Canal Boat - - The Boat Test -

AQUA IS BASED at Mer­cia Ma­rina in Der­byshire and boat build­ing is just part of the busi­ness. They run a suc­cess­ful hire fleet which op­er­ated at more than 90 per­cent oc­cu­pancy dur­ing last sea­son. All of the hire boats are built by Aqua and they’re all spon­sored. The owner pays for the build, takes a pro­por­tion of the rental in­come for two or three years and then has the boat for them­selves. The com­pany also does a lot of main­te­nance and ser­vic­ing work on boats and has Mer­cia’s dry dock on site. Three or four new boats are built each year, which al­ways in­cludes one new hire boat.

Aqua has ex­panded sig­nif­i­cantly since Justin Hud­son-Ol­droyd built the very first hire boat him­self. He now em­ploys two en­gi­neers, three join­ers and two peo­ple (in­clud­ing his wife, Jane) in the of­fice. There’s also a team of part-time staff who turn around the hire boats. More de­vel­op­ments are on the cards in the shape of an ex­ten­sion to the of­fice to give a proper re­cep­tion for hire cus­tomers, and a meet­ing room for boat-build­ing clients.

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