My love affair with boats and all things to do with the river started at the tender age of 4 (in the days of steam boats), living next to the river. After seven years as a civil engineer I joined Bray Marina in 1987 as Assistant Marina Manager and, by the time I became Marina & Sales Manager, I was running the busy brokerage operation and wanted to branch out on my own. This coincided with Marina Development Ltd selling off their boat sales operation in early 1992. And so, on 1st August 1992 we opened our doors and Bray Marine Sales (now TBS Boats Bray) was born, with a listing of three boats at a total sales value of £25,000!…my love affair with river and boats endures: I currently own a 1955 Italian lady – a varnished Mahogany speedboat.
Bruno grew up on the Thames living on his parents’ boat for almost 20 years; his father, a wooden boat builder, gave him the opportunity to earn his first pocket money, working at weekends mooring boats and helping with general boat repairs.
He found that everything to do with boats was definitely in his blood and he decided to start his career at Thames Ditton Marina initially in the chandlery and maintenance and latterly moving into sales.
Working his way up over the years to become a Yacht Broker for Boat Showrooms at Shepperton; exhibiting at Southampton and London Boat Shows gave Bruno the chance to become more hands on with demonstrating boats not only on the Thames but also on the South Coast.
Simon has grown up with boats, his father bought the first family boat, a Senior 31 in 1981, followed by a Fairline Phantom 32 and subsequently many others. Simon has worked in the marine industry for 20 years for companies such as Bridge Boats, Caversham Boat Services and most recently as a skipper for Thames River Cruise driving their flagship the Caversham Princess a 75ft passenger boat.
Started boating at the age of 4 with family, cruised most of Europe. After leaving school at 18, Chris worked in a hotel until starting as a trainee broker on the River Medway. Leaving 4 years later as Marina Manager, Chris joined a large marina on the Thames as Sales Manager for 4 years until he joined forces with Dominic Smulders (see above) and formed Penton Hook Marine Sales (now TBS Boats Penton Hook) in 1998. They sold their 1,000th boat at the end of 2005. A qualified Yachtmaster offshore, I conduct all the handovers at sea.
Darren has been boating from early age. Starting his working career at the age of 16 in a chandlery, he soon realised he loved the boat industry and moved into boat sales as assistant in 1996, joining TBS Boats Penton Hook in 2000. Darren specialises in the sale of our brokerage boats with a wealth of experience in the sports boat market. Darren likes to kayak down the Thames or cycle riverside so if you hear a friendly hello, you’ll know who it is!!
Russell started boating at the age of 11, spending time with friends on the Thames at Teddington. After attending college studying for an engineering diploma, he got his first job working at the local chandlery where his duties also included boat and engine repairs and looking after the marina. In 2001 he started his first job selling boats on the Thames first selling brokerage and then moving in to new boat sales as well. During his time selling boats he specialised in Dutch steel and trawler yachts before moving on to sports cruisers. He has owned a Freeman 24 that he spent many years bringing back to it’s former glory.
Tim’s connection to the water started many years ago with sailing and kayaking at Thames Young Mariners in Ham. He has enjoyed boating around the coast of Cornwall and in the Solent but is always drawn back to the wonderful Thames and the huge amount it has to offer. He owns his own classic Dutch Steel day boat and uses her regularly regardless of the weather! After a decade working in the motor industry selling cars, Tim decided a change of scenery was in order so he can deal with what he enjoys on a daily basis and get paid for it.
Chris started boating at an early age on the River Thames near Henley. After university and completing the ARC sailing race to the Caribbean , he joined a boat sales company on the Thames as a yacht broker. In 2008, he formed his own company specialising in yacht delivery, training and guardinage; this job took him all over the world working on vessels up to 30m. As a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster, he runs the After Sales department undertaking warranty works, deliveries and handovers of new and used vessels.
After spending many years in the engineering industry as a CAD draughtsperson, Sue is now enjoying the much more pleasant environment in the marina. Joining TBS Boats Penton Hook in 2009 Sue sorts out all the administration and running of the office and keeps the rest of the team in order. In the 1980’s and 90’s Sue spent most of her weekends and holidays sailing around the Solent and across channel even participating in several Round The Island Races.
Becky has grown up with boats and has had several holidays on the Thames as well as a Flotilla Holiday around the Greek Islands. The whole of Becky’s family are involved in the marine business and she has therefore decided to follow in their footsteps and joined TBS Penton last year. Becky can be found in the office ensuring the smooth running of the administration.
Joe has a background in Events on the operational side and after joining the “boat mad” family and gaining an insight into boating decided to start a career in the marine industry. Joe can be seen valeting boats at TBS Penton and is also the Warrant Support Technician. Joe has just signed himself up to an Auto-Electrical course to expand his skills within the business.
From sailing Wayfarers on the Norfolk Broads to cruising on his Grandfathers boat on the River Cam and Great Ouse, boating has long been a part of Alex’s life. His father bought a small fishing boat (powered by a Volvo outboard!) in the late 70’s which was regularly trailered to the South Coast and Wales for family holidays and it was this which began Alex’s passion for the sea.
After a career which took him as far afield as Japan and Singapore, Alex then moved to the Hamble in 2002, completed a Yachtmaster sail qualification and began working in both powerboat and yacht brokerage. Now with over 13 years experience in both new and used boat sales, Alex runs the TBS Boats office at Mercury Yacht Harbour on the river Hamble. Please drop by the office or call at any time to discuss your requirements be they power or sail, new or used.
Spending summers in Ireland, Chris would devote as much time as possible to sea fishing on his father’s boat in Cork Harbour which is where his love of the sea began. In 2011 Chris left for Australia with travel in mind but was offered a job at a boat yard in Sydney Harbour where he spent the next 6 years. Chris worked his way up to yard manager and was privileged to work alongside “Wild oats” and some of the most prestigious yacht racing teams from around the globe. Questioning to some, he left Australia and headed to the Mediterranean where he spent a season on-board a 40m super yacht as a bosun. Now having returned to the UK he joins Alex down on the river Hamble.