Despite it being the middle of December, the charter phone is still buzzing. We have even had a recent charter request from Bollywood !
The news that Elton will be performing on the Wednesday of Henley Festival 2016 threw the office into a frenzied panic. Moorings to secure, tickets to book, memberships to upgrade… We cannot wait until the next act is released! We have booked in a luxurious seafood buffet for two nights of the Festival on a gorgeous steam launch for one of our guests- if this sounds like your bag, give us a ring and book one for yourself. Looking ahead we have a boatload of new ideas and self-drive plans for the 2016 season, and are hoping to expand to new and exciting (secret) locations very soon. To all our self-drive fans, you should be able to get on the river with us this summer, and we are happy to even start taking bookings over the phone now. Watch this space…
Scandi Chic on Land and Water
Everybody seems to have jumped on the Scandinavian bandwagon recently, and HSC is no exception. As well as loving TV series ‘The Bridge’, we have a soft spot for Scandi furniture, and of course the Norwegian Blaest ladies raincoats (sold at Boatique). Even the FT ran a double page spread on men’s Scandi fashion recently, with a special focus on trendy rainwear.
Most excitingly, we have three gorgeous Scandinavian boats for sale, Lady Christina, Maken (which translates to ‘seagull’) and Isolde (currently residing in Norway at -4°C). All three boats were designed and built in the 30’s by very interesting builders, and all are in immaculate condition.
Obviously in Scandinavia all boats come out of the water for winter and go into indoor storage. Despite the spring-like weather in the UK, we too have a record number of boats in storage and are still selling on a weekly basis, much to Gillian’s delight!
The Festive Season
The office is going to be closed from early afternoon on Christmas eve until Tuesday 29th. We will, of course, try to accommodate viewings over the new year period and Gillian will always be on the end of the phone (except, perhaps, when she is tucking into a plate of perfectly cooked turkey on the 25th)
January heralds another lacklustre London Boat Show. While we will not be exhibiting there this year, we will be launching our new contemporary classics sales campaign for 2016. We are looking forward to building a number of brand spanking new boats, including the all-British Mallard launch, featured in January 2016 Classic Boat Magazine as ‘The Mayfly of the Broads’. The first one out of the mould will sport an outboard motor, suitable for frequent launching in shallow water. Inboard electric and diesel versions are also available to order.
Stuart is heading across the pond to Quebec next month which promises to be chilly but very interesting from a business point of view. Henley Sales and Charter have been approached by the Canadian Electric Launch company which has recently acquired a new owner with a taste for exporting to Europe. They are keen to be included in our range of contemporary classics. We hope that Stuart will be sufficiently impressed to place an order for a demonstrator which you folks should be able to try in the spring of 2016 ! Their Fantail 217 is very similar to an upmarket frolic 21, so more of his visit in our next newsletter.
Signs of the economy improving are evident in the appetite of customers for new builds. We are re-introducing the Otter 26 for 2016. Gentleman Jim has been operating successfully on Rollesby in deepest Norfolk for 8 seasons now and we subsequently built another two cabin launches on this excellent 26ft hull. Feel free to ring the office if you would like more photographic evidence.
Boatique at Christmas
Boatique continues to flaunt itself on Friday Street and we are delighted to be providing people with beautifully gift-wrapped Christmas presents for their loved ones. The shop will be open until late afternoon on Christmas Eve, and will then open its doors for the wonderful ‘January sales’ from 11am-4pm on 29th-31st December, and normal opening hours from Saturday 2nd January (note we will not be open on Sundays in the new year). Alternatively, you can browse our website 24/7, even in your slippers on Christmas Day itself!
From all of us at Henley Sales and Charter and Boatique, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!