A wonderful mix of working lives in Poole Harbour at the European Maritime Festival

Poole Harbour Boat Show - European Maritime Festival

Coleman Insurance Brokers enjoyed their presence at the Poole Harbour Boat Show, which took place over the weekend of 19th – 21st May at Poole Quay and was part of the 2017 European Maritime Event.   

The Boat Show is in its 3rd year and has gained an enviable reputation amongst not only locals but also the marine industry and attracted large crowds despite the inclement weather.

Coleman’s Manager of Yacht & Commercial Craft, Tony Pauffley advised, “It was great to be amongst our clients, exhibitors, marine enthusiasts and visitors at the Boat Show and the European Maritime Festival.

“We opened the Coleman quayside offices 2 years ago and we are really enjoying working in this stunning location in the heart of Poole amongst many of our marine trade clients and boat owners. 

“The variety and diverse mix of businesses at Poole Quay never fails to amaze me…everyone working together in close proximity but with such different day to day experiences and lives. In this article we have included some of the conversations that we have enjoyed during the European Maritime Festival with a variety of the local businesses to illustrate this wonderful mix of working lives in Poole Harbour.”

Charter angling boat ……

Trueblue is a popular charter angling boat, owned and run by Poole based fisherman Steve Porter who has been based in the harbour for 19 years and enjoys an outstanding reputation with local anglers.  Many of his customers book multiple trips on the boat throughout the year, booking up to a year in advance.

There isn’t a typical day for Steve, whose week to date has included a fishing trip to Alderney in the Channel Islands, a trip to the middle of the English Channel for fishing around a ship wreck, fishing off the coast at Dancing Ledge on the Jurassic coast and a trip around Poole Harbour.

Steve advised, “It’s a dream job in which I get to meet some wonderful people.  We attract proper anglers who bring their own equipment with them. We release most of what we catch and bring little home to the table.  Today, for example, we caught 140 bream but only retained 30.  What we catch depends very much on what we are targeting and evolves throughout the year. The sheltered waters of Poole Harbour are a great place to be, providing almost year-round fishing opportunities when sea conditions further afield might be unsuitable." 

Poole Boat Charters, entertaining on the water

Marine business Poole Boat Charters is run by husband and wife team Simon and Drenagh Wootton who own the impressively sized 50 foot ‘Good Times’ motor boat.  The couple have always had a love of the water and have managed to combine their passion for boating to create an incredibly successful business in Poole Harbour.

Drenagh enthused, “We’d always wanted a bigger boat but needed to find a way to fund it and decided that offering boat charters was the way to do this.  It’s an incredibly unique boat and unlike any other in Poole Harbour in that there is so much space on board- perfect for guests to relax, take time out to sit and chat with friends and enjoy a glass of wine.  We have a huge deck which can be enclosed or open and lots of space to sunbathe when the sun’s out.  We’ve been taken by surprise by just how popular she’s proved to be.   It’s particularly satisfying being able to turn a hobby in to a side-line.  We absolutely love what we do.

“It’s wonderful to wake up to the outstanding views and we particularly value the vibrant marine community in the harbour. There’s always someone around wanting to have a chat and it’s great how everyone is willing to help each other out.”

Greenslades Pleasure Boats on the water

The Greenslades family name is well known in Poole as two sides of a family have made Poole Harbour the heart of their businesses.  Greenslades Pleasure Boats are just shy of 50 years old, having been launched in 1970 when founder ‘Rusty’ Greenslade spotted a business opportunity.  He’d previously worked in a kiosk at Poole Quay selling fast food.  His kiosk looked out on to the quay front and he was very aware of the huge footfall of visitors to quayside.  His elder brother Harold was a Ship Wright and Loftman and Rusty commissioned him to build a fishing boat.  Half way through the build, however, they had a change of plan as it became clear that the fishing grounds in Poole bay had become over fished by visiting fishermen.  Rusty made the canny decision to convert the boat in to a passenger boat which he named Eva May after his grandmother.

His second boat Pammy Ann, named after his mother, was launched in 1980 with the new model differing from the first boat in that it had under cover seating for the inclement days and outside seating for the sunny days.  Rusty’s son Matt joined the successful family business straight from school at the age of 16 in 1982 and continues to work in Greensaldes, a team that now includes his partner Fiona.

Matt commented, “From Easter until the end of October we work 7 days a week.  We have 3 ferries and at the height of summer employ up to 12 -15 staff.  Poole Harbour and the pleasure boats are a huge part of our lives. I was even born in the boat yard where Eva May was built!  The working community at the Harbour is very close knit, with many families having worked alongside each other for several decades.  I enjoy what I do and love the outdoor life.”

Securing the future of Poole Harbour…

Poole Harbour Commissioners recently commissioned Poole based civil engineering company Suttles to complete the second phase of a 4-year project to install a new steel facing in to the ancient quay wall. Work has just been completed on the project which has ensured that the harbour wall is protected from scouring in the future and has reduced its susceptibility to being undermined by boats and activity on the water and materials on the sea bed.

Suttle MD Joe Paine advised, “Over a 4- month period, initially using a very powerful 50 tonne “leader rig” sheet piling machine, we have completed a 120- linear metres of steel sheet piling, installing 14 metre long piles, driving them in to the seabed, in front of the old wall. Ecologically sourced timber fenders have also been installed which protect marine vessels from crashing in to the wall by providing a natural bumper.

“Suttles, through our quarrying arm and now our civil engineering company, has a long history of providing goods and services to enhance the harbour generally. It’s been a good project to be involved in and satisfying to know that our works have future proofed the quay wall and helped to protect the future of Poole Harbour.  It also allows for bigger and more powerful vessels to access that part of the harbour too.” 

Beds on board…

Online company Beds on Board is often referred to as the air b and b for boats. Based in Lymington it is a global concept and now has boats in over 60 countries. Mark Seamer, Marketing Lead said, “We connect boat owners with accommodation seekers.  It’s a great way for boat owners to offset the cost of ownership and guests get the opportunity to stay in some amazing locations, such as Poole Quay.  We currently have 10 boats here and Poole Harbour is in our top 5 of UK searches - it’s incredibly popular and visitors use the boats here as a base to explore the beautiful area.  Feedback we receive is that they love waking up to the panoramic views out to the bay.

“We have a real variety of accommodation options in the harbour, including a 30 ft yacht, up to a 50 ft motor boat with some very competitive and affordable prices, starting at just £60 for 2 people.  It’s a unique alternative to a hotel.”


Sunseeker Sales Executive David Jones was present at the Poole Harbour Boat Show and showing the many visitors around the 2 Sunseeker boats in the harbour.  He commented, “We have had a couple of good models added to the fleet and released in the last 12 months – 52’ Manhattan and 66’ Manhattan.  We’re building the boats as fast as we can to meet the ever- growing demand.  Demand on the 52’ Manhattan is at 1 per week.

“Buyers nowadays do a lot of research on the internet before making an appointment to see us.  They’re very knowledgeable and know what they want out of a boat.  When they come to us their purchase decision is partly made, or at least they are very aware of what is available.

“We sponsor the Poole Harbour Boat Show because Sunseeker is the largest employer in the area and it gives us the opportunity to engage with the local community and show them the best of British marine products.

“This morning I’ve been showing around some men from our moulding sheds at the factory. Some of them have never been on a finished boat before.  They are all really proud to be part of the Sunseeker family!”

View TheYachtMarket Boat Show Calendar


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