April has brought with it bright warm sunny days juxtaposed with grey rain that has blown in on strong winds or sat above us with a creeping coldness, that only those who know the yard well will understand. On the good days, the yard has had a spring like feel and brought many owners in to spring clean and spruce up their boats ready to go afloat. On the other days, the yard returns to its winter quietness, with only the hardy seen running swiftly to the office for enquiries or supplies. We are happy to support our owners with their own DIY and have a small chandlery. Sales of sandpaper, varnish and anti-foul are noticeably on the increase, along with, “When is the best time to go afloat?” and “What’s the best way to…? questions . The phone has started to ring with small repair jobs and customers calling to make arrangements for boats arriving by water or road.
The arrival of April means the end of dredging is in sight. This annual task is essential to clear away silt brought in by winter storms and maintain a floating marina. The job is relentless, as it involves preparation at high tide (when there is enough water to go afloat to maintain pipes etc.) and at low tide the dredger can begin its work clearing away mud and debris. And so the days go by – filled with the same routine as the dredger slowly makes its way along the river bed – but it is nearly over now. Half the pontoons are back in place and have been quickly filled by our annual berth holders keen to go afloat for the Easter Break.
Both workshops have been busy with jobs now pouring in for paint, varnish work or repair. ‘Harrier’, a lovely blue-water yacht, came in for an anti-foul and general maintenance and is now back afloat in our marina. ‘Vagabond’ has been sold and is finishing her restoration and repair before she goes afloat. ‘Clio’ popped in for a rub down and varnish and ‘Samurai’, a Vashti class classic yacht, is currently receiving a freshen up of varnish and paint work. The new season’s jobs have begun.
We are still searching for the owners of ‘Lady Emily’ recovered from the Sutton Hoo side of the river, after she broke free from winter storms. We would love to reunite her with her owner so any information that can help us would be welcomed.