the great unlock
or the glorious 12th - of April!
We are delighted to be welcoming back old and new faces to the marina and we can’t wait to see what this boating season will have in store for us.
January 2021 was certainly gloomier than the average January, not only was the weather poor but we were back in full Lockdown. This meant that boat owners were unable to visit their boats or the marina for the foreseeable.
On Valentine's Day we had to hold our annual 'moorers and storers' wine and canapés event as a Facebook live virtual event. As much as we missed having our usual sociable afternoon, we had a tremendous level of viewings and we were extremely grateful for the support.
Thankfully, a week after out event, Boris Johnson unveiled his roadmap. The first key date was 29th March when owners could re-visit, though were not allowed to stay overnight. This did create more footfall on the marina, but there was no great tidal wave of customers returning, probably as a result of the miserable weather. We also quietly reopened the café for takeaways only on this date.
Before we knew it, the big day arrived. The key date that everyone had been looking forward to, April 12th – holidays could restart and cruising could begin. The waterways were officially open!
As if by magic, the sunny spring weather arrived (though frosty in the mornings) and our customers returned. Now we are a few weeks on and Aqueduct Marina feels much more normal, with people sat on tables and benches outside of the café and making the most of the blue skies. There is definitely a buzz about the place!
Our fully stocked Chandlery is back accepting customers as normal and there seems to be lots of movement as boats head back out on to the water. Some however, have been taking the opportunity for work to be conducted on their narrowboat. Our boat yard has also been busy – with DIY blackings taking place or the Aqueduct team carrying out the highly-skilled work.
Brokerage viewings were also able to commence on the 12th April – although we are sticking to viewings by appointment only to help maintain COVID protocols and to uphold the improved service we have been able to provide to buyers and sellers through this policy.
We were able to sell a few boats virtually over the lockdown which is great and the demand for boats still remains very strong. This combined with our free collection service has resulted in a few boats arriving on the brokerage and quickly going under offer – some even before they have hit the market!
The rest of the season and the year is definitely looking promising and the Aqueduct team are in the midst of putting together plans to make up for our missed anniversary event; all to be revealed soon! In the meantime, if there is anything we can do to help or answer any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.