The annual task of lifting most of our fibreglass boats out of the water ahead of winter has now been successfully completed. This measure removes the chance of damage to the fibreglass if the water were to freeze, and storing the boats on land for a few months gives the owners the opportunity to re-apply anti-fouling paint to the hull – something most do every one or two years.
As a result of restrictions on activity due to Covid-19, a number of our moorers had taken the decision not to return their boats to the water this spring so we only had around half as big a job as last year. The heavy lifting was taken care of brilliantly by Barry Tuckey and his team from MJT Crane Hire Ltd, helped by the boat owners and volunteers from among our other moorers.
Over the winter we’ll be taking care of the various ongoing maintenance jobs around the marina. Then hopefully we’ll be in a position to get all 14 of our now-landbound boats back in the water around March 2021 and can return to our usual full-capacity business.
This morning we saw off the latest team to tackle the 128 miles of the Thames from Lechlade to London – by pedalo!
Workmates, Dan, Dom, Josh & Tom, are raising money for Age UK and attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the journey.
This had originally been due to take place back in June, at which point the record (set in 2018) stood at 4 days, 12 hours, 49 minutes & 17 seconds. But all the restrictions around the coronavirus meant they had to reschedule and, in the meantime, another team pipped them to the starting post.
So, the question is, will they break the world record that’s just been set by Alex Gibson (former GB decathlete, who was diagnosed with MND in 2018), Andy Long, Alun Thomas and Joel Reid? They made the same journey in 2 days, 15 hours, 2 minutes & 46 seconds at the end of August and have raised more than £14,000 so far for Challenging MND. This current team’s goal is to get to the finish line in under 2 days 12 hours!
You can follow Dan & the team’s progress on Instagram and support them via their charity page on JustGiving.
**UPDATE – 20th September**
Huge congratulations to Dan and his team, who completed the pedalo challenge in 2 days, 10 hours & 15 minutes – a new record!
One of the things that had long been an issue for our slipway users was the lack of somewhere convenient to get into and out of smaller vessels.
Well, we’re delighted to announce that it’s no longer a problem! Now that the slipway area has been properly cleared, we have been able to put in a 9m x 1.5m floating pontoon, which will make things much easier for people launching or recovering their small boats, canoes, kayaks, etc.
For those of you interested in the technical side, the pontoon system is RotoDock, an extremely robust, stable, non-slip platform. And we’d like to thank Wardle Marine Services for their very efficient service in supplying and installing the pontoon for us – great job.
As we celebrate two years since we bought the marina, we’ve been reflecting on what’s changed in that time. We knew we were embarking on a restoration project that would take several years to complete, but feel as though we’re now well on the way. We are grateful to all the contractors, neighbours, family, friends and of course the moorers who have helped us along the way.
Looking back at pictures of the site as it was when we acquired it, we're really encouraged to see how much difference the work we’ve done so far has made.
And with lockdown measures hopefully continuing to ease, we look forward to welcoming back our moorers and slipway users over the coming weeks, as they return to enjoy this beautiful part of the Thames.
It’s been a year since we hosted the Steam Boat Association rally here at Lechlade, when eleven beautiful steamboats of different ages, shapes and sizes were launched on the slipway and moored with us.
We were asked to choose the winner of the Thames Cup and decided that the best way to avoid showing favouritism was to delegate that responsibility to our five year-old son. He was delighted and picked ‘Zara Finn’ as the boat that he most wanted to go on…a boat that actually belongs to the SBA Chair and his wife! They very kindly gave Hugo (and Ian) a ride down the river to Ye Old Swan pub at Radcot, with Hugo steering the boat some of the way.
Ian finally had the opportunity to present the award to Kevin and Gillie Slater at the SBA AGM this March, a review of which appears in the latest issue of The Funnel magazine (Summer 2020).
Slip into the river at Lechlade…
While all our moorings are currently taken, anyone is very welcome to use our slipway to access the Thames. And our secure, on-site parking means you can leave your vehicle here and cruise the river for however long you want. We charge just £20 for the use of the slipway and one day’s parking; £5 a day for parking thereafter.
So, as the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions lift and river use returns, we look forward to welcoming more of you to the marina.