The start of laying up has arrived and it’s the busiest time of the year. It is now a pressing job to get the yard areas cleared, cradles repaired, props checked and blocks recovered from all the places customers have put them over the summer, when they have found a piece of wood, just the right size for their paint pot – not realising it was the very thing that had been securing their boat all winter. Matt has joined the team of yard hands and has been getting used to life on the yard – shifting large blocks and lifting hunks of wood onto pallets has been a good initiation, along with a few blowy cold days.
Yet, these few windy days have been interspersed with still, clam, sunny weeks offering a beautiful late summer. Many who have booked to come out are staring with envy at those of us still in the water enjoying these last few warm days. Moorings are emptying as all yards on the the Deben are busy lifting, laying up and winterising and we are no exception. Boats are arriving on every tide and, as happens every year, as the work increases, the nights begin to pull in, affording us less working hours.
As well as lifting and launching the yard is busy with repair work: ‘Windhover’ a Westerly Sea Hawk 34 has arrived for a full osmosis treatment, just as an iron dumb barge was launched after welding and repairs. Scooby a Sealine 23 arrived from Spain by road. A new arrival on the yard, home from her travels, she has been laid up for the winter. Willsbry a 30ft fishing boat from Felixstowe Ferry came to us for a grit blast and epoxy system to her hull and topsides and a 28’ Twister in varnish finish went into our small workshop to have varnish removed, minor repairs and recoating. She joins a launch in for refit and repair.
As October fades and November creeps on we take time to remember Mel. His bench is finally ready to be installed on the river wall, now all permissions are secured and a suitable position decided upon, so he can look fondly over his creation: a proper working boatyard on the River Deben.