Coronavirus: How the boating industry is waiting patiently for a sense of recovery

As the lockdown is eased, more people who own boats are managing to get back out on the water.

However, people who run businesses in the marine leisure industry say it will take some time to recover from the effects of the past few months.

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee:

It's a disappointing later start to the season for this years RYA sailing club of the year.

Craning in at Christchurch usually happens in April.

More than 50 sailing boats are being put back in the water, after next to no activity here since March.

Craning in at Christchurch usually happens in April. Credit: ITV Meridian
  • Jim Atkins- Commodore, Christchurch Sailing Club:

Chris and Jane Lockett, who've been members for nearly forty years, are pleased to see their boat back on its mooring.

Chris and Jane Lockett are pleased to see their boat back on its mooring Credit: ITV Meridian

For many sailing clubs and their members this is the beginning of getting back to some sense of normality, but that's not so much the case for people who work in the marine industry.

At Newhaven, the lack of income during the lockdown has been a set back for plans to develop and improve the marina.

  • Russ Levett- Marina Manager:

All waterways are now open, says the environment agency Credit: ITV Meridian

Inland, the environment agency says all waterways are now open, but some businesses like this one on the River Thames at Reading still can't open.

  • Tim Deaton- River Cruise Business owner:

With many parts of the marine sector struggling, this company in Portsmouth is thinking of new ways to stay afloat.

It's offering free storage until the end of the year, for anyone who buys a new motor boat from anywhere this month.

This company is offering free storage until the end of the year Credit: ITV Meridian

Boating is big business in the south, and the end of lockdown can't come soon enough for everyone involved.