Maidenhead: Owners put boat hire business on the market

An event boat hire business in Maidenhead has been put on the market by its owners. Gareth Pugh has instructed the national business transfer specialist, Blacks Business Brokers, to find a new owner for Berkshire Boats with a guide price of £700,000.

Berkshire Boats, which trades as the Windsor & Maidenhead Boat Company, operates charter excursions on the upper Thames between Henley and London. Clients include tour organisers, corporate events, birthday parties and weddings.

The business was established in 1995 and acquired by its current owners in 2014. They now wish to relocate to another part of the country but plan to continue to run and grow the business until a new owner takes over.

The company currently operates one boat, The Georgian, which has capacity for up to 150 passengers, or 70 seated for formal dining. It has a fully equipped kitchen, modern customer toilets and a bar.

The boat, which was built in 1995, is equipped with a marine 6LXB Gardner engine that allows it to travel as far downstream as Greenwich. A new shaft was fitted in 2015 and, internally, new carpets were fitted throughout in 2016.

All fixtures and fittings are included in the sale, with the exception of life rafts that, by law, have to be rented from another specialist company.

The business, which is currently operated by the owners and their family with no additional staff, turned over £232,000 in its most recent financial year. This yielded a net profit of almost £146,000.

Berkshire Boats is headquartered in Bray, Maidenhead, where The Georgian is moored at a cost of £12,000 per year. The mooring can accommodate up to three boats and includes an electricity supply, fresh water supply, pump-out facilities for the boat’s sewage tanks and a 2,500-litre fuel container.

Chelsea Melnyk, sales negotiator at Blacks Business Brokers, said, “Berkshire Boats would be well-suited either to an existing operator that wants to move into, or boost its presence on, this idyllic stretch of the river or a hands-on owner-operator who perhaps wants to turn a hobby into a living.

“The Georgian has been maintained to a very high standard and looks stunning inside and out. The business continues to grow rapidly, attracting many repeat bookings, and I expect significant interest from buyers who wish to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”