River Ferry Fixed Bench SeatingMarine | Westminster, London
Project: River Ferry Fixed Bench Seating
Where: Westminster, London
Who: Thames River Services Ferry
Keeping up with good reviews on TripAdvisor means appealing to tourists and pleasure-seekers on the Thames: TRS ferries offer more of a pleasure ride, with a sightseeing commentary, in comparison to a Thames Clipper river taxi. The key factors to consider in this project were therefore durability and experience (including both comfort and aesthetics): factors that can often compete and detract from each other. Durability – because the boat is in constant use and has thousands of people pass through its interior every year. Experience – because the ride is more for pleasure than convenience – and the boats are available for out-of-hours party and conference hire.
Reupholstery was required for the fixed bench seating which is located throughout the boat interior; the interiors were worn and lacklustre with years of constant use, and were in need of a refresh. We commit to offering the best value-for-money solution; to prevent the constant wear prematurely requiring further renovation we focused our attention on the unseen yet all-important interior upholstery – using a mixture of very durable foams and traditional felts to achieve a filling that would last many years. The chosen fabric was a burnt orange weave, contrasted with antique gold vinyl, selected by the client to tone with her scheme for a warm and inviting interior.
In terms of the physical project management, we worked with the client to accomplish the refurbishment in a way that would least impact revenue. Working on a vessel in motion on the Thames was an exciting project! We mutually scheduled the project for during the winter months (when the volume of passengers is at its lightest) and split the boat seating into five conceptual areas, so that seating could be removed for off-site refurbishment without impacting the ongoing customer experience. Thus, the main seats and backs could be unscrewed for off-site reupholstery; these were then re-fitted en voyage, while the boat was in service, as we simultaneously covered the end panels of the bench seating.
Following approximately five adventurous yet productive voyages from Greenwich to Westminster, the vessel was restored to her former glory – set up for countless future voyages yet with no unexpected renovation overheads guaranteed to her vendor for many years.