After the Christmas break, we got stuck into building our latest narrowboat, Hobby. It sleeps four people, and has the option of twin beds instead of a double in the bedroom.
Our houseboats and cottages were busy with couples enjoying winter breaks in the Brecon Beacons, and there were some glorious winter days.
We were extremely busy completing our programme of boat maintenance before the new hire season begins. Each winter we take every boat out of the water for a week-long overhaul. It can include sanding and painting the exterior, varnishing and painting the interior, re-grouting tiles, replacing silicon around sinks and showers, cleaning carpets, washing curtains and a complete service of the heating system and the boat’s engine.
We began hiring our electric day boats for the 2020 season, and offered sweet treats to every child during the Easter holidays.
We added a hot-tub to Incline Cottage. It's in a gorgeous setting overlooking the canal, surrounded by trees and greenery. No wonder it's delighting our guests!
We decided to run a monthly photo competition between July and November, to encourage customers to share their fantastic shots with us, with a view to using the best in our brochure and other marketing activities in 2020.
For the fifth year running, Beacon Park Boats scored a perfect 100% in the grading visit by the British Marine Federation. Every boat in our fleet was awarded five stars for the sixth year in a row. It’s a superb accolade for our hardworking team.
While we were putting the finishing touches to Coot - our first hybrid-electric narrowboat complete with solar panels, we were busy planning the next addition to our fleet: Falcon - the first 8-berth holiday narrowboat on the Mon & Brec, which will be available for holidays from summer 2020.
We sponsored Crickhowell Literature Festival for the first time; it brought book lovers galore to our local town. There was also good news about awards won by local eateries: The Bear in Crickhowell and The Usk Inn in Talybont-on Usk are both listed in the AA Good Pub Guide 2020 and The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny was crowned Welsh Hotel of 2020 by the Good Hotel Guide.
Alasdair completed his latest challenge: to walk 5km unaided around Bute Park in Cardiff, raising money for the Stroke Association and the Royal British Legion. After passing the finish line, he sat down for a well earned rest, surrounded by his supporters!
We saw huge interest in our holidays after BBC1 Wales aired a documentary which features our business: "Gareth Edwards' Great Welsh Adventure".
The latest boat to join our fleet has been tested on the canal. Unusually, it's not one we're building but a pedal boat made by Dad's Boats in Norfolk. It'll be available for two people to hire for eco-friendly day trips on the canal, beginning in April 2020.
Keep up to date with future news by coming back to our blog during 2020.