It snowed and it froze – but life on the yard continued at a pace. The worst of the weather saw heavy snowfall and icy blasts that closed schools and blocked roads with drifts four feet deep. Even the Deben slowed to sluggish slush with pancake ice and mini icebergs forming unusual sights as they crowded the edges. Our marina was frozen and eerily rose and fell with the coming and going of the tide; it brought with it a creeping coldness but no sound. Bird life changed little, those who are here for the winter season, were seemingly unaffected by the harsh conditions and fed greedily on each tide. Our barn owl silently made itself known swooping low in the day time to catch scurrying mice, while the distinctive Oyster Catchers returned with noisy calls, plodding up and down the mud shaking their heads at each other in a seemingly never ending argument.
The large barge in our workshop had to be finished to a deadline, so with the diesel heater on full blast not a beat was missed. This 55′ liveaboard barge has no engines or propeller and was purpose built as a houseboat. Last month, after blasting and epoxy coating, her hull was finished in gloss black. This month the whole of her super structure was sanded right down and a new door frame fitted. Epoxy primer undercoat was applied all over her topsides, coach roof and wheelhouse. She was sanded down again all over to ensure a smooth surface in preparation for two coats (six gallons) of arctic blue topcoat (cabin door and frame finished in two coats of taupe). After hardening she was taken out of the workshop for fitting of her gangway. Launching followed and finally she was taken by tug to her resting place in Bass Dock, Woodbridge right on time.
Meanwhile, in the smaller workshop Hannah Rose began her osmosis treatment with a blast and peel before drying under lamps for three weeks before her hull reached tolerable moisture levels to start a new epoxy system.
Work is beginning to flood in as our experienced customers’ thoughts turn to their season afloat. Some of our DIY customers have arrived already and begun their own scheduled work.
Note from the yard: Simon advises you all to book in early if you require repairs or preparations prior to launch. We have availability in March but April and May are already pretty much fully booked. We have been awarded an exciting contract for repairs during the summer months, so July and August have no spare capacity at all.