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Do you have a recommended hire company (higher end)

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11 hours ago, Halsey said:

Yes the boat is important (I like Wyvern Shipping) BUT think about the location that comes with it and the cruising range 2 days out and back - the Wyatts yard in Stone (Canal Cruising Company Ltd) which will give you the chance to explore the Leek and Caldon

Most hire companies keep a very new fleet and replace boats often. The Wyatts take some pride in running older boats in a rather dated style. The OP would probably be much happier with Anderson  as they keep really smart boats. Maybe when he gets a more into boating and life on the cut he will decide to get a boat from the Wyatts and go up the Calden canal. 😀 (they fit through the tunnel too)

 

..................Dave

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14 hours ago, Athy said:

I don't know. Some hire bases are in the middle of nowhere, very pastoral but with no local shopping, and hard to get to by public transport. In those respects Coventry was ideal, though I'm not sure where there was parking for hirers who did arrive by car. I do know, having moored at Springwood for several years, that the Wagstaffs and their staff made sure that the boats lived up to the "excellence" tag. Did the new owners?

 

NO and IMHO Coventry was a bad decision - would you want coming out of Coventry these days to be your first experience of the canal system

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44 minutes ago, Halsey said:

NO and IMHO Coventry was a bad decision - would you want coming out of Coventry these days to be your first experience of the canal system

I don't know: though we have been through Hawkesbury Junction numerous times, and have visited Coventry Basin on foot, we have no experience of the five miles in between. Is it grimly industrial?

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Just now, Athy said:

I don't know: though we have been through Hawkesbury Junction numerous times, and have visited Coventry Basin on foot, we have no experience of the five miles in between. Is it grimly industrial?

That stretch is usually full of rubbish ranging from plastic bags to TVs, fridges, sofas, etc.

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9 hours ago, dmr said:

they fit through the tunnel too

Been through Froghall in both an Anderson boat and a Canal Cruising one.

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51 minutes ago, Halsey said:

would you want coming out of Coventry these days to be your first experience of the canal system

Agree its not the best stretch of canal, but its the only one where we've had the pleasure of the company of two kingfishers for at least 1/2 mile

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Try Heart of England Narrowboats, which run out of my yard, Glascote Basin. They have just added Thames Valley to the fleet and have repainted and re-named it “Dusk til Dawn”. The boat only arrived last month and we have managed to get it ready for them earlier than anticipated so there are quite a few weeks available at the moment, but they are booking quickly.

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14 hours ago, Rob-M said:

That stretch is usually full of rubbish ranging from plastic bags to TVs, fridges, sofas, etc.

Don’t forget coconuts!

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So far nobody has mentioned Union Canal Carriers at Braunston. Their boats are always very well looked after. They are a family business that has been trading for over 50years. There is a good choice of routes from Braunston.

 

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On 01/08/2020 at 16:17, Richard T said:

So far nobody has mentioned Union Canal Carriers at Braunston. Their boats are always very well looked after. They are a family business that has been trading for over 50years. There is a good choice of routes from Braunston.

 

I think folks have been focussed on something very akin to Valley Cruises boats, which perhaps is not the likes of Wyvern, Rose or UCC, all of whom would otherwise be well looked upon by the forum.

 

JP

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On 28/07/2020 at 09:03, Ray T said:

Shire cruisers. Hired many a time, always pleased. Only reason we stopped was we bought a boat.

 

https://www.shirecruisers.co.uk/index.php

Another vote for Shire Cruisers. Had a 42 foot (Oxford) on a short mid week out and back cruise in 2017 after we finished walking the middle third of Hadrian's Wall.

We were supposed to have had a three week hire this past June with Black Prince... but COVID-19 made a mess of that. Now we're rescheduled for June 2021... fingers crossed

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