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Hire and enjoy Till the boaters kill the dream

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Plus, Centre Parcs is expensive! (I'm fortunate to work in a relatively well-paid line of work but wince at the cost for a small family - better comparative value for larger groups but I've taken little one to hotel & spa pool for much less than it would cost us to go there).

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6 minutes ago, TheMenagerieAfloat said:

Plus, Centre Parcs is expensive! (I'm fortunate to work in a relatively well-paid line of work but wince at the cost for a small family - better comparative value for larger groups but I've taken little one to hotel & spa pool for much less than it would cost us to go there).

There are an awful lot of other activities which don't need paid for.

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8 minutes ago, Jerra said:

There are an awful lot of other activities which don't need paid for.

Yes. Most of those had a lower age limits that made them useless for us last time I looked. And food is not cheap there unless you bring it all yourself. By which point it is nearly as much work as camping...

I have done it with bigger/older groups and enjoyed it. But a weekend for two was going to be quite shocking. (I'm not a big holidayer - never rented a boat before deciding to move aboard or anything!). Also depends where you live as well - we're quite well supplied with local pools / attractions so a staycation became a real alternative.

Edited by TheMenagerieAfloat

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9 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

Me too.  My middle right finger automatically flips up at people who annoy me ...

Bloody Americanism!

The correct (British) gesture, is index and middle finger,raised palm inwards making a "V"aimed at the person who is annoying you.

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On ‎19‎/‎01‎/‎2020 at 10:00, colmac said:

In a similar vein, when we were still members of the working classes we had a shared boat and experienced on several occasions sniffy comments from boat owners along the lines of " well you only own a share not the boat " This, of course is tosh as you do have a vested interest in the welfare of the boat. This was in the days of the now defunct Ownerships and all the boats looked the same.

That's fortunately not been our experience, and I can't say that I have ever experienced any of the sniffy comments you describe. We hired for about 8 years from 1978 before buying one, and  then two shares, in Ownerships. Although both of us are now retired we decided not to purchase a boat outright because we wanted to do other things as well as boating, and it has worked very well for us with very, very  few adverse comments from snooty/sniffy owners. Now Ownerships is defunct we run our share boat between us as a private boat  with less distinctive paintwork and most people wouldn't know that the boat is shared - and why should they? Like all walks of life I suppose that there is a fair mixture of "types" in boating and being sniffy/snooty etc is not restricted to one group of boaters, and dare I say that this is also reflected in the members of this esteemed forum!:captain:

 

Howard  

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10 hours ago, Cheese said:

Even if a hire party, which is often a lot larger than a typical liveaboard crew,  eats out "many times a week" they still need food for breakfast and for other lunch/dinners, and some drinks.    So it isn't really surprising that they start the week with a reasonable amount of supplies.   I suspect the position with pubs is at least partly dependent on their relative distance from hire bases.  And how friendly they appear to passing canal trade - given that (unlike local liveaboards) hirers will have no idea of the food/drink on offer.

When we set out on our hire boat holidays I am the planner.

We do arrange a Tesco/Ocado/Asda/Sainsbury delivery to the boatyard (not all of them you understand, just the one that suits us and the boatyard best). This is so our cars are not filled to overflowing with the food needed for daily living.

I pack a ready cooked meal for our first night as we cannot be sure when we will be setting off after loading the boat, wiating for our handover, and occasionally waiting for the food delivery, where we will moor for the night.

I get out the Nicholsons/Pearsons guides which I have purchased for the trip and log on to Canal Plan. Then I plan our overnight stops, the criteria for which is usually a canalside pub or restaurant with a good reputation for food. A stroll into the nearest town/ village is not out of the question either. Here, TripAdviser is our friend. 

We also pack a portable gas BBQ which we have had for many years so that, weather and surroundings permitting we can BBQ an at least one evening.

If, at about lunchtime, we come across a nice looking pub with food we will often moor up for a spot of lunch and a pint.

I believe many hirers are like us, happy to support local businesses and even more happy for someone else to do the cooking, it is after all our holiday. 

Edited by Dyertribe
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1 hour ago, Jerra said:

While I basically agree, there is a lot more investment by Centre Parcs in structures/equipment etc than any boat hire company.   So a lot more to recoup before you get into making real money.

 

I wonder if that is really the case. How many families paying £1500 a week can a Centre Parc accommodate at the same time?

 

 

 

 

 

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We hired a fully-liveried boat for a week this last Christmas, and of the boaters we spoke to, almost all seemed delighted to see us hiring at that time of year. One moored boater even stuck his head out of his side hatch to wish us a happy holiday. 

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15 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I wonder if that is really the case. How many families paying £1500 a week can a Centre Parc accommodate at the same time?

 

You'd be surprised.  I've only been once, to Longleat as part of a family group.  But I reckon approaching 1000 lodges, of varying sizes.  Plus leisure pool, spa, large sports centre, about 10 restauarants, shops, and  around 20 activity venues.

