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October 2020: Well, the gales have arrived along with the rain and early darkness with the clocks going back. Quite a few boats laying up in the Poole & Wareham area now. No surprise with threat of more restrictions & unsettled weather now approaching. Boat sales might be slowing down again which is no surprise. This year has not been easy and so many major changes in the harbours that we have been used to visiting. Lymington & Yarmouth are at least two that are no longer the way they once were. No more just pulling in spontaneously, Lymington Quay has reduced space & all the bouy moorings off the quay have gone, Yarmouth requires you book a space. I guess we'll adapt but sad to see some of these changes. Then I suppose people were saying these things thirty years ago as well.

September 2020: A few vessels getting sold subject to survey, possibly people starting to think that sailing is a good way to enjoy life without the risk to life caused by being too close to others. Several vessels fitted with teak decks coming onto the market & bringing with them the problems of teak decks.

Severely worn teak deck. the dark patches are where water has got beneath the teak & not dried out after rain shower.

The teak deck on most GRP vessels is quite thin, and years of cleaning, scrubbing & general wear have taken their toll meaning that if you entertain a vessel with the original teak deck, there is a chance that you might have to repair/replace or otherwise be prepared to take a hit on selling price at some stage, In one or two cases I am aware of, the troublesome teak deck on an asking price of £29000 cost the owner a reduction of £10000. Buyer & owner beware!

August 2020: Boat sales do appear to be on the increase now with a few more yacht survey requests for quotes. One or two less than well maintained vessels around as well. A recent inspection on a well known 37ft 2009 build vessel showed up a few serious issues. Folding prop so badly corroded that the interlocking teeth on the base of the water_in_gearboxblades on the point of jumping,

Saildrive gearbox full up with seawater & oil, Alloy rudder stock so badly corroded that it was distorting the rudder moulding at the top of the rudder due to corrosion expansion.

MDF joinery inside beginning to blow because of water ingress. One might expect more from an £80,000 vessel.

July 2020: We can once again use our boats as they were meant to be used. Then the weather comes. End of June & early July brings gales. This means the first weekend is the middle of July for many of us. The yards still have , at a guess, about 70% of the winter boats still ashore. Surveys for insurance are at a low point understandably. One or two buyers creeping back into the market though.
Lockdown June 2020: Well, not so much lockdown as locked in, Castle Cove Yacht Club in Portland Harbour have their own yacht storage compound with a number of vessels & yachts ashore, from around 22ft - 34ft. They do not have their own crane for launching & rely on an outside contractor. The access Road which runs high up along the harbour side with houses has started to fall away due to labdslip & no crane operator is so far willing to risk venturing their valuable & very heavy mobile crane to the end of the road where the yard is located. No possibility of getting the boats launched. Now that's a problem, although perhaps even worse for the property owners whose houses are at risk.
Lockdown April 2020: Some surveys might still be possible including fishing vessel inspections. There is a possibility that the MCA & Seafish may consider acceptance if the surveyor is happy to proceed. Each instruction will be carefully considered. Main points would be that the vessel is accessible, no other operators & no owner or builder closeby & generally the surveyor is totally isolated from all & any person/s. By all means discuss directly or use the contact form here.

Coronavirus: even if it was possible to undertake limited professional work including surveys, many yards are now completely locked down & closed unless it is for emergencies. The MCA issued a notice to MCA & Seafish surveyors closing down fishing vessel inspections see this notice. Some professional emergency boat work would still be allowed if the contractor felt secure.
If you own a vessel that is in a marina or yard & in lockdown & realise that a potential problem may occur, a dehumidifier or other electrical mains unit plugged in that potetially could overheat, risk of sinking or other major potential damage then call the yard & explain & in most cases safety arrangements either allowing you in to make safe or getting yard security to attend to the problem will be allowed as a risk of fire or other problems can cause extreme danger to life & property.

