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smitch6

Hoseasons 83 Brochure Wanted

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Thanks again David. Some of those boatyards I'd forgotten existed. Who remembers Babik Boats at Wroxham? 

Brister Craft were innovators in their sat and fitted out to a high quality. Yare Moonlight must have been one of the early Aquafibre 38s. It didn't stay on the Broads long because it moved to the Thames and became Thames Moonlight which we hired in 1999. It's still available from Caversham Boat Services as Caversham Emperor. By the look of the interior photos online the distinctive light blue Brister upholstery is still in place. 

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Brister was our favourite yard and it was a blow when Mike Brister told us it was their last year of hire. We haad Yare Sunrise - the one in the brochure pages, followed by Yare Twilight a couple of times before taking the newer version of Yare Sunlight (a Haines 28 mould?) in it's first season. It was the bees knees with a cocktail cabinet, oak finish kitchen cabinets and smoked glass windows. When they finished hiring, we followed the boats to Summercraft. David Brister is still with them as an engineer I believe. The images below are the boats with Summercraft - the oldest I have now - from 2007. 

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I hired Gainsborough Girl from Summer craft in 2010, I think the same boat you had as Yare Sunlight David? It's a 32 foot dual steer and still with that lovely Brister interior and the tinted windows. I loved it. 

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On 27/01/2019 at 15:48, andyg said:

Some memories their, my family hired Phoenix from potter. Seem to remember she had a green painted hull back then ? And I'm sure it's around the time of the massive investment in the richardsons fleet.

 

7 hours ago, misswhiplash76 said:

omg yes we hired phoenixbeautiful boat.wish i owned her

 

2 hours ago, garryn said:

I remember Phoenix from the late sixties when she was built as a private boat called Fidam and was moored at Ferry Boatyard in Horning.

You'll all be pleased to hear Phoenix is still going strong and is still on the Broads. She is normally out and about from June to August when her owners sneak an extended holiday on board.

Here she is just a few months ago...

DSC_0055.thumb.JPG.5977c55664bb0a71ca007cc2c07d2135.JPG

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I've just won myself a Blakes 1975 brochure from Ebay and it arrived yesterday. There was still plenty of 50s and 60s craft around in those days but mixed in with new boats popping up everywhere. The Bounty 37 Gems still in Richardsons fleet today were already established by then. Here's Magic Gem, in those days priced for its full capacity of 7 but with only a single toilet (nowadays has 2) and with the old style saloon drop down bed. 

DSC_0094.JPG

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And this one's for Vaughan, the new fangled Ultimate Gem I know he was involved with. I would imagine a 44 foot forward steer was a bit out there back then. 

DSC_0093.JPG

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17 minutes ago, Broads01 said:

And this one's for Vaughan, the new fangled Ultimate Gem I know he was involved with. I would imagine a 44 foot forward steer was a bit out there back then. 

Fond memories, Simon. That was a boom year on the Broads and the yards just couldn't build boats fast enough. Little did we know that a big recession was only 2 or 3 years into the future!

At that time Richardsons had been sold by Bobby to the Rank Organisation who also owned Butlins and whose middle management were mostly ex "Red Coats". They had grand schemes and decided to build 100 new boats in one winter, bringing Richardsons' fleet from 200 to 300 in one season. All run from the same yard in Stalham, with 60 boats going out on a Thursday and all rest on Saturday! And we think the Ant is crowded nowadays!

The boats were built mainly at Stalham but also under sub-contract to many other Broads yards, such as Sutton Staithe and Easticks. At the last minute it was decided to exhibit the Ultimate Gem on Blakes Stand at the Boat Show in Earls Court and to meet the deadline for delivery, it was completely fitted out in 2 weeks! Gerry Thrower, the yard manager, drew a design on the back of a packet of 20 Players Gold Leaf and stuck it on the front of the saloon. The boatbuilders fitted out all the rest of the boat just from that plan. I then sat on the boat for 2 weeks when it was exhibited at Earls Court.

That Easter Saturday, when they all went out for the first time, was something I will never forget! The last boats to be finished and ready for hire, actually went out on the Monday morning. Their hirers had been sleeping on the berths, while the boatbuilders came back on Sunday and finished the rest of the boat around them. Amazingly, only two customers demanded their money back and went home.

