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Richardsons 2009


Dan

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Hi Everyone

Rather than continue to hijack another thread I thought I best start another thread....

the new Richardsons brochure landed a few days ago.. I know often the Hoseasons & Blakes brochures get discussed on the forums, I wondered what everyone thought of the Richardsons one?

Here's a few of my thoughts & observations..

Loyalty card - a neat idea, launched in 2008 but good to see it in the brochure. Book 5 holidays direct with them (that ends my Hoseasons vouchers scam!) and get 10% accrued for each holiday then you can have that amount off holiday 6. As far as I know it's the first scheme of it's type on the broads, and a great idea to encourage & reward customer retention - both sides win! :grin:

I quite like the clean lines - white background, pricing, start days etc all the stuff you want to know by each boat etc.

Also good to see a few little changes, like Broads Suncharm is now priced for two instead of three... so that moves up the affordability/must hire chart (pinned to my bedroom wall! :naughty: )

I see a 'Broads on a budget' icon has appeared by some of the best value. I hope this works well... I think it will, though does have the possible disadvantage of putting some people off as thinking they're the budget boats... which some are, though I notice 10/12 berth Acapulco also features it - divide thecost by 12 and I guess it is good value, but newly refitted and definately not the paupers choice! :clap

Thumbing to the Special Offers page I see there's the usual good deals on some craft out of season, and discounts for 2 on a 4 berth, 4 on an 8 berth etc - a nice idea that I may try & take advantage of!

On the negative side... on the back I didn't like the supposed £20 wine voucher... had them before & with a minimum spend condition it's not much of a deal, also on the back I read the dinghys as though Acle only have sail, which I guess is incorrect and just unfortunate wording.. meaning rowing dinghies only from Stalham & row or sail from Acle I think).

Finally, love the internal pictures, would be good to see more and at one point I seem to remember you could download the brochure from their website. As the brochure is much better than the website this would be a good improvement in my mind

Any other thoughts anyone?

All the best

Dan

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Hi Dan, i also had my Richardsons Brochure through also, did you get the Price update sheet ?

I have to say it looks great, with pics of the inside of the boats also :) which goes down very well with Wife and Family ;)

As we all would like to know what we are hiring out ;)

Other Hire yards are investing in Video Footage to sell their Hire craft.

I am looking at Hiring this Summer for the family and am looking at all the options that all the yards have to offer.

I dont think that Richardsons will get drawn into a dicussion in the the Public area over hire craft.

If anyone has a induvidual question on a Richardsons Craft we do have the Members only Area.

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Hi Brian

I'm sure Richardsons would be a bit biased in their opinions on the brochure :grin:

The video footage some use now is good, but personally I think a couple of internal pictures taken on a digital camera when the boat is clean & ready to go out I would think is more than enougfh to give potential hirers everything they need to reassure & help their choice. Royall's is a good example of such a site - clear, but non professional pictures of internal & externals...

All the best

Dan

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Hi Dan,

thanks for that, you did read the back right, we do not have sailing boats at Stalham, just Acle. We are considering re introducing them to Stalham next year but we get a lot of broken masts due to bridges and it had been becoming a problem when we had to focus on other things.

The wine voucher was offfered to us, some may find it useful, we make nothing from it, perhaps you will see some adverts or local business vouchers next year.

with the Broads on a budget, we wanted to hilight the boats which were less than a tenner per person per night, as we feel the the broads should be enjoyed by all and not be perceived as an expencive holiday for the elite. We were slightly supprised at how many there were, but as you say they are good boats, the main concern is that we dont want to be perceived as a budget fleet (dispite the pricing)

the website is being re-done (again) and should be full of internal pics of the boats. The new site will check availability and take online booking but I am not sure when that will be live, there will also be a new boat sales/ private moorings/ services site.

