It’s arrived! It’s Perky!

Posted on May 6, 2015 11:32 am

It’s arrived! It’s Perky!

Sorry but it’s true, we decided not to follow the fashion and call her Charlotte – it doesn’t sound quite right!

On Bank Holiday Monday last we took delivery of our first ever new safety boat with the help of our recent Inspired Facility grant from Sport England.
It has taken just 2 years to move from a situation where we had two Dories needing constant attention just to keep them afloat and, at times, having no safety boats able to take to the water, to today where we have 3 working boats – our high speed rib, Pinky and now Perky all able to provide superb safety cover at Grassholme.

With our Bosun having recently attained trainer status (he’s the one driving, with the smiley face!), we can now train our safety boat crew in-house so that we have on water safety facilities that meet the most exacting standards.

During the past two years, we have increased membership from 40 to 65 and anticipate further growth in both members and participation as we continue our expansion into new water sport activities.

With windsurfing, canoeing and kite surfing all possible at our new location at Balderhead Reservoir, Teesdale will have affordable access to some of the best watersport facilities in the country assuming, of course we can raise sufficient funding for a clubhouse.

Perky is 4.5m long and can accommodate up to 8 people on inland waters. Our craft has a 30hp 4-stroke engine that, by comparison with our rib, is very quiet and fuel efficient – both good for the environment. It can move at high speed when needed and is highly manoeuvrable.

So what’s next?

We have funding for a second safety boat but that will probably not be spent until we open up Balderhead.

Our next target it to establish equipment storage facilities at Balderhead and Grassholme before moving on to “the big one”.

To make Balderhead work, we need to erect a building to provide changing facilities and shelter and to do this we need a substantial amount of funding.

Our target is £600,000, which is not going to be easy in the current financial climate but we have made a start and have been offered £10,000 by the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation.

We hope to persuade Sport England to invest just over half of the funding which leaves a shortfall of around £250,000.

With the club hopefully becoming a charitable organisation later this year, donations can be made “free of tax” so if anyone reading this wants to make a donation (however large or small), it will be most welcome.

If you want to get involved and donate a bit of your time to help us in our quest, please read our Volunteering page – you may get to drive Perky, but then again you might prefer to meet and greet visitors or just brew the tea!