Boat brokerage firm Essex Boat Yards has been rebranded as boats.co.uk after buying the domain name for £200,000

Essex Boatyards, one of the UK’s largest boat dealers, has changed its name to boats.co.uk after scooping up this highly sought-after domain name.

Boats.co.uk was bought for £15 in 1997 by an unnamed seller, who was working in the electronic systems industry at the time.

The website lay dormant during the ten-year negotiation process, which recently ended with Essex Boat Yards agreeing to pay £200,000 for the web address.

Managing director James Barke (pictured above) told MBY: “When we did the deal, we were so excited. After ten years to end up with the ultimate web URL is great news for us.”

The price paid may sound eye-wateringly expensive, but compared to some web addresses or URLs it looks like a relative bargain for such a highly ranked search term.

The most expensive UK boating-related domain name sold to date was cruise.co.uk, which changed hands for $1.1m (£650,000) in 2008.

Essex Boat Yards has been in business for more than 30 years, but the rebrand helps to reflect its growing reach, as the company also runs Fairline’s Southampton franchise.

James continued: “Although we have a great name as Essex Boatyards, it’s a bit of a mouthful. Boats.co.uk is shorter, sharper and snappier.”

The new boats.co.uk branding will go live in early December and is the new trading name. The company’s registered name, Essex Boatyards Ltd will remain unchanged.