Catch Tom on the box tonight

At last, reality is injected into TV coverage of boating.

In ‘Boat Yard’, Yachting Monthly columnist Tom Cunliffe presents a series on Discovery Real Time about the tribulations and the triumphs of five ordinary guys tackling major renovations on limited budgets.

The boats vary from a 1930s classic yacht to a jet-craft of unknown origin. Venues include a Yorkshire council estate, a Norfolk farmyard and Eel Pie Island. The owners are an eclectic bunch of characters too.

There’s a north-country ‘man-who-can’ with a scrapyard in his back garden, two brothers-in-law testing their family ties alongside their technical skills, a company director with the soul of an engineer, a Thames river-man and a sailing chef.

All find their fortitude plumbed to the depths, and Cunliffe ties the whole thing together in his own inimitable style.

The ten half-hour episodes run back-to-back in pairs so you can follow a complete project across an hour.

After this, nobody could imagine boats are for the privileged few again.

The series got underway last week and the next episodes are tonight at 21.00. It’s great entertainment. Don’t miss it!