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Locaboat Acquire Majority Stake in Carrickcraft

3rd July 2018
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A Carrickcraft 'Fermanagh' Class hire–cruiser at Carrick–on–Shannon in County Leitrim. The Irish firm operate 119 boats on the River Shannon at Carrick-on-Shannon and Banagher and on Lough Erne from Bellanaleck, outside Enniskillen A Carrickcraft 'Fermanagh' Class hire–cruiser at Carrick–on–Shannon in County Leitrim. The Irish firm operate 119 boats on the River Shannon at Carrick-on-Shannon and Banagher and on Lough Erne from Bellanaleck, outside Enniskillen Photo: Afloat.ie

French boating holiday firm Locaboat Developpement has announced its acquisition of a majority stakeholding in Irish cruiser-hire company Carrickcraft.

Locaboat is a market–leading, boating holidays company which operates 360 boats in six countries from some 27 bases throughout Europe.

Acquired by John Morton in 1999, Carrickcraft has continued to grow steadily and consistently. It is the largest provider of self-drive boating holidays in Ireland.

Company growth has accelerated further following the acquisition of Waveline Cruisers in 2014.

The current owners of Carrickcraft will remain as Directors and shareholders and will continue to run the company in Ireland as at present. Sales and accounting remain in Markethill and there are no changes at any of the marinas. Hausboot Irland, the German booking company, will continue to operate as normal from offices in Untergruppenbach.

Commenting on the acquisition Serge Naim, Managing Director of Locaboat Developpement, “Carrickcraft has an impressive growth record, an excellent reputation for service and a highly respected team. We are excited to be joining forces. This is a strategic acquisition opening new possibilities and strengthening market presence. We look forward to helping Carrickcraft accelerate its expansion plans”.

John Morton, Managing Director of Carrickcraft said: “this partnership with Locaboat will enable Carrickcraft to develop more rapidly, and allow greater investment opportunities. The company has an extremely bright future under its new ownership. I am confident that Carrickcraft will continue to develop and grow in partnership with Locaboat.”

Carrickcraft operate 119 boats on the River Shannon at Carrick-on-Shannon and Banagher and on Lough Erne from Bellanaleck, outside Enniskillen. The Shannon and Erne are recognised as one of the longest non-commercial waterways in Europe, they are well maintained and simple to navigate. There are also very few locks, making this a popular destination for boaters.

The boats range in size from 2-berth to 10-berth and are easily handled by seasoned boaters and novices alike. The fleet has recently been enhanced with the addition of Linssen cruisers which have been very popular.

The core business is visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, most of whom visit for at least one week and bring considerable inward spend. To improve the sales to these countries, Carrickcraft have a sales office near Stuttgart (Hausboot Irland GmbH) who handle all direct bookings from these countries.

Domestic Irish business has become more important in recent years as people have realised they have one of Europe’s finest cruising waterways on their doorstep. Although many come for shorter breaks, a lot of visitors return year after year.

Published in Inland Waterways
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