Boating Event 2024

Our Boating Event, sponsored by Haven Knox-Johnston, will take place on Saturday, July 13, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Aqueduct Marina.

The event is designed for both novice and experienced boaters, offering free advice from industry experts, boats for sale, behind-the-scenes access to the marina's facilities, and exclusive offers in the on-site Chandlery. With free entry and parking, attendees can discuss various narrowboat services with staff and meet numerous exhibitors, including boat builders, canopy manufacturers, window makers, furnishing suppliers, and more.



Promotion! glamping cheshire, bell tents

Glamping coming soon

As Aqueduct Marina celebrates its 15th anniversary, it invites both long-time patrons and first-time visitors to experience its new glamping site. This unique offering allows guests to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the marina while partaking in relaxation and adventure.

The glamping site officially opens from July 19th to September 3rd. Interested parties are encouraged to book their spots soon and begin their journey at Aqueduct Marina.


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Robert Parton, MD of Aqueduct Marina and president-elect of British Marine, talks to Phil Picken about the current state of the country’s inland waterways brokerage market, as well as its future. 

The brokerage market has changed since the heady days at the end of 2022 when, in my view, the Covid bubble reached its peak.

Since that time, we have been hit with a combination of inflation and rising interest rates, affecting a buyer’s ability to spend.

As a result, many types of boats have started dropping in value. This began in the spring and the market did not improve for sellers over the summer.

We are seeing the normal number of boats coming to the market, but the buyers seem to be staying away; as a result, there are plenty of boats listed for sale. So my advice would be that if you are thinking of buying, now could be a good time.

Higher value boats and non-standard layouts at over £100k are the hardest to find buyers for; shorter boats and standard clean 58ft layouts around £60k still have a market.

We’ve also found that new boat sales have almost stopped completely and good quality, nearly new high-value boats have also stopped selling. This is a complete reversal from the summer of 2022. It is these sellers who have a very tough choice to make, between holding out and hoping the market returns or reducing to a level that will tempt these types of buyers.

In summary, with new boats now available on much shorter lead times, I believe new bespoke boats will remain at their higher current price, as there is no point in a boat builder starting a build unless they can cover the costs. But nearly new boats built in the last two years coming to the market for the first time as used boats will, I believe, need to see a much greater depreciation.

The more mid-range boats will likely see some more reductions, though the housing market locally to us here in south Cheshire remains strong, so I know am more hopeful these boats will now stabilise in price. We are also seeing more boats that got too old, and anything that is a “project boat” remains a very hard sell.

Buyer Beware

The other boats we are seeing more of are boats that are coming to us with very poor paperwork, such a no purchase invoices, hull identification numbers, and incomplete Recreational Craft Directive Information. Often, these are DIY fit-out boats trying to get through on a five-year exemption rule.

As a broker, it is always clearly stated on our paperwork that it is “Buyer Beware”, but part of our job is to provide some reassurance to boat buyers. This is a very grey area that differing brokerages are taking differing views on, and the inland boat selling sector could do with a more definitive set of guidance.

We at Aqueduct have now turned away a few boats that the sellers did not want to invest the time and money in to get the paperwork in order, only for the boats to reappear for sale privately or worryingly at another brokerage.

So if you are looking to buy a boat, now could be a very good moment. But remember, always get an independent pre-purchase survey done for you to check the condition of the boat, and please check the paperwork is in order. And if you are not sure, take independent advice.

Written by Phil Picken 

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