Phased Approach to Unlocking Operating Restrictions at Retreat Boatyard

From: Simon Reader, Director

11th May 2020

Dear Customer,

Following the announcement on Sunday and a review of our own plans – we advise customers of the following:

The yard will operate limited opening times for Storage customers from - Wednesday 13th May - by prior arrangement only. Please do not just turn up and expect access. Please call the office before planning your journey. These conditions may change at any time. Access will be made for the following:

a) Customers wishing to discuss work, drop off or collect boats/engines/products

b) Customers wishing to visit the Chandlery – limited to one person at a time

c) Customers wishing to work on their boats for up to three hours per day. This will though be limited to either morning (10am-1pm), or afternoon (2pm-5pm).

d) Numbers will initially be limited to five customers in the main compound and two in the outside compound at any one time.

e) There will be no access before 10am and after 5pm. So please do not just turn up at 8am.

f) Customers are asked to phone the office when outside the yard gates before entering the yard so we can keep a record of people on-site. Also, please notify us when you leave

g) We will not be launching boats, but will follow the plan laid out in the earlier newsletter, contingent on permission from Exeter Port Authority, and grouped in order as follows :

a. Boats requiring launch for commercial / non-leisure reasons – currently permissible

b. Boats seeking launch/transit from Retreat to ‘safe harbour’ – under review

c. Boats wish launch/transit from Retreat to moorings – under review, but after (b)

d. Boats wishing launch for recreational use – awaiting formal ‘unlock’ for such activity

We are following our own policies in this matter. This is aligned to the advice given by the Government, British Marine for boatyard operations, Exeter Port Authority, and our own judgment. Exe Port Authority indicate that they are “awaiting further guidance from Government”, and I attach their announcement. The measures that are put in place are for everyone’s benefit. They are not just mine/the Boatyard, or just for you, a customer, they are for everyone. Please remember that.

Health and Safety training is something that many of go through. People often push back on simple measures that are introduced. We shouldn’t. There are really only a few things to remember:

- Follow the advice given. If you don’t understand something, then please ask someone who does

- We all have a duty of care. This is to ourselves, those close to us (family/work colleagues/employees etc.), and the public at large.

- Take time to understand and assess the risks for both yourselves, and for everyone else.

- Complacency is the killer – be mindful of your own responsibilities. Politely remind others if they ‘forget’ theirs.

Health & Safety Protocol – More Dos and don’ts

1) Distancing measures are in place – keep 2m distance, and do not congregate in groups

2) Please wash hands when entering and leaving. Use paper towels (do not put into toilet though, place in the bins provided). Cleaning products will be made available.

3) We ordered additional masks and additional hand sanitizers over a week ago. They should arrive by Wednesday. Latex/nitrile gloves are advised and are available. But bring your own PPE if available.

4) It will be compulsory to have an adequate protective mask, and these should be used when in proximity to anyone outside your known group. Dusk masks should be worn in any case if doing work which requires them. Surgical masks are not a substitute for these activities – they are designed to minimise you infecting others. Good fitting dust masks are designed to stop the outside getting into you. A subtle difference, but any PPE is better than none.

5) Do not enter any staff rest room, workshop area, crane pad area. Please do not engage with staff, but direct any enquiry to me personally. Staff will use a separate toilet block. Additional toilet and wash area will be opened (Blue block next to mast-shed).

6) Only one customer to be allowed in the Chandlery at one time. Please do not congregate.

7) We will unlock the river gate if you wish to take a break. You are free to access the pontoon – with care. Please though do not congregate, and keep distance measures in place if there are walkers on the footpath. Do not allow access to walkers through the yard.

Above all, please look after yourselves, and be mindful that measures put in place are not just for your own benefit, but primarily for others; and demonstrate your own consideration and duty of care to them.

With nice weather it may be a good time to ‘enjoy’ working on your boats here in the yard. Later, we hope you may enjoy the rest of the summer and the ‘peace’ that boating will give at this time. Boating - whether on land or on water can be an ideal leisure pursuit. It is a naturally distancing activity, in fresh air – which can be ideal. But it also can make some people complacent, and can often lead to an increase in social mixing. Please be mindful of this. I would urge those with boats to then enjoy the solitude it can offer, and share the experience with others in your households. I hope that by good example, we collectively can demonstrate that this is an area which may be seen more favourably in the future. For now, it is important for everyone to demonstrate a reasonable and considered approach to others. As they now say - ‘Stay Alert’.

If there is anything we can help with, or any questions you may have, then please contact me.

Most of all take care. We thank you for your continued consideration, patience and support in these times.

With kindest regards,


Simon Reader, Director

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