Bargains at Beaulieu

It’s that time of year again.  Not for the garden, which in our household is ignored for a year and then in a fit of guilt attacked with a chain saw. For those  of us addicted to all things nautical, spring is boat jumble season.

Anyone who thinks that sailing is posh should be forced to attend Beaulieu Boat Jumble at opening time. It’s a stampede of several thousand bargain hunters, some armed with wheelbarrows, and all prepared to haggle to the death over a pile of rusty shackles and a coil of manky rope.  Forget cocktails on the poop deck and matching wellies;  this is what sailing is really all about.

Five minutes to go……

A few essential bargains……..

Boat jumbles are gloriously immune to the vagaries of world economics and technological advances. There are always rusty shackles, ancient electronics and mis-shapen fenders along with oversized nav lights and tatty mirror dinghies. And of course the ships’ wheels, destined for theme pub walls.

Trade stands are part of the mix at Beaulieu, as long as you’ve got some bargains on offer, so we had a good day selling reasonable amounts of  ‘stuff’.  It was quite a good day for selling books and as ever it was a delight to meet the youngsters who read my books and sign copies for them.  We managed to spend slightly less than we earned….. well, it was a bargain!  A few boat bits and some cheap deckies were sensible purchases, but I was also on the lookout for interesting things to turn into art.

Yachting columnist Dave Selby has a great article in the current issue of Practical Boat Owner – here’s the cartoon I did to go with it:

“A tenner?  But I sold it to you for a fiver!”

The next task is to apply all our bargain tins of varnish and packs of economy sandpaper to the essential and neglected parts of the boat….. glamorous stuff, yachting!


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