I recently spent a long weekend with Mum and Dad aboard Formanda visiting some of our family boating haunts and then getting up close and personal with the Fastnet Race starters. Here is a really good account of our adventures, written by Mum
A bit taken aback recently to get chatting to the Motor Boats Monthly team about the 25th anniversary of the Cruising Club. Doesn’t seem a quarter of a century since we commenced the first events! At its peak we managed … Read More
Just once in a while it’s fun to celebrate something for no great reason. In this case an image I first took on 35mm transparency film on the River Seine from the deck of our Pedro 33 Solano Incalzando, sometime in the mid 1990s.
From memory the specifics were a dawn departure downstream from Rouen, to ensure we took the travelator of a tide that flows with gusto on the tidal river Seine. In the image you can just see the hints of mist, but not long before or afterward tendrils of thick fog were curling over the rails and knitting themselves into a blanket to obscure even the bankside, just a few scant metres away. It was technically illegal for a leisure boat to proceed in such circumstances, given the commercial traffic on the river, but on 70-odd miles from Rouen to the sea there are few if any places suitable for pulling over and tying up, even on a steel motorboat. And so we put the radar on and spent a concentrated hour or so until the sun got going and broke through.
I have to say that it has always felt that something was missing. And then I realised what it was.
In all of the time we have been busy rebuilding Formanda, our Beecham Searider 45, the ensign was tucked away in one of a myriad number of boxes and the staff socket was removed from the rail. Well, all of that is in the past now.
This day 10 years ago I set out on the journey of a lifetime, a 4100-mile 147-day trip around Britain and near continental harbours.
The bit I remember most about this day, which started at Port Solent and ended at Haslar just a short run away, was the disquieting feeling that I had called my own bluff. Was the plan, largely conceived on scraps of paper while rail commuting, really going to work out?
What a difference a good customer experience can make.
I’ve often said you can eat an average meal at a restaurant accompanied by well-judged attention from the staff and it will far outweigh Michelin-standard fare accompanied by care-less or haughty delivery. It’s also a well-known fact that faulty goods put right by service above expectation will engender greater customer loyalty than a product that works right out of the box.
So what prompts this blog?
Well we’ve been buying rather too much kit for our boat over the past few months and the experiences have often been polarised between extremely good and disappointingly poor.