Hi there folks
You may have noticed (Brian did anyway) that Iíve been away for about 3 weeks. I was on my hols in a boating paradise, the Scottish Highlands. About 30 minutes before I left, Mr Postman, an endangered species if ever there was one, dropped some solid gold through my letterbox. Well, something worth itís weight in gold anyway Ė ĎThe Good Launch Guide 2003í. This is the brand spanking new, glossy printed version of our old favourite and most useful boating site on the web, www.boatlaunch.co.uk
Geoff Campbell has done a remarkable job here. For those of you who sent in details of launch sites, and I hope you all have, you will remember the Adobe Acrobat Reader guides you used to get. The difference is remarkable. Itís like comparing a club newsletter with the Sunday Times colour supplement. The information inside is the same but the presentation is now first class. Sponsored by Honda, a BIG name in the boating world, the guide runs to over 170 pages in A5 format, which is handy for the glove box on that snappy 4x4, and is printed in full colour on glossy paper.
Of course it goes without saying that the meat of the guide is the excellent and priceless information on where you can launch your boat throughout the UK. BUT, there is always a but, however in this case it is a very positive but, thereís even more. There are also useful advertisements, sections with tips on trailers and towing, training, waterski centres, jetski centres and RYA training centres, pwc hire centres etcetera. I guess it would be safe to say that GLG 2003 is jam-packed with useful information. And it only costs £7.95! A real bargain.
The launch site section begins with colour maps of the UK as per the website. Next is an index of sites, then we go to the actual sites themselves, which are listed clockwise around the UK coastline. The site details are given as: name, charges, type of ramp, suitability, access, upper area, lower area, directions to the site, facilities, details of the ramp itself, cruising area, hazards, there is even a symbol to tell you if you can use pwcís (jetskis to you and I, but I donít think the manufacturers like you calling them that!).
So you can see that it really IS full of useful information.
As far as I am aware this is the ONLY complete guide to boat launch sites available for the UK. It is a noble effort and is well worth your support. Firstly you should buy it and secondly if you know of any launch sites that are not in the guide you should get on to their website and send them details. No matter how hard Geoff and his team work they need the help and assistance of the boating community. Even if your favourite sites are already in there, look for more. Itís great fun to go exploring and find the UKís hidden slip ways.
You can buy The Good Launch Guide 2003 at good bookshops or through their website. Did I mention that the web address is www.boatlaunch.co.uk?
It really is the mose useful ribbing accessory you will ever buy.
Keith (is not on GLG 2003 payroll) Hart