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Sunday, September 23, 2012

New boat announced for ABC Show

A new 65ft, 6-berth luxury semi-trad narrowboat for shared ownership has been announced by ABC just ahead of their show this weekend (22nd September).  The new boat, Harmonia, is due for launch in June 2013.  She is being equipped with hydraulic drive, led lights throughout and a self-tracking satellite system.

Shared ownership narrowboats on show at Alvechurch
during the ABC open day included
Centurion, Spellbound, Cookley and Maia, pictured here
When I spoke to Edward Helps, MD of ABC Leisure Group, he told me that there was just one share left in Isis (2010) and that all the shares in Maia -launched a year ago - were now sold.  Orders are now being taken for shares in Harmonia and these are priced at £9,750 for an 8% (4 week) share.

ABC staff were being kept very busy at their show talking to interested prospective owners, and Dave Taylor told me that at least four shares had been sold on the day.

Most ABC marinas welcome shared ownership boats, and I have now received the details to put on this site along with other bases.  These extra pages will be available shortly.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sun shines on Ownashare

Ownashare's MD Phil Capp alongside one of the
company's new shared ownership
boats, Forget Me Knot
Lovely September sunshine was an added bonus for Ownashare's show at Fradley Junction this weekend - at least on the Saturday.  It was a welcome contrast to the snow and fog that blighted the company's show earlier in the year.

When Pippa and I were there, there was a steady stream of visitors looking at the new boats and enjoying the activity at Fradley.

“The weather smiled on Fradley Junction this weekend and helped us to deliver one of our best open events to date with lots of interest and sales. Only a handful of shares now remain in our latest boats Minuet and Forget Me Knot,” said Phil Capp, Ownashare's MD.

Ownashare also took the opportunity of the show to announce their new packages and prices for 2013.

There are again several options, but the full management package with all the options works out at £4,800 (including VAT ) on a 12-share boat.

Cruiser stern Minuet on view at
the Ownashare show last weekend
The idea of breaking up the total management package into a number of options has much to commend it, but the options remain as additions to the core package.  

I wonder whether there are any self-managed syndicates that would welcome these options being offered as 'stand-alones' - particularly the pre winter maintenance inspection and report and the supervision of the winter works.  Please let us know what you think, either by emailing us or posting a comment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

'Warm' welcome on Canalworld forum!

The website received a warmer than expected welcome when it was announced on the Canalworld forum!

Some members felt that it was wrong to post news of the site in a general discussion forum.  One member lodged a complaint and the moderators briefly removed the posting from the site.
Andrew Cooley

It was, however, quickly re-instated and the site owner posted a message saying, "Andrew and I have been in contact and this thread and his website has my support.  It's a free to use site aimed only at bringing information to its readers, much like Canalworld itself."

"The thread contains many positive comments from members who value the sort of information this site can provide, and I am most grateful for their support," comments Andrew Cooley. 

One of the results of the controversy was that that many members of the forum used the links to this site, which resulted in more than 2,780 page views within the first 12 days of it's existence.  The second largest number of referrals has been from the ex-Ownerships forum.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First price rise in 5 years

Boat management company BCBM has announced that it is increasing its management fee for the first time in 5 years.

Andrew Barton, MD of
BC Boat Management Ltd.
MD Andrew Barton told owners, "We have absorbed the VAT increase of 2.5% introduced by the government in January 2011.  This increased the amount each owner was paying to the government each year by £7.10 - from £59.57 to £66.67"

The increase in the fee per share will be £25 - from £400 to £425 a year - and will take effect from 1st October.  Most owners in BCBM managed syndicates pay the management fee on a monthly basis by standing order, so this will increase from £33.34 a month to £35.42.

"I hope that owners will understand that with rising costs we have held our prices as long as physically possible," said Andrew Barton. "Apart from anything else, the cost for getting our Area Managers to bases is a significant one.  When BCBM started nearly five years ago, we didn't have anyone doing this and fuel costs were significantly lower for the traveling we did."