NOT ALL ABNORMAL LOADS ARE HEAVY: LUCY RADLEY TALKS TO KENT-BASED BOAT-SHIFT MARINE TRANSPORT, ON THEIR KID GLOVES WORK.
This industry is nothing if not ingenious in it’s ability to find ways of making technically complicated jobs look easy, so if you ask a marine engineer to move a vessel efficiently and with the minimum of both fuss and cost, then unorthodox but brilliant things are bound to happen.
Boat-Shift owner Simon Butler didn’t plan to be a haulier, let alone a specialist one. A Volvo-Penta trained marine engineer, in 2006 he’d had 10 years experience of hands-on work in his father’s Dover boatyard, repairing and servicing vessels of all kinds. He originally acquired an HGV licence as, from a young age, he’d wanted to drive a truck.
“A very good customer with a boat in Ramsgate rang one Monday morning to say he’d put a hole in it trying to berth at the weekend,” recalls Butler. “I said we’d cover the hole and bring it back by sea, but he was adamant it couldn’t go back in the water. We knew someone up the road with an old trailer sat in the bushes, so we arranged to have it dragged out and MOT’d, borrowed a friend’s tractor unit and collected the boat by road.
The owner then offered to sell the trailer, so my Dad bought it and stowed it in the boatyard at Dover.” Now approaching 40 years old, the Dennison is still in use – and has, in fact, just passed it’s MOT again.