It is hard to believe it all now, but I assure you it is true. Sure enough, Rank only lasted a few years in the hire boat business and eventually sold the business back to Bobby, for about half what they had paid him for it!

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On 10/02/2019 at 21:43, Broads01 said:

I hired Gainsborough Girl from Summer craft in 2010, I think the same boat you had as Yare Sunlight David? It's a 32 foot dual steer and still with that lovely Brister interior and the tinted windows. I loved it. 

Yeah, that's the one - AF Sapphire 32 and pretty much the last of those to be built, in 1998. I remember walking past her in Norwich yacht station that season and she was gleaming, I didn't realise at the time just how new she was as there hadn't been a new one built for a while.

http://www.broads.org.uk/wiki2018/index.php?title=Boat_Details&BoatId=1696&BoatHistory=2209

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2 hours ago, Vaughan said:

Fond memories, Simon. That was a boom year on the Broads and the yards just couldn't build boats fast enough. Little did we know that a big recession was only 2 or 3 years into the future!

At that time Richardsons had been sold by Bobby to the Rank Organisation who also owned Butlins and whose middle management were mostly ex "Red Coats". They had grand schemes and decided to build 100 new boats in one winter, bringing Richardsons' fleet from 200 to 300 in one season. All run from the same yard in Stalham, with 60 boats going out on a Thursday and all rest on Saturday! And we think the Ant is crowded nowadays!

The boats were built mainly at Stalham but also under sub-contract to many other Broads yards, such as Sutton Staithe and Easticks. At the last minute it was decided to exhibit the Ultimate Gem on Blakes Stand at the Boat Show in Earls Court and to meet the deadline for delivery, it was completely fitted out in 2 weeks! Gerry Thrower, the yard manager, drew a design on the back of a packet of 20 Players Gold Leaf and stuck it on the front of the saloon. The boatbuilders fitted out all the rest of the boat just from that plan. I then sat on the boat for 2 weeks when it was exhibited at Earls Court.

That Easter Saturday, when they all went out for the first time, was something I will never forget! The last boats to be finished and ready for hire, actually went out on the Monday morning. Their hirers had been sleeping on the berths, while the boatbuilders came back on Sunday and finished the rest of the boat around them. Amazingly, only two customers demanded their money back and went home.

It is hard to believe it all now, but I assure you it is true. Sure enough, Rank only lasted a few years in the hire boat business and eventually sold the business back to Bobby, for about half what they had paid him for it!

Thank you Vaughan as ever for all your information. It's remarkable considering so many boats were built in a hurry that the Bountys have stood the test of time. And you're hiring Ultimate this year for the second time? 

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2 hours ago, Vaughan said:

It is hard to believe it all now, but I assure you it is true. Sure enough, Rank only lasted a few years in the hire boat business and eventually sold the business back to Bobby, for about half what they had paid him for it!

Vaughan, when they bought the business back didn't they also pick up quite a lot of Thames boats from Maidline etc.

Rank operated from three yards on the Thames: Benson, Wallingford and Thames Ditton? I don't think the Benson yard was owned by them but IF Richardsons got Wallingford and Thames Ditton? in the package, they would have picked up some valuable land. I think Wallingford was sold to Oxford University Rowing Club and Thames Ditton was developed with housing. 

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1 hour ago, webntweb said:

Vaughan, when they bought the business back didn't they also pick up quite a lot of Thames boats from Maidline etc.

Yes, this was another of those boatyard "jigsaw puzzles" which I can't quite remember in detail. Rank had yards on the Thames as well as two on the Canal du Midi in France, at Port Cassafieres, near Beziers and Port Sud, near Toulouse. These were marketed under the name of Beaver Fleet, which was not the one at Somerleyton as that business had moved to St Olaves, on the yard which I think was later owned by Alphacraft.

Port Cassafieres was making a lot of money (not just because I was the manager at the time!) but Rank's accountants suddenly decided to get out of boating and so they sold everything. Richardsons went back to Bobby and Port Cass was bought by Keith Gregory, who by then owned the old Beaver Fleet yard at Somerleyton, which he called Crown Cruisers. In France, Keith later bought Blue Line as well and named it Crown Blue Line. This was later bought by First Choice, who also bought Connoisseur. This is now known as Le Boat.