March 2020: Coronavirus is the news of the day now. Nothing good to say about it but getting the boat ready & using it....if we are still allowed to, may well be the best way to keep our distance from one another without trying. No one will come near you when antifouling or varnishing. Out on the sea or on the mooring is a great way to distance yourself from crowds as well. So ..having a boat is still a healthy choice. The longer on the boat, the safer we will all be!
Late February 2020: The third weekend in a row when full gales & flooding have been prevalent throughout the country & no less than here on the south coast. Each weekend been down to check the cover on Dalrymple, our 12 Ton Hillyard & each weekend it is just about OK but a lot of other covers in shreds. A 30ft wooden mast blown off the trestles. and yard fencing panels destroyed but fortunately for most owners, very little other damage done. Still some vessels with all sails mounted though. Severe risk if the jib furling starts to creep. Potential to cause domino effect with other vessels. You might not even be insured for that risk as insurers expect an owner to keep the vessel safe.

January 2020: The New Year came in quietly & not too cold down here in Dorset. Very quiet time in the boatyards. The only surveys being requested are for MCA Fishing Vessel registration surveys & one or two new build Fishing Vessels on behalf of Seafish. One or two sailing boats getting sold after a long timeon the market but for a very large reduction in price. One Colvic Atlanta 31 originally just under £20,000 sold for £10,000. Good time to buy...perhaps not too good to sell though. New rules came into force for New Build Fishing Vessels at the beginning of the year & existing fishing vessel surveys are quite all encompassing plus there are only 19 (at last count) surveyors for the whole of the UK including Ireland that are authorised to undertake this work for the MCA.


Xmas Video







click on the picture for the Xmas Video


October/November. The yards hve been a bit late filling up but it seems that all those who are going ashore are now ashore. Rain & wind of remarkable extremes did not cause too much damage ajthough some ofthe very high tides were extreme. The walkways at Ridge Wharf were underwater with an extreme tide of 2.5m which, for Poole bearing in mind the normal high spring is usually about 2.1m or 2.2m is very high.and the yachts were all floating above the pontoons with fenders over the top of the walkways.

Memories of August: We were unexpectedly the centre of the wing walking bi-plane demonstation in Swanage. Best seat in the house...and free..





When these planes dive straight at you, the engine noise & the sheer sight of this can be very disconcerting to say the least. Leaves you with a hint of what it must have been like to be on the ground with an enemy aircraft coming for you in the 1914/18 war.

August 2019: well..the extreme weather did arrive and the weekend of the 10 August saw very severe gales along the south coast with gusts of 80 mph at the Needles although perhaps accentuated by the geography of that location, nevertheless in Poole gusts of 57 mph were quite exceptional & too frequent. At least one vessel broke her moorings and ended up on shoal ground west of the ferry terminal. One of the very rare times I was unable to get out to Dalrymple only 75 mtrs off the beach because of the conditions Photo: 10- ton Hillyard a short distance off beach in 50mph winds
July 2019: A large mooring barge (about 45 tons) whilst trying to manoeuvre between moored yachts near Lake immediately East of the Marines base in Poole Harbour got caught in the strong flood tide and swept onto a Westerly Fulmar, nearly fetching the mast down and causing substantial damage as the vertical ground post on the barge appeared to catch the rigging as it passed down the side of the vessel. CCTV caught the accident fortunately for the owner of the Westerly.
May 2019: Used boat sales do appear to be quite slow for the older vessel with continuing low prices. Some owners are holding out for the best price, but unless the vessel is outstanding or scarce, then buyers are finding owners who really want to sell....& at the buyer's price. These low prices tend to make the cost of a survey seem quite expensive in relation, but although an older vessel can be a bargain price, any major issues still cost the same to fix on a 30 year old 26ft vessel at £4000 as they would on a 4 year old 26ft vessel at £30000..sometimes more. Worth bearing in mind.

March/April 2019: Sudden week of Summer weather followed by an ongoing week of mid winter temperatures and unsettled weather as I write this. Boatyards all busy now getting ready although come to a bit of a stop at the moment due to the cold.
This year no Beaulieu Boat Jumble & no Dorset Boat Jumble. Bit disappointing..have to purchase full priceantifouling and cannot buy a lot of things we did know we didn't want either!

Jan/Feb 2019: Late January and early February brought some very low temperatures & in parts of inland Dorset, a quantity of snow. Less snow on the coast but still some low temperatures. -5c in Wareham overnight causing the marina at Ridge Wharf to freeze over. Even boats afloat can be at risk of engines & other systems being damaged with no antifreeze or system drainage on calorifier systems if the temperatures remain low for too many hours.

December 2018: Have a Happy Christmas to all who see this. Click on the image to access the short Xmas video