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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

SGM Sunday 23rd July at 1pm

The Flag Officers and General Committee have called a Special General Meeting for Sunday 23 July. I am writing to you to give you some further information about the purpose of this meeting and the resolution on which you will be asked to vote. Please remember only full adult members can vote, but all are welcome to attend.

Firstly, I want to dispense with some rumours which have been circulating around the town and further afield. The Club is financially very healthy. We currently make a small operating profit each year, we have significant property holdings, and our current total borrowings are approximately £17000.

We do however need to raise capital or borrowings from time to time to finance significant expenditure. We are therefore asking Members to give the General Committee authority to increase borrowings to £100000. The additional funds are required for the following purposes:

1. Number 2 Sea Wall, which has recently become vacant, needs refurbishment so that it can be let out on the short-term or long-term rental market for a considerably increased return. We anticipate that the refurbishment work will cost between £30,000 and £35,000, and our calculations show that we will fully recover that cost through increased rental income within three years.

2. Our Ramp is one of the iconic features of the Whitstable seafront, both practical and a pleasure for Members. Following storm damage, we have initiated a project to refurbish the Ramp to a standard which should give it a further twenty years or more of life. We will be financially supported in this work by an agreed insurance claim, but the proposed work goes beyond the recent storm damage and we anticipate an additional £10,000 to £12,000 costs to complete the project. Some Members have suggested that we could operate without a ramp permanently, but we have informally sounded Members and it is clear that the majority want it retained and rebuilt.

3. We need to replace the three big RIB engines. We are running these engines well beyond their economic life, and are consequently paying out far more money in repairs than we would be doing if we replaced them on a three to five-year cycle. In order to implement this cost-saving plan, we do however need to fund the purchase of three new Mercury engines from Whitstable Marine, and undertake some ancillary work. Yes, before you ask, we looked into various buying options and Whitstable Marine offered us the best deal. The upfront cost, including some reengineering of control lines and hull refurbishment, will be between £19,000 and £21,000.

4. We want to refurbish some space upstairs to create two or three double bedrooms for visiting sailors that we can let at a decent rate of return. Estimated cost £5,000 and some volunteer labour, recoverable from increased letting income within three years.

5. We want to create a larger meeting room on the first floor, combining the current Committee Room and part of the old Stewards Flat. We will install a move-able room divider and smarten up both rooms. They will be a more flexible space, useful for training, events and meetings, and we may advertise them as rent-able business meeting space during the week. Estimated cost c.£10,000, recoverable from net room hire income, training and better use of other club space within three years.

6. There are other less significant building works in the Club which are must also be done soon, and which will be funded out of our increased borrowing.

You will note that £50,000 of the proposed borrowing will pay for itself within three years, including the cost of mortgage interest, and then will contribute significant profit into the Club finances. The new RIB engines will save us money in the medium term. While these are separate works, the package taken as a whole should pay for itself within a fifteen year span.

More detail will be provided at the Meeting. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on 23 July. If you cannot attend, please send in your postal vote or proxy form.

Richard J Bradburn
Commodore
6 July, 2017