1/20th scale catamaran model development





As part of our ongoing development program a second 1/20th scale model is being equipped with improved propellers, maxon motors and a revised solar panel layout, which panels track the sun automatically.   Other changes include revised catamaran sections, to compare a conventional wave piercing hull with a more rounded section.




solar navigator catamaran model tests at sovereign harbour



Testing the first 1/20th model at Sovereign Harbour, 

Eastbourne, Sussex, England




The new development model is due to be water tested this summer at a venue to be announced.  Please send us an email  with any suggestions.  Do you like the shape of the boat?  Is there anything you'd like to know about the boat?



Opened in 1993, Sovereign Harbour is a development of the beachland in the seaside resort of Eastbourne, to the east of the town centre. Formerly known as The Crumbles, the marina now consists of four separate harbours, a retail park and several housing projects with both permanent and holiday properties. The marina was originally run by its developer, Carillion, until 2007 when it was bought by the Premier Marinas group, who also run several other marinas along the South Coast including Brighton, Chichester and Port Solent, among others.


Sovereign Harbour is northern Europe’s largest composite marina complex and boasts four linked harbours, a large FREE car park and the hugely popular Waterfront retail and restaurant development.
Ideal as a day out for the whole family, The Waterfront has an impressive range of shops, galleries, boat-sales, cafes, restaurants and bars, along with a unisex hair studio, boat tours and charters.

The tidal Outer Harbour is only used for entrance to the marina through twin sea locks, which are operated 24 hours a day. It needs frequent dredging to keep the access channel from the sea to the locks open and deep enough for vessels. The local RNLI lifeboat has its own mooring there.

All the harbours (Inner, South, West and North) are artificial and were dredged one after the other. Behind the locks is the main marina called Inner Harbour. This is the central body of water and was the first harbour in use. It contains berths for both visiting and resident berth holders, as well as provides access to the other three harbours via lifting bridges. The other three are used mostly by resident berth holders as well as the local fishing vessels.





The North Harbour is the latest development, and this body of water is larger than the initial Inner Harbour. The two remaining harbours West and South are much smaller and in use by local residents owning a house/apartment around these waters.

A large boat lift now uses a corner in the North Harbour, near the local chandlery and winter storage for yachts. The locks - for access to and from the sea - and all lifting bridges are operated from the Harbour office building located next to the locks. The office is manned around the clock - all days of the year. The keep listening watch is on VHF channel 17 (and not channel 80 as most marinas in the UK). Apart from operating the locks and bridges the office is also used as information centre for visiting yachts: the staff will provide visiting yachts their berth and collect the harbour fees. Directly adjacent to the locks (and the office) is a fuel pontoon where self-service pumps for diesel and petrol can be found. There is also an amenities building which provides toilets, showers and laundry facilities to visiting and resident berth holders. 

Visiting yachts can contact the harbour master via VHF before arrival to obtain information about tides, depths of the dredged channel and other relevant information.

Residential properties are about evenly split between the North and South harbours, with the Waterfront (restaurants, bars, and shops) laying between them.

In the last decade of the 20th century Sovereign Harbour was clearly a project in progress but now it starts to be a more-or-less completed project: the local yacht club has a permanent housing, there is a 'waterfront' with shops and restaurants and most large-scale building activities are completed. During the earlier years the marina was more a building site then a leisure location.





The housing developments in the marina contain a variety of different style houses and apartments both waterside and non-waterside. Many properties include a private mooring in one of the harbours and some provide private and direct access from the property to a private jetty. Development began around the South Harbour and West Harbour but later extended to the land around the North Harbour and the small stretch of land between the Inner Harbour and the sea. There are now over 3000 homes in the harbour.


At the western shore of the Inner Harbour there is the -so called- Waterfront with restaurants, coffee-shops, estate agents, chandlery etc. Directly behind this waterfront the large sheds are located for winter storage for yachts, boat repair shops etc.

There is also a commercial park directly behind the project with an ASDA supermarket, Next, Boots & Matalan stores, large cinema etc. All these large scale shops are built around a huge car-park. Although officially not part of the development it offers visitors and residents much desired shopping options. Especially for visiting yachtsmen (without proper transport) these superstores are handy as Eastbourne town centre is a few miles away. Frequent bus services connect the harbour development with the centre of Eastbourne and the Seafront.





The marina is also the location of the Eastbourne Lifeboat. The all weather lifeboat, namely The Diamond Jubilee 16-23' is normally anchored in the outer-harbour but can occasionally be seen moored in one of the locks during particularly bad weather conditions. In this case, locking procedures make sure that the lifeboat can still launch at very short notice when called-out.




The Constitution of Sovereign Harbour Trust (SHT) Registration no. 4125834

SHT is a company limited by guarantee, registered at the Companies Registry for England & Wales. Its registered office is c/o its solicitors, Cripps Harries Hall, Tunbridge Wells, and Cripps Secretaries Ltd is the Company Secretary.

