"We Recommend" - Dartmouth Chandlery
Highlighting the good and great businesses and people of Dartmouth and beyond.
When you think you know what you need to kit out a new boat, then realise things have changed since you last did it, finding the best advice is crucial. That's when finding a local expert becomes invaluable.
You know what it's like when you think you know what you're doing, making lists and talking about the stuff you're going to need, calling on past experience and recalling the things you did before, possibly in a different situation but making it fit anyway, even if only in your own mind!
Talk to the experts!
Then you speak to an expert and realise how much things have changed or your past experience is actually mostly irrelevant! Well it's been a bit like that for me this past few months.
I've previously had ten years experience at sea, firstly as a Royal Naval Seaman Officer, Navigator and Diver, then as Boats Officer in The sultan of Oman's Royal Yacht Squadron, so felt I knew my stuff when it comes to boating.
What I didn't realise however, is how much I'd depended on the knowledge and experience around me when it came the technical stuff. So when it came to doing it all again on my own new boat, I very quickly became aware how important it was going to be to find an expert to advise me.
Local knowledge is always good...
That's when I met Chris Robinson and his friendly, helpful staff at The Dartmouth Chandlery. We'd been determined to use local suppliers wherever possible from the beginning, so calling into the chandlery to check things out was always in the plan but meeting Chris and realising how much experience he has, not only as a supplier of boating equipment but as a user himself, with tons of local knowledge was a real bonus and his willingness to share and help totally refreshing.
Choosing the right lifebuoys, boathook, anchor and even mooring lines are all things you'd think are quite straight forward but getting the best value for money while making sure it'll do what you want it to when the chips are down can be quite daunting without really good advice.
Helpfulness and Patience!
I'm sure at one point Chris wondered if I was ever going to place an order, or simply continually pump him for information but he was patient with me and in the end the order was placed, a good lesson for anyone in business, helpfulness and patience pay off!
Knowing what you want to do and what's needed to achieve it are two different things and when the boat is going to be used as a commercial enterprise, getting it right is always going to be top priority.
Of course there's the official guidelines but as in any situation, making your own boat comply while working the way you want it to is always a challenge so taking advice from experts while making sure you maintain your own individuality and style can be quite a balancing act.
In our case we've not only had great help and advice fro Dartmouth Chandlery but The Harbour Master, Captain Mark Cooper and his team have been a great source of information and assistance, wanting to make sure we get it right of course but also welcoming us into the River Dart commercial community with a smile.
So all in all, our experience in getting The Fizz Boat ready for service on The River Dart has been aided hugely by the assistance of a number of local experts and I'd recommend anyone either getting into boating forth first time or returning after even a short break, to seek out people who will not only make the task easier but altogether a much safer and enjoyable experience.
A BIG Thank You!
So I'd like to thank all those people who've helped us get this far and look forward to meeting lots more as The Fizz Boat begins operating on The Dart at Easter this year.