As springs morphs into summer, the river is coming alive with brio and for whatever reason buyers are returning to the market with enthusiasm. Needless to say, we are happy.
The first weekend of June saw us split into two camps with Adrian at Fawley Hill’s Décor-Architectural fair (formerly Salvo) where he showed three electrified boats: a Thames camping punt, the 12ft "Cuthbert" and "Pavoncella" ("lapwing" in Italian).
While he baked in the sunshine in the hills above Henley, we roasted by the lake at Beale Park. On the lake was the usual mix of eccentricity characterised by The Water Craft Makita Cordless Canoe Challenge, as well as a fabulous turn out by The Thames Vintage Boat Club membership and a smattering of steamboats.
In addition to the new builds, we have also sold "Sans Peur", "Arabella", "Lady Myrtle" and "Eglantine". Good news for both vendors and purchasers.
Some readers may remember our 2014 boat auction during the Beale Park Boat Show where we collaborated successfully with Special Auction Services from Newbury.
What became apparent after the auction was that the ephemera was a total sell out, the smaller boats and indeed a few “projects” sold relatively easily as well, while anything more substantial either didn’t sell at all, or sold subsequent to the auction once a survey had been carried out.
Based on these findings we are trying a new format this year, which we hope will add to the excitement of the Thames Traditional Boat Festival (July 20th-22nd).
This year’s Transport Auction includes nautical, aviation, motoring and cycling models, toys and ephemera as well as some attractive boats all under £10,000. Viewing will take place on site at the TTBF over the weekend with the auction taking place the following week (July 24th) at SAS headquarters in Newbury.
For a quick preview of some of the lot which will go under the hammer you can check out the Transport Auction online catalogue and register to bid..
Some of the auction lots (such as “Piccolo” a high speed 2-seater) are already with us at Beale Park boat store. If anything in particular appeals to you do come along for a preview.
If you are thinking of attending the Thames Traditional Boat Festival this year, it is not too late to buy yourself a splendid gentleman’s launch on which to entertain your friends in style. "Tarbes II" is now afloat after her winter refit. The interior of this boat will transport you in a trice back to 1931 when “Sunny Morn”, as she was then called, was launched by the Brooke Marine Boat Yard in Lowestoft.
Alternatively if you would prefer an authentic electric saloon launch, “Lisbeth”, built in 1953 by Borwicks of Windermere, has just come onto the market.
“Lisbeth” was built to carry passengers around a lake in Lancashire but as the lake sprung a leak she eventually ended up sitting on the bottom inside her boathouse.
Still licensed to carry 49 passengers plus crew and thanks to an elaborate salvage operation, she then went to a commercial operator on the Bridgewater Canal.
In the end she was put up for sale and then purchased by a riparian owner on the Thames, who instructed Stanley & Thomas Boat Builders to refit the interior and to build a new cabin.
We are delighted to be able to offer a total of four historic saloon launches for ladies, or gentlemen, who like to entertain and may even wish to spend the odd night on board. Besides “Tarbes II” and “Lisbeth”, “Lady Genevieve” and “Archangel” are also ready to get stuck into the new season and are therefore looking for keen new owners.
As our thoughts turn to holidays it might be worth considering enjoying the British summer here in the UK on board your very own mini-motor yacht.
Whether your budget is £20,000 or £50,000+ there is sure to be a cabin launch or motor yacht to suit your needs on our books.
The obvious advantage of the latter over an open launch is the availability of an on board loo!
For day boaters there is nothing like the feel of the wind in your hair as you sip Champagne while cheering for your favourite crew at one of the summer’s regattas.
If you are quick you still have time to select a stunning slipper launch from which to watch Henley Women’s Regatta this coming weekend.
Henley Women’s Regatta has grown dramatically in the past few years thanks to a dedicated committee. It has a less formal atmosphere than its male counterpart all the while guaranteeing some exciting racing.
On the subject of women in rowing, did you know that in 1912 Lucy Pocock won a women’s sculling race on the tideway sponsored by the Daily Mirror?
A huge crowd estimated to be around 25,000 people crowded on the riverbank to watch.
Lucy was from a boating family and her height (she was 6ft) and determination won her not only the trophy but also enough prize money for her to pay for herself and her father to join her brothers in Seattle, where they had emigrated a couple of years previously.
Once established in Washington State she became engaged as a rowing and swimming coach for the women of the university of Washington.
This remarkable story, the research and photos related to it, are courtesy of Lisa Taylor PhD researcher from the Metropolitan University of Manchester (in collaboration with the River & Rowing Museum).
You can of course enjoy being on the water for an hour (or a day) at a time by using a day boat hire service instead of purchasing a vessel of your own.
Our sister company PureBoatingoperates from The Boathouse in Wallingford. The kiosk is now manned 7 days/week in daylight hours and we are delighted to welcome back David and Tio to work alongside Adrian this season.
If you are thinking you may want to take a boat out on a weekend, please make sure you book well in advance, as weekends are extremely busy this time of year.
We also sent an electric day boat up to The Barns hotel in Bedford. "George" is enjoying his summer sojourn there.
If you are heading up the M1 towards Bedford at any time, take a break, have a drink and enjoy the delightful outdoor terrace at The Barns hotel overlooking the river Ouse.