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Blakes 2011


Dan

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Hi Everyone

I see that the Blakes website has been updated/changed a little again and it also confirms that for 2011 they will not be representing Herbert Woods, which must be a massive loss of revenue for them.

Interesting to see a new boat at DRL Marine - "Magical Time" http://www.blakes.co.uk/Web/Blakes/Prod ... RCODE=1496

Also it seems that they have added lots of internals of many boats, so good to see that along with everyone else the pictures are improving in many cases

http://www.blakes.co.uk/Web/Blakes/HomePage.aspx

Hopefully the brochure wont be long now

Dan

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An improved site I think. The internal shot thing really seems to be catching on now which is excellent. It's a bit sad that the Blakes choice as dropped yet again with the withdrawal of Herbert Woods. It makes me wonder whether the likes of Barnes & Faircraft Loynes really need Blakes and what they're gaining from being there.

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Rumour had reached me that you had overtaken me on the DRL Marine photo stakes somewhat! :lol:

Interesting to see, assuming it's correct that none of the former Highcraft boats are being ran at DRL Marine for 2011. This is a shame as although a couple were fairly basic they looked nicely turned out, and I especially liked the 31ft sliding canopy forward steers "Classic Time"

Dan

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Hi Andy

No they are not with Hoseasons, though they are continuing with http://www.waterwaysholidays.com as an agent who will need to take a lot of extra bookings for them and with their newly launched website http://www.herbertwoods.co.uk

It will be interesting to see how they fare without Blakes because it will be a lot of bookings to find for a large fleet, especially given they have not really being taking any bookings directly until now, as when they were part of NBD they looked after this centrally and a lot of those calls will still go to NBD rather than everyone looking out or searching for 'Woods number.

I thought their (Herbert Woods) current offer of 20% off non peak holidays if booked now was a good attempt/offer and although i've not done much searching for next year yet seemed better than what anyone else is doing, though I have not looked if their pricepoint before discount for next year is reasonable/competitive or a bit pricey to start with! :grin:

All the best

Dan

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Dan,

I have just had a look at the Blakes website and there are no yachts for hire on the Broads. I thought Eastwood Welpton and the NBYC at Horning were with Blakes or have they also gone their own way in the past and I missed it.

Ian :Sailing

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hi dan, thats a big risk their taking pulling away from blakes but i hope it works out well for them, we were up at potter early april on concerto and we had a good look round the fleet and it looked very smart.unlike rickos who had loads of boats out hb had loads of boats in their yard.

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Dan,

I have just had a look at the Blakes website and there are no yachts for hire on the Broads. I thought Eastwood Welpton and the NBYC at Horning were with Blakes or have they also gone their own way in the past and I missed it.

Ian :Sailing

Hi Ian

Yes, Horning left Blakes a few years ago and Eastwood Whelpton a couple of years ago roughly but I dont know the dates exactly :oops:

Andy,

Yes the Herbert Woods fleet has had poor occupancy rates in my opinion for a long time. I think this has been partly down to their pricing, as when doing comparisons to some other fleets that let well they are rarely well matched/competitive. Also 'Woods have quite a lot of larger craft and comparitively few smaller boats. I think generally lower berth craft (for couples etc especially) let well on the shoulder season but bigger craft less so and so I think the pricing and weighting of the fleet perhaps lend itself to this.

I'll be interested to see how next year goes with Herbert Woods. I do not really understands who owns it, but I am hoping they know the holiday and/or hire industry well so will pull it off, and also be able to stand strong when these busier times reduce.... the boats have looked quite good this season I thought and losing the strong agency payments and some of the freedoms of approach & reactions it brings (being independent) will bring new opportunities but I too worry they will be able to let such a large fleet to the level they need (it is no small challenge)... but then I guess looking at it another way if their shoulder season was not letting very well anyway and in these better times the peak season is less of a worry to let and they will be seeing all or more of the money themselves.... best of luck to them

Dan

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hi dan, thats a big risk their taking pulling away from blakes but i hope it works out well for them, we were up at potter early april on concerto and we had a good look round the fleet and it looked very smart.unlike rickos who had loads of boats out hb had loads of boats in their yard.

well i still come to the conclusion that if its not broke dont fix it & since they sold it off i think its gone right down hill

Jonny ice sliceice slice

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hi dan, thats a big risk their taking pulling away from blakes but i hope it works out well for them, we were up at potter early april on concerto and we had a good look round the fleet and it looked very smart.unlike rickos who had loads of boats out hb had loads of boats in their yard.

