We Purchased Sandpiper back in November 2017 and fortunately the previous owner, Geoff, had paid for its berthing on the hard at Eastney with Eastney Cruising Association ( ECA )
ECA have a huge membership compared to ours and on Summer weekends they have problems parking all the sailing members’ cars on their available space, so their larger boats need to be cleared from the yard prior to car parking spaces being marked out for the summer.
They don’t keep their big boats on trailers and so all the cradles, stands and wooden props that were used are tidied up and put out of sight.
There are two mini tractors for moving dayboats and fishing dories, an old 4wd tractor with a bucket and forks for tidying the park and a very big old 4wd tractor for lifting and launching the bigger boats with a huge hydraulic WiseLift trailer:
The sheer size of the rig gives them big maneuvering problems, but all the launching team are volunteers and respect their key driver’s opinion about what can and can’t be done with his unwieldy equipment.
On the day we planned to launch, Friday 9th April, they had 7 boats on the list, and just like at GSC, they only have about 2 1/2 hours on the tide to do it in. But it just didn’t work out on Friday due to badly placed boats and a big “Humbug” type boat having to be hurriedly recovered nearly straight away when water was found pouring into the engine room through both outdrives. When the tide had receded and the ECA volunteers had eaten their lunch they put Sandpiper in the slings and left her there overnight whilst we spent yet another night down there in our little caravan at Bosham until the following day when we were launched into Hayling Harbour with no problems.
Geoff then took us for a quick tour of the huge expanse of water which is Hayling harbour at high tide and we also went half a mile out into the Solent to get our bearings ready for departure.
Another ECA member, Henry, kindly gave use temporary use of his nearby (drying) pontoon berth for a week whilst we took our car and caravan home in order to return on the train when tides and wind were favourable to start the long trip home.