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Everything posted by Dan

  1. Perhaps if you had kept the interior completely original, and threw in some wheel trims for an Austin Allegro, I might have been tempted Dan
  2. The 34ft Tropical's look particularly cheap/ideal private boats and I'm sure will go quickly at that price Dan
  3. It's this one - last with Line Azzurro http://www.broads.org.uk/wiki2018/index.php?title=Boat_Details&BoatId=7709&BoatHistory=13252 Dan
  4. It is hard to imagine 3 boats will produce a viable return, and with the loss of their agent it is hard to imagine healthy bookings charts outside of school holidays Dan
  5. You can tell the ownership has changed.... 50% is a dangerous game to play Dan
  6. I always quite like a nod to the past..... Dan
  7. I think you were talking at cross purposes because you rang Swancraft of Brundall not Swancraft of Wargrave (the latter closed ages ago) So they were answering which boats they'd run from their business (they never ran the style you have). I'm not sure there was even ever a connection between the two companies, just a similar name If you look at the photo the rubbing strakes match, you think it was on the Thames at some point and called Harmony 2. Does the gel colour look similar to the photo? Thanks Dan
  8. Was this post missed. Looks like the answer to me??
  9. No, not really Not my style and wouldn't move me nearer to using them as a result, but no nothing wrong with that and perhaps might be appreciated by some who have found themselves needing to find alternative plans and still wanting to go boating Dan
  10. That is surely jumping on the bandwagon defined!
  11. Wow, this is bad news as I've had a few single hires from Richardsons and was thinking I might do this again for an impromptu break at some point this year. I'm more suprised though that as others have said existing bookings taken have been cancelled. Richardsons normally set a pretty good standard of how to do things and sorry but this just doesn't fit that. I always admire big companies who avoid that disastrous (in the longer term) corporate manager or accountant type of thinking, which appears (on the face of it) to have been the reaction here As this appears out of character my first thoughts are something really awful must have happened to force such an unenviable handling/policy change and to cancel long term customers bookings. After long term experiences with them letting people down is not what I would expect from them, ever. No doubt the reasons will become clear with time, hopefully once so it will seem more reasonable, and the business is not changing personality Dan
  12. Ah, this is a real shame. It's clear they hold/held a totally enviable reputation for quality & service so it is a suprise & catches people off guard I guess. There could be so many reasons.... it's unlikely Richardsons have just had a rush of blood to the head so no doubt the truth will out shortly. I would be very disappointed (and a bit suprised) if it were just down to profit & balance sheets (though Accountants have been known, over a five to ten year period to ruin many a great organisation through destroying creativity, stripping staff and assets for short term gain so I guess this too isn't technically impossible, but hey, dont start me on that one ) There could be quite understandable operational issues (retirement, land ownership/landlord complications for example) or many other plausible though still disappointing reasons. I wonder if the houseboats will move to Richardsons Stalham? Dan
  13. It's great to see a less dramatic drop of presence of hire boats at Acle and I really hope they make a go of it. I didnt like the name much to be honest and it didnt fill me with much confidence. Realistically though service & product quality normally wins through and name is largely irrelevant (I probably wouldnt call a business after a green or red piece of fruit either but they seem to have had some success) I notice they say they are using an agent in a fb reply but by well into January there appears to be no website, no listing via agency, yet they talk of February hiring? I'm glad to hear they're using an agent as this should give them a leg up while they establish, especially if the pricing is right. Surely as all the craft have previously been with the agent the photos & layouts therefore already exist with them then listing shouldnt be a great issue to the agent. As a new business I think I'd be ensuring the avenues for the cash flow to roll down were opened as quick as possible.... Dan
  14. Hi Robin I think the Thames hire scene dimished fantastically quickly in numbers of hirecraft. A decade made a massive difference, much bigger than the Broads had seen. There are not many hireboats left in any price brackets really. Dig out your brochures and add up how many boats disappeared between 1993 & 2003, and what percentage of the total number on hire this was. It's a different waterway but there are always similarities and differences so a lot could be learnt by what changed or made people stop hiring. Dan
  15. Dan


