The Western Morning News 2013 – If you have ever fancied a life on the ocean wave, but never had the stomach or the sea legs for it, a Looe-based start-up business may have the answer.
Vivienne Sullivan launched Static Boat Holidays, after a round-Britain sailing trip on her own boat last year opened her eyes to the number of vessels idling empty in marinas.
She realised the moored boats could provide an alternative self-catering escape for lovers of sea-views, while also providing an income for owners to augment their costs and provide an additional income.
“When we went on our trip last year, I was staggered by the amount of boats not being used and just sitting there,” said Mrs Sullivan.
“I thought I could maximise the potential and said to my husband – I’ve got an idea for a business.
“He said: That’s interesting.
“Then I mentioned it to my daughter [Cassandra Douglas]. She really spurred me on and put half of the money into the business.”
Vivienne and husband Sean, who is now fully on board, have established and are gradually building up a portfolio of boats. The business charges boat owners a one-off signing-up fee for their craft and a 9% commission on holidays booked aboard them.
Still in its maiden year, it includes two luxury yachts, a family-friendly “bucket and spade” affair berthed in South Africa and a converted fishing boat that is more than 100 years old.
The aim is for the business to become a new kind of tourism offering; somewhere in between the holiday cottage and static caravan, with each marina serving as a “campsite” and with its own in-house rules and etiquette.
“It’s proved very popular and holidaying guests see it as a fun ‘on board’ alternative set in unique and beautiful locations,” said Mrs Sullivan.
Among local boat owners to have signed up is Shaun Oakley, who has beautifully restored and converted former fishing boat the Moby II, which is moored at Torpoint.
Mrs Sullivan, who is now actively seeking new boat owners to sign up in time for next season’s bookings, said: “With the fabulous weather we’ve seen this past season, tourism has never been better. Demand is proving high so we are always on the lookout for new boats.”
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