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January 2019 Boating News

Gillian Nahum
January 31, 2019

Could January’s sunny skies have promoted a New Year’s boat buying frenzy? From our perspective it would seem so.

Times are changing

Boat show cancellations

‘The show must go on’ – or so the saying goes. However London Boat Show was cancelled this year for the first time since the 2nd World War and now Beale Park Boat & Outdoor show has also been axed... So what’s going on? 

Clearly direct marketing i.e. meeting customers face to face, is too expensive for many companies and social media is seen as a more reasonably priced substitute. 

Certainly for me there is no substitute for the extrovert’s pleasure in meeting real people and exercising my languages (a surefire anti-Alzheimer’s remedy apparently, and for me less challenging than Sudoku). The excitement of seeing new products never fails to inspire me and it’s always reassuring to see the same old faces, in the spirit of ‘at least they haven’t gone bust during the recession’.

Dusseldorf’s BOOT never fails to inspire

Needless to say I was looking forward to attending Boot, the Dusseldorf Boat Show & Watersport exhibition. All 17 halls of it were crammed to the gunwhales with the latest offerings from France, Germany, Holland & Poland. Few British yards were present other than the major players such as Oyster, Sunseeker and Princess. 

So while some shows are cancelled due to lack of interest, judging by the number of nautical fellow travellers on the last flight home to Heathrow after the show, Dusseldorf is doing what the public want.

BOOT Dusseldorf
A few images from the show
A few images from the show.

My first Dusseldorf show was 30 years ago in 1989 when we began our export push with The Steam & Electric launch Company promoting the Frolic 21. Our main error with that product was not to have checked whether the name ‘Frolic” worked in German & Dutch as well. People were laughing, wondering why we had named the model after a dog food brand. Fortunately our new-found Dutch agent decided to rename it the Style 21. Wise man! They are so practical, the Dutch.

The Legend is an electric boat that accommodates wheelchair users
The Legend is an electric boat that accommodates wheelchair users

And so are the French! In late 2018 we mentioned the fact that Ruban Bleu were building a prototype electric boat to seat 9 people, one or two of whom could actually be wheelchair users. I was delighted to see the prototype at Boot and have ordered one for stock, which should be with us in late spring. This is a comfortable stable spacious river launch for users and owners with or without full mobility. Bravo Ruban Bleu! 

For more information feel free to take a look at our brochure.

kids boats
Electric lake boats for kids
Electric lake boats for kids

At the other end of the scale we have become agents for another French company which produces these charming themed electric lake boats for kids. They are ideal for amusement parks or stately homes that are open to the public. Clearly children love them and they offer an opportunity for extra revenue.

So let’s meet in 2019

As it is January let’s put some dates in the diary.

Henley House and Garden Show

The first weekend of MarchThe Henley House & Garden Show will take place in the town square and at the town hall in central Henley on Thames. We had a lovely time there 2 years ago, meeting customers old and new, and will be on the apron in front of the town hall again this year. We look forward to seeing you there. 

The electric launches at our kiosk in Wallingford
The electric launches at our kiosk in Wallingford

In April we are intending to reopen the PureBoating kiosk in Wallingford from Easter weekend, provided the river is behaving. We plan to have 6 boats there this year, all of which will be electric. Keep an eye on the PureBoating website for more information.

"Barely Awake" participating in the floral flotilla
"Barely Awake" participating in the floral flotilla

The date to mark in your diary for the 2019 Chelsea Fringe Flotilla is May26th (from 2pm - 4pm). In the early autumn last year we sold "Barely Awake" and we hope to see her new owners participating in the flotilla this spring.

Poole Harbour Boat Show

From June 7th – 9th we will be at the Poole Harbour Boat Show presenting a PTS 26.

Magyar on the water
"Magyar" on the water and on deck
"Magyar" on the water and on deck

For Henley Royal Regatta (July 3rd - 7th) and Henley Festival (July 10th - 14th) there now is only limited availability for charter, but we still have space on Magyar.

"Magyar" lends herself to indoor entertaining as well.
"Magyar" lends herself to indoor entertaining as well.

If after all that you still have the energy, you will of course wish to participate in the wonderful Thames Traditional Boat Festival July 19th – 21st. 

Traditional Boat Festival

Like hot cakes

Just before Christmas we sold two more PTS 26 used boats for delivery to the Thames in March.

"El Gusto"
"El Gusto"

A third one has just come to our website, aptly named “El Gusto”. Although built in 2008 it is presented like new with a 130hp engine, bow thruster, shower, hot water, galley in the cockpit and loo in the bow. 

If nothing other than brand spanking new will satisfy you, then we can deliver your new build for early June.


"St. Joan"
"St. Joan"

We are delighted to announce that we started the new year with two significant sales, one being “St. Joan”, the magnificent Brooke motor yacht and the other “Amaryllis II” which was featured in our December 2018 newsletter.

The majestic "Amaryllis II"
The majestic "Amaryllis II"

The purchaser of “St. Joan” is trading up to a larger wooden boat from his much loved 33ft Starcraft “Travis McGee”. This is one to cherish and represents the second Bates Starcraft on sale with HSC in the last quarter following the 45 footer sold in autumn 2018.

Travis McGee
Travis McGee interior
Travis McGee seating
"Travis McGee" - a 33ft Bates Starcraft now for sale through HSC

Boat of the month

If you are looking for something a little smaller, “Cuthbert” could be perfect for you.

Electrified in 2017, “Cuthbert” is the ultimate bijoux launch.
Electrified in 2017, “Cuthbert” is the ultimate bijoux launch.

With amazing attention to detail, good seating and a hood that keeps passengers and the skipper dry in all weathers, this 12ft traditional clinker launch is ideal for participating in classic boating events or enjoying the river with family and friends all throughout the boating season. 

Cuthbert on trailer
“Cuthbert” on her trailer.

She comes with a Torqeedo outboard motor (2017), and a trailer to keep her on at home in your garage on her days off.

To be the first to see our newest boats for sale throughout the month and to share in our daily adventures,

follow us on Instagram @henleysalesandcharter.

If you see anything of potential interest as you browse through old photo albums, read interesting books or take photos on your daily walks, please send snippets to me [email protected]

I look forward to hearing from you with your sales enquiries, your photos and your stories.

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Henley Sales and Charter Ltd have gained a reputation over the last 30 years for selling and chartering beautiful, classic boats. Experience of operating and selling boats on the river Thames enables us to offer expert objective advice to prospective owners on all aspects of boat ownership including purchase, surveys, repairs and moorings. We will do our best to find the ideal craft to suit your individual needs - for a day or for a lifetime.

Henley Sales & Charter Ltd

29 Station Road
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire


01491 578 870
[email protected]

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