Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

boat ramp ettiquette

So I turn into my normal little canal bit between moored boats - and as I get closer, to my dismay, I notice a large 30' + aluminium hulled yacht dried out on the ramp. AArgh!

There is room behind her at the pontoon but how do I actually get Arwen around this monster and onto her trailer as there is barely any slip left and low water on a spring tide is fast approaching?

One of the yard team dashes down and shouts for me to turn Arwen around and head back around to the north slip instead. Easier said than done. The turning pool is small and the water is receding fast but with some fast outboard on and turning both outboard and rudder sharply, I manage to turn Arwen in the small pool and head back up the 'canal'. Another embarrassing disaster averted. Whew!

As I come alongside the pontoon on the north slip, I hang back and moor Arwen up some 8 boat lengths back from the ramp. In behind me comes two small trailer fishing boats who moor up behind. We all understand the rules........I walk up to find the yard team to check that it is still ok to run my car and trailer down their working slipway.

Imagine my surprise when I find a large 6m dive rib - a bright yellow banana - has pushed in front of us all. Imagine even more surprise when a guy in a white van then reverses his monstrous speedboat straight down the ramp and launches it in front of us all and then demands we all move so he can tie it up alongside the pontoon. He then drives off to park the car and trailer, leaving his poor girlfriend to hold a 17' long speedboat on a piece of string measuring 6'!  6' and cleated to the far bow , I lie not! It barely reached across the bow deck! The poor lady was sat on the pontoon with arms outstretched desperately trying to hold the boat on a tiny piece of 5mm string. We all of course gallantly rescued her and it was nice to see her 'let vent' when her boyfriend returned.....not that he showed any repentance whatsoever!

Chaos reigns until the yard team take control and bring order to the scene. I patiently wait with my car on the other ramp, ready to go when invited to. I also made sure that I parked well over the ramp allowing the yard crew to get their trailer down between me and the pontoon to tow out the rest waiting behind me.

It is about patience, etiquette and basic good manners really - isn't it? QAB yard team are awesome and work really hard. Always cheerful and accommodating, the least we can all do is make their job a little easier.

Suffice to say, van man then drove off leaving all the security gates that other lesser minions could shut them behind him!

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