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Which boat?

Liamba

New member
Joined
22 Sep 2020
Messages
11
Hi all,

First post here and coming with zero knowledge to share, just hoping to sap some of yours! Maybe one day I’ll be able to give back.

We’re a family of four including a four year old and a three month old. I love boats and have spent plenty of time on and around but never owned one. The wife has been encouraged by me and after a few Hobbs Hires seems very keen. We appear to have made the decision to buy a boat and whilst I’d like to spend as little as poss to get what we want we have a budget of circa 100/150k.

We’re based near Bourne End so nice and close to the Thames. What we buy will only be used on the Thames, I can’t see us venturing to the coast at this stage. We are still working so this is weekend and holiday use.

First question – we don’t currently have a mooring and initial calls indicate this could be a challenge. Should we find this before worrying about finding a boat?

Having started off looking at day boats, we’re now settled on wanting a cabin and something we can overnight/weekend on. We’re both sociable and really like the social side of the Dutch Sloop type boats. Envisage spending much our time on the boat with friends (parents and kids) during the day and poss camping with overnight (we’re not all going to be able to sleep onboard).

We’ve identified two boats we like.

Interboat Intercruiser 29
Pros
  • Really keen on the aesthetics
  • Lovely sociable deck
  • Local dealer and benefits associated with
  • Sensible river boat, sensible engine options and drive shaft
  • Easy boarding for grandparents
  • Just bloody nice boats

Cons
  • Would appear to be few and far between so will take time to find one
  • No space for me to stand at the helm when the canopy is up
  • Single cabin with two birth
  • Fudging a bit to sleep on with kids
  • Cabin not as nice as deck space

English Harbour Yachts –27 or 29 offshore

Pros
  • Separate cabin for the kids (big plus)
  • Great cabin space inc galley and heads
  • Quality feel cabin
  • I really like the cabin space!
  • Deck space ok

Cons
  • English Harbour Yachts no longer exist – Is this a problem?
  • Not great to look at in comparison to Intercruiser
  • Not the sociable deck space of Intercruiser
  • Difficult for grandparents to access
  • The larger 29 (preference) has outdrive engines and too many BHP for what we need,
Keen to know peoples thoughts on this as it’s a lot of money and want to make the right decision. Also keen to hear other boat suggestions if people have them?

Many thanks in advance!
L
 

Portland Billy

Active member
Joined
31 Aug 2009
Messages
439
Take your time and have a good look around the many Thames brokers. With your budget you should find a boat which fits your needs. I would recommend a Haines, Sheerline or Westwood style.
Beware of elderly steel boats, check carefully for internal rust.
Make sure you 'test' putting up the canopy - can be a real pain especially when raining with young nippers aboard!
Check the mooring costs at your 'local' marinas.
 

Chris_d

Well-known member
Joined
15 Jun 2001
Messages
4,368
Location
Oxfordshire
Welcome to the forum, I'd be wary of falling into the Henley trap. Those are two beautifully made boats but extremely expensive for what they offer. You don't see many more than a few miles away from the Henley, Marlow reaches. Interboats are really nice dayboats and the 29 offers some overnight facilities but if you intend to take family away for a week I'd look elsewhere.
The English harbour boats are again high quality but they didn't sell, high price and well you only have to look at it to see why they no longer exist. It was an ex Princess designers doodle that didn't quite come out right.

I wouldn't like to recommend a particular brand but as suggested above look a loads more and don't worry too much about age and larger engines etc.... every boat on the river is probably overpowered.
 

Gavin E

New member
Joined
7 Sep 2018
Messages
17
We went through a similar process a couple of years back when buying our first boat. The best advice we got was 'look at as many boats as you can'.

I'd even include looking at styles of boat that you aren't interested in, just because it's very handy to see how the various layouts squeeze everything in, and then choose the style of boat that you think will fit with the way you want to use it.

Pop into the marinas and tell them you are looking to buy, and they will happily help you get on board all sorts of models for a look around, and it will be time we'll spent.
 

Parabordi

Active member
Joined
22 Apr 2011
Messages
387
"The English harbour boats are again high quality but they didn't sell, high price and well you only have to look at it to see why they no longer exist. It was an ex Princess designers doodle that didn't quite come out right."

