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Starting up your own hire boat yard


Guest mikeormick

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Hi All

Just a bit of fun really, but if you were to come in to a bit of cash and wanted to start up your own hire fleet, where would you base yourself and what would be your first hire boat purchase?

I have been thinking about this and my first thought is Stalham as it's such a nice area and has good amenities for hirers, only downside would be all the river traffic from Richardsons, so maybe somewhere like Loddon instead, again because it's so pretty, but the narrow windy river could be a problem for inexperienced hirers. For my first hire boat, I think something like my old favourite the Ocean 30 (great hire boat when I was a kid), or maybe even something like a Bounty 30 or a smaller boat.

Michael

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Great topic idea Michael. Stalham? No, there's enough hire boats there already!

I would go for a south Broads location. The south took the brunt of the spate of hire yard closures that happened a few years ago. I'd love to set up on the old Hampton Boats site at Oulton Broad. Then again both Beccles and St Olaves are now devoid of hire yards having both been busy places in the past. I think the former Aston base at Beccles would be my choice.

As for boats I'd go for a wide range to suit all pockets and personal taste (a kind of Richardsons approach but on a smaller scale). For something different I might go for a super high south Broads only boat that wouldn't fit under the bridges at Great Yarmouth!

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Yes, deffo already enough hire boats coming out of Stalham so no room for a new yard there.

When I was a kid we always hired from Hearts at Norwich. There was something really special about parking up in front of the river and seeing all the boarts moored up opposite, then having to get into a little boat to cross the river to get to the office. Only problem there was the little bridge as you left the yard, I remember one year when there was some flooding and we were the last hirers out of the yard for a whole week. Maybe this could be a good location for a new hire yard?

Must take a massive amount of money to start up a yard. Pacific Cruisers have a good location and have a home on site as well but not really any room for expansion.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Hmmmmmmm, great topic indeed, this is going to take some thinking about. As well as where you`re going to be based, what would you name your boats after. Would you name them all after a specific subject, like Alpha Craft name all their noats after aircraft, Maffett Cruisers are all named after birds, and Bridgecraft is pretty obvious, so what would you name them. How big would the fleet be, and would you cater for the high or low end, or a balance of luxury and budget?. As for my base, i`d aggree with Simon (Broads 01) and be based at the former Aston yard at Beccles, or Loddon, boats?, a maximum of 12 to start with, ranging from budget 2/3 to a large and comfortable 6-8. Fleet name would have to be DEE BEE`s Boats. the 12 boats would be-

1 Hampton Safari mk1 or 2, sleeping 2/3 .................. DEE BEE`s WANDERER

1 Calypso 28 sleeping 2/3 ................ DEE BEE`s DRIFTER

1Aquafibre DC30 sleeping 2-4 ................. DEE BEE`s ROAMER

1 Alpha 32 fwd drv Sleeping 4 max ...................... DEE BEE`s RAMBLER

1 Alpha 42 fwd dv sleeping 6-8 ................... DEE BEE`s DISCOVERER

1 Bounty 27 aft ckp sleeping 2+2 kids ................... DEE BEE`s ADVENTURER

1 Aquafibre 32 aft ckp sleeping 3-5 .................... DEE BEE`s VOYAGER

1 Alpha 35 ctr ckp sleeping 4-6 ...................... DEE BEE`s JESTER

1 Aquafibre 35 ctr ckp sleeping 4-6 ....................DEE BEE`s JOKER

1 Aquafibre 38 ctr ckp sleeping 5-7 ..................... DEE BEE`s STAR

1 Aquafibre Lowliner 38 slepping 4-6 .................... DEE BEE`s PRIDE

1 Aquafibre Lowliner 44 sleeping 6-8 .................... DEE BEE`s DREAM

All boats would be white hulls with a broad yellow band with thin light blue stripe around the top, with white tops, and a thin yellow and thin light blue stripe along the top of the cabin sides.

I must remember to do the Euromillions this week ;);)

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I can think of a lot more businesess that would produce a better return on capital, but OK. Four or five boats in the vein of Princes 30 DS fitted out really luxuriously and powered by quiet, smooth, modern LPG fueled motors aimed at DINKY couples, advertised in the right places and based in Oulton or possibly on the edge of Breydon.

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Yes I think Hearts old yard would be for me. It could look really pretty there with a bit of tlc.

I would start the fleet off with a few ex-hearts boats and modernise them so they had full electric and a few mod cons. Deffo a couple of Ocean 30's and a couple of Hampton Safaris (with full sliding canopies) to begin with. Then maybe if there was demand for bigger boats I would buy a couple of Alphacraft 35's and then later a couple of 42's.

