New Slipways Complete

posted 21 Sep 2013, 06:07 by Graham Morley   [ updated 21 Sep 2013, 06:16 ]
A significant milestone in Minima Yacht Club’s rejuvenation programme was reached on 19 September 2013, when the rebuilt upstream slip of Minima’s dinghy park landing stage was completed by a small working party led by Hon. Bosun Brian Cheetham. Our landing stages are among the club’s chief amenities.

The volunteers who also worked on the project since before this year’s Regatta are members Ron Sexton, Alan Jales, Ali Banks, John Forbes and Andy Cuckson. Ron, Brian, Alan and John in fact spent the majority of their time anything up to chest deep in the river, while removing and replacing steel bracketry and the seemingly endless amounts of timber which goes into these ramps.

Plans to complete both slips in time for the Regatta were scuppered only by a shortage of man-hours. The downstream slip was finished in time, and when asked, our visitors from Tamesis Club said they were very happy with the new non-slip treads. This stuff is like really thick, coarse sandpaper, made into stiff boards ready for screwing down. Grip is great on rubber boots. It’s also guaranteed to take the skin off your knees, but now you should do less falling over! Brian Cheetham was hoping the non-slip treads would be so uncomfortable to walk on that the geese and swans would be dissuaded from using and fouling the ramps. They weren’t – and they quickly moved back in. New ‘swan gates’ will be fitted as soon as possible.

I must admit I really liked ripping up the old decking with a crowbar the best!

Andy Cuckson

(Photos by the author and Brian Cheetham)

The downstream slip, as used at the Regatta, but now with an extension fitted to cope with low water. Both slips are considerably longer than before. Some non-slip treads were left over, so we put some on the level sections.

Brian waits patiently for the next power boat wash.

The first and last battens were nailed in place...

 ...and the rest positioned by parallax.

A street pigeon inspects the work.

Andy and Brian demonstrate how to screw things onto pine boards.
1. You mostly use a hammer ... it’s easier.

2. Hammer it about ¾ of the way in, then use the screwdriver.

The finished upstream slip. Note the dark timber ‘block’ at the water’s edge. This is a guard rail, mostly submerged, intended to stop trolley wheels jamming in the gap next to the concrete bank.