A businessman has splashed out on an £185,000 motor yacht to offer luxury ferry trips from the Isle of Sheppey to Southend.
Adam Ervin took delivery of the twin-engined vessel, which has a top speed of 35 knots, a month ago and launched the service last Saturday.
The 27-foot boat, named the Merry Phillippa Ferry, is moored on the creek behind his Queen Phillippa guest house at Queenborough.
Adam, 57, from Bermondsey took over the former pub in 2014. He said: "I've been working on this idea for nine months. It's a little extra experience to offer our customers."
He says he spotted a gap in the market after many visitors asked what they could do on the Island.
The licensed yacht, which can sleep up to four, is available for trips and cruises. Adam is accepting private bookings for special occasions and will be running a regular ferry service to Southend on Saturdays, with times depending on the tides.
The boat has already acted as an overflow with guests sleeping aboard when the 18-room hotel has been full. A new bathroom has been built on shore for guests to wash and change.
Skipper Adam, who already had a yacht master's certificate but has since had to get a commercial licence, admitted: "It's a mixture of business and pleasure and will be a great asset for he hotel.
"I've always been into boats so mixing boats with business will be a pleasure. There's nothing better than doing something you enjoy. But obviously it has to pay for itself, which I'm pretty confidant it will.
"It will definitely be a draw for the Isle of Sheppey. The Island has always been a lovely place to live and visit. I can just see it getting busier and busier."
The Merry Fisher 895 Offshore motor boat boasts two Suzuki 200hp engines.
Donna Easom, who is in charge of boat bookings, said: "It has taken a mental amount of preparation. We have upgraded the gangway and Adam was on his laptop all the time finding out what we had to do and who we had to inform. He had to sit a lot more exams."
Adam's son Jake, 31, who runs the 55-cover Jacey's bistro and bar on the ground floor of the hotel, said: "This boat is a little bit special."
A half-hour cruise to Southend with a four-hour stay works out at £40 per person. The boat is licensed to hold five and the captain.
Rochester-based Jetstream Tours, which is run by Richard Bain, restarts its Queenborough to Southend service on April 1 using the 100-seat Jacob Marley ferry.
It charges £22 (£15 children) and also operates trips to the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery Second World War bomb ship.
Adam is introducing two-and-a-half-hour sunset cruises (£80) and trips along the Thames to London at £100 each.
To sleep on board costs from £100 for two. For details, call 01795 228756.