Established in 1979, P J Downs & Sons is a family run business, based in Langford, which prides itself on its quality of service. The firm only uses its own drivers to ensure that boats – whether racing, leisure or working – are treated with the utmost care throughout their journey. Many film and racing stars entrust their craft to P J Downs & Sons, who now move Princess Anne’s launch when required.

They work with many local firms including the former Colvic Craft at Witham, Oysters, Gunfleet, Hardy Marina and Downs Boatyard (no relation) in Maldon. They have also moved boats for the Clipper races, and bring masts – many over 126ft – back from Holland, as well as being involved in the mast work for the Cutty Sark. As well as UK deliveries, they offer competitive rates throughout Europe and have unbeatable prices when transporting loads to Sweden and Norway (although this often entails them being away from home for a week).

But this dynamic business doesn’t only deal with boats; it has transported props for Pinewood Studios for such films as Robin Hood, Exodus and The Man From Uncle. They are also closely involved with The Lord Mayor’s Show.

Peter and Amanda Downs believe in hard work and are passionate about their business, building many of their trailers themselves. They also build made-to-measure boat cradles which are constructed to order and to the highest specifications to ensure that boats arrive at their destination in pristine condition. Interestingly, with the lack of Police escorts now for wide loads, the firm now offers a Pilot Car Service which escorts wide loads and they liaise with the police to obtain the necessary permits and clearance to ensure a safe passage. Catamarans are normally moved at night to lessen the impact on traffic. Other heavy-duty work includes providing escort work for Does of Ulting when moving tractors, combine harvesters and other large pieces of agricultural machinery. Supermarkets also use their services – they often transport cardboard compactors for Tesco, Aldi and Lidl, delivering them to local stores in the area.

This is a local firm which believes in giving excellent service for a reasonable price, and are always willing to help if they can – whether on a personal or professional level. As Peter Downs says: “Whatever your requirement we offer a made to measure, door to door service, ensuring that your pride and joy is delivered carefully and safely.”

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