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    Meet the team 4 3 2

    Meet Sonia

    Brokerage Manager, Roydon Marina Village

    Originally from South Africa, I moved over to the UK with my husband 17 years ago, I have been in sales all of my working careers, I love animals being close to the water and when time allows I love to travel and experience new cultures.

    How did you get into boats?
    Since being married and due to our family's love of the sea, we have owned a boat of some sort for over 23 years. We started off with a small weekend fishing boat and over the years this progressed to larger deep-sea vessels, our last boat being a 38-ton liveaboard replica dutch barge.

    What is the best piece of advice you have for someone buying a boat?
    It is important to decide on which type of boat is right for you based on your needs and budget, do your research and ensure that the boat has all of the required paperwork in place.

    Meet the team 4 3 6

    Meet Andy

    Northern Boat Sales Manager, Tattenhall Marina

    I have over 40 years of sales experience predominately in the leisure sector. I enjoy working in sales, meeting new people and listening to the customer's requirements then making sure what I am offering meets and ideally exceeds their expectations.

    How did you get into boats?
    When both my daughters were very young we owned a cruiser called “Mallard” which we would often cruise from Bristol Floating Harbour up the River Avon and onto the lovely Kennet and Avon Canal from Bath. Spending time on the water, seemingly “at one” with nature, provided hours of joy for me and my family. This idyllic way of life was always something I planned on returning to in later life and the opportunity arose here with Lakeland Leisure Boat Sales firstly around November 2018 in the Cotswolds at Saul Junction Marina before more recently in beautiful Cheshire countryside at Tattenhall Marina.

    What is the best piece of advice you have for someone buying a boat?
    Firstly, decide what you want from a boat i.e. liveaboard, high days and holidays or simple lovely days on the canals/rivers. Then view as many different boats as possible I would say at least a dozen or so, then make two lists, list no1 should be what you consider you must have/need and list no2 should be what you do not want. Finally, always insist on an out of water survey by a respected independent surveyor.

    Meet The Team 4 3 3

    Meet Anthony

    Operations Director

    I originally grew up in a city called Durban on the Natal Coast of South Africa, my family and I settled in the UK about 17 years ago and I have spent my working career running various service and corporate based businesses.

    How did you get into boats?
    Growing up in a coastal city, I have had the pleasure of being involved in all types of boating since a tender age. I obtained a skippers license in my 20's and over the years I have been lucky enough to have owned and skippered various vessels in a number of countries around the world.

    What is the best piece of advice you have for someone buying a boat?
    Buying a boat is a big decision and a long term proposition that needs careful thought. Whether the boat is to be used as a weekend getaway or if you are looking for a complete lifestyle change, make sure that you have done your homework and that the vessel ticks as many boxes as possible based on your budget. Ensure that the boat has all of the relevant paperwork in place and always ask for an independent survey. If you choose the right boat, your investment will last for decades to come.

    Meet the team 4 3 4

    Meet Julie

    Brokerage Manager, Saul Junction Marina

    I joined the team at Saul Junction in April 2021, I have a 60' narrowboat which I liveaboard with my miniature schnauzer called Bayley. This role combines my work and my passion in a community that is friendly and laid back and it's great to share advice and stories with the people I meet.

    How did you get into boats?
    My parents had a narrowboat for over 30 years, so I grew up around boats and they became my passion. Now I'm really pleased to help others buy their perfect boats and see their passion for something I love.

    Meet The Team 4 3 5

    Meet Mike

    General Manager, Barton Marina

    I have a good sales background and am excited to join the team at Lakeland Leisure Boat Sales. Sales are where my heart lies and I enjoy helping people to find their perfect boat or sell their boat to trade up or explore new adventures. I also have a passion for cars and hold 2 World Records for Speed Racing.

