I always get a little down when someone says to me ‘season’s coming to a close’…… it’s like being turfed out of your favourite restaurant at the end of the night because everyone who works there wants to go home….. We should enjoy ourselves based upon our own discovery and ideals.
It’s a beautiful day out there, why aren’t we out? Let’s go Winter Boating!
So, if your idea of boating is sunbathing on the foredeck in the afternoon, the mere suggestion of such with an air temperature of 4 degrees, coupled with the fact that it’s pitch black at 1700, is likely to make you want to stick your swimming costume up my nose. But boating is managing expectations, & planning; as well we know…..
Working in the industry
Our summers are busy and we don’t get a lot of time for our own boating as there’s always the opportunity to turn the ‘not currently booked’ day into a last minute session to help someone learn a skill on board or move their boat to help them enjoy the net day more.. Winter is a different story.
When I was growing up, I have many memories of being out walking in the Peak district (we lived about as far inland as you can get without heading towards the sea on the other side!). All of my fondest memories include a snowdrift or the image of a stove behind a wall with mittens and a hat. I’m sure someone had sold it well to drag me there in the first place. If we’re dressed appropriately and understand what we’re going out to, the environment we meet at this time of year is arguably the most colourful, beautiful and tranquil…
My Grandfather did regularly tell us that there was no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes…
Winter for Leisure
Only last week, we took a couple out into the harbour as the weather in October had thwarted their ability to achieve the handling goals we’d desired. The first day in December has just brought a beautifully still, clear and crisp morning with the perfect opportunity to explore the handling characteristics of a boat that needs good weather to be enjoyable. although removing ice from the boats in the morning adds a little to the safety management.
Winter for work
The earlier part of the week saw us undertaking an ‘advanced’ powerboat course for some folks who need a commercial qualification to move forwards with their activities working on the water. Ironically, this course can be run in much more unpleasant conditions due to the expectations of a commercial skipper, although the same band of pleasant weather meant that we focussed on the fine tuning and precision in manouvres rather than coming home in a storm!!
There’s also navigation to be learnt, Winter time is a perfect opportunity to bolster the unpleasant boating days with a little workup on how to use charts, electronics and associated tools to get us there and back successfully. This skill development is only successful when immediately put into action on the water. Our interactive tools in the classroom make this relevant and fun!!
We keep people’s minds current with Gift vouchers in the run up to Christmas. It’s good to be flexible so that people can use these to come out for a course, have a half day or day experience driving at sea. We also create hot chocolate and cookie infused navigation in the classroom throughout the winter and early spring.
Booking course places has been made easy and we regularly supply the course ‘in advance’ in the form of a gift voucher for Christmas, Birthdays or other special occasions.
Gift vouchers have helped us tailor precisely peoples expectations to the activities, ensuring that we ALWAYS ‘leave people wanting more’
Happy Christmas boating.