Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Smallgains Marina, Canvey Island

While I was at Canvey Island last Friday, I walked along the footpath at Smallgains Creek that runs beside the Marina.  This place is a photographer’s dream, because the visual images are so rich with texture and colour, and for the marine photographer it is astonishing. Rarely can there be such a dump-yard of dying and dead boats*, and in between and around, there are hives of activity with people working on ‘projects’ – I call them projects, as some are nothing more than fantasies. Don’t get me wrong, because there are other very sound and excellent craft at the Marina, the sort that can be admired and valued by their owners.

I have no doubt that people who keep boats there, and those who live aboard them, love the atmosphere, with its apparent lack of regulation and freedom to create ones own lifestyle, though I suspect there are rigid rules and regulations; for example, where to dispose of trash and where to assemble in case of emergency, such as if a fire were to occur. I spoke to the harbourmaster who described his domain as a ‘do-it-yourself’ place, and as an afterthought he told me that to the best of his knowledge no murders had been committed there so far.  I feel he must be a very resourceful person who can manage ‘his’ community with tact and sensitivity and at the same time he must be very good at arranging practical aspects of running a harbour. Boats have to be launched and retrieved; when being laid-up ashore, they must be set up safely; piled walkways have to be maintained; mooring and storage fees have to be collected; toilets must be cleaned and a close watch must be kept on all happenings– especially as the site is not secure.

*Smallgains Marina Graveyard (Click 7 photos from the right to see dead and dying boats)

Other Links

Halcon Marine – Smallgains Marina

Smallgains Marina

Boat Launch - Smallgains Marina

Sail the Net.com – Halcon Marina

Halcon Marine

Visit My Harbour.com – Canvey Area

Boating Water Sports - Smallgains Marina

Prince Edward’s Visit to Smallgains Marina in 2008



Alden Smith said...

Smallgains Marina sounds like an interesting place!

What I find interesting here is that the boat in the first photograph looks very much like a New Zealand designed 'Camelot' motorsailer of about 36' designed by NZs Bob Stewart. There were quite a number of these built in the 1960s. Despite being a 'motorsailer' they were popular because they in fact sailed very well. They are big and commodious and make very good live aboard boats.
Do you have any idea of the design Bill?

William Serjeant said...


There is a similarity. This one is concrete, but I do not know what class of yacht she is.