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Any ideas - cost IS an issue.


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#1 deecee

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:27 PM

Hi All

Please be gentle as this is my first post although I have really enjoyed looking through the site for some time.

My partner and I are looking to book a holiday on a narrow boat (ideally) however to-date, the cost of those I've been looking at is, quite frankly ridiculous. Does anyone have any ideas or recommendations about companies etc that don't charge the earth.

We'd be happy with a long weekend / week and location isn't an issue.

Thanks in anticipation....
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#2 carlt

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:31 PM

Chas Harden at Beeston does basic, comfortable boats at good prices.

He is also one of the nicest blokes on the system.

His website: Clicky
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#3 The Dog House

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:37 PM

Hi All

Please be gentle as this is my first post although I have really enjoyed looking through the site for some time.

My partner and I are looking to book a holiday on a narrow boat (ideally) however to-date, the cost of those I've been looking at is, quite frankly ridiculous. Does anyone have any ideas or recommendations about companies etc that don't charge the earth.

We'd be happy with a long weekend / week and location isn't an issue.

Thanks in anticipation....


Welcome to the forum.

You are correctly finding that boating is an expensive pastime even if you want to hire and not own.

A few main ways to keep the cost down are

Avoid at all costs going in the schools hols. - the price can jump alarmingly if you don't do this. This will be an an issue of course if you can't avoid them.

Some firms take Tesco Clubcard points - or they used to, others will know if this scheme still operates, this can bring the cost down substantially (assuming of course you shop at Tesco)

Consider out of season as in early spring/late autumn some yards may even let you haggle a bit if they have got a number of boats sat doing nothing.

Consider a short break rather than a full week or two weeks, most yards have boats that they let out on this basis.

Be aware that as with most things you get what you pay for and wanting to go a cheaply as poss. may mean your boat may not be as good as if you spent a bit more.

Good luck!!
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Martin....

#4 Athy

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:40 PM

Welcome DC!
Narrowboats are expensive to build, so holidays on them can never be cheap.
Avoid school holiday times - you can get the same boat for much less by booking off-peak.
EDIT: obviously Martin's (MJG) and my great minds were thinking alike almost simultaneously!

Edited by Athy, 11 January 2012 - 02:42 PM.

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#5 john6767

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:47 PM

Welcome.When we were hiring a couple of times we did negotiate on the price, and once was in August. All down to if they have boats sitting doing nothing and it being last minute, so depending on you circumstances you can always take a chance a call a couple of days before. Most show availability online you you can keep an eye on it. As said avoid the costly times, and you get the same for less. The bottom line is it is not a particularly cheap holiday, but remember that the boat is your entertainment as well as your accommodation, so other than food/drink for most prople you will not have much in additon.
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#6 JonL

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

If you think hiring boats is expensive, you should try owning one !
I actually think that hiring a boat away from the obvious high season is actually good value for money.
If you put 8 people on a 10 berth boat you are probably only looking at about 125 to 150 per person a week for hiring a piece of kit that's circa 80k new !
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#7 Athy

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:28 PM

DC, how many people would be going on your proposed canal trip? It does, as Jon says, make a difference to the cost per person. Two people is nicest, but dearest.
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#8 alan_fincher

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:47 PM

Welcome.When we were hiring a couple of times we did negotiate on the price, and once was in August. All down to if they have boats sitting doing nothing and it being last minute, so depending on you circumstances you can always take a chance a call a couple of days before. Most show availability online you you can keep an eye on it. As said avoid the costly times, and you get the same for less. The bottom line is it is not a particularly cheap holiday, but remember that the boat is your entertainment as well as your accommodation, so other than food/drink for most prople you will not have much in additon.

This is good advice.

If you can be flexible about exact dates, or where you start from, you can find companies prepared to drop their originally listed prices considerably, and it may even be worth trying to haggle still further any first offer you are given.

A few yeras back there was a web-site that allowed you to look for last minute holidays from a number of hire companies, but can't remember what it was.

Last August was the first time I can recall being out in major school holidays and seeing lots of hire boats at bases apparently with no immediate prospect of going out, (yon might expect some on base on a changeover day, but some had far too many shunted out the way for that to be the only explanation). I suspect there is overcapacity at peak times even, so some should barter even then.
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#9 RichardH

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 04:47 PM

A few yeras back there was a web-site that allowed you to look for last minute holidays from a number of hire companies, but can't remember what it was.


There are 2 out there - Latelink and HireBoats2Go

I would also agree with calling yards at late notice, someone is bound to have late availability.

Just don't say that you think the normal prices are 'ridiculous' as you will switch off any goodwill immediately !

Trust me, buying, insuring, running, repairing and replacing an asset worth 70-80k is not easy.

As a comparator asset value wise, take a look at hiring a Range Rover online. The cost will be more. You won't receive comprehensive training, you can't sleep in it and have great days activities etc etc
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#10 deecee

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:44 PM

Firstly...a huge thank you to all of those who took the time to reply, it really is appreciated.

