“WE LOVE BEING ABLE TO SHARE OUR LITTLE SLICE OF SUBURBAN PARADISE WITH YOU!”
Our (Natasha and Klaus) relationship began in London in October 2014, some 27 years after initially meeting in our ‘home’ country of Zimbabwe and re-connecting through FaceBook! Budding business ideas and lots of travel, interspersed with some seriously trying times, have been hectic ever since. We both pride ourselves in having fair, hard-working attitudes and a total zest for happiness and humour which has bonded us from the outset!
Not long after we got together, we visited our first boat, “Eucala”. Whilst she required copious amounts of cosmetic work, we immediately saw huge potential in her. The initial reason for purchase was due to Klaus living in Leeds but wanting somewhere he could call home whilst working in London instead of constantly staying in hotels. As he has always absolutely loved boats, he thought this would be a perfect solution.
His dad was a sailor for over 17 years, culminating in Chief Engineer on a tanker, before moving to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to build boats in Salisbury (now Harare) and retired to Lake Kariba to continue messing around on water with a fish trading business. Klaus’ paternal grandfather also invented and patented the sealed bulk-head in 1918, 6 years after the Titanic sank……. so, boating has always been in his blood!
My Doctor dad also semi-retired to Kariba, had a boat called ‘WET QUACK’ to visit his patients and knew and treated Klaus’ parents too!
Anyway, within a month of “Eucala’s” arrival in Hampton Court (to the most stunning looking marina albeit – it turned out – to have a VERY sinister side), Klaus’ London consulting contract at that time came to an end. A year on, after taking the boat out on a couple of occasions (across the English Channel to explore the inland waterways of France with our kids in the summer of 2015 and seeing the London fireworks for New Year’s Eve in 2016), she still required loads of work and was haemorrhaging expensive fees (the abbreviation of ‘BOAT’ meaning ‘bring out another thousand’ ringing ever so true). Shortly after this, we had an epiphany……. to renovate and rent her out for unique boat stays and skippered cruising…….
AND RIGHT THERE, A NEW BUSINESS WAS BORN!
Since then, a few more boats have been added to ‘the collection’ and we have featured as long term Super-hosts on Airbnb; received Gold Awards on Booking.Com and Certificates of Excellence on Trip Advisor.
“Eucala” cameoed as the Californian boat of the Beach Boys’ drummer (‘Autopsy: the last hours of Dennis Wilson);
“Baboo” has been used for a couple of music videos and a sexy swimwear modelling shoot;
“Bluebird” has also been featured in a music recording to boot!
And, we have been extremely privileged to assist in a few memorable proposals ♥ - and love reading the countless guest book entries and reviews where some wonderful memories have been made.
This is also our 4th year of running a fleet of small self-drive day boats (the idea started after seeing our tender to “Eucala” sitting around gathering webs!) In 2019, before the world locked-down, we were voted “the best-selling and number #1 boat tour deal in UK and Ireland – Groupon 2019”.
Klaus’ brother, Chris, joined as Chief Engineer at the beginning of 2020 after immigrating from South Africa and been instrumental in assisting in our re-location to Chertsey in June 2020, helping get our fleet in tip-top working order and captaining. And Sean, who started out as our Care-Taker 2 years ago – recently promoted to Operations Manager – has worked on a number of projects and oversees the self-drives and staycations on the ground with the help of a small team.
Its been a tough year getting through the pandemic and moving sites – we have also struggled to find various suppliers able to provide items required to achieve a ‘ship-shape’ fleet but we are a ‘works in progress’ and striving for perfection all the time!
Our new base here at Penton Hook, the largest inland marina in UK, is quite arguably one of the most peaceful locations to kick back, relax and watch river life go by. Or, there are plenty of places of interest to visit in the local area which is steeped in history and jam packed with activities and attractions for all ages. And Central London is just 35 minutes away by direct train.
We have recently introduced our first self-drive cabin cruiser so guests can navigate the river themselves and stay overnight if they wish – and will be re-launching “Jacruzzi” very soon, our skippered hot tub boats for up to 10 guests.
We do hope you enjoy your time with us at “Riverscapes” - our crew pride themselves in offering a very unique and personalised service 😊