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29 minutes ago, Dyertribe said:

When we set out on our hire boat holidays I am the planner.

We do arrange a Tesco/Ocado/Asda/Sainsbury delivery to the boatyard (not all of them you understand, just the one that suits us and the boatyard best). This is so our cars are not filled to overflowing with the food needed for daily living.

I pack a ready cooked meal for our first night as we cannot be sure when we will be setting off after loading the boat, wiating for our handover, and occasionally waiting for the food delivery, where we will moor for the night.

I get out the Nicholsons/Pearsons guides which I have purchased for the trip and log on to Canal Plan. Then I plan our overnight stops, the criteria for which is usually a canalside pub or restaurant with a good reputation for food. A stroll into the nearest town/ village is not out of the question either. Here, TripAdviser is our friend. 

We also pack a portable gas BBQ which we have had for many years so that, weather and surroundings permitting we can BBQ an at least one evening.

If, at about lunchtime, we come across a nice looking pub with food we will often moor up for a spot of lunch and a pint.

I believe many hirers are like us, happy to support local businesses and even more happy for someone else to do the cooking, it is after all our holiday. 

We have an ambition to become liveaboards for at least a year following our retirement, depending on out health and fitness (husband is at home as I type recovering from hip replacement surgery).

Whilst I realise this would be an extended holiday and not our forever home I know our lifestyle would differ greatly from our hiring habits: we would certainly not eat out every night but two to three time a week dependant on where we are and the quality of the restaurants/pubs! We would obviously shop locally to the canal but probably still get supermarket home delivery where possible.  

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1 hour ago, TheMenagerieAfloat said:

Plus, Centre Parcs is expensive! (I'm fortunate to work in a relatively well-paid line of work but wince at the cost for a small family - better comparative value for larger groups but I've taken little one to hotel & spa pool for much less than it would cost us to go there).

During school holidays it is expensive, just like everything else including boats, flights etc.  Out of the holidays and mid week it is not expensive at all.  That said we have had some good family breaks there,  the reason the two of us are going, the plus being we can take the dog, so the saving the cost of kennels.

 

1 hour ago, Jerra said:

While I basically agree, there is a lot more investment by Centre Parcs in structures/equipment etc than any boat hire company.   So a lot more to recoup before you get into making real money.

Yes, but a lot more customers to spread that cost over.  I would have expected that Center Paris is a lot more profitable a venture that any hire boat organisation though.  My point was I think hire boat cost is broadly comparable with other similar options, a hotel room not being a similar option.

32 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I wonder if that is really the case. How many families paying £1500 a week can a Centre Parc accommodate at the same time?

 

 

 

 

 

Possible it is that sort of cost in high season for a large villa, but most of the time considerably cheaper.  I would guess there is something like 800 villas at each one.

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13 minutes ago, Dyertribe said:

Whilst I realise this would be an extended holiday and not our forever home I know our lifestyle would differ greatly from our hiring habits: we would certainly not eat out every night but two to three time a week

 

A couple of times we have been holiday boating and shared locks for most of the day with a liveaboard. Invited them to join us in the pub for a meal and they have declined, saying they can't really afford to eat out every night. Fair enough really.

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14 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

Bang on the nail. As you know I have much experience of canal side business and hire fleets. A routine occurence on changeover days is the arrival of several supermarket delivery vans. If its a single sex party of 10 ish there is usualy enough stuff including a dozen or often many more cases of fizzy lager. Most deliveries are enough to pile on to a pallet to a height of about four feet and sometimes more. Families often have large food deliveries and visit canal side venues very rarely.

Strange, I recently moored for a year at Wigrams Turn and witnessed any number of turnarounds. I don't think I saw one single supermarket van turn up for hirers the whole time I was there. Nor did I see a single pallet or a fork lift to handle it.  What I did see was hirers loading their boats up with food (and booze) from local supermarkets. Equally I saw moorers, both leisure and residential, do exactly the same. I include myself in this. Over the years I have used canalside food shops and overall found the prices high (understandable and acceptable), choice limited and quality poor (unacceptable).

   

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1 minute ago, Slim said:

Strange, I recently moored for a year at Wigrams Turn and witnessed any number of turnarounds. I don't think I saw one single supermarket van turn up for hirers the whole time I was there. Nor did I see a single pallet or a fork lift to handle it.  What I did see was hirers loading their boats up with food (and booze) from local supermarkets. Equally I saw moorers, both leisure and residential, do exactly the same. I include myself in this. Over the years I have used canalside food shops and overall found the prices high (understandable and acceptable), choice limited and quality poor (unacceptable).

   

Well whoopie do. It may not happen at wig wams but it certainly does where I had my businesses. Not only did it happen it happened every single turn round day. I arnt talking of one year I am talking about many years with two businesses at hire base so I watche daily from my windows. Different companies have different regulations re such stuff. Oxfordshire narrowboats had a lot of stag and hen parties every hire day and thats were most of the large deliveries of alco pop ( lager ) were delivered to. The deliveries were loaded onto garden benches at the canal side. I also was a hire fleet supervisor on the Thames where we used to get some huge supplies delvered also. It was mainly single sex parties it has to be said but also its a daily occurence and far from unusual.

