Following the withdrawal of the Royal Navy from HMS Osprey in the 1990s, the site of the former naval base was sold by the Ministry of Defence to the South West Regional Development Agency who in turn granted leases over its western part to the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (www.wpnsa.org.uk ) and the eastern part to Dean & Reddyhoff marinas (www.deanreddyhoff.co.uk).
During this time the branch continued to operate with the existing moorings which lay broadly parallel to the foreshore, and as serving naval personnel ceased working at HMS Osprey they were replaced by volunteers. The branch membership is by design made up of a minimum of 60% RNSA members and about 40% affiliates, with the committee largely made up of retired naval personnel or civilians.
With the announcement of the 2012 Olympics, extensive works were undertaken at the site which included the breaking up of the R3 hard to be replaced by two much larger slips to give “all-weather” dinghy launching capability, together with the relocation of the RNSA moorings which now comprise a new 51 capacity trot system lying about 300 yds further to the west than before.
The Branch seeks to use the WPNSA building as its shore base, and its mooring members are also members of WPNSA, but we are subject to normal commercial drivers. The Branch does not operate a launch service, but members store tenders on the WPNSA site.
RNSA Portland Branch is one of four sailing clubs making up the Yacht Clubs of Weymouth (www.ycw.org.uk )
The Branch welcomes visiting RNSA members and a mooring is permanently allocated for them, which can accommodate boats up to 14m long. Charge £10 per day or part thereof subsequently, cheques to be made payable to RNSA Portland Branch and sent to our treasurer (see committee page for details).
Visitors can land at WPNSA but are required to register and pay a fee. It can be very busy both in the harbour and onshore when large events are on, so it may be worth checking their website prior to a visit.
The visitor's mooring is W1 and is located at 50:34.614N, 2:27.357W. The buoys have a largish eye at the top, which you will need to tie up to. Please bear in mind that Portland is exposed, especially in a NE wind, so you need to be careful how you do this, particularly if you leave the boat unattended for any length of time. Permanent holders use chain, with a backup of either thick nylon rope or another chain.
The Branch is involved in running a Friday evening series during May – July with the Castle Cove Sailing Club, and results from this can be seen on our website in the Notices page. This is informal racing, with drinks at Castle Cove afterwards, and any visiting member would be welcome. Handicaps can be worked out afterwards!
The Branch seeks to organise mainly local cruises, and joins the other clubs for longer passages.
The 50 moorings comprise three size ranges based on boat length, ranging from 8 – 14m. There are currently vacancies in some sizes. They are available for use in the summer season only, from 1 April to 31 October. For more details contact the Mooring Secretary.
The Branch seeks to undertake regular social events throughout the year, both onshore with events such as a cocktail party and on the water with a pontoon party. These may involve the other local sailing clubs also.
The Branch welcomes all RNSA members as well as affiliates. A notional joining charge is made and involvement in activities and committee work is encouraged.