The UK’s marine assistance breakdown service Sea Start has experienced one of its busiest periods, with call outs to engine breakdowns at sea amongst the busiest on record.
It’s blaming owners’ “desperate rush to feel freedom” overshadowing much of the normal spring preparation made by conscientious owners.
“The boating population have left their berths en masse,” 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,” says Nick. “This would have avoided a large number of the faults that are being experienced. Many of the breakdowns would have been preventable. Just tightening up drive belts and checking sea cocks would prevent a large proportion of these failures.”
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.
Of bank holiday Monday, he says: “Between 11:00 and 12:00 we were called up to assist an unbelievable number of breakdowns. Coming back into Hamble on the Sea Start RIB after attending several of them, I was greeted literally by a wall of boats coming out of the river. I have never seen anything like it.”