Via a post on Gypsy Rover I first heard this week of Heyford Fields Marina.
This isn't exactly news, of course, but it's new to me. Times change so fast on the canal; there was neither trace nor talk of this marina when I last passed this way in October last year. Here's the Google Maps link to the location.
Gypsy Rover describes it as 'upmarket, with lovely surroundings'. The marina's website says it has a boatyard. This is a Good Thing.
I worry about the number of new boats coming on to the Cut - we need more canal basins to put them all in. But I worry more about the fact that the number of boatyards isn't increasing in proportion.
Consider: If the average boat needs dry docking once every two years, and takes an average of five days on the dock or slipway, a 100-berth marina like Heyford Fields needs at least one dry dock or slipway to service that boat. Furthermore, that doesn't include the space for service or paint docks, where boats need to be worked-on under cover, or where they need heavy-duty mechanical maintenance.
If Heyford Fields includes a real boatyard, that's great. Other marinas aren't so lucky - for example Ventnor Farm Marina, which I criticised last year for its 'gated community' country club atmosphere. It sells diesel and gas, but that's about it for boatyard facilities. Its occupants will be hunting nearby for maintenance, adding to the crush.