Thanks for the feedback, it is good to get independant views on things we try and get things right but you cant do that all the time ;) keep it coming.

cheers

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Hi Brian,

I agree with all the good feedback about Richardsons and some of the bad. I would rather leave others to say wether our boats are good or bad though and wont comment on others opinions- same as holiday experiences.

As for video, there will be space but I think we will hold off for a bit until it gets better and cheaper ;)

please dont ask me for pricing- call the booking office that is who I ask!

as you say there is members chat for other stuff or private messages, if you want to know anything about the boats ask Dan :lol: , he knows more than most of us about them :bow:)

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Hi Guys

Mine arrived today and must say am impressed with the overall layout ect. Unfortunately don't have time to comment tonight as have to be up at 0430 for work...Best individual brochure to date IMHO :clap

My only comment at this stage...Where are the Wooden Boats??? ;)

Regards...Terry

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mine arrived to along with the hol invoice !!!!

my fav time of year !!!!! :dance

loved the brochure which had hubby looking for our next holiday already! :o

cheers mandy cheers

ps 88 days and counting !!!!!!

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Hi all

I haven't got a brochure but I'm going through their website.

We hired on the Broads last year for the first time in many years and I must say we were impressed by the Richardson's fleet. In the late 70's early 80's I remember them as pretty tatty and all the yobs and miscreants were crewing them. Well, what a difference now!

Not only nice boats, but well turned out, and by September when were there, they had every right to look a bit tatty after a long season, but still looked excellent.

So Richardsons is now well up on my list, in fact we are looking at San Remo 2, its an ex Ferry craft that we hired as a family in 1981, just depends on our crew numbers.

Well done Richardsons.

Regards

Geoff Pethick

Johannesburg

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Hi Clive & Peeps

my brochure came ages ago :oops::oops:

its simple easy to use don't get confused on prices and dates. the broads on a budget is a great idea and i don't think any other yard has done this.

with the Richardson's brochure its clean simple big photos instead of those you need to use a magnifying glass to see.

due to whats happening with the economy a change is needed to bring fresh blood & responsible blood to the broads. as most people now in the uk will be holidaying here than going abroad also with Richardson's being if not the biggest will most likely get a win win result on this.

Jonny ice sliceice slice

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

I must say that when mine came we were allready looking at the web site as after booking with Richardsons last year, we had already decided to use them again. A fantastic yard, and even though one of the biggest, if not the biggest, we felt it had the small family run feel about it. This year we have gone for Rafeal (broads on a budget) as we also booked a lodge at the WRC.

Our experience last year will keep us comong back to Richardsons and the loyalty car will help.

The only thing I think that needs to be added is the air draft of the boats, as this could help with selection. I know some say will not pass under certain bridges, but when planning a route, the extra 5 - 6 inches less height will allow passage at times closer to high tide.

See you in June Clive.

Ps do you need to ask for the loyalty voucher or wll one come with booking deposit confirmation.

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Hi Donnygeoff,

good to hear you are starting to fill your loyalty card, we give them away in reception so if you ask when you are there we will give you a card.

I think air draft would be a useful bit of info, there is quite a bit on each description now but we are planning on revamping the presentation of the brochure so could find a slot for it.

we have put a credit in the brochure but would like to publicly say thankyou cheersbar to the forum member who very kindly donated his photos for us to use this year cheers

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Reference to boat air drafts, I don't know if it is still true, but Richardsons boatyards were the only Broads hire yards to display on each boat's dashboard the air draft of the boat at Potter Bridge. If memory serves me correctly, I think it was Nigel Crouch who collected the pilots' data on Potter bridge clearance heights and arranged for its display on all boats in the Richardsons fleet. The pilot service at Potter bridge had a particularly good working relationship with Richardsons.

As a result of last year's charity auction at the Museum of the Broads, yours truly is due to take a short break on a Richo's boat some time later in the year. Haven't decided which boat nor when yet. I'm really looking forward to a busman's holiday.

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Hi I think Nigel did do something like that, I will ask.

