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Chance to buy canal boats business in Britain's Best Place to Live

 Canal boat trip business in the "Gateway to the Dales" on the market for £389,995

09 April 2018: A business that operates boat trips and narrow boat hire on the Leeds Liverpool Canal from a base in Skipton, North Yorkshire has been put on the market by its current owner. Nick Osborn, who now plans to retire, has instructed Blacks Business Brokers, the national business transfer agent, to sell Skipton Boat Trips with a guide price of £389,995.

The business operates two wide-beam trip boats, one of which currently runs several scheduled trips per day while the other is used for private chartered tours. These boats can accommodate 56 and 50 passengers respectively and are equipped with on-board galleys for catering, bars, toilets and heating.

Skipton Boat Trips also owns two 32-foot narrow boats which it hires out by the day to people who prefer to sail themselves rather than take a tour. All four boats have been freshly repainted for the 2018 season.

The business comes with secure moorings for all four boats. It operates from a booking office on the Skipton quayside, which is included in the sale on a 15-year lease.

The company's website has the highly SEO-friendly domain In its most recent financial year Skipton Boat Trips made a gross profit of £172,000 on turnover of £244,000.

The business currently operates with six seasonal staff, running trips and offering boat hire between March and October as well as special Christmas trips and charters in December. As well as privately-booked trips, charters and walk-up business, the company gains a significant proportion of its revenues from pre-booked coach tour parties.

Mr Osborn said, "We have close connections with many of the major coach companies and already have 300 coach parties booked in for 2018. They are a great source of repeat business and turn up rain or shine, so they make a big contribution to our profits."

Skipton Boat Trips has operated since the 1970s and was first acquired by the Osborn family in the early 1990s, when it was bought by the the parents the current owner. They sold the business in 2000 and, when it came back on the market two years later, Nick Osborn, who at the time lived in London, purchased it and relocated his family to Skipton.

"It's a great lifestyle business," Mr Osborn continued. "An interest in boats would obviously be an advantage for a new owner but the boats are maintained by the staff so no expertise in marine engineering is required!

"The business is already doing very well but it also has plenty of scope to grow. For example, while our website does well in the search rankings there is undoubtedly potential to add functionality to increase web-based bookings and reach more customers through online marketing."

Known as the "Gateway to the Dales", Skipton is located at the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. A bustling tourist town with a medieval castle and award-winning high street, it is host to the annual Skipton Waterways Festival, held every May in the town's Canal Basin.

Nikki Jones, customer information manager at Blacks Business Brokers, said, "This is a fantastic opportunity for a boating enthusiast who wants a change of lifestyle and an opportunity to build on an already successful business doing something they love.

"Skipton is such a beautiful town, and has recently received many accolades including, in 2014, being voted the best place to live in Britain. It's not every day that the chance arises to purchase a business like this in the gateway to one of Britain's most popular National Parks so, for somebody, this is going to be the opportunity of a lifetime."

All enquiries should be directed toBlacks Business Brokersquoting reference 4849.

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Notes to editors

About Blacks Business Brokers

Blacks Business Brokers has successfully sold thousands of businesses since being founded in 2008 by owner and managing director Chris Rowlands. It operates nationwide, selling everything from high street coffee shops and hair salons to manufacturers and engineering companies.

Blacks is headquartered in Bury, Greater Manchester and has offices in London and Leeds. It employs in excess of 30 staff who are able to broker deals worth anything from the tens of thousands to several million pounds.

Blacks Business Brokers is a member of the Institution of Commercial and Business Agents and the National Association of Estate Agents.

For further information please contact:

Chris Rowlands
Managing director
0161 763 5000

Stuart Anderson
Alpha Public Relations
0161 791 0811