Not sure what colour scheme I would go for but I think I would have all boats the same colour with maybe the sign writing a different colour for each class. I would like the boats to look classy and maybe even look like they could be a private boat, rather than being painted in bright colours and looking like obvious hire boats.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL
Princess 65, or similar based in the Med, what the hell if I am going to be broke I might as well do it somewhere warm with somewhere nice to sunbathe :Stinky

I see you`re a man who likes to put a posative side to a discussion Ian? :lol::lol:

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An unfortunate reality Neil, boat yards only surrender there value when they are sold and only then if you have done everything right.

The investment to return ration is not the best in the world but the positive side to it is you get to live and work around boats on the Broads.

Second and third generations may make a reasonable or even good living out of it but starting up a new yard would not be the first business proposition I would look at.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

I think it would be easy if you came up on the Euromillions though ;);) . Seriously though, i`ve always dreamed of having my own hire fleet, but unless i can win the Euromillions, it`ll never happen :cry:cry . However, i could, right now, sell some investments and pay cash for a boat, but i doubt if i could earn enough spare income (plenty of garunteed regular overtime) to pay the annual running costs etc. Karen and i got together relatively late in life, so we`ve still got 10 years left on the mortgage, but when that`s finished, it may well be a different story :naughty::naughty: , so maybe then "DEE BEE`s DREAM would eventually become a reality. Regards ............. Neil.

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Well, not that I know much about it.....

I'd start with a 8-12 berth boat - Bounty 44 or Powels 40 or Ideal 45 -something of that ilk and start working down in berthage size. The demand for larger cruisers at the moment is huge. 2 berth

As for location, I'd certainly consider a southern location but would also think carefully and ask why there are so few operators down there these days.... On the Northern Rivers, Womack is a great place to start a holiday but the base is too small (you can't get enough boats in to make a really good living out of hire alone). Ranworth would be a nice location to start a holiday too as would South Walsham.

Horning's great for me though.

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Womack is a great place to start a holiday but the base is too small (you can't get enough boats in to make a really good living out of hire alone). Ranworth would be a nice location to start a holiday to as would South Walsham.

I liked the look of that big house just downstream from Ludham Staithe that was up for sale last year.

Two long private dykes that could take quite a few boats, dig up a bit of the garden to add a basin and bob's your uncle...

(Anyone got a few million thatI can borrow for 0% interest?)

South Walsham used to have a hire operation, I can't remember the name of the yard,

but all their boats where named after wines. It was based on the boatyard that is still there doing private repairs etc.

I can't see anyone managing to get planning permission to set up a yard at Ranworth,

and I am sure that almost any other "virgin" location would have similar problems.

Upstream of Wroxham bridge (where Connisour used to operate) might be another location, providing you only had boats suitable for getting under the bridge (or could convince the authorities to actually replace the bridge with a higher structure.

Whatever happened to the plans for the Hoveton bypass?)

Oh well it is all pie in the sky for me anyway, too close to retirement and not able to risk the pension fund!

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I liked the look of that big house just downstream from Ludham Staithe that was up for sale last year.

Two long private dykes that could take quite a few boats, dig up a bit of the garden to add a basin and bob's your uncle...

(Anyone got a few million thatI can borrow for 0% interest?)

South Walsham used to have a hire operation, I can't remember the name of the yard,

but all their boats where named after wines. It was based on the boatyard that is still there doing private repairs etc.

I can't see anyone managing to get planning permission to set up a yard at Ranworth,

and I am sure that almost any other "virgin" location would have similar problems.

Upstream of Wroxham bridge (where Connisour used to operate) might be another location, providing you only had boats suitable for getting under the bridge (or could convince the authorities to actually replace the bridge with a higher structure.

Whatever happened to the plans for the Hoveton bypass?)

Oh well it is all pie in the sky for me anyway, too close to retirement and not able to risk the pension fund!

I'd suggest that the chances of getting planning permission to run a hire boat operation from that house on Horsefen Rd are pretty close to zero.

IIRC, the Broads Authority are planning to find a tenant for their base next to Hunter's Fleet, but I'm not sure that's particularly suitable for a hire yard (basin is too small and not enough parking, though it does have a very nice shed and a boat lift).

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There's no sheds capable of slipping / craning boats into but there is a pub!!

http://www.expertagent.co.uk/in4glestat ... ternal.pdf

Newbies coming to pick up boats at Yarmouth....

Yes Mr Smith your boat is down there, please make sure everyone has their lifejackets on before attempting to go down the ladder.

Don't worry we can lower your bags down to you with our mobile crane.

We will be along in an hour or so, when the ebb eases, to give you your boat handling demonstration..

Could make for some good videos for YouTube, especially as they rush to park up on their final morning

going in down tide to grab the last remaining space as someone is coming slowly up-tide towards it...

I wonder if anyone will make a go of it as a mooring area though.

It has been very run-down for a few years now.

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:wave hi all, if i was going to run a boatyard it would be abit like sheerlines of wroxham ,i would have boats with all the facilities on board so that if it was a slack time, you could hire them out as day boats when they were'nt being hired out for proper breaks, that way you'd still make some money from them, instead of letting them stand idle.lori :Stinky
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