Hello from Cox’s Boatyard and welcome to the Spring Newsletter. Time is flying by, and spring is almost here, with the first signs of spring flowers already emerging. This newsletter features our usual update on what we have been working on at the yard over those long winter months, but it also contains very important information about additions to our Terms and Conditions, so please ensure you read everything thoroughly.
Ruby – This lovely Herbert Woods Golden Light wooden motor cruiser came in for some maintenance and improvements, including a new transom and planking, as well as epoxy painting of the hull and re-varnishing of the cabin sides, along with some other general winter work.
Ultimate Gem – This 45-foot Broads’ motor cruiser was also in the workshop over the winter period. As well as a total repaint of the exterior, the electrics have been changed around and upgraded so that the owner can cruise around the Broads off grid. When we previously worked on this boat a couple of years ago, we fitted five solar panels to the roof, and we have now added a bigger battery bank, a large invertor incorporating a battery charger, several full ring main circuits, and 12v adaptor circuits. We have also fitted a bow thruster to help with manoeuvring her, and this is only the second craft into which we have fitted a washing machine, although this does have to be plugged into the mains! How times are changing!
Merrywind – This classic wooden Broads’ cruiser, which was originally built in Wroxham, also came in to have some of the rotten planks replaced in the hull below the water line. We also replaced a 28-foot (8.5 m) plank in a single section without any joins, which was quite a feat, and she is due back to Cox’s in the early summer to have some new coats of varnish applied that will bring her back to tip-top condition.
Petrol for Boats – When the government started the change to E10 fuel, we said we would keep you informed of any changes or trends that we have observed. It has become apparent to us that both older and smaller engines are having more fuel-related issues when they use the new E10, so we are advising that if you have an outboard motor, old petrol engine, or a small petrol engine machine (even your petrol lawn mower), then you should use E5 petrol (premium Petrol). There may be other websites or forums that advise differently, but our current advice is based on what we have learned through dealing with such engines on a regular basis.
The two photos below illustrate what we have been seeing. The darker yellow petrol is the new E10 after it has stood for three weeks in a plastic outboard fuel tank, whereas the lighter colour petrol is E5 fuel. The E5 (premium petrol) is the correct colour and shows how petrol should look even if it has been stored for a few weeks in a plastic fuel tank. Bear in mind though that if you store any type of petrol for a long time over several months, it will deteriorate no matter what grade it is.
If you are having trouble with your outboard motor or inboard engine, please contact us and we will try and help you.
Quay Heading – It feels like only a few years ago that we finished installing new quay heading to the whole marina for the first time. Now some of this wood is rotting and failing, so we are starting to replace it on a phased scheme, over several years. The first time we completely quay headed the marina originally it took us over ten years to complete. We are quay heading about two thirds of the outside river bank this time. The new replacement work on this stage has already begun and should be completed by the end of March, subject to the weather and everything else that is thrown at the contractors and us! This time we are replacing the quay heading with galvanised steel piles and wood capping, and the top will be a little higher than the old quay heading, so there will be a small grass slope to the new height. Customers who usually have boats in this area have been informed and have moved them to other areas.
Customer Satisfaction Forms – Please keep returning these, even if your comments seem minor, as these forms are a vital way for us to find out how we can change and improve our services for everyone. For the more high-tech or environmentally friendly customers, there will be an online form coming out soon as well, but this online form is at a trial stage at the moment. If it works out okay, we will most likely change over to this form of communication entirely, but we will of course listen to our customers and see what they prefer.
Disability Adaptations – If you have a registered disability and we carry out any work on your craft to make boating easier for you, there is a simple form which can be filled in so that the work is completed on a zero-rated VAT basis. We do need to know about this before any work is completed, as it’s quite difficult to backdate, and it does not include standard boat maintenance.
Disabled Parking – We have three spaces allocated for disabled parking, which are at the waters end of the main workshop) but we are finding more and more people are using these for general parking, which isn’t fair to our less able customers. If you are going to park in these spaces please display your Blue Badge, all other customers should park around the back in the main car park (although obviously not in the ‘no parking’ areas which are clearly signed as such).
Electric Points – Over the winter we have installed several more power points on the shore of one of the main aisles, and this has now increased the total amount of electricity outlets to almost the maximum amount we can have in the marina. It has also enabled us to remove the trip hazard of electric cables running across the grass from the old power points to the boats, as well as saving the time we previously had to spend moving the old cables when cutting the grass. All the power outlets throughout the marina now have the corresponding boat names on them, and the points are for these boats only. If your boat name is not on the point, please do not use it, but contact the office first, as it will be the craft owner who will be charged for this electricity. All the points have meters on them and are read on a regular basis, and in winter when boats are ashore, there are portable meters for every boat so that the correct electricity charges can be applied at the beginning of the season.
Wildlife Rescue – During the winter, this little, small-antlered fellow was found swimming in the marina and struggling to get out of the water. One of our employees pulled him out and wrapped him in some blankets. He was tired, very cold, and weak, so we moved him into the office to dry out and warm up. Once he had revived a bit, we moved him under the shelter of the toilet block for the night, and by the morning, he had moved on, so we are hoping he made a full recovery and manages to steer clear of the water from now on!
Gas – Just a reminder that we are Flogas stockists and have all sizes in stock, or on a five-day delivery timescale. All the sizes we have in Flogas match the old Calor sizes. Calor is now stopping supplying the Butane 4.5kg & 12kg and the 3.9 propane cylinder. If you need any gas, the swap over is very easy, so please call in to the office and we can help you.
This just leaves me to express the hope that you enjoy the coming season and your time on the water. Thank you for your continuing support and do not hesitate to contact the office if you have any queries. Keep safe!
Eric Bishop, Manager, Cox’s Boatyard Ltd