Hello to all our berth holders and customers from the team at Cox’s Boatyard. For the first time in several years, we recently had all the shareholders together in the same room at the same time, so we took the opportunity to capture them in the photograph below so that you can recognise some of the faces you may have seen around the yard! The photo also features nearly all of the fantastic team who work here, apart from two people who were on holiday at the time it was taken. Every single person plays a key role in the success of Cox’s Boatyard, and it’s thanks to each and every one of them that the business goes from strength to strength. We have had a full workshop throughout the year, and it’s been particularly busy throughout spring and summer while we completed a wide range of work on various boats and engines, as well as building two bird-nesting pontoons for a reservoir in Staffordshire.
Electric Pods – We have fitted electric pods to several small sailing cruisers as they are now increasing in popularity as a great way of propelling small craft without sails or quanting. The pods are very neat and tidy units, which fit well on most sailing boats, and we can fit different size batteries and pods depending on each craft’s specification. The pods enable the boats to cruise for about 4–6 hours, depending on the speed and weather conditions, and they are very environmentally friendly. We have also fitted inboard electric motors with batteries and controllers to some craft, and these are equally quiet and energy-efficient.
Storage – We altered the way we stored craft in the workshop this winter and summer. In the past we stored many boats inside over winter, but now we store very few in the main workshop as we have a constant turnaround which requires us to move boats in and out on a regular basis. The new arrangement frees up more space and allows us to fully utilise the bay at the far end of the workshop.
Painting Work – This winter we used the extra internal space created by this new arrangement to paint several boats. The steady and clever hands of our skilled employees have transformed several craft to such an extent that they now look like new! We mainly paint boats with epoxy paint, which should last for several years if well maintained, and the paint system we use can match almost any colour our customers request, so if you fancy a makeover for your boat, let us know!
Engineering Work – Our engineering team has also been very busy, from repairing and installing bow thrusters, to servicing and repairing both outboard and inboard engines from a wide variety of manufacturers. Bow thrusters can be fitted into most GRP boats and we have an extensive range of specialised tools to work on most sizes and makes of outboard motors. We also carry out fault-finding on boats and can install extra equipment as required.
Training – Finding good training courses for the marine sector, especially for the unique skills we need here at Cox’s, is very difficult, so we recently worked with a training company which tailor-made a two-day, in-house training course for our two key electricians. The course ensured they understood and met all the current regulations and best practices for marine electrical installations, and I am pleased to report that they both passed and are now putting their training into excellent practice on a daily basis.
Inflatable Boats and Ribs – One of our less well-known skills is the repair of most makes and models of inflatable boats and ribs. We have several years’ experience in this field so if you have an inflatable which is leaking or damaged, please speak to us as we should be able to help.
Office Move – In the autumn our existing office building will be lifted and repositioned to one side so that we can prepare the ground it currently occupies for a new, larger office, which will also incorporate a new canteen/meeting room. Temporarily moving the old office like this will allow us to keep it operational while its replacement is moved on site and being fitted out ready for us to move straight in. We are currently finalising the details of this project but we hope to have it completed before the main lifting season for winter storage. Once we have moved into the new office, the old office will be removed and will be available for sale, so if you know someone who might be interested, we are open to any sensible offers. The building is about 12 years old and we have had it since it was new (so one careful owner!). It comes with a pitched roof and cladding, and it can be easily lifted on to a lorry and transported to most locations.
Terms and Conditions – In the spring of 2023, an extra set of Terms and Business Conditions was sent out to all berth holders and storage customers. We are working to merge these additions into the main Terms and Conditions, which will then need to be signed by all berth holders and storage customers on an annual basis. These documents will include important information about the wellbeing, health and safety of our lovely customers and their equally lovely craft, and will be attached to the Spring Newsletter 2024. Although we are very fortunate that our customers mostly settle invoices on time, the Terms will include a reminder that all payments are due within 30 days, and after that we have the right to charge interest.
Winter Storage – Although we are all enjoying a great summer, it does mean that autumn is on the horizon and that we need to start thinking about winter. The winter storage form is attached, and we would be grateful if you could return it as soon as possible so that we can get your work and boats booked in. Your preferred launch date in 2024 is especially important as this helps us efficiently allocate your craft’s location in the storage area. Please note Easter Sunday next year is early on the 31st March 2024. If you are planning to complete any work on your boat yourself over the winter, please let us know what you are doing and when, even if you are just going to clean it in the spring, as this information helps with the smooth running of the boatyard for everyone.
Winter Electricity Supply – As an increasing number of boats have mains electric onboard, and more customers require their boats to be plugged in over winter, we have a system where every craft requiring electricity, whether it is ashore or afloat, has an electricity meter linked to its winter supply. This may be a different meter to the usual mooring meter and will be read fortnightly throughout the winter, with the electricity consumption being invoiced once the craft is launched. There has previously been a little confusion around this system, so if you are still unsure, please talk to us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this Newsletter. Enjoy the last of the summer and your time on the water, and thank you for your continuing custom and support. Don’t hesitate to contact the office if you have any queries, or comments, and please, please, return those winter storage forms!
Eric Bishop, Manager, Cox’s Boatyard Ltd