How lucky were we to escape to the sun for a bit of R & R afloat after the rigours of “starring” at the London Boat Show? Our Reuters interview was woven into a story about the potential for electric boat sales worldwide, which they syndicated to China and Turkey.

While this doesn’t help much with our domestic market it certainly gave a boost to our morale and the footage is really quite persuasive. It makes you wonder why anybody would order a new boat for the inland waterways with a diesel engine!

Two days after the shoot at Beale Park, Steve and I sped across the Atlantic to board a rather nice catamaran on which to explore the Grenadines.

A photo speaks a thousand words

Those of you who follow our Instagram feed (find us @henleysalesandcharter) will have seen me post a series of Caribbean holiday and wooden boat related photos including the ones below.

Holiday Photos

Endless natural beauty, great company and a questionable "luxury" lobster lunch on the beach:  Our Caribbean adventure in a nutshell

Endless natural beauty, great company and a questionable “luxury” lobster lunch on the beach: Our Caribbean adventure in a nutshell

Talking of social media and marketing generally, it’s always a challenge to decide where to spend one’s meagre budget. However having spent the last year experimenting with the seemingly ubiquitous Facebook, we decided last week to delist.

The techies amongst you will know that their algorithms have changed in favour of the companies who are actually spending hard cash advertising through Facebook. As we don’t have a big-business budget or a full time in-house social media specialist, we have decided to reconsider our approach in favour of Instagram. I like taking photos. It is fun for me and thus it will be easier to keep the content on there fresh.

Besides that our three websites appear to be performing well thanks to excellent SEO (search engine optimisation) by our resident webmaster.

In the end what we really love is to meet our customers. So you can expect to find us popping up around the country in the coming months.

Get your diary out

So far we are booked in for the following shows this season:

Horning Boat Show
(May 5th in Horning, Norfolk)
Horning Boat Show 2018

HSC will be heading east with Eboatique on May 5th with either a Ruban Bleu Scoop or a CEBC Fantail 217, as well as the PBW Windermere 27. If you are an East Anglian reader, come and say “Hello”. I believe we will be located adjacent to the entrance.

Décor-Architectural Fair
(June 1st – 3rd at Fawley Hill, Buckinghamshire)
Decor-Architectural Antiques at Fawley Hill

Building on the tradition established by SALVO Fairs at Fawley Hill, this year Lady McAlpine, Alix & Camilla Charpentier and Gary Wallis will be organising the Décor-Architectural fair. Amid an array of antique furniture and quirky objets d’art, you can expect to see a couple of glorious wooden boats and some attractive nautical ephemera.

Beale Park Boat & Outdoor show
(June 1st – 3rd at Beale Park, Berkshire)
Beale Park Boat & Outdoor Show 2018

This time around this lovely show set around the beautiful lake at Beale Park should be even more exciting as it incorporates the Vintage Vehicle Show.

Poole Harbour Boat Show
(June 8th – 10th in the Poole harbour, Dorset)
Poole Harbour Boat Show 2018

We will feature a PTS 26 which is currently being built for one our customers, who is in fact looking to set up a charter business downstream of Staines encompassing the popular Surrey reaches of the Thames. Apart from our stand there will be lots to see, including some tall ships and fireworks at night.

Thames Traditional Boat Festival
(20th – 22nd July at Fawley Meadows, Oxfordshire)
Thames Traditional Boat Festival  2018

This year marks the 40th anniversary of what is considered to be the largest gathering of traditional river craft in Europe and a celebration of all that’s best in boatbuilding and craftsmanship whilst evoking the nostalgia of boating from a bygone era.

If you haven’t signed up yet to take part then please do so as soon as you can. I know that the committee are working hard to ensure that the 2018 Festival will be fantastic. Rumour also has it that there will be a small auction of boating and transport ephemera on the Sunday evening with the promise of more to come in 2019. If you have an object you might like to include then please contact Neil Shuttleworth at SAS auctions (neil@specialauctionservices.com).

Where have they gone?

The handsome "Frog Prince"

The handsome “Frog Prince”

We always enjoy seeing how boats evolve with their different owners over the years. “Frog prince” started out in the Lake District as “Clementine”, constructed as a bespoke electric boat for an ex-sailor who couldn’t bear the thought of a noisy engine. We sold her on to a family in Bray who sent her up to Henwoord & Dean for a few modifications and renamed her “Frog Prince”.

"Magyar" in the yard (top) and Saunders Roe builders plate (bottom)

“Magyar” in the yard (top) and Saunders Roe builders plate (bottom)

We hear on the boatyard circuit that the winter has been extremely busy for everyone. Over on the Suffolk coast in the charming seaside town of Southwold, Harbour Marine Services are currently working on a Saunders Roe motor yacht “Magyar”.

"Gralian"

“Gralian”

HSC sold her sister ship “Gralian” some years ago to two writers, one of whom has been writing a column in Dan Houston’s (former editor of Classic Boat) Classic Skipper magazine, as they cruise in the Med. You can expect to see “Magyar” fully restored at the Trad Boat Festival in July.

Beat the rush!

Relaunching a boat on a frosty morning

Relaunching a boat on a frosty morning

Easter falls early this year so we are anticipating a mad rush as our customers want their boats launched for the holiday weekend. How lovely it would be if we could guarantee sunshine. In truth the ever optimistic British boater usually finds him or herself having to wear a sou’wester and an extra sweater in early April. If you are storing with us, please let Gail know if you have a particular date in mind for relaunch.

Thinking of chartering a boat this year?

"Nero"

“Nero”

I will leave you for this month on a serene note with this dreamy holiday snapshot of Nero, available for charter in the Caribbean this winter.

On the subject of charter, our very own “Midsomer Maiden” is booking up well for the big events in 2018. As we go to press we only have Saturday night available at Henley Festival (11-15th July). The line up is particularly strong this year with plenty of variety including Jazz, comedy, opera and pop.

If you have an event in mind, just ring the office and get something pencilled in, as we would hate our regulars to be disappointed.