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“Hello Buoys!”

Tim and Bob and Keith C have been puzzling about mooring the two Sonars alongside each other, especially in the hard blows of this and probably next winter, and keeping them safe and well fendered.

With a couple of caveats, Tim's probably solved it, with a little help from Dart Harbour and a lot from Compass Marine. Here he is carryig the buoys in the same way he carried them to his car from Compass on Friday 20th October 2017, feeling very much like a cross between a weightlifter and a Barbie Doll.

He was accosted several times as he walked through the Dartmouth Food Festival by people with very strange looks on their faces. As he dared a pristinely uniformed Police Officer not to laugh the gentleman, probably channelling Dixon of Dock Green [yes, some of us are old enough to remember. The rest of you have Google!], the gentleman from the blue lamp said “I was trying to think of something to say that wasn't awkward!”

Ha! And he wasn't the one carrying them! Then he remembered 1994 advert with model Eva Herzigová in a Wonderbra gazing down at her breasts with the caption "Hello Boys", ambiguously addressing either male admirers or her breasts.

“The words you were after were 'Hello Buoys!'” he told them. Unusually for Tim he got a laugh; a real one! His head will now be as big as his buoys!

But what on earth are we going to do with them?

We're making a Fender Boom.

A Fender Boom?


On his voyages around Dart Harbour as a DHNA Yacht Taxi skipper, Tim found and snapped this:

Then he showed Bob and Keith. It was a eureka moment.

First Tim asked Matt, DHNA's Moorings Manager, if he had any material we could take off his hands from his discard pile. And he told us the history of Fender Booms.

When DHNA went to double moored boats on trot moorings [moored for and aft, like our Sonars] they supplied those owners who wanted them with a Fender Boom, and all went well until the lower part of the buoy got fouled with marine growth, especially barnacles. In hard weather the booms were rotated gently by the waves and the barnacles started gently to abrade the boats they were between, causing a lot of avoidable damage. That's not considered to be good. They were junked, all except this example in the picture. And you can see the marine growth on its nether regions.

Who knew?

Well, Matt did, obviously!

Since Keith C was still swimming round Crete, Bob and Tim made the decision. The buoys are to be anti-fouled, and then they are also going to be restrained from rotating. And skippers and those who inspect the moorings each week in winter, are being asked very sweetly to clean any marine growth off.

Compass Marine gave Dart Sailability the best discount it was able. They're one of Dartmouth's best kept open secrets, are Compass. They did all the buoyage for the last Summer Olympics in the UK.

Bob may have an aluminium pipe in his garage, or we may have to buy one. The pipe is used to keey the buoys apart. They're hollow.

One thing those of us charged with spending the charity's money with care are very aware of is how much effort it takes to win donations and grants in the first place. The other thing is that we only spend it for a reason, and in furtherance of the objectives of Dart Sailability.

This Fender Boom will help to protect our Sonars, a major asset for us, and in regular use almost every Wednesday evening when we go out with experienced skippers and those members who want to experience keelboat racing in a competitive and bigger fleet. We're also about to use them to train up more keelboat instructors so we can create even better sailing for you.

Added to that, mooring on a trot mooring is sometimes awkward for the less experienced skipper. The Fender Boom will make approaching the mooring very much easier.

The overall objective?

To protect our investment in our Sonars, and to pilot this system for any time we need to mooring two boats abreast on an exposed mooring.

We may have to run guided tours so you can all say “Hello Buoys!”

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