While enjoying with my usual Saturday morning latte the fascinating contents of the weekend’s FT, an article about the superyacht industry caught my attention. The journalist noted that “In 2015 the footloose super-rich spent just over €3bn on new superyacht commissions, almost 40 percent up on the figure from two years earlier. According to Boat International Magazine a total of 254 vessels were sold last year, more than a third higher than the 184 shifted in 2010.” Astonishingly this more or less exactly reflects the increase in our sales at HSC, where in 2016 we sold a total of 40 boats.
More sales means more boat storage as our customers are loyal and like to follow through with winter storage, some basic maintenance tasks and engineering from Stuart’s team. Thus HSC is expanding in terms of team size and space requirements.
HSC is expanding
Indeed the very same FT article stated that “This is a world where length matters.” which is now clearly reflected in our storage business. The average length of the boats we store has increased dramatically so that our Beale Park boat store now boasts launches of between 30-40ft in length. This has led us to expand into other local storage premises with the smaller boats.
A few winter storage spaces for smaller boats are still available as I write. Please contact the office for more information by phone: 01491 578870 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gail Lewis has joined the office team three days a week so the chances are that you will speak to her if you ring on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Despite being essentially a landlubber she is rapidly acquiring the prerequisite webbed feet and loving being at the heart of a dynamic business in which no two days are the same. When I hear her on the phone I get the impression she has been here for a very long time and her boat speak is advancing with the speed of a Linguaphone rapid learning language programme.
Obviously Stuart needed a longer and more recent Landrover as well as another member of staff. So welcome to the “dark green new love” in Stuart’s life, and to Hamish Miller, who will be our new Operations Manager. He can be seen training at Upper Thames Rowing Club where he is a very keen and active member.
Engineer at work!
Steve Hoile of Henley Technical Services is becoming an increasingly familiar face around the yard. Unlike Q of James Bond fame Steve is eminently neat and tidy with a minimum of explosions in our workshops. We love having him around – in fact such is our bond that he and I have decided to get married in 2017!
If you are thinking of having your boat electrified or have an electric boat which needs attention please call Steve directly on 01491 714001.
News from Norfolk
Our first Otter 26, Gentleman Jim, built about 7 years ago for the Waterside Bistro in Rollesby, Norfolk, has carried many a bride and groom as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of passengers eager to enjoy the beautiful wildlife on Ormesby Broad. Many aquatic and wild life reserves around Europe allow only electrically powered boats or sailing boats.
The owners of the Boathouse restaurant and hotel have just committed to buying our Fantail 217 which will be called the Lady Belinda. She will be used specifically for weddings on site and should look fabulous with her white hull and blue canopy.
Imports (despite Brexit!)
Whilst the Fantail 217 is manufactured in Quebec, Canada, and is in many ways just a larger, slightly chunkier version of the Frolic 21, we are also enjoying our relationship with our Gallic partners at Ruban Bleu in Nantes.
At Southampton we were happy to introduce the 11 seater Most from Ruban Bleu and will be having at least one on self drive hire next season from one of our locations. Stuart and I launched her on the lake at Beale Park for a test drive and loved this big sister to our little 17ft Scoop.
On the subject of new boats three Mallards have been delivered this season, the first was electric, the second diesel and the latest now on Windermere has an outboard.
Our Cumbrian Mallard is called Jemima in honour of one of Beatrix Potter’s most appealing ducks!
I shall hopefully be enjoying a trip on board during my forthcoming trip to the Lake District.
Nerissa has just sold to a French buyer from Brittany. He visited a few weeks ago and clearly fell in love with this endearing “grande dame”. She will be heading out of Brighton and across to Saint Malo at the end of November. Bon Voyage Nerissa.
The newsletter opened with “hallelujah we sold 40 boats” in this financial year. However there are unfortunately as many that didn’t sell much to the disappointment of our sales team, and of course the boat vendors themselves. Some owners swap brokers but in my experience the boat has to be matched to the right person and sometimes this can take years.
Hence when some owners despair of finding a buyer they resort to websites like Ebay and Gumtree. We have to admit to aiding and abetting occasionally where we also feel that this is the only way to achieve a quick result. Hence Bella finds herself awaiting collection thanks to a successful bid on Ebay. However prices are always massively disappointing and it irks me as a professional and principled broker to resort to sales without surveys and sometimes even sight unseen.
If you find yourself in a must-sell situation, do give us a call and we can discuss alternative routes to market.
Time for a vintage Christmas
At this time of year it is obligatory as a retailer to start talking about Christmas, and with this week’s FT I came across a couple of attractive gift options. One is courtesy of Nick English a fellow Henliensian and CEO of Bremont Watch Company based just down the road from Boatique. They have an America’s Cup men’s watch for £4,995.00 and they also have a range of aviation related watches. Do visit their website at www.bremont.com for some serious ogling.
While on the subject of locals with similar tastes to the vintage lovers at HSC, the owner of Juliette is our local Morgan car dealer. Juliette is looking suitably alluring after a visit to Dennetts in mid August.
For considerably less money than the new electric Morgan, better known as the EV3 UK 1909 Edition, Juliette offers a wood burning stove, a large double with en-suite, and loads of living space for long term cruising. However if you are still tempted by the appeal of a mock vintage black electric three wheeler, get your name on the list at Selfridges where this limited edition will be on sale from November the 25th.
If your budget is slightly more modest may we suggest a visit to Boatique where you will find a fabulous range of exquisite Italian cashmere including hounds tooth check scarves, ponchos, and a choice of canvas and leather holdalls. We will also be featuring some original pieces of artisan pottery and glassware, such as these collectable plates and dishes by David Gee.