Le Boat plots £100m fleet expansion over next decade

European boat rental company Le Boat plans to invest more than £100 million into its international fleet over the next decade through a new partnership deal.

A total of 400 new vessels are planned to be built in 10 years, including a new three to four-cabin design to launch in 2027.

Expansion into North America is also on the cards for the self-drive boating holidays specialist with the development of new fleets and locations for both charters and boat sales.

The trade-friendly brand has forged an agreement with French boat and leisure homes giant Groupe Beneteau, which owns Polish shipyard Delphia, to enable the growth plans.

Of the 400 new Delphia boats due to be built, 100 are due be made in the next three years, including at least 25 in 2025. 

The orders will be a combination of the current Horizon range, plus 34 of a premium new one to two-cabin premium boat, named Liberty, which will be launched next year. 

The superior boats will be positioned on the canals and waterways of France, including Brittany, Lot, Alsace, Burgundy, Loire-Nivernais, Midi and the Camargue as well as the River Thames and in Germany and the Netherlands.

The Liberty range went on sale on Thursday and will be available to sail from selected Le Boat bases in France, Germany, England and the Netherlands. 

Prices for seven nights start at £2,000, sleeping up to five people with two cabins and two bathrooms on a self-catering basis in July 2025.  

A larger new model will be designed in collaboration with Le Boat for introduction in 2027 including full air conditioning and a superior bridge.

Le Boat managing director Cheryl Brown said: “We’re delighted to be building upon our long-standing relationship with Groupe Beneteau to support the next stage of Le Boat’s growth journey. 

“It will allow us to continue developing high quality river cruisers which our customer will love and enable us both to expand into North America. 

“With these innovative new boats and stunning potential cruising grounds, this offers us a fantastic opportunity to grow both the charter and boat sales sides of our business.”

Erik Stromberg, vice-president of power and motor yachts for Groupe Beneteau, added: “LeBoat has been a key partner for many years with the premier fleet of Horizon models.

“This next step continues the supply of Horizon models, as well as a new co-developed boat to support Le Boat’s charter business and boat ownership programme.”

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