Our history

Founded in 1870, Hobbs of Henley has been in business for more than 150 years.

We’re still a family owned business, and today we operate the largest fleet of boats anywhere on the Thames.


The History of Hobbs of Henley

Founded in 1870 by Harry Hobbs who owned The Ship Hotel in Wharf Lane and builds the Wharf Lane Boathouses and forms H.E Hobbs and Sons.

1890 — 1939

Harry went on to build the boathouse on the current Hobbs site with his six sons to make the boatyard closer to the railway station for visitors, shortly after completion he purchased several other boatyards in Goring, Shiplake, Marlow and Pangbourne.


Hobbs and Sons moves into motor cruiser hire


Tony Hobbs is now the Managing Director and he is also appointed a Royal Waterman to her Majesty the Queen.

1990 – 2003

Hobbs begins to concentrate on larger passenger vessels and through these years adds three large passengers vessels to their fleet, The New Orleans, The Waterman and Hibernia.


Tony Hobbs receives an MBE for services to the community.


Jonathan Hobbs becomes Managing Director.


Hobbs of Henley purchase two Linssen Holiday boats and now have a luxury holiday fleet.


Hobbs of Henley launch Henley’s first Gin – Mr Hobbs Gin based on an old Harry Hobbs recipe he used when he had The Ship Hotel in 1870.


Jonathan Hobbs is appointed a Royal Waterman to her Majesty the Queen


To celebrate 150 years of continued business Hobbs launch their Mr Hobbs 150 London Dry Gin which goes on to win several prestigious awards


Hobbs add electric and hybrid boats to their fleet which is the start of their commitment to become more environmentally friendly.