Concoform Marine was founded in 1965 by Norman Clarke. The very first hire craft being an Enterprise sailing dinghy complete with trailer for coastal and estuary sailing. Hire fee £10.00 per week.
From then on Norman purchased second hand boats and restored them. These boats were hired out on the River Thames from 1965 to 1969. The original Duckweed was an experiment in Ferro Cement boatbuilding and was let out as a two berth.
Then came Adventure, an ex naval Piannace. She was largely rebuilt and then Good Fettle was renamed Jenny K after his new apprentice who later became the other half of Concoform Marine and wife. These old boats had teak hulls and a great deal of character. The centre cockpit Dolphin boat Bindweed was purchased to be let on the canals.
Then came the move to Weedon. Weedon Boatyard was developed from the then defunct Weedon railways goods yard. Which at the time of purchase in 1968 was a barren piece of land. Much hard labour was needed by all the family including Norman’s very resourceful and supportive parents who would arrive from Berkshire complete with wellies and spades to lay yet another few yards of concrete for the slipway.
From 1969 we began to purchase purpose built hire craft from Harborough Marine at Market Harborough and Barney Boats of Braunston. In 1982 we started our own boatbuilding programme which became the very distinctive Weed Fleet boats. The last boat built was in 2005. She was the 70ft boat Tasselweed which included every possible comfort from Air Conditioning, Bow Thruster, Dishwasher, Washer/Dryer and Generator. This was a far cry from the original Enterprise sailing dinghy.
Since 1965 we estimate that 66,000 holidaymakers have holidayed aboard a Weed boat, leaving approximately 2 million miles in their wake. We introduced thousands of newcomers to the delights of boating many of whom have gone on to purchase boats of their own.
After 41 years of running hire boats, Norman and Jenny Clarke finally closed their doors to holiday makers in 2006 with the closure of Canalboat Holidays. Concoform Marine however still runs from their Weedon marina where they supply mooring, hardstanding and storage services along with RYA Instruction.