As an incorporated charity the directors for the time being are regarded and described as trustees.

None of the assets of the company may be applied other than for the defined objects of the company as described in the Memorandum of Association:

The objects for which the Charity are established are:

The promotion of any charitable purposes for the benefit of the community in the United Kingdom as the Trustees shall think fit and in particular the maintenance of the environment in the area known as Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, East Sussex; the preservation for the benefit of the public of those natural features of the land within the area of benefit (including land covered by water) which are of ecological and educational value the provision maintenance or improvement of recreational facilities and amenities or structures available for the benefit of the community in the area of benefit. In particular trustees may not be remunerated, though may recover expenses legitimately incurred by them in consequence of their trusteeship.

As an incorporated body the company must lodge an Annual Return with the Companies Registry.





ESTATE RENT CHARGES GUIDE - The Estate Rent Charge - 2008 

The Deed of Grant and Covenant entered into upon the purchase of your property, governs the Estate Rent Charge, which comprises three elements. 

1.The SW Charge. 
2.The Marina Charge. 
3.The Berth Charge. 
The Berth Charge is only applicable to berths that are privately owned and is not covered by this note. 

1.The SW Charge

The Trust covenants with the homeowner to apply the SW Charge towards the cost of execution of the Littoral Drift obligations and of the maintenance and improvement of the beach and sea defences within the vicinity of the Harbour and towards Harbour Maintenance or any one or more of such objects.

This was set at £75 in 1988 and varies in accordance with the change in the Retail Price Index. For the year commencing 1 January 2008 this is £151.52. The invoice is paid in advance and relates to the period 1 January to 31 December 2008. 

2.The Marina Charge

The Marina Costs are all costs and expenses reasonably and properly incurred in connection with or incidental to the cleansing, repair and maintenance of the Harbour and the Waterways. 

This is calculated from the Marina Costs. The Costs are calculated from the audited accounts for the preceding financial year, which runs from 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2007. The invoice is paid in arrears and relates to the period 1 January to 31 December 2007. The Marina Costs for the period ended 30 September 2007 are £332,967 as shown on the enclosed statement of Marina Costs. The Marina Charge to be levied equates to £146,700. This figure has been arrived at after taking into account a figure of £186,267 towards Harbour Maintenance from The SW Charge. 

The number of properties liable to pay the Marina Charge is 2,892. This figure is therefore used as the divisor to calculate individual charges. The charge for the period ending December 2007 equates to £50.73. 




Funds received under the SW charge provisions of the rent charge deeds applicable to residential property at Sovereign Harbour, are applied under the terms of an agreement on the part of the Trust and the CIC with the Environment Agency, and the Marina Company, as follows:- 

1.The first £35,000 (index linked from November 2002) is paid to the Environment Agency in respect of the Littoral Drift;

2.The balance is paid in equal parts to the Environment Agency and the Marina Company. 
The payment to the Environment Agency is to be expended by them on the maintenance of Sea Defences, including Rock Revetment, as the Agency considers necessary to avoid tidal flooding. 

The payment to the Marina Company is for such works as are considered necessary to maintain the outer harbour break water and associated structures, the inner and outer harbour and connecting locks, the West and North harbours, the harbour walls, bridges and associated structures and water ways. Harbour maintenance is to help the overall facility to drain the site quickly in the event of tidal or storm flooding. 

The breakdown of the Marina Charge is provided with the annual invoice to residents in accordance with the terms of the rent charge deed. 



Feel Good diet launch at the Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club


Free launch event at The Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club

7.00pm on Thursday 20th February 2014





A new diet and support group is being launched at the Yacht Club. There are many diets that claim to make you feel better and the will work to varying degrees, but it is claimed that the difference between ' The Feel Good Die't and other weight loss groups you may have tried before is that they are so confident you will lose weight on their plan that they offer a 30 day money back guarantee. You can't say fairer than that.





Trustee's Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 30 September 2011

Trustee's Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 30 September 2010

Trustee's Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 30 September 2009

Trustee's Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 30 September 2008

Statement of Financial Activities for the year ended 30 September 2007

Statement of Financial Activities for the year ended 30 September 2005

Statement of Financial Activities including income and expenditure account for the year ended 30 September 2005

Balance sheet as at 30 September 2005

Community Interest Companies Regulator 
Environment Agency
Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd 
Premier Marinas 
East Sussex County Council 
Eastbourne Borough Council







Autonomous robotic solar powered ship


The latest Solarnavigator is a battery electric trimaran with an extremely efficient active hull that runs on solar power. The model shown here is just 150mm long. The radio controlled test model is 2.1 meters in length. To make things more interesting

autonomous running is now on the agenda.




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