I know my wording did sound a little 'harsh', I just kept seeing prices in excess of 600 a week and it really did seem a lot. I appreciate that the initial costs for the owners / companies are high.

I'll keep looking and take all the suggestions on board - no pun intended!
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#11 PhilR

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:26 AM

Firstly...a huge thank you to all of those who took the time to reply, it really is appreciated.

I know my wording did sound a little 'harsh', I just kept seeing prices in excess of 600 a week and it really did seem a lot. I appreciate that the initial costs for the owners / companies are high.

I'll keep looking and take all the suggestions on board - no pun intended!



600 per week is relatively cheap - and you haven't said how many people will be on board ...... I'll assume it is a 4 berth? .......... 150 pp doesn't sound too excessive when you see how some people treat hire boats?
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#12 john6767

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:30 AM

600 for a week sounds cheap to me, even it it is just 2 of you. Compare that to the cost of a hotel and entertainment for a week.

On thing to watch out for though if you are on a tight budget is that some of the hire companies charge you extra for the diesel that you use, so the 600 may not be the bottom line.
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#13 David Mack

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:58 PM

600 per week is relatively cheap - and you haven't said how many people will be on board ...... I'll assume it is a 4 berth? .......... 150 pp doesn't sound too excessive when you see how some people treat hire boats?


And compares quite well with renting a cottage for the same number of people.

Boat hire prices are per boat, whereas all the package holiday prices you see advertised are per person.

David
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#14 Rod a mod from Tod

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:38 PM

Try Claymoore at Preston Brook. The boats are fairly basic but ok. Fuel and damage waiver are usually inc and at this time of year up to Easter their prices are competitive. I have just been on their site and they dont have anything showing on their late deal link so a phone call may be needed.

Tillerman/Canaltime are knocking out a weeks hire late Jan for 399 plus fuel i suspect. http://www.tillerman...vailability.htm
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#15 tillergirl

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:35 PM

Try:

http://www.chesterfi...co.uk/index.htm

or

http://www.saisons.co.uk/

I realise that both are still displaying 2011 prices but a quick phone would resolve that.

Been with both and would recommend both to anyone.
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#16 Janet S

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:58 PM

I'd suggest trying Canal Cruising Co at Stone...

We've hired their two berth boat "Rosemary" on several occasions....she's a bit basic, but absolutely perfect if there's just two of you, although we did manage three on board for a short while...we got a cracking deal on our last hire, when we took her out for four weeks.

I say basic, but she's always been well turned out, clean and tidy, and she handles like a dream! I'd also recommend Claymoore, as Rod suggested...again, we've hired from them and the boat was basic, but functional, and no complaints from us. We had a fabulous week.

We've also hired "Devon" from Shire Cruisers a couple of times...a bit of a faff having to make up the beds every day, but other than that a great boat for the price.

Hiring a boat is never going to be cheap, but it's just about the best holiday you can get!

Janet
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#17 Tim F

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:24 AM

My link
Try this
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#18 Naughty Cal

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:42 PM

Does your holiday have to be on a narrowboat?

If you are willing to hire a cruiser instead Richardsons on the Broads offer a range of craft to suit all tastes and budgets and their hire starts for 300 per week for a comfortable but basic two berth 28-30ft cruiser early and late season. They are not flash boats nor the most modern on the Broads but they provide thousands of people a year with a holiday afloat. Their fleet currently has around 300 boats to choose from.
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#19 Pete of Ebor

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 12:05 PM

Hi All

Please be gentle as this is my first post although I have really enjoyed looking through the site for some time.

My partner and I are looking to book a holiday on a narrow boat (ideally) however to-date, the cost of those I've been looking at is, quite frankly ridiculous. Does anyone have any ideas or recommendations about companies etc that don't charge the earth.

We'd be happy with a long weekend / week and location isn't an issue.

Thanks in anticipation....

I can echo the comments about the number on the boat bringing the price down. We've been hiring for 20+ years - always late May (off peak) and this year we've just paid 142 per person for a weeks hire in May 2012 - that's for 8 (7 male + 1 female, of which I am the youngest at 49 !!) on a 10 berth. This could in theory be reduced to 113 each for 10, but we have found that we prefer to leave a couple of berths empty for additional storage space. With so many in close proximity, you really do need to be able to get on with each other. Oddly, SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) is NOT one of these seven, and she had never been on the boat with us - Her objection went something along the lines "why would I want to spend a week in a steel tube with seven farting snoring blokes.." so I have also been looking for a small boat for just two of us, and also I found it to be very expensive too. Luckily, I managed to borrow a boat from a friend last year to give her her first go at boating, and she wasn't impressed - so it's just as well that I didn't have to spend 600 to find out !!!
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#20 deecee

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:02 PM

Again...huge thanks for all of your responses.

To be frank, last year we hired a holiday cottage and the cost was less than 300!! It is only for two of us as well which is why I thought the prices we'd seen were rather expensive.
I'm going to keep looking as it's something we'd really like to do
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