Gale break

posted in: Formanda | 0

As I write the wind is blowing around 33-40 knots more or less onto the aft end of the boat and we’re watching rainwater being bullied in troubled furrows uphill along the reverse sheer of Formanda’s decks. A good time to be sat alongside a bit of wood with several bits of string secured to it.

In Seine moments in France

posted in: Motor boating | 0

Just once in a while it’s fun to celebrate something for no great reason. In this case an image I first took on 35mm transparency film on the River Seine from the deck of our Pedro 33 Solano Incalzando, sometime in the mid 1990s.

From memory the specifics were a dawn departure downstream from Rouen, to ensure we took the travelator of a tide that flows with gusto on the tidal river Seine. In the image you can just see the hints of mist, but not long before or afterward tendrils of thick fog were curling over the rails and knitting themselves into a blanket to obscure even the bankside, just a few scant metres away. It was technically illegal for a leisure boat to proceed in such circumstances, given the commercial traffic on the river, but on 70-odd miles from Rouen to the sea there are few if any places suitable for pulling over and tying up, even on a steel motorboat. And so we put the radar on and spent a concentrated hour or so until the sun got going and broke through.

Grand Tour 10 years on

This day 10 years ago I set out on the journey of a lifetime, a 4100-mile 147-day trip around Britain and near continental harbours.

The bit I remember most about this day, which started at Port Solent and ended at Haslar just a short run away, was the disquieting feeling that I had called my own bluff. Was the plan, largely conceived on scraps of paper while rail commuting, really going to work out?

Marine customer service heroes and zeroes

What a difference a good customer experience can make.

I’ve often said you can eat an average meal at a restaurant accompanied by well-judged attention from the staff and it will far outweigh Michelin-standard fare accompanied by care-less or haughty delivery. It’s also a well-known fact that faulty goods put right by service above expectation will engender greater customer loyalty than a product that works right out of the box.

So what prompts this blog?

Well we’ve been buying rather too much kit for our boat over the past few months and the experiences have often been polarised between extremely good and disappointingly poor.

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