Ha ha, i couldn't agree more, one of the ugliest boats in recent years (and there is some pretty stiff competition!)
 

oldgit

Well-known member
Joined
6 Nov 2001
Messages
23,423
Location
Medway
A very partisan POV. :)
Personally would not fixate on a particular marque or model of boat too soon. Something that appears to satisfy your imaginary first boat ideal , could prove totally inadequate / unsuitable for what you will want to do or achieve as time goes on.
Classic problem we have all fallen into is the lifestyle aspirational mirage .
It is a gloriously sunny day and you are sitting on the river bank at Runnymede watching a gloriously happy couple cruise past with their impeccably behaved children smiling away at each other.
The boat will invariably be some sort of Miami Vice sports cruiser. Whats not like?
A scenerio.
As they go out of sight it will start to rain, what follows is 10 mins panic erecting tubes sorting zips and trying to get velco to attach.
A few mins before lock arrival, the crew ( Mrs Happy Couple )will have to inelegantly wriggle out of the canvas tent and struggle alone along a 6" wide deck to clamber forward to offer up a rope to the lock keeper.(If you are lucky) Mr Happy couple will be holding up the covers with one hand ,offering the rope to the lockie with the other and steering with the third.
On arrival back at the marina. They secure the canvas covers and go home .
They have to go home because there is virtually no accomodation on the boat, fine for Dinkies, but no good for the rest of us who actually like to go boating with our families .
Days out only, soons lead to boredom.
A wish to explore and expand your horizon is possibly the whole point of owning a boat, be it three locks up or somewhere where Dragons lurk ie. The Medway.
Advice .
Have look at everything that floats in your price bracket , especially stuff that might not float your boat at the moment. When viewing go below and think how long could I spend down here with the family on wet August afternoon waiting for the sun to come back out. Will I just open a door or have to dismantle a marquee.
You can actually get a boat that does both jobs sort of OK.............................a minor problem being it will cost at least twice your budget.
First job would be to get some info on costs to moor/ keep run your proposed boat on Ye Thames.
Suprisingly the boat market is very bouyant at the moment and boats are shifting, but do not be tempted to rush.
Act in haste repent etc etc applies to boating big time, can be even more expensive and soul destroying than picking the wrong girl. :)
Get it right and the water is your oyster.
 
Last edited:

Time Out

Active member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
690
"The English harbour boats are again high quality but they didn't sell, high price and well you only have to look at it to see why they no longer exist. It was an ex Princess designers doodle that didn't quite come out right."

Ha ha, i couldn't agree more, one of the ugliest boats in recent years (and there is some pretty stiff competition!)
Was a Fairline designer.
 

Chris_d

Well-known member
Joined
15 Jun 2001
Messages
4,368
Location
Oxfordshire
The boat will invariably be some sort of Miami Vice sports cruiser. Whats not like?
A scenerio.
As they go out of sight it will start to rain, what follows is 10 mins panic erecting tubes sorting zips and trying to get velco to attach.
Not sure they have Intercruiser 29's in Miami them being very sensible Dutch boats, but i'm sure the usual rant applies anyway:)
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
742
OG forgot to mention that it always hacks down with rain just as you tie up in a lock with the hood down and can't reach the waterproofs, bang your head every time you go below on your first boat, and spend ages maintaining it rather than just going boating, hoping not to break down.

But don't be put off - you buy a boat with your heart, not your head. Also, expect to be throwing money at it throughout your boating career.

As, I think, Tommy Lipton said, boating is like standing fully clothed under a cold shower while tearing up fifty dollar bills but I wouldn't have it any other way - it's the best antidote to modern life, especially at the moment.
 

BB1

Member
Joined
20 Mar 2016
Messages
51
Hi all,

First post here and coming with zero knowledge to share, just hoping to sap some of yours! Maybe one day I’ll be able to give back.

We’re a family of four including a four year old and a three month old. I love boats and have spent plenty of time on and around but never owned one. The wife has been encouraged by me and after a few Hobbs Hires seems very keen. We appear to have made the decision to buy a boat and whilst I’d like to spend as little as poss to get what we want we have a budget of circa 100/150k.

We’re based near Bourne End so nice and close to the Thames. What we buy will only be used on the Thames, I can’t see us venturing to the coast at this stage. We are still working so this is weekend and holiday use.

First question – we don’t currently have a mooring and initial calls indicate this could be a challenge. Should we find this before worrying about finding a boat?

Having started off looking at day boats, we’re now settled on wanting a cabin and something we can overnight/weekend on. We’re both sociable and really like the social side of the Dutch Sloop type boats. Envisage spending much our time on the boat with friends (parents and kids) during the day and poss camping with overnight (we’re not all going to be able to sleep onboard).

We’ve identified two boats we like.

