MDL Consultancy was commissioned by the owners of Dauntless Boatyard to give expert advice on the operation of the existing site and recommend areas for improvement aimed at optimising the current business and facilitating future growth.
The Boatyard is located on Canvey Island, on a small tidal river, the Hadleigh Ray, which flows into the Thames Estuary and offers boatyard services as well as drying moorings for pleasure craft and residential houseboats. The owners felt it was in need of improvement to be able to grow the business.
We started with an appraisal of the existing marina, boatyard operations and management, service provision, plant and equipment condition. We conducted an operational audit and infrastructure condition survey, enabling us to identify areas where the business can be improved and options for growth through investment in new facilities. For both the commercial boatyard and the marina, we completed a full feasibility study covering market, technical and economic aspects and we produced outline designs for the boatyard and the marina. A crucial objective of the study was to determine the demand for a commercial boatyard at this location. Having quantified both the commercial and leisure demand, we tested the technical and commercial feasibility of several options to find solutions that were both practical and economically viable, making the best use of the available sites.
We provided the owners of Dauntless Boatyard with a number of improvements that required minimal investment. We also presented proposals for areas with potential growth in the short, medium and long-term. These included a complete redevelopment and reconfiguration of the pontoons and facilities, an option for a new dry stack facility and a small leisure boatyard.
Since the conclusion of our study, some of the recommended improvements to the operation and site have been implemented, resulting in the establishment of a boat repair and refit service, and creation of additional storage space by relocating the chandlery.