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Was there not a similar kind of resentment from working boat crews towards the 'new kids on the block' (the up and coming leisure boater industry) in the 50s and 60s?

 

Some narrowboat owners seem to look down on GRP cruiser owners (and the things themselves!) although from personal experience it is reasonably uncommon.

 

 

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Went for a walk along the towpath at Braunston this morning, I didn't see any sign of the dream being killed.

 

IMGP4622.JPG

Edited by Ray T
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And I do hope that the boat wasting a bollard is a less abled sort.  It looks very much like a shiny boat owner who won't share a wide lock with anyone but I can't see the index number or name. Perhaps Ray T can supply?  And I wonder how long it has/will be there.  Send me a msg if you can

 

I've experience all the malfunctions from boaters mentioned back in the thread and have been "at it" since 1976.  Back in the day when hiring/shared owning, planning was a must because lugging large quantities of provisions from towns is a drag.  And when you hope to tie up somewhere like Rugby for Tesco, there's no mooring spaces except the 15-25ft gaps between vessels.

 

Best one was in Cropredy when a boat was sitting in the lock waiting for the Tesco van to deliver, damn anyone else.  He warn't there for long after words were exchanged [unprintable but you get the picture!

 

Like others, I am only too willing to help newbies learn and there's always an abundance of willing crew, unlike the norm these days when people just wait with their boat and not offer to help or my favourite, bob in the middle of the cut just outside the lock - in my way. Doh

 

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Sorry I didn't notice the reg number of the boat you are asking about, did notice it was a Hudson though.

I was actually more interested in taking photo's of Effingham which was moored near by.

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Could there not have been a little boat there when they moored? I'm cc-ing in a busy area with a longish (60ft) boat at present and, annoying as the little spaces are, most of them did really used to have little cruisers in them.

 

Or perhaps they went next to the boat in front becasue they were shorter than whatever was in their space before them?

When I park my car I do so considerately, given the surrounding vehicles at the time. I don't feel obligated to go and shuffle it every time they move!

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20 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

That's one point of view, but I have heard others.

 

For example the landord at the Rising Sun, Berkhamsted, (usually known as "the Riser"), an excellent canalside pub, tells a very different story.

He says that he gets almost no trade from passing hire boats, and that they are far more likely to stock up with food and chaep booze at the local supermarket, and set up a barbecue canal-side.

On the other hand much of his regular trade, (and all year around not just summer) comes from local live-aboard boaters, who may be in there any times a week.

 

So like many of these things, there are two sides to every story, I guess.

 

We often use the local pubs, but the food tend get a bit monotonous. So when we get to a place with a choice, like Berkhamsted, we often go somewhere other than the pub. 

We're probably not the only ones, so that might be part of the explanation for some locations.

 

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21 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

 

For example the landord at the Rising Sun, Berkhamsted, (usually known as "the Riser"), an excellent canalside pub, tells a very different story.

He says that he gets almost no trade from passing hire boats, and that they are far more likely to stock up with food and chaep booze at the local supermarket, and set up a barbecue canal-side.

 

But how many hire boats pass through Berko? Not many I would have thought since the only hire base anywhere near is Wyvern and that is the best part of 2 days away.

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30 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

But how many hire boats pass through Berko? Not many I would have thought since the only hire base anywhere near is Wyvern and that is the best part of 2 days away.

Quite a lot of Wyvern boats regularly make it down to Berkhamsted and beyond, actually.

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4 hours ago, TheMenagerieAfloat said:

Could there not have been a little boat there when they moored? I'm cc-ing in a busy area with a longish (60ft) boat at present and, annoying as the little spaces are, most of them did really used to have little cruisers in them.

 

Or perhaps they went next to the boat in front becasue they were shorter than whatever was in their space before them?

When I park my car I do so considerately, given the surrounding vehicles at the time. I don't feel obligated to go and shuffle it every time they move!

I think the point being made is that those bollards in Braunston by Butchers bridge are the disabled moorings.  Read into the photo what you want!

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Just now, john6767 said:

I think the point being made is that those bollards in Braunston by Butchers bridge are the disabled moorings.  Read into the photo what you want!

I may be wrong but I thought the mooring bollards beyond Butchers Bridge (badged with a wheelchair symbol) are free for any one to use providing they move if requested by a bona fide disabled boater and or a CRT official.

Edited by Ray T

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11 minutes ago, Ray T said:

I may be wrong but I thought the mooring bollards beyond Butchers Bridge (badged with a wheelchair symbol) are free for any one to use providing they move if requested by a bona fide disabled boater and or a CRT official.

Yes I too think that is the way the CRT disabled moorings work.

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