Before heading off later this month to join the Dunkirk Little Ships, we have been working hard over at the boat store, getting boats antifouled, cleaned and launched for the season. The lovely weather has led to renewed enthusiasm for boat buying, so we are busy with viewings both on the Thames and elsewhere.

75th Anniversary Return to Dunkirk

May marks the return of the Little Ships to the shores of Dunkirk. We have witnessed moving scenes of former servicemen at the Cenotaph, and I am sure that the service on the beach in Dunkirk will be equally memorable. Indeed it is surely going to be the last return with servicemen who were actually involved.

Photo taken by one of Major Howard's men who found a camera on the beach as they were trying to find a boat to take them off.

Photo taken by one of Major Howard’s men who found a camera on the beach as they were trying to find a boat to take them off.

Major Howard, RA, MC was in command of an anti-tank battery. He returned shortly after D-day and took his unit all through France and Belgium.

Thanks to Alan Howard, one of our charter skippers, for the photograph (above) which was taken by one of his uncle’s men.

Deenar (left) - Mada (right)

Deenar (left) – Mada (right)

Deenar and Mada are available for purchase if you would like to own a slice of this unique history.

Join us next month at Beale Park

Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show 2015

Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show 2015

We plan to have a bumper display on show at the Beale Park boat store during the Beale Park Boat and Outdoor show.

On the site itself Trish will be selling our Norwegian lightweight stylish rainwear as well as some ‘boaty’ essentials from Marine Business in a mini Boatique, located on the High street within the Marine village.

Blaest rainwear (left) - Marine Business' nautical hosting essentials (right)

Blaest rainwear (left) – Marine Business’ nautical hosting essentials (right)

If you are unsure of the location of the boat store ask Trish, or make your way to the exit gates and the River and Racing Museum where you will find us on the left hand side amid a spectacular array of skiffs, slippers and saloon launches.

After last year’s rather disappointing boat auction, skiff and punt owners are making contact to see whether we are repeating the experience. As we have no plans to repeat the auction this year, we will be showing a number of sporting river craft including the unusual Nautilus sailing canoe.

Lucky Star on her trailer

Lucky Star on her trailer

We had a project version of this at the auction and now we have the “real thing” but this time in ready-to-launch condition complete with sails. Even if this is not your bag do come and take a look.

See you at Beale Park on June 5th, 6th or 7th!

Boat of the month

Nerissa back in the day

Nerissa back in the day

Boat of the month has to be Nerissa. I first heard about her a couple of years ago when I was sent some photos of an elegant looking Taylor Bates. Two years on the boat is nearing completion and has to be the dream boat of many of our clients.

She was built in 1933 and we have photos of the original owners on board in Chertsey where she was built.

Here on the upper Thames we are more used to seeing the smaller boats by Taylor Bates, such as Agora and Lady Florence.

Nerissa on her maiden-voyage

Nerissa on her maiden-voyage

This 55ft motor yacht was one of a series built for private clients and is extremely well documented. We have a copy of a Motor Boat & Yachting article from July 1933.

At that time the boat was sold for the princely sum of £3000. This means, according to our historical inflation calculator, that the current asking price is below the build price of £186,000. I am certain that there is no European yard capable of building a 55ft boat for less than half a million pounds these days.

For more information and current photos take a look at the HSC website or give me a ring.

A Venetian treasure

“And now for something completely different “

Venetian Vaporetto

Venetian Vaporetto

If you think a Venetian Vaporetto could add to your personal fleet then here she is. Built in Venice in 1905 and now 110 years old, this vessel has been restored throughout and fitted out as a private day boat. She would also be superb as a unique passenger vessel anywhere in Europe on a lake or a river.

Just say: “I do”

The wedding season is well under way and several newly married couples will spend their first hour of wedded bliss on board one of the HSC charter fleet.

Pietra Santa

Pietra Santa

Here is Pietra Santa at the Swan at Streatley awaiting a bride and groom who were taken by Toby to Rossini at the Leatherne Bottel for their reception.

Pietra Santa still has some Henley Regatta availability so please call to enquire.

Midsomer Maiden “in bloom” at the Floral Flotilla

Midsomer Maiden at Floral Flotilla

Midsomer Maiden at Floral Flotilla

Midsomer Maiden is now fully booked for HRR but there are many other days in the season. Here she is at the Floral Flotilla, launched this year for the first time by the enterprising Chelsea Fringe team in Henley.

Karen Bennett, our loyal bookkeeper, brought along the synchronised swimmers, whom she trains for competitions, whilst her sister in law, Juliet Bennett of Babylon Flowers, decorated the swimmers, the skipper and the boat.

Date for your diary:

Juliet will co-host a flower arranging workshop at Boatique (5, Friday street, Henley-on-Thames) on June 17th, when we will once again be open until 9 pm. More information will be sent out closer to the date.

Henley Royal Regatta – Wine and Champagne

Champagne from Perfect Friday Wine

Champagne from Perfect Friday Wine

Last Wednesday Boatique hosted a wine tasting event with Perfect Friday Wines. Those who attended enjoyed Jo Randall’s range of lovely summer wines.

Boatique will be licensed to sell alcohol during Henley Royal Regatta. On order we will have chilled White wine, Rosé and Champagne in the fridge for collection, and will be delivering to boats along the quayside in Henley.

Skull and crossbones flag (left) - Blaest rainwear and gear (right)

Skull and crossbones flag (left) – Blaest rainwear and gear (right)

We also have hats and rainwear to cover all eventualities. And if you want to signal to your guests that the your boat is well stocked, we have “G&T on board” flags available for £12.95, as well as the more obvious skull and crossbones.

Needless to say, here at HSC we are getting excited about this summer’s events on the river, and we’ll keep in touch with “Tales of the riverbank” (anyone born in the 1950’s may remember this show narrated by Johnny Morris): “But that’s another story.”.