use of a cleaner river for recreation, as well as and passengers and freight.

“That’s why we are investing in practical improvements like this pontoon, up and down the river, from Teddington to the North Sea, to make it more accessible for people to enjoy.”

John Hancock, Vice Commodore at BYC, said: “We are a self-help club, not a commercial organisation, so greatly appreciate the PLA’s generosity in supporting this new pontoon. It not only widens our offering, but is fundamental to our ability to keep up with growing demand.

“Above all it underpins our absolute commitment to doing things safely.”

On Friday (28 June), BYC will be hosting the prize-giving for the 2019 winners of the annual 18-mile Nore Race, started in the 1920s, which was contested last weekend (23 June).

Based in Canvey Road on Benfleet Creek, BYC was established in 1922 and regularly offers free taster sessions to attract new members.

Southend Coastal Rowers integrated into BYC in 2018. This merger doubled the club’s fleet to 16, including some privately-owned vessels.


For further information please contact: Nick Tennant (07784 20807).

  • Picture shows Miles Featherstone (front left) and John Hancock (back, second left) and other BYC members (Tony Cole, Hannah Bowen, Keith Webster, Wendy Webster, Penny Lowen, James Austin, Lisa Lines and Adrian Mathers (in double rowing boat).

  • The PLA works to ensure navigational safety along the tidal Thames, stretching 95 miles from Teddington to the North Sea. It shares its marine, environmental, planning and other expertise to promote use of the river and safeguard its unique marine environment.

  • BYC has facilities to store approximately 170 cruising yachts and 160 sailing dinghies or rowing craft. A large slipway and crane can accommodate boats of all sizes; subject to weight restrictions, a winch can handle cruising yachts up to 40 feet long on trollies.