26 May 2020:
At last lockdown has been partially relaxed and sailors who have been dreaming of being out on the water once more have at last been able to head away from their berths, most of them for the first time this year.
In their desperate rush to feel freedom at last, however, many have skipped over much of the normal spring preparation that would have taken place, to take advantage of the spectacular summer weather that the past few weeks, and especially this weekend’s bank holiday period, has presented.
Breakdown service Sea Start has just experienced one of the biggest periods ever, in the last few days, with call outs to engine breakdowns at sea amongst the busiest on record.
“The boating population have left their berths en masse this weekend,” observes Sea Starts founder and MD, Nick Eales. “We have received a record number of call outs, many of them to report quite serious failures. It’s not a great way to start the season.”
“We can’t emphasise enough now important it is to carry out a good set of pre-season engine checks,” adds Nick. “This would have avoided a large number of the faults that are being experienced. Many of the breakdowns would have been preventable.”
Sea Start, like many marine companies who rely on boaters going afloat, had all but shut its doors over the past ten weeks. Renewals of the annual subscription that brings a Sea Start RIB and engineer to a yacht’s assistance 24/7 were down 60%.
“We are getting busy again now,” says Nick, whose team of engineers along the UK’s South Coast and Channel Islands have been getting back to work.