    How did you get into boats?
    I got into boats by chance really, my friend had a 35ft canal boat and one day we were talking in the pub where he said ‘come and see what you think’. That was it, within a month I owned his boat. My passion has grown from there and within 6 months I had traded up and now own a 60ft. I've found that boat life is one of the best kept secrets and wish I had found out about it 20 years ago.

    What is the best piece of advice you have for someone buying a boat?
    Find out as much information as you can! The more information you have about a boat you are looking to buy, the better. Plus, remember to be open minded, everything on a boat can be fixed, moved or changed to make it perfect for you. It's not like a house when you have to keep some things and can't move them around, on a boat you have the flexibility to make it exactly the way you want it.

    Meet The Team 4 3 7 Boat Sales

    Meet Alan

    Brokerage Manager, Deganwy Marina

    As a boat broker, I have had the privilege of assisting individuals and families in finding the perfect vessel to suit their needs and desires. Whether it is a sleek and nimble racing yacht or comfortable and spacious cruiser, I take immense joy in helping others embark on their own maritime journeys. Guiding them through the process of selecting the ideal boat, sharing my insights, and witnessing the spark of excitement in their eyes is truly rewarding.

    How did you get into boats?
    For over three decades, I have been involved with the thrilling world of sailing. From the first moment I stepped foot on sailboat, I was in awe of the sense of freedom and adventure that it offered. What began as a hobby quickly transformed into a lifelong passion, guiding me through countless nautical journeys and sparking a deep connection to the sea.

    What is the best piece of advice you have for someone buying a boat?
    First and foremost, determine the primary purpose of your boat. Are you looking for a vessel for fishing, recreational cruising, water sports or something else? Understanding your specific requirements will help narrow down your options. Next, carefully evaluate your budget, considering not only the purchase cost but also ongoing expenses such as maintenance, fuel, insurance and mooring fees. Research different boat types, sizes and models to find one that suits your intended use, while also considering factors like durability, reliability and resale value. If you're not an experienced boater, it's wise to consult with your broker for advice on taking a boating course. Taking the time to thoroughly assess your needs, budget, and available options will ensure that you make an informed decision and gives the broker enough information to find the perfect boat that brings you joy and meets your expectations on the water.

    Meet The Team 4 3 8

    Meet Dave

    Brokerage Manager, Great Haywood Marina

    As a liveaboard boater myself, I am delighted to join the team at Great Haywood Marina and use my expertise and first hand experience to help others find their dream boat and discover life on the water.

    How did you get into boats?
    I first got into boats as a child, on a summer holiday with a school friend that impressed me so much that it was a burning desire to revisit the boating world as an adult. So, after many holidays on the canals, I decided to buy into a share boat scheme. I loved that so much that I decided to buy my own boat and live aboard, and I’ve never looked back.

    What is the best piece of advice you have for someone buying a boat?
    If I were to give one piece of advice to someone buying a boat, it would be to get a survey done on your new boat. This will give piece of mind before heading off on your adventures.

    Meet The Team 4 3 1

    Meet Claire

    Brokerage Manager, Shakespeare Marina & Caen Hill Marina

    I love travel and after a long stint of travelling the world as crew for British Airways I have swapped air for water, which is much calmer and less frenetic.

    How did you get into boats?
    I got into boats many years ago as we owned a 55ft narrowboat. I still remember my very first outing and was hooked from that moment. We eventually had a stint living on board for a year and it felt like we were on constant holiday. There is nothing better than taking off down the canal and feeling like you are in the middle of nowhere, just nature, wildlife and hopefully, no phone signal. I absolutely loved the slow pace of life and the relaxed nature of the boaters. The birth of my son necessitated the move back onto land but I never lost the love of boats and the waterways.

    What is the best piece of advice you have for someone buying a boat?
    I would advise anyone buying a boat to take a look at lots of different options before making a decision. It's important to know how you are going to use the boat and that will make a difference to the vessel that you choose. I think buying a boat is not unlike buying a house, you will get a feel for the right boat and if it feels right, it's usually the boat for you.