About this site

Piers and Lin du Pré bought their new Fleming 55 / 129, Play d'eau, in 2003.

She was berthed in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350 until she was sold in October 2021.

This site charts the thrilling adventures they had in her.

You can contact us here.

Where’s Play d’eau?

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Recent Posts

Back home and back in the water

Play d’eau
on holiday at M&G Engineers, Guernsey
click to enlarge

Play d’eau is back in the water today (hurrah!) after being on hols for almost four weeks at M&G Engineers at St Sampsons.

The full works

So whilst we’ve been on our hols in Norway visiting the Arctic Circle on Hurtigruten’s MS Midnatsol, Play d’eau’s been pampered with a full spa treatment below her waterline.

She’s been pressure washed and antifouled, her shafts have been pulled, four new cutless bearings installed, stuffing boxes removed and cleaned, shaft seals replaced, and some GRP blemishes repaired.

With new external anodes all round and a full polish from the waterline up to her caprails, she’s been spoiled.


We head out of St Sampsons harbour
into fifty shades of bright orange over Herm
click to enlarge

Internally, we were able to do some small jobs such as dismantling and cleaning four engine sea-water strainers, changing the anodes on the two generators (the stbd is a real pain to do), and giving the engine room a good clean up.

She was ready. Ready for launch. Ready to go home to Beaucette.

Today’s the day

The alarm was set for 0420. After a quick cup of coffee (tea for Lin) we jumped in the car and headed to St Sampsons.

It was cold. The sky was clear but it was still dark; the sun hadn’t woken. The good news was that the wind had calmed right down to almost nothing from the ferocious winds of the last few days.

Opening M&G’s gate we climbed onto Play d’eau. ‘Good morning,’ we said. Was it me or did we hear her say, ‘Come on, let’s get going!’

Lin manoeuvres Play d’eau to leave St Sampsons
click to enlarge

The plan was to be lowered into the water at 0630. Then, once the new fittings had been checked, we’d be released from the hoist’s strops to head for the open sea through St Sampsons harbour.

Provided the remnant of yesterday’s swell wasn’t too uncomfortable we’d turn NNE for Beaucette. If it was still lumpy we’d simply turn around and berth in St Sampsons harbour until the evening’s high tide.

Launch time

Checking all was ready, the hoist picked us up, Steve antifouled where the support legs had been, Kerin donned the remote control, manoeuvred the 75 tonne hoist and began to lower Play d’eau into the water.

We could almost feel Play d’eau shudder as her hull touched the cold water but we knew she was happy to be floating again. Steve became Captain Steve of ‘HMS M&G Dinghy’, commanding the fine vessel on its 10 metre sea voyage to Play d’eau's transom. Ship’s Engineer Shane joined us for the journey to Beaucette to check everything was working properly.

I wonder if Play d'eau shudders as she feels
the temperature of the water
click to enlarge

With the seals, strainers and logs checked for integrity, we started the engines. After a thumbs-up from Shane we launched just as the sun rose over Herm in a bright shower of fifty shades of bright orange.

Beaucette Ho!

Exiting St Sampsons, we turned to port and headed for Beaucette.

Although the swell had quietened it was still evident. Taking the inside passage there was only one patch of rough sea between Platte and Corbette D’Amont before it straightened itself out as we entered Beaucette’s approach channel.

Point of No Return

I had a Point of No Return (PNR) which was just before the last port hand marker where I must decide whether to continue into Beaucette or turn around and return to St Sampsons. Beyond this, I have to commit and continue.

Captain Steve commands HMS M&G Dingy
with Ship's Engineer Shane
for the 10 metre voyage to
Play d’eau
click to enlarge

Although the swell was creating large surges and spray against the rocks to port and starboard of the approach channel, the channel itself looked good.

Decision made. I continued past the PNR and entered the channel. Play d’eau took it in her stride, no problem. I’m so proud of her.

We moored temporarily on the Fuelling Pontoon before taking her to her berth.

Welcome home

It's great being home again. We have many warm welcomes. ‘We’ve missed you.’ ‘It's been wrong seeing your berth empty.’


One sadness. John, from the small white yacht behind us, has died whilst we’ve been away.

Kerin, Officer in Charge of the hoist, manoeuvres Play d'eau to the launch site
click to enlarge

Sometimes fondly known as ‘the old man of Beaucette’, John hadn’t been well for some time, and in a way his death was expected. But it's still a shock and a sadness.

For me, he’d occasionally given me fresh lobsters from his pots.

We had one thing in common. We both had really bushy eyebrows.

His funeral’s next Tuesday. We’ll be there.

Piers and Lin
from the saloon of
Play d’eau

You can get in touch with us any time by using our Contact Form.

With the hoist ready to lift
Steve removes the support legs
click to enlarge

Twin shaft anodes
are secured in place with jubilee clips
click to enlarge

Shane adds the split pin to lock the prop nuts
click to enlarge

Shafts and props are installed
click to enlarge

Shane ‘encourages’ the shaft to a snug fit
click to enlarge

The shaft fits through both bearings
click to enlarge

Through the first, en route to the second
click to enlarge

The shaft is guided through the first cutless bearing
click to enlarge

Shane greases the inner cutless bearing
click to enlarge

Two new cutless bearings are installed
click to enlarge

3 comments to Back home and back in the water

  • Hil

    Wonderful,wonderful- and no wonder you are so thrilled-to be IN Play d’eau again,to be ON the sea again and to BE home.I am so pleased.I love your writings and the extremely descriptive way you write,too. I always feel I am there with you. Thank you. Lots of love, Hil

  • Pip Flynn

    Glad to know your boat is now back where she should be and all went well. Sorry to hear about John.
    Looking forward to reading more posts about your activities.

  • Diccon

    I am sure play d’eau loved the pampering!

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