Boatyard

This ten-part series was immensely popular and people stop me in the street to say how much they loved it. It was first screened in 2005 on Discovery Realtime TV and frequently repeated – the last time on Quest. Sadly, another series doesn’t seem forthcoming, which is a shame as I really enjoyed meeting the guys and presenting it.

‘At last, reality is injected into TV coverage of boating…’

Boatyard was created by Century Aspect Films for Discovery Real Time about the tribulations and triumphs of five ordinary guys tackling major boat renovations on limited budgets. Their vessels vary from a 1930’s classic yacht to a jet-craft of unknown origin. Venues include a Yorkshire council estate, a Norfolk farmyard and the legendary Eel Pie Island.

I found the owners an eclectic bunch of characters. They are the real stars. There’s a north-country ‘man-who-can’ with a scrapyard in his back garden, two brothers-in-law testing their family ties alongside their technical skills, a company director with the soul of an engineer, a Thames river-man and a sailing chef. All found their fortitude plumbed to the depths.

The ten half-hour episodes run back-to-back in pairs so you can follow a complete project across an hour. After this, nobody could imagine boats are for the privileged few again.

Unfortunately, no DVDs have been issued of the series.