Hoseasons had square blue plaques made to state speed at specific enginc revs when the limits were last dropped, these had bridge clearances on them, I don't know wether other yards used them.

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Air draft heights in the brochure - fantastic idea. I think in these times of unpredictable tides & weather conditions, it's no longer black & white as to which boats will pass under the low bridges & which won't. If it was clear that say, Petite Gem needs 6ft 4 against Salerno's 6ft 10 that helps the hirer make a more fully informed choice about which boat to go for. The information doesn't necessarily need to sit within the boat descriptions - a separate list towards the back of the brochure would serve equally well.

As I said on the other forum, I've always liked the layout & presentation of the Richardsons brochure. The best thing about it is having boats of the same style, Stalham & Acle, grouped together. If more internal pictures could be added that would make it even better.

On the loyalty card subject - an excellent scheme & one which I could see regular hirers really benefitting from. Clive, I know this is a long shot, but can the loyalty discount be built up retrospectively or does it start with 2009 holidays? I ask because I've been with Richardsons twice (2005 & 2007) & I'm likely to do so again.

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Hi Simon,

The loyalty scheme can be backdated but only to 1st March 2008 which unfortunately does not help you, sorry about that but the card also applies to our holiday sites where some people come 10-15 times a year!

You do have a good point about the heights not neccessarily being on the same page as the boats descriptions, we will have to see how this pans out.

I did read a post of yours somewhere, cant remember where ;) about the timing of our brochure being 10 weeks after Hoseasons, this is for two main reasons, we pay Hoseasons to book our boats and are not really keen on competing with them, also historically a massive percentage of holidays are booked in January, this is when all the holiday adverts are on telly and having our brochure available could help our bookings. For people wishing to book early there is always the previous years brochure available and also the internet where we will soon be taking online bookings.

I hope this helps. cheers

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Hi donnygeoff.

yes of course it can as long as the holidays have been booked in the same lead name.

San Pedro, great boat, of all the boats I see on the river when I see either her or San louis on a sunny day I would normally rather be sitting steering that boat than where I am veiwing from :)

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Clive, thanks for coming back about the brochure timing. I understand your reasoning, it's just I think it gives a poor impression of the company that as late as December, the following year's brochure isn't available.

I'd like to ask one more question & this one relates to a boat that's only become available in 2009 & so one which I haven't seen yet. It's Rio - just why is it THAT cheap?! (Very tempting by the way). I assume that it's in basic, original condition, but it's a 4-5 berth cheaper than all the 2 berths!

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Simon, I understand your point of view but it is pointless going head to head with our letting agent, and Blakes. we get a second bite of the cherry while others are still chewing their first including the agents which is good for us. I think both methods work. please remember some yards do not bother with a brochure or leaflet, they leave it to the agents,

As for the Rio, yes, she is basic but she is also cheap, lets see how she books. Hopefully if she does well some new customers will have been introduced or regulars bagged a bargain.

Richardsons have always tried new and different things some work, some dont but we do try and we are still here!

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Thanks for the quick response once again Clive - it's really good having you on here!

I'll accept your better judgement on the brochure issue. I'm not a marketing man so I'll defer to your experience on that one.

I'm looking forward to getting a look at Rio when I come to the Broads in April. Whether or not I choose to hire it in the future, I hope it books well for you - in these cash strapped times from which none of us are immune it could end up being a really popular boat.

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Rio certainly does take good value to a different level. What I find odd is that in terms of standard/style it's much the same as Majorca and even has an identical layout but is a lot cheaper than her. Majorca itself was previously the best value.

I've just checked five dates for availability and Rio was booked on all of those that I checked so it''s unbelievable pricing doesnt look to have gone un-noticed or been badly recieved!

What I guess is harder to know is whether these bookings would have normally gone to Majorca/Dream Gem/Bounty 37's etc that you run that were previously amongst the best value in Hoseasons... basically are they extra bookings, or just transferring focus from other boats that would have been chosen.

All the best

Dan

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