River Queen sold

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 07:32 07/03/2014
River Queen
Derek Flynn
Snagged: The River Queen on the Opawa River in Blenheim.

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The River Queen tourist boat has a new owner after being on the market for less than six months.

Former owners Peter Makin and his wife, Sandra, sold the boat last week after putting it up for tender at the beginning of the year.

Mr Makin said the buyer had requested privacy until the deal was finalised.

Mr Makin, who bought the River Queen eight years ago with his wife and brother, was pleased to sell the boat and move on.

"We chose the ones [buyers] we were happiest with," he said. "They clearly had a passion to take the boat and a vision for what they want to do with it."

He understood the new owners planned to keep the boat in Blenheim.

The boat, which was purpose-built for cruising the Opawa River, finished operating at the end of summer last year after Mr and Mrs Makin moved to Auckland.

There had been a lot of interest in the boat, which was surprising as there had been no offers while it was in the hands of an agent, he said.

"We put it on the market in the new year, mentioned it to a couple of locals and the word just spread."

Three tenders were lodged, with a further five interested parties keen to make an offer, Mr Makin said.

"We had such a good time with it, we loved it," he said. "But it's time to move on to the next chapter."

The Makins had started focusing their business on pre-arranged cruises after a string of violent late-night vandalism in 2012.

The couple slept on the River Queen when it was berthed at Beaver Station Wharf because the cost of damage to the boat threatened the sustainability of the business. During 2012, the boat was broken into five times and was also vandalised.

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- The Marlborough Express

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