It may not be too late to wish all our readers an excellent cruising season in 2016. We had little to report in January other than buoyant sales despite the wet and windy weather. The cyber tendrils of the HSC world wide website enable us to reach the parts that our little office on Friday st. can barely comprehend. Hence a gentleman in Dubai bought a lovely varnished slipper stern launch and another gent is keen on seeing Nerissa in the flesh as working perched aloft a building in sunny Monaco he envisages her returning to her original cruising area. If you missed the write up on Nerissa in Classic Boat magazine you can catch up by following the hyper link on our website on the Nerissa entry.
During the nineteen forties there was little call for home grown leisure boats as landing craft and battleships were occupying the boat building fraternity. However as the war thankfully ended and the Little Ships returned to their civilian lives, boatyards started to revert to building private leisure craft. Here on the Thames Andrews of Bourne End picked up where they left off and the Andrews day launch was born. The ever popular slipper stern launch continued to be built for both hire and private owners. Indeed we sold the mid century “Warrenside” only last week having had just two owners from new, while Venus, which was built the same year for a Norfolk owner and has lived there for over fifty years, has just arrived at Beale Park boat store for an engine transplant. Her wheezy old side valve replaced by our in house electronics surgeon with a smooth and silent electric propulsion system.
Mid century is the new buzz word around Shoreditch and Chelsea where keen thirty somethings can buy my childhood bedroom furniture or an original Ercol dining chair for several tens of pounds (if not hundreds). Also in central London one can bed down for a day, or a lifetime on a houseboat. How trendy is that ? A floating “des res” on Imperial Wharf will set you back a mere £395,000 (plus annual mooring fees) for the freehold on a two bedroomed barge named “Elsie”. If all you can afford is a night, then how about Air B&B on the Rudyard Kipling (he of Jungle Book fame).
If living by the water, rather than on the water, and in central Henley-on-Thames, is more to your taste with the option of a boat at the end of the garden (or indeed across thestreet), then do come to the open house viewing on February 27th organised by Philip Booth esq. The Regency style garden flat at 6 River Terrace has a wonderful view and a lovely private back garden for post regatta parties. Golden Butterfly is the perfect electric gentleman’s launch for a future owner and will also be open and on show that morning between 10am and noon.
While nautical enthusiasts were making their way to the charmless outpost known as Excel for the London Boat Show, myself and Stuart decided to give it a wide berth and take the plane to Dusseldorf instead. Rather than a tedious two hour tube and train hop across London we boarded the plane at Heathrow and 90 minutes after take off were in a meeting with our new Canadian electric boating partners at Boot 2016. We previewed the Fantail 217 in our December newsletter. There are now two on order for delivery in time for Easter. One will join our growing fleet of self drive dayboats while the other will be the all singing all dancing version with wood trim and a sliding loo ! Also in our contemporary classic selection the Mallard will be moulding the first outboard version for owners in the Lake District. This seemed like the best option for boaters who have to contend with launching into shallow water prior to each outing. The Mallard demonstrator is now at Beale Park boat store if you would like to see it ashore or afloat. She will also be on show at the Henley House and Gardens Show in mid March outside Henley-on-Thames town hall.
Boatique will be four on February 14th so if you are in Henley between 11 and 4 pm why not drop by and join us for a glass of wine (pink for Valentines). There will be tempting accessories which make good gifts for lovely ladies and plenty of eye candy for the gorgeous gents including the very best model Rivas on the market and various model aeroplanes. You can view Boatique on line 24 hours a day of course. However we love to see you if you are passing 5 Friday st. See you on Sunday !