What Do You Do In The Winter?

What Do You Do In The Winter?

by Lynn Chase

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23rd February 2024

Having been open seven days a week from Easter until the end of October, it would be lovely to think that we down tools, put the kettle on and put our feet up until Spring, but sadly there isn’t time. After we have put the kettle on and had a cuppa or two, we find our pencil and paper and start our work lists. We’ll have already worked out in advance which boats will be going down to our friends at Pyrford Marina and the Locker Maintenance & Supply Company to visit their dry docks, and we’ll already know what works are required while they are there. Some will simply need pressure washing and re hull blacking, others will have new anodes or welding work, but the biggest challenge of all is getting the boats to down to Pyrford and back. The short day light hours, flooding, fallen trees, flooding, National Trust works schedule, flooding – you get the picture, its never easy.

Now, back to those work lists. Each boat will received bespoke maintenance based on its requirement. Internally, one might need new kitchen worktops, or the shower might need replacing, another boat might want new flooring or a fridge or cooker. We go through each boat looking for faults to fix. We’ll have Engineering works list to be completed as well. One boat might need a new exhaust while another might need a gearbox rebuild or pump, and they definitely all need oil changes and antifreeze ready for the winter and their water systems will need draining. Another list of work will be the External works where we look at repainting, deck board condition, seating, touch-up work, signwriting, fenders etc. And our fabulous housekeeping team don’t get off scot free either, at the end of the season they take down, laundered, dry, press and pack up all the curtains and cover all soft furnishings and pack away all the linen into our lovely new dry stores, and in February will start the deep cleaning and the preparation of each boat whilst continuing to fault find as they go. This annual process continues through fair weather and foul and the only thing that stops it is when the boathouse floods, and when that happens we write another ‘to’do’ list of things that will need addressing such as mopping, sweeping, shovelling and tidying.

Its challenging stuff and I really don’t think we’d be still doing it if we didn’t love it as much as well do, so be assured we are working hard to get everything ship shape and Bristol fashion ready for Spring, and we are really looking forward to our 2024 season and hope we see you all very soon.