Big Mac 2020

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rick.jones's picture
Big Mac 2020

Following last year’s successful Big Mac at Windermere in Cumbria, next year’s gathering is planned for the South of England. We have used the excellent Solent area several times before, but this time we’ve decided on Chichester Harbour as a base.

“Harbour” is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s more of a reverse-delta - a number of separate channels all converging at one mouth into the sea. You can see on the section of Navionics chart shown here that it’s all the water to the East of Hayling Island (you can view all the Navionics charts on our web site, just login and look under Members Area).

This provides a safe area for pottering around, especially if the weather conditions don’t favour sailing out to sea. Except at very low tides, most of the green areas are under water of course, but other than at high springs you need to be a bit careful of shallows if you sail outside the marked channels.

We will be using Chichester Marina on the Eastern arm as our base (it’s the largest marina in the harbour) from where you can venture up the different channels to historic Bosham - birthplace of King Harold - or Thornham, Emsworth, or Northney, or stop off at Itchenor, or beach at West Wittering.

By venturing out to sea, you can visit the unspoilt Langstone Harbour to the West, or Portsmouth Harbour a bit farther on, where there are several more marinas. It’s also an easy sail across to Bembridge or Ryde on the Isle of Wight, and further West to the rest of the Solent.

There’s plenty of scope for land-based activities, either in case of bad weather, or for those that prefer not to spend all their time afloat. Chichester itself is a charming place, a small historic city with a largely pedestrianised center and impressive cathedral. Substantial sections of the old city wall are still intact, which you can walk along. It’s only 3 miles by road, or you can take a 3½ mile walk along the old canal towpath.

If we stop over in Portsmouth Harbour, there’s the Historic Dockyard with HMS Victory, Mary Rose, and lots more, as well as Spinnaker Tower, or if you like shopping, Gunwharf Quays. There’s also plenty of opportunities for country walks, including on the Isle of Wight. So something for everyone!

Chichester is part of the Premier Marinas group, and is very well serviced. It’s accessible at all states of tide via a lock. It is easy to reach by road, being just 3 miles from the A27 South coast trunk road, itself directly linked to the M3 and A3. There is a slipway and trailer parking.
You can find more information about the marina on the web at

We have made a provisional group booking for 22 - 29 July 2020, we don’t have an exact price, but anticipate around £25/night.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested, in particular we need to form a good idea of how many boats will be attending so we can firm up the booking.

You can post on the forum thread, or email me using, or phone me on 07970 183631. Use these channels either to confirm your interest or ask any questions.

Let’s make 2020 as good an event as 2019!

Rick Jones (Treasurer) 1994 Mac 19 "White Lightning", Isle of Wight

quentin.sands's picture
This sounds great Rick. Count

This sounds great Rick. Count me in.

Quentin Sands (Editor)

1993 MacGregor 19, Margarita 

rick.jones's picture
I've also heard from Chris

I've also heard from Chris Hawksworth as well as Chris Harnan, both of whom tell me they're planning to come.

Rick Jones (Treasurer) 1994 Mac 19 "White Lightning", Isle of Wight

Hi Rick

Hi Rick

Miriam and I would love to come so please book us in.

Regards Jonathan (Mist)

john.pompei's picture
Hi Rick,

Hi Rick,

The 2020 Big Mac dates are now in my diary and you can count ASHANTI in please.

It is probably 40 years since I sailed in Chichester Harbour so I am certainly looking forward to being there again and of course meeting up with all the other Mac'ers whose company I have enjoyed at the last 2 events. I would urge any Mac owners who have not attended one of these events in the past to try to come along, believe me you will have a great time and learn so much about your boat.

On a related diary topic, do you know if a date and venue has been set for the AGM ? it was 16/17 Feb last year and this is around the time when I try to get some winter sunshine so knowing the dates would enable me to book some flights. I appreciate this is probably a question for Roly the secretary but hopefully he will read this post also.

I would like to take this opportunity of wishing you and Glyniss a Happy Christmas,



david.claassen's picture
Since John is going, I think

Since John is going, I think I will be there as well. Count me and Logan's Run in!

David Claassen

"Logan's Run"

2006 26M

Good to hear all this

Good to hear all this interest. Should be a fun time.

BTW John and others....We have put the AGM / Spring gathering back to 4th April......see my article in the magazine. Hope you can make it.


john.pompei's picture
That’s great news David it

That’s great news David it will be nice to enjoy a few pints together again 🍺🍺🍺

With the Seasons Greetings



I have no trailer  any more

I have no trailer any more and no tow-car so can't bring Sowenna along but am planning to book into a b&b/travelodge or similar for a long weekend and offer my services as a chief cook and bottle washer, odd-job man or crew as required.

Simon Armitage

Sowenna 26M

Hello Rick,

Hello Rick,

Please book 'Sonny' in for the Solent Big Mac. There'll be me and Brother Peter, as usual.

Kind regards,

John Richardson

james.brine's picture
Ah, Chichester harbour. Yes,

Ah, Chichester harbour. Yes, I remember making contact with the sand bank leaving whilst close hauled and heeled considerably. Should have stayed in the channel. Good job we have lifting keels. Was able to pull it up a bit and ferry glide gracefully into the exit channel making it look like I meant to do that!

I stayed at Thornham marina who were very accommodating and house the multi hull centre. It drys out and you need enough tide to leave but it’s great fun! Proper old fashioned boat yard and a short (mile or so) walk to the pubs in the town. They may offer a group discount?

if you stay at the Premier marina, be sure to buy a ‘Great escapes’ bundle online on their website before you arrive. They give you 7 nights for the price of five and this can be used at most of their other marinas if you go further afield.

I may try and join you in some form or another but having spent an unbelievable amount last year on the south coast, I may be spending this year in my home grounds of the Bristol Channel but if anyone needs crew I may come down and lend a hand if I’m needed or just join you for a beer in the evenings.

fair winds and look forward to seeing you.