Mike & Mandy Cheers

24th April 2020

Portland

Boatfolk stories: Mandy and Mike

Boatfolk Hero

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

We are both 60 years old and live on the outskirts of Bristol. We have farmed together for 40 years and have two daughters and a granddaughter.

When and why did you choose to berth at our marina?

We arrived at Portland Marina in March 2018. We had previously searched the area for somewhere safe to keep a boat, including self-launch and boat yards after buying a lodge in Bowleaze. We had no experience of boating. We started looking at 8m motor cruisers but quickly released it was perhaps too big a step. We bought a 2008 totally refurbished 5m rib from Ribeye in Dartmouth. We choose Portland Marina because we felt it would make handling the boat easier with unlimited lifts from the dry stack. The staff were very friendly and supportive, and it is such a beautiful tranquil location. It also had an onsite training facility.

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you?

Mike was born on a farm, he loves tractors and machinery and if it broken, he can fix it!! He also loves people watching. I have a great love of animals and have owned a donkey called Martha for 30 years. 

When and how did you get into boating?

Owning a boat was Mike's lifelong dream. We had our boat lifted into the water in March 2018 and immediately did the power boat level two and radio course with Quality Time Training. I was apprehensive about driving the boat, but Mike was a natural. We did the course on our own boat. Alan, our trainer was very patient and after two days we got the hang of the basics. We went home very pleased with ourselves and excited about our new adventure. The next weekend we were off on our own. We stayed inside the harbour walls for a few weeks until we felt confident to go out through the entrance. We also joined Portland Yacht Club and try to take part in as many events as possible.

Who do you enjoy spending time on the water with and why?

Most of the time it’s just the two of us. We love it when family and friends join us, it gives us great pleasure when they enjoy a day out with us.   

What’s been your fondest boating memory?

Our best moment was when Danny the dolphin swam alongside us, we were overwhelmed with his beauty and the fact he chose to swim with us! Another great moment was taking part in the Weymouth Lifeboat 150 anniversary parade. We were one of several hundred boats following the lifeboats up through Weymouth harbour and saluting the dignities on shore. A very proud and emotional moment. We also had an amazing day out at Southampton Boat Show, with complimentary tickets from Dean and Reddyhoff. We often spend eight hours a day on Ocean Dancer fishing, sunbathing, swimming, picnics and just bobbing along. We love coming back into the marina, having coffee on the pontoon and chatting with the other berth holders. 

What is your biggest achievement to date and why?

Our biggest achievement was reaching Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. We planned it weeks before hand and waited for perfect conditions. We had a wonderful day with friends and a picnic in the cove. 

What is your ultimate dream/goal?

Our ultimate dream is to move to the coast and upgrade our boat so we can sleep overnight and have more protection from the weather in the winter months. 

What is the one thing that makes you feel the most alive?

We feel alive when we are out on the boat with nothing but sea and sky in front of us. 

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

The advice for our younger selves would be to work hard so you have enough money to make your dreams come true.

Boating can be deemed an expensive hobby/sport, what would your tips be for someone who is looking to get afloat?

Our top tips would be to make sure the boat you buy is suitable for your experience and you can afford to keep and maintain it. Also, to make sure you take the appropriate training courses. 

What are your boating plans for the future?

Our boating plans for the future will be to continue building on our skills, enjoying every moment out on the water. We also hope to upgrade the boat and explore further along the coast. 

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