Clear blue skies and sunny spells have kept boats afloat longer this month, extending the season that usually ends in October for most waterborne folk. We are seeing this year after year – just as the traditional season comes to an end – a month of good weather falls upon us – and this year was no exception. Lessons were learnt from last year and so our regular customers delayed their lift outs and enjoyed one more month afloat. That allowed time for clearing and tidying the yard getting ready for lay up season which consists of busy days lifting and storing ashore on every tide.
‘Papillon’ a 60′ widebeam canal barge turned up brand new on a lorry but had to go into the shed for 3 days prior to launch as she had been damaged in transit. Once repaired and repainted, she was launched and headed off for her new home in Bass’s Dock, Ferry Quay. ‘Hannah Rose’ a Westerley 33 bilge keel arrived be water from further down the Deben, to be lifted out and gel stripped ready for Osmosis work later on in the winter. Buster – A historic Atlantis 27 originally designed to be dropped from aircraft to rescue people in the sea, returned to the yard for her winter quarters.
Simper’s 1950’s wooden dingy ‘Shuffler’ came in for a gentle shot blast inside and out, taking off all the old paint and vanish to restore her to her original wood. She looked tiny in the crane brothers, which lifted this precious load onto a road trailer so she could head back home for a fresh vanish coat and storing ashore until next season.
A notable moment this month was when Simon (who unashamedly prefers twin diesel engines to a stick and rag set up) was finally persuaded to go sailing on a small 28′ Mirage. Now he will tell you he hated it – but he was witnessed racing bigger expensive yachts, outstripping their efforts with his earthy style of haul in the sails, fight the weather helm and hold her tight to the wind. I don’t think that Mirage has been sailed so hard since she was first launched in1978 but she held up and outperformed even Simon’s expectations.