I will admit that I don't bother with Blakes and Hoseasons catalogues as a rule - I did glance through the 2010 Blakes catalogue earlier this year and noticed the absence of yachts. (A big change from my early memories of the Broads, when it was possible to hire a yacht from Martham (2 yards), Ludham, Potter Heigham, Wroxham (at least two yards), Horning, Upton, Acle, and (for a while) St. Olaves.)

From what I've observed over the years, in general the few yards that still hire yachts tend to have a fairly loyal customer base (and were always the yards with a reputation for hiring out decent boats), so not being associated with one of the two big agencies probably doesn't affect them too much in terms of current bookings. Unfortunately that customer base is beginning to age quite rapidly, and there don't seem to be too many younger people getting the bug for it - when I went out for the Friends of Hunter's Yard picnic a few weeks ago I noticed very few people younger than me (33), and most seemed closer in age to my Mum, who absolutely loved being able to spend time on one of the Hunter's yachts again, even if we did nearly disgrace the Friends by sailing up the slipway at Thurne dyke (fortunately the old instincts kicked in and we managed to get all sail down and come to a relatively graceful stop in ~100m, without harming any one or damaging any boat, including the one we were on (Hustler 5)).

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well i still come to the conclusion that if its not broke dont fix it & since they sold it off i think its gone right down hill

Jonny ice sliceice slice

Hi Jonny,

What makes you say that "since they sold it off i think its gone right down hill" My personal experience of the HW yard (which is extensive as I am there nearly every weekend) is that things have improved on a large scale since it has been taken over. Certainly from a private moorers view point, our berths are being upgraded over the winter with water supplies and shore power hook ups. The private moorings are very well maintained and this year the service road has also been subject to a fair amount of maintenance. Having spent a lot of time in the yard earlier in the year (Preparing ES for her internal refit) I witnessed 90% of the HW fleet being taken out of the water and Hulls re painted or polished and antifouled. in adition to that at least 45 boats had complete new upholstery.

Obviously you have your reasons for the "its gone right down hill" comment, could I be so bold as to ask what they are?

cheers!

Andy.

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Hi Everyone

I see that the Blakes website has been updated/changed a little again and it also confirms that for 2011 they will not be representing Herbert Woods, which must be a massive loss of revenue for them.

Interesting to see a new boat at DRL Marine - "Magical Time" http://www.blakes.co.uk/Web/Blakes/Prod ... RCODE=1496

Also it seems that they have added lots of internals of many boats, so good to see that along with everyone else the pictures are improving in many cases

http://www.blakes.co.uk/Web/Blakes/HomePage.aspx

Hopefully the brochure wont be long now

Dan

cheersbar

Dan, Hi

That's an impressive write-up on Magical Time but I see they're not taking bookings until July..... I wonder why? :?:?:?

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Mark, Hi

But the pic shows her going down the river and I'm surprised she won't be fitted out before then... :?:?:?

Hi John

The picture used is actually of Evening Light that has been doctored to remove the other fleets branding to give a good idea of a similar craft of the same design style.

All the best

Dan

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Received my 2011 Blakes brochure today. It's a better brochure than before I think with a fair few new internal pictures. Even at the budget end of the market the Sanderson's boats are featured internally whereas only a couple of years ago there were no internal pics at all for that yard. Very strange to have a Blakes brochure without Woods in there - first time that's happened since the Pennant Holidays days of the 80's and early 90's. On the Thames longtime Blakes stalwarts Kris Cruisers have disappeared also. It's a thin brochure at 126 pages.

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Maybe there has been some changes in terms or costs or maybe its just the growing scenario that established fleets with good reputations and a solid bank of repeat customers can probably do a decent job of things themselves with the internet/a decent website and some off the shelf availability/booking software.

It's more of a suprise to me that Woods left, as they are a large fleet, that wasn't letting at an enviable level and didn't have the biggest customer base, made more complicated by only recently becoming fully on their own... so I am suprised they have decided not to need one of the big two agents (now owned by the same group) so soon. I did wonder if there had been some disagreement there, must be a big loss of revenue for Blakes.

I reckon Kris Cruisers will manage just fine, though must be a loss to Blakes as they let well and were amongsrt their best fleets to my mind and I guess a small drop of bookings once independent is not the end of the world anyway as you have all the hire fee yourself rather than giving around a fair old percentage of the booking to the agent (even if taken independently), I would think they can be confident they'll be no worse off. I'm suprised a few others haven't left and gone fully alone yet, as there's a few fleets who seem to book very well and have an amazingly loyal/repeat base.

It does seem a thin brochure which is a shame, as it really is pretty good.

All the best

Dan

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I hav'nt seen Chris or Paul since the London Boatshow so not sure whats been happening at Kris Cruisers. I know Hoseasons were always asking Chris to swap but they are not on Hoseasons either.

Next time I have Sunseeker trip I will pop in and find out whats happening.

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