Interboat Intercruiser 29
Pros
  • Really keen on the aesthetics
  • Lovely sociable deck
  • Local dealer and benefits associated with
  • Sensible river boat, sensible engine options and drive shaft
  • Easy boarding for grandparents
  • Just bloody nice boats

Cons
  • Would appear to be few and far between so will take time to find one
  • No space for me to stand at the helm when the canopy is up
  • Single cabin with two birth
  • Fudging a bit to sleep on with kids
  • Cabin not as nice as deck space

English Harbour Yachts –27 or 29 offshore

Pros
  • Separate cabin for the kids (big plus)
  • Great cabin space inc galley and heads
  • Quality feel cabin
  • I really like the cabin space!
  • Deck space ok

Cons
  • English Harbour Yachts no longer exist – Is this a problem?
  • Not great to look at in comparison to Intercruiser
  • Not the sociable deck space of Intercruiser
  • Difficult for grandparents to access
  • The larger 29 (preference) has outdrive engines and too many BHP for what we need,
Keen to know peoples thoughts on this as it’s a lot of money and want to make the right decision. Also keen to hear other boat suggestions if people have them?

Many thanks in advance!
L
Sheerline 955 or a very late 950 ? very good quality and will hold its value.
 

Liamba

New member
Joined
22 Sep 2020
Messages
11
Thanks everyone for your replies, lots of useful info. We’ve ruled out the EHY boats and the Intercruiser 29 seems to be as rare as rocking horse Poo. Whilst that’s the favourite, will heed the advise of those above and cast the net a bit wider.
Cheers!
 

RobFarri

New member
Joined
29 Nov 2020
Messages
1
Thanks everyone for your replies, lots of useful info. We’ve ruled out the EHY boats and the Intercruiser 29 seems to be as rare as rocking horse Poo. Whilst that’s the favourite, will heed the advise of those above and cast the net a bit wider.
Cheers!
Hi Liamba,
Just joined the forum and wondered how you got on in your search? We’re in a very similar position to yourself - literally just moved to Bourne End with 2 small kids and just thinking about getting a boat for family fun on the river ... trying to figure out all the options! Would be good to connect.
Cheers,
Rob
 

Scapegoat

Member
Joined
16 Nov 2020
Messages
68
Talking to brokers, there’s been high demand for boats this year so stocks (and choice) are lower than usual. Due to lockdown some brokers have shot videos of their boats and these are great to get a better idea of what the boats are like inside and out - check online.
If you’re patient and can wait a few months, I’d suggest hiring a boat from Kris Cruisers in Datchet (they have very well cared for boats) for a family holiday so you get some experience and first hand knowledge of what’s important to you and your family.
 

Portland Billy

Active member
Joined
31 Aug 2009
Messages
439
Excellent advise from Scapegoat.
I think most of us had hire boat holidays on Thames or Broads before 'taking the plunge'.
Also look to the future when buying. You're first option will inevitably too small within a few years.
 

Liamba

New member
Joined
22 Sep 2020
Messages
11
Hi Liamba,
Just joined the forum and wondered how you got on in your search? We’re in a very similar position to yourself - literally just moved to Bourne End with 2 small kids and just thinking about getting a boat for family fun on the river ... trying to figure out all the options! Would be good to connect.
Cheers,
Rob
Hi Rob - still looking. We’ve narrowed down the sort of thing we are looking for but there’s very little about at the moment so we’re just playing a waiting game. Will see what comes up but I’m keen not to jump in just for the sake of it and want to hold out for the right boat.

Have also been researching/visiting marinas to get a feel for what’s about. Finding a mooring is almost as tricky as finding a boat. Was disappointed in Bourne End so despite being the closest I don’t think we’ll be trying to get in there. That said, they’re also full so not going to miss us!

Feel free to share contacts if you can private message on here. Haven’t looked if I have that facility.
 

oldgit

Well-known member
Joined
6 Nov 2001
Messages
23,423
Location
Medway
Although the Thames is an ideal place to view boats due to the sheer quantity of boats and marinas concentrated in a very small area, it might not, from buyers point of view be the best place to actually buy a boat.
Many types of boats on the river , were not designed specifically for non tidal waters and can be found elsewhere in the country.
The Thames valley is not exactly a deprived area ,there is a price premium on the Thames.
In light of this it could be well worth checking , if you find boat you like on the Thames, brokers listing similar boats elsewhere.
A better deal is sometimes found elsewhere even taking into account to cost of transporting a boat back to the Thames.
From observation and experience, boats on the coast possibly tend to be better maintained for very obvious reasons.
A more casual attitude towards maintaince on non tidal waters seems to be the norm. ?
 
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