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~Company Profile~
J D Boat Services Ltd was founded in 1986 as a father and son partnership. In 1988 they moved to Gailey where their interests merged with Gailey Marine.
Our strong background in building both private and hire boats originally caused us to explore the share boat market. Knowing that we had the background skills to build, operate and maintain such craft, we entered the market with our first Share Boat in 1994. Other boats have been built since, some have been sold after the 10 year period, others have continued in use.
In 1999 the Gailey Marine hire fleet was taken under our wings, it has increased in size to 18 boats and is now run in conjunction with ABC Boat Hire / UK Boat Hire, an arrangement that works to the benefit of both companies. The combination of our activities means that we are well able to look after the slightly different needs of Share Owners who require some (but not all) of the services provided by Hire companies but also want the individuality of a privately owned boat and the individual service that should go with it.
We now have achieved Planning Permission for a “Marina” development.
The company aim has always been to build boats to last, without making compromises in construction methods or materials which would be detrimental to this policy. All our boats have been CE Marked since 1997.
We attach great importance to the "unseen" structure of the boat - the durability of a boat depends on its foundations. This takes a little longer to build and costs a little more money but that enables you to be proud of your boat for many years. We have been making the same claims for 20 years now regarding our Share boats and feel that we can easily prove our claims.
Green Heron was built for operation in our Hire Fleet here at Gailey as well as being a share boat. This scheme was for a 5 year term which has now finished.
Improvements & Consultation
We have been building boats designed specifically for Share Operation since 1994. Our first boat was received enthusiastically and has been in almost continuous use since. We do not pretend our product is perfect in all respects, improvements have been suggested by our Share Owners and implemented in later boats. Such improvements have resulted in enhanced enjoyment by the boat owners.
Opinion has been sought from owners on the design and execution of new boats, leading to still further satisfaction. Steady progress has been made to improve the breed.
As examples of suggestions adopted in the past - Portholes fitted to the stern bedroom instead of windows to improve the looks of the boat. High quality carpet fitted as a floor covering except in the galley and toilet compartment, these have a vinyl surface. Experience has shown carpet to be durable and comfortable, cleaning has not turned out to be a major problem although a vacuum cleaner is essential and demands the provision of a reasonably powerful Inverter. In some boats a sliding extension to the double bed has been provided for those who feel a 4 Foot wide bed is insufficient, the bed can be (quickly) made up each night, but this extension does not have to be used by those owners content with the normal narrow boat double bed width.
Diesel central heating is now preferred providing almost unlimited supplies of hot water such as most people enjoy at home, this can still be provided without heating radiators in the hotter summer weather that we have become used to enjoy. This type of heating has been fitted to “Twelfe”, “Double Six” & Green Heron and has been enthusiastically received.
Interestingly our latest Share owners have agreed with our own market research that “fixed furniture” is preferable to the loose furniture fitted in our earlier boats, it is fair to say that this “fixed furniture” is built to a much higher standard of comfort than that endured in earlier hire boats. Inevitably each person will have different opinions and any decision involves compromise – if we all had the same preferences there would not be as many furniture stores!
Oak veneers have been substituted for the Sapele used in our earlier boats, this reflects the changes we have noticed in boats built for individual clients. These paler shades enhance available light and can be balanced by careful choice of curtain and upholstery fabrics.
Green Heron has been fitted with a Shoreline supply through the latest Victron Inverter/Charger. The Inverter provides 3000kva and the Charger provides 120amps (when connected to a shoreline). Although a washing machine is not fitted, the inverter could drive it!
We constantly strive to maintain a balance between improvements that are both useful and cost effective rather than "wouldn't it be nice if" items that serve little purpose or cause operational problems and increased long term expenditure.
All boats built by JDBS since 1997 conform to the European Craft Directive, a “Craft Identification Number” identification mark together with a CE Plate and a detailed Owners Manual is also provided. In addition to these statutory requirements, for further reassurance a BW Safety Standards Certificate are as issued by an Approved Surveyor at JDBS expense.
Other Bases - Advantage or Disadvantage?
Many Share Operators now advertise a choice of bases, often servicing is sub-contracted to third parties. J D Boat Services operates from its own base at Gailey using their own experienced service staff. This allows us to offer a very personal service both to our clients and to their boats. Having the same team of engineers regularly servicing a boat enables us to find faults in their early stages, thus reducing damage and the associated cost of repair. Although holidays cannot be guaranteed, this systematic approach undoubtedly leads to greater reliability and less loss of holiday time.
In our view Shared Ownership is an extension of individual ownership, not just a cheap alternative to hiring. While significant financial savings are indeed to be made when comparing the costs of Shared Ownership with Hire Charges, these savings are directly affected by the interest and care taken by the Owners. Our Owners enjoy the pleasure of owning their boat and share the responsibility of looking after it, pride of ownership is accentuated by the knowledge that expenditure can be reduced if additional care is taken.
While our Share Boats will mainly cruise to and from Gailey, our Owners do in fact carry out more extensive cruises. For example, one Owner might choose to start from Gailey, finish their holiday at Llangollen where the next Owner takes over, after several further weeks the third Owner takes over at Leeds and returns to Gailey at the end of their holiday. J D Boat Services can arrange for turn-round servicing to be carried out at other bases providing reasonable notice is given, our intention is always to provide a flexible service and assist our Owners.
When and if a consortium wishes to change base either for a short or indefinite period, it has always been J D Boat Services intention to assist with relocation. As with other competing Share Operations, this decision could only be made following a unanimous decision made by the Consortium.
To date the majority of owners still cruise to and from Gailey. We can only assume that the wide choice of routes available at Gailey is to our owners’ satisfaction and that they are pleased with our service. Our Boatshare scheme has now been in existence for tweny years.
It is sometimes forgotten that the majority of privately owned boats remain at the same mooring for many years, the chief pleasure of owning a boat is the quiet enjoyment of canals irrespective of where you go, indeed there is a simple pleasure to be enjoyed in arriving at your boat and only then deciding where you feel like going, having left the rat race of modern society behind.
As in many aspects of our Shared Ownership system, we provide the basic structure, encourage our Owners to make their own decisions to protect their investment and enjoy their boat. We are here to help and advise, not to instruct you what to do with your boat.