Its been a busy winter with work on our own dayboats, houseboats and customer vessels. One of the things I wanted to implement for the new season was a Facebook page, complete with Tripadvisor app. You can view it here....
Happy New Year to all our customers and friends! December was a busy month with the rear bulkhead replacement on 'Mistral' a GRP hull with a wooden top. As is often the case, the job expanded to include some deck replacement, but we managed to keep to budget.
As well as this job, we took some more boats out for winter storage, removed the keel from a 1930's quarter deck yacht and planted 21 trees.
All in all, a busy end to a busy year. Lets hope for more of the same in 2016!
This month saw the end of the 'season', at least as far as our dayboats and houseboats go. Its now time to set boats on the hard standing for winter storage. This one, MoMo, hasn't been out for a few years and at 34 feet long is one of the larger ones we can store.
We've been working on a few boat too. Golden Mean, a 50 foot inland and coastal sailing boat has a hull repaint. She was too big to take into the workshop, so we did it from the water.
In the workshop was April Dream for cleaning, varnishing and painting. We used a high performance polyurethane varnish called Coelan. Its reputed to give many years of service before re-coating. We'll be using it on our project boat 'Beetle' in due course.
There is now another boat in the workshop, with a couple more lined up. Hopefully that'll keep us busy until the New Year!
We feature in this months 'Classic Boat ' under the Yard News section. There are pictures of Luke, Nate and Ollie the cat. Available from all good newsagents etc.
....is very pretty. Taken this morning at about 6:45am.
Alas, looks like rain for the next few days now.
This week we've had a 30 foot boat in for hull painting and some other minor work, such as seacock servicing. Although not the biggest boat we've worked on, its certainly one of the heaviest and gave the winch a good workout. The slideshow below shows the transformation, she looked great in her new coat of Oxford blue.
A great job by Stephen and Luke, and good work by Beth on winch operating duty helping to get her into the workshop.
Its been a busy few weeks, since I last wrote, but with the school holidays over, its a little quieter. We've been catching up on some jobs around the yard before the winter work starts, but there has still been time to work on Beetle, our restoration project.
One of our moorers mentioned some items he'd seen in a charity shop in Beccles, and they sounded like just what we were after. We had one broken chain plate, but this set of four from the St. Elisabeth Hospice will do nicely.
Ollie the cat had viewed Beetle as his personal sleeping platform during August, but he's now retreated to our barge 'Misterton' where its a lot warmer.
We needed to move an (almost...) empty shipping container around the yard to a new position. Normally this would require a specialist lorry or a crane, but we came up with an alternative. By bolting a drawbar we made to the front.....
.....and bolting some stub axles to the sides....
....we made a 'trailer'!
Its not the most manoeuvrable thing, but it did the job and provided lots of entertainment for the people on the caravan site.
Its been a busy month. We started off with the Beccles Charter weekend, including the river parade. Unfortunately the weather wasn't so good, and the people on the waterbikes pedalled bravely through the rain.
We had moved Misterton onto the riverfront and it proved to be a useful staging point for the 'Queen Mary' and Betsie Jane. The pipers were real troupers, playing in the biggest downpour of the day with no weather protection.
The caravan site, houseboats and dayboats have all been busy and looks like it will stay that way through August. Some smaller boat repair jobs have been done, along with a superstructure repaint on Farina, here she is just after launching, looking good!
Finally, we've brought a 1910 Ernest Woods Broads sailing cruiser as a restoration project (don't we have too many of those already?) She needs a bit of work, but it'll be good to get such a graceful old boat back on the water.
Occasionally (very occasionally it must be said) friends from my former work life ask me about my new job and what I like about it. 'Driving the tractor' is usually my first response. It had been many years since I'd last driven one, it was something I did in my teens, helping out on local farms. The tractor here at Hippersons Boatyard has had one carefull owner prior to us - the Queen. It came from Sandringham estates, where I think it also had a relatively easy life.
It has been looking a bit tired, so we decided to give it makeover. From the front its not too bad.....
.....from the top though, the paint was faded and there was rust showing through.
We stripped all the bodywork off and the preparation work began.
The finished result looks good, we've gone for a vintage International Harvester colour and black wheels. There is also now a solar panel on the roof to keep the battery topped up and an orange flashing light, well, just because we could.
As an update, we got our seat back from Perkins & Gibbs upholsterers who have done a great job fixing the threadbare original and its finished the tractor off nicely. In fact, several of the regulars on the yard have asked about 'the new tractor'!