My name is Ryan Sandall, I am a Thames Waterman and Lighterman on the River Thames. After serving a 7 year apprenticeship and working on various passenger boats and tugs over the years, last year I was in a position to buy London’s oldest passenger boat The Henley.
This is my first business that I worked long and hard for. Due to River Boat Charters being a new start business, there is no financial assistance available to me and due to the currently pandemic, I have been unable to trade at all in my second year.
My aim is to keep the lovely vessel running, maintained and up to date with all the latest safety equipment as required by the MCA. The Coronavirus has hit my business just as the boat went into dry dock and where she remains for the foreseeable future. We had been expecting to be back working on the river by the Easter Holidays.
As soon as I am able, I wish to be able to complete the work required and to get her working again as soon as it is safe to do so. Unfortunately, the funds put by to do this are now being spent on providing the essentials for my young family at home during this time of no work and no financial support.
The passenger boat Henley 1886 is a registered Historical Vessel which provides a public service running alongside 2 other boats from Westminster to Hampton Court between April and October, she also offers private functions on the Thames such as following The Great River Race as well as offering Corporate Hospitality year round.
We are in great need of help and support to keep this amazing old vessel running as she is part of the River Thames and London History. It would be a sad loss to lose her from the river.
As a new start business, we sadly currently don’t fall under any of the government funding or subsidy packages. Any help and funding received will go towards our vital maintenance project set out by the MCA and various other local councils. This will include hull maintenance, upgrading of the life saving apparatus, insurance, moorings and general upkeep of the vessel. This will enable me to get the boat working once more as soon as is possible whilst adhering to all Government Guidelines at all times.
All help will be very gratefully received and I hope we can all get through this troubling time together. We really do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you aboard in the not too distant future.
Every donation will be rewarded with a ticket or cruise aboard the vessel