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In a heartfelt celebration marking Williams Jet Tenders’ 20th anniversary, founders Mathew and John Hornsby were astonished and elated by the unexpected return of their very first hand-built wooden boat, Jade, after 25 years. The surprise reunion took place at their factory in Oxfordshire, where the brothers were moved to see Jade in pristine condition, a testament to their enduring craftsmanship.

“We were both very shocked and absolutely delighted, particularly with how amazing she looked,” said Mathew Hornsby. “The standards are exactly the same as when we last saw her and I remember every single piece of wood, even from 25 years ago.”

Built in 1997, Jade measures 20ft with a mahogany hull and mahogany and maple decks and is powered by a V8 260HP engine. Her journey began in the family’s garden workshop where Mathew and John dedicated countless hours, working seven days a week and often 10-12 hours a day, while holding part-time jobs to sustain their budding venture. Their hard work paid off when Jade debuted at her very first inland waterways show, marking the beginning of their remarkable journey.

Adding to the emotional reunion, Mike, Jade’s original owner and their first customer, surprised the brothers by arriving at the factory. “The quality is still right up there, and that has been the foundation of our business,” commented John Hornsby. “When we built Jade, we were used to that quality, and that’s burnt into the creation of our jet tenders today.”

The Hornsby brothers reminisced as they took Jade out for a spin on the lake, recalling their first adventure on the river Thames and cherished memories of perfecting their woodworking skills alongside their father.

“Jade is very different from what Williams Jet Tenders makes today,” noted Mathew. “She was a classic mid-engine straight shaft with a single prop – very different from the water propulsion products we produce today. We took inspiration from Riva back then, and now we proudly supply our tenders to Riva.”

In its 20th year, Williams Jet Tenders is celebrated for its innovative and high-quality water propulsion products. Now producing more than 1,200 tenders per year, the return of Jade serves as a powerful reminder of its roots and the enduring legacy of craftsmanship and quality that defines Williams Jet Tenders.