    I'm not that keen to be honest... the colours dont look to complement each other as well as in the earlier ones, though perhaps the fabric needed to be more hard wearing I think brown is otherwise a less pleasing colour and darker finishes can look a bit cheaper to my mind and lighter colours tend to age better and be more timeless & less open to personal preferences and opinions. Dan
  16. Hi Eric Few things to maybe chat over with them so that then you can help them move to a position of making a start without just going all round the houses or wasting too much time: How much would they like to spend roughly (monthly or outright. If monthly next stage is to look at some loans to turn the payment into the amount this will generate How many berths are required (you mention two, are any further berths needed or desirable) Are they happy to have any areas restricted, or any favourite bits of the waterway they have The above point leads to style of boats considered (aft cockpit, centre cockpit, sedan, forward steer, dual etc. Point one may immediately eliminate some) Where will they keep it. Some rough mooring, insurance & running costs are good to have in mind Have they remembered they cant just tur up & go in quite the same way as hiring. Is some time allowed for tidying, maintaining, winterising etc, or if not a bit more cost to factor Dan
  17. The wording is "..parties" This implies more than two people & I always assumed was carefully chosen to not exclude same sex couples Dan
  18. I always think your most loyal, earliest bookers should get the best deal, and a business should be run for the long term (though I understand you have to survive the short term sometimes to get there, so it is a balancing act, especially if you've not learnt the lessons previously handed to you yet), so last minute deals sit a bit uncomfortably with me. There's some boats in the Herbert Woods fleet I would like to hire. Their pricing & approach to specal offers means they have never stacked themselves towards me hiring one. Last time (and the time before) I got a new boat from Richardsons for very close money to their twenty odd year old offering.... I believe that in retail the selling price and the product/standard offered are the two things most likeky to affect the business success. I dont see any difference with boat hire Dan
  19. Hi Everyone Does anyone know what this rather "interesting" looking thing is that Le Boat are suggesting someone may wish to pay good money to holiday on??? I think it is confirmation, if any was needed, that whoever decided to close their Wroxham factory should be hunted down and shot http://www.leboatbrokerage.com/yacht-details/?yacht=sjqckxhc-87 Dan
  20. Good service is always good business Most people are too busy thinking & prioritising around themselves to really get it though, but a lot of money gets left on the table as a result Dan
  21. I think it is all about service now, and will continue to go ever more this way. From being the other side of the fence, operational scenarios such as staff holidays, people leaving, actually being able to find good people who care, few people actually being superstars at their jobs, people learning & growing within their role, the financial & feasibility of being able to have the staff level you'd like against whether the business is viable on this ratio, peak or unusual spike periods to name just a few, mean that to deliver a perfect, consistent service is much easier said than done, though will always be what is needed and what people should be trying to deliver, and it doesn't seem the case in some of the examples here. What would interest me is the real reasons why you didn't get a reply. You will probably never know them, but it is unlikely to be as black and white as they were just rubbish and dont know how to run a business Dan
  22. Thanks Neil Is this the place? Never really looked big enough to me for the number of boats they had, but there does look to be a lot of late 90s-ish office developments close by, which could be right & what stop me picturing it as a hirebase in my mind!? Dan
  23. Hi Vaughan Good to see you posting here. You gave me lots of great info when I set up the Hearts Cruisers website some years back. I remember Aquamarine, and have often tried (unsuccessfully) to figure out/picture exactly where their yard was when I have been on holiday on the Thames. Do you have any photos? It's a shame the Thames has lost so many fair size hirefleets. Benson, Maidlline & Ferryline being the last of the bigger ones to give it up, and the waterway is much poorer for it in my mind. We picked up a Consul from you at San Gilles around 2004. We enjoyed the handover but I suspect if I had known your Hearts connections it would have been a very long handover for you! Best wishes Dan
  24. I guess Len Funnell would be the man to talk to about plannning in Horning. He seems to make it look easy. Dan
  25. Thought my ears were a bit sore! Had a bit of a look... it's in lots of my pictures but as it changed from use around 2002 to a New Horizon one (with a reflection) the pictures are pre-digital and I don't know which box my scanner is in. However, you can see it in this one from one of the fleet that had sat kicking around for a long time....though perhaps not quite as large as hoped for, but I reckon combined with your current one there is perhaps enough to get a good replica and the colours right hopefully Dan
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