Helping hands


On Friday, all being well, my Contessa 32 Minstrel Boy, will be hauled into the winking daylight as she is travel-hoisted into the boatyard at the top of the shallow River Roach in Essex. I am hoping the bottom won’t be festooned with too many tiny claws cringing away from the sunlight and fresh air, but I am not, as we say in Essex, holding my breath.

I am joining a band of adventurous yachtsmen called the Roach Sailing Association (RSA) who are campaigning to get some decent scrubbing posts built on the Low Water tideline. My own view is that no anti-fouling works – since the outlawing of TBT – so rather than go to the great expense, not to mention considerable labour of preparing and applying coatings which fail miserably to deny Mr Mollusc a home, I would rather spend a tide scrubbing off before going on a cruise.

The way the world is going, environmentally speaking, scrubbing posts will be making a comeback around our coasts as anti-fouling paint is legislated into ever more milder forms.