HMS 69 disembarks passengers at Penarth's water Taxi pontoon

HMS 69 disembarks passengers at Penarth’s water Taxi pontoon

Cardiff Cruises – the pleasure boat business based in Penarth Marina which operates the “HMS 69”  booze cruises aboard its  familiar red-painted steel-hulled passenger vessel – is up for sale  with a price tag of £150,000 – including the boat itself.

Skipper Martin Driscoll is "swallowing the anchor" and selling his business

Skipper Martyn Driscoll is “swallowing the anchor” and selling his business

Owner Martyn Driscoll says the sale will include the firm’s website and booking system, all social media accounts and details of how the company runs.

Mr Driscoll says his firm makes about  £125,000 a year 60% from on-board parties and 40% from tours of Cardiff Bay.

The business is run by a staff of six – who Martyn says – apart from the boat itself –  are “the biggest asset” .

There are plans to install a new upper deck on the existing boat to increase the capacity of the vessel to  80.

HMS 69 sets out from Penarth

HMS 69 sets out from Penarth

The idea for Cardiff Cruises came to Martyn  after being part of a travel team promoting “party cruises”  in Sydney Harbour.  He founded the operation in 2008 – focused on the stag/hen and birthday market but after 9 years has now decided on a “change of scene”  .



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  1. Chris David says:

    If the accounts stack up this looks a great business for a youngster. If they can fund £150k plus working capital. Its not a lot in real business terms but its a lot for most people under 35. I hope its all a continued success.

  2. cpissarro says:

    Presumably “makes about £125,000” is revenue, not profits. Otherwise the sales price wouldn’t make sense. Profit from such revenue with six staff and other operating expenses must be low or even negative.

    Best of luck to them.

  3. Chris David says:

    Well that’s why I said “if the accounts stack up”. Revenue of £125 K is nothing and could easily represent a loss- in fact with six staff almost certainly does. Profits of £125k is very nice but yes then the price tab looks low. The old saying. Turnovers flattery profits reality.

    • Mark Foster says:

      Oh Dear Christophe, je peux parler d’affaires seulement sur centaines de millions de dollars. Qu’est-ce que c’est £125K? Vous êtes un pauvre Gallois, n’est-ce pas? Comment pouvez-vous vous permettre d’habiter a Dordogneshire, avec tous les autres Britanniques?

      • Chris David says:

        Christopher translates as….Christopher. The reason I can afford Penarth and Dordogne-shire is I work hard. Something I’m informed you’re not too familiar with. 🙂 Never mind- you can always pop over the road and hire a paddle boat on the new commercial Cosmeston the VoG have planned for you and other minorities.

    • Turnover is £125k, net profit c. £30k. Staff are all freelance so are paid when the boat is in operation through summer season. Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.

      • Chris David says:

        Ha yes variations on a truism. Still if the boat will hold its value and is saleable then its not a bad little project ay! Maybe winter trade could be added? If for example it’s suitable for fishing trips in the cod season. Probably not looking at it but worth exploring options.

  4. snoggerdog says:

    for a short “cruise” capn gorgeous is yer sailor,ben salter aboard the dafodil is a font of knowledge.

  5. Yotty says:

    Other boat operators are available on Cardiff Bay!

Comments are closed.