‘The North Wind does blow and we shall have snow’ and what does a boat yard do then? “Work as usual”, comes the stalwart reply. Two extra jumpers, a pair of under trousers and a strong spirit is all that is required by those used to being out in all weathers.
December brought rain and lots of it, followed by cold icy blasts that made their way through your clothing and bit hard at exposed areas. Eventually, the wind dropped and rain turned into a sprinkling of white stuff making the yard look fresh and new, well for a couple of days, before it turned to slippery ice and muddy puddles. Pontoons covered in ice were ventured upon only by experienced boat owners and river men. Two of our hardiest customers made their way up the Deben to finally come onto the hard for their winter storage. They have extended their sailing window to its fullest and have arrived even later than previous years.
The river has been still and calm for many days at a time with spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Anyone who has witnessed the Deben at dawn has seen something special that will stay with them in their hearts forever. A flash of blue reveals the kingfisher is about but the Oyster Catchers have gone quiet. Our regular cormorant hangs round for a feed in the basin at low water, while green shank, swans, ducks and geese enjoy the freedom of having the river to themselves.
A launch in our small workshop received new engine beds and floor, blast and a paint. She shares the space with Simper’s ‘Three Sisters’, a traditional wooden clinker built day boat, one of the last vessels built by Frank Knights. She is having her floors removed, bilges cleaned and repainted as well as engine removal, clean up and replace. Work continues in our large workshop on the quay constructing a steel mooring barge.
Now your Christmas lists are complete, Simon would like you to turn your focus to your pre-launch work list. If you plan ahead, send it to Simon (or come in to discuss it with him) at this quiet time of year, work can be completed before your launch date. Last minute requests during traditional launching months can lead to disappointment.
We will be closed for the Christmas break from 23rd to 27th December and then again for New Year’s Day. We wish all our friends and customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.