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The Season of Christmas Cheer

December 20, 2013

As we thunder towards Christmas, we are reminded that here at Berthon, the Isle of Wight protects us and provides a micro climate which means that whilst snow is far from unknown, we get less of it and it lies less long than in other parts of the UK.

A white Christmas at the Shipyard is an extremely unlikely event but we thought that you might like to see some imagery of the site encased in snow.

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These photographs have been taken over the past few years as a covering of snow adds a dimension, light and glamour that is charming to see.


Situated on Lymington river, we sometimes see frozen water, where the fresh river water flows above and the salt below, so the freeze is rarely significant; except in 1963 when a daredevil apprentice walked to work across the ice, only to be severely scolded by the then MD’s wife! Many of our clients keep their yachts in the water over the winter and enjoy wonderful, crisp days sailing in the Solent with few other yachts around – although it is good to be back on the berth by 15.00. It’s also a great time to see the nearby New Forest which with the winter light has a beauty all of its own.


Snow is normally here today and mostly gone tomorrow so the yard is not hampered in operation in the winter time and most of the refit work undertaken is inside the big Blue Sheds which are warm, lit and dry.

Our office in the South of France is even luckier, with a mild climate throughout the winter although it can be very cold and snow is not totally unknown.


Here, most yachtsmen lay their yachts up at the end of the season in October, and return to enjoy them in Easter by which time temperatures are at a level where shorts and t-shirts are the order of the day. However, the Cote d’Azur is stunning in every season and winter is no exception.

Newport, Rhode Island has proper winters – the picture here shows that they do snow there in style.

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The last year has seen some quite extreme temperatures and wind strengths and at the end of the season, all the yachts in the port either come ashore and are covered or head off for the warmth of the Caribbean. Winter sailing is not on the menu in Newport. A very old, historic and beautiful seaport, it enjoys wonderful warm summers with superb sailing and it is situated on a stunning coastline with places like Martha’s Vineyard to visit by sea, it really is the sort of coastline of which myths are made.

We will look forward to working with you in the 2014 season when the Solent, Cote d’ Azur and Newport will start to come to life in the New Year. The Sales Team will be busy at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in January – this heralds the yachting sales year in Europe and runs from the 18th to 26th January.


The pace quickens as yachtsmen look for the right yacht for the new season so the first quarter in all our offices is a busy time.

The Dockmasters look after a number of yachtsman year round and it is not unusual to see visiting yachts here over the winter period seeking solace in our fabulously modern washrooms with toasty underfloor heating and special hotboxes to warm your seat, towel and even undergarments!

With a total headcount now in excess of 150, Berthon has doubled the hours being put through its busy boatyard with forward winter orders the best for quite a few years, so if you are contemplating a pre-season refit or simply wish your yacht to be serviced then don’t dilly dally.


Fair winds and good sailing from us all.


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