I can't remember whether it was Rank or Keith who bought the yard at Benson, but it is still being operated by Le Boat today.

Hope I have got it all in the right order!

 

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Well, if you haven't, I doubt anyone else stands much of a chance of getting it straight!

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Richardsons operated on the Thames in the 90s until 2002 under the name New Horizon Holidays. At one time they had 3 Thames bases at Thames Ditton, Wallingford and Benson. I think it was 1998 when they dropped Benson and then for the last season in 2002 it was Thames Ditton only. I have happy memories of Benson in the 1990s, starting two Thames trips there and visiting on other occasions with it being so much nearer to my home than Norfolk. 

There was a gap of a few years between Richardsons leaving Benson and Le Boat coming in. There was a day boat operator there briefly. 

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The hire fleet at Benson was Swancraft for a while and then a few Le Boat boats arrived and gradually more. So I'm not sure if the base was/is a franchise arrangement for Le Boat.

I hired from Benson in 1977 when it was Benson Cruiser Station which we were told was owned by a Japanese Investment Company. As Vaughan says the mid 70s was a boom time for the hire industry, I think they had 6 Bounty/Buccaneer 37s and something like 19 Hampton Safaris.

 

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i have done extensive research and a name keeps coming up 'Adrian Tilbury' apparently he bought Swancraft at Henley and now owns Benson watercraft.

I have sent him pictures of my boat and he says it's not an eastick falcon lol

strange that as it's exactly the same as other eastick Falcons that i've seen.........

he keeps saying try Swancraft at Brtundall

but my boat has always been on the Thames and as far as i am aware was called Swan Harmony which according to Hoseasons and BSS was owned by Swancraft of Henley......

kinda banging my head against a brick wall lol

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The Richardson's Thames saga is even more complicated than suggested above. Back in the 70's and early 80's the Thames operation was Bushnell's of Maidenhead which was bought from the Olympic rower Bert Bushnell by Rank. Many of the Bushnell's fleet were latterly built at Stalham including the former Princess and one of the Distant Horizon's. When Rank sold Richardson's back it appears the Richardson family inherited the Bushnell's fleet if not the yard? Back in the mid 80's a large chunk of the Stalham fleet operated out of Maidenhead before they eventually returned to Stalham and the yard closed. Then the Saga began again when Richardson's bought Maidboats three yards, Thames Ditton and Wallingford being the original Maid yards, Benson Pleasurecraft a more recent acquisition by the previous owner s (who were the former owners?). Whilst Thames Ditton and Wallingford eventually closed up, Benson became Benson cruiser station and Swancraft, as far as I know Le Boat operates out of the yard however doesn't own it, the boats are run by Swancraft on behalf of Le Boat.

Neil

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As a side issue I believe it was Bert Bushnell of Maidenhead who pioneered the pump out boat toilet using aeroplane toilets as a template

Neil

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Looking in more detail at my 1975 brochure it's amazing how primitive some of the boats were by modern standards. Many boats had no shower and/or no heating. A small minority didn't even have a fridge, only an ice box. Tvs were optional extras. This 2 berth from Jack Powles was one of the most primitive. 

 

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Simon, back in the 50s and 60s we really didn't see them as primitive. I suppose some of the pre-war boats were beginning to look a bit tatty but generally most hire cruisers were well looked after.

Broads holidays compared favourably against caravan holidays in those days. Just looking through a 1970 brochure for a large(ish) site in Cornwall which had a club house, restaurant and heated pool but the caravans didn't have a shower or TV and were only just getting a refrigerator for that season.

Roy

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Roy, yes I guess it's a matter of the expectations associated with the period. It's the same as in the automotive world, at one time, air conditioning and ABS were luxuries for the priveleged view whereas now both are the expected norm. 

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17 hours ago, Broads01 said:

Looking in more detail at my 1975 brochure it's amazing how primitive some of the boats were by modern standards.

My first boating holiday was in the mid '70s on the Thames on a Caribbean - considered very new and modern then. The toilet, however, was still a 'bucket & chuck-it'. A year later we hired another Caribbean, this time from Bert Bushnell 

 

On ‎15‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 21:21, Captain said:

As a side issue I believe it was Bert Bushnell of Maidenhead who pioneered the pump out boat toilet using aeroplane toilets as a template

and it had a pump out toilet - luxury...

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