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Honest Opinions on Hire Boaters


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But don't you feel that the terminology which you used in your initial post might have discouraged other people from expressing their opinions?

It never seems to have done so in the past.

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It never seems to have done so in the past.

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Fair do's. Pax.

Canaltime were actually a Time Share operation (at least the Sawley marina where we had ours was) which operated through RCI so a lot of the users has simply exchanged their holiday somewhere else for a boating holiday so had virtually no experience at all. I had some good holidays out of them to begin with but then the brothers owning the company had a bit of disagreement on how to run it and it went badly downhill.

Yes, sorry, the mot juste escaped me yesterday evening, that's what I meant by "shareboat".

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Most are fine

 

Some aren't shown properly what to do so don't know what to do at locks or how to find a water point. They're usually nice people and an offer of help sorts them out

 

Occasionally they go too fast. Occasionally they're drunken idiots and don't care about other canal users.

But no more often than private boaters can be.

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I am unable to apply any particular traits, good or bad, to private or hire boats that makes them recognisable or stand out from each other. But are we talking about boats themselves, or the people on them? I treat all boats and people with courtesy and respect, at least I hope I do.

 

Although I must admit I have been shouted at on occasions for not being able to mind read at a distance, and doing something inadvertently to annoy them (hirers and private alike), but being of the older generation with loss of hearing in the speech range, and largely having to guess what is being said when passing, and only catching snatches of words - they seem to telling me about Bow Locks.

I have never been there myself. What is special about them.

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If nothing else; hire boaters give us something else to talk about while out on the cut. It sparks a conversation with other boaters and creates a short episode of drama, leaving us with amusing stories to tell. It's something to add to the day. It can't all be perfect, but I can think of worse things in this world. Just my perspective.

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Hire boats - fine.

Day boats - take cover! Particularly the ones ricochetting (hey I got that right!) from bank to bank.

 

If anybody shouts at you, analyse for useful content and take action accordingly, or if zero, reply "Half past two!" with a broad smile.

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Some of the best people to share a lock flight with- a family with several active teenage children, on a hireboat, in a hurry!

Amen to that!

 

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Preserved ex-working boat, surely?

Perhaps, but TO didn't qualify for the working boat bonus points on the BCN Challenge.

 

< Cries of 'Boo' and 'Hiss' from the direction of Kenilworth >

 

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Edited by Victor Vectis
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  • 2 weeks later...

Coming down Braunston flight this morning there was a hire boat about half a mile in front of us through the tunnel. They were a group from Holland and we're not that experienced. By the time we had arrived at the top lock they had already descended and the next lock was in their favour. One of our crew went ahead and said if they waited we would drop through the lock and double up. While they were waiting a boat came up through the third lock and demanded that they descended as they were in a hurry. The Dutch group waited for us but got loads of abuse from the couple below. We descended together but the hire boaters were clearly concerned. I believe this only occurred because they were a hire boat. We went down the rest of the flight together and all the other boaters we met were lovely and I hope restored their enthusiasm for boating.

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Those of us who've never been on a hire boat are probably very much a minority of boaters, but there are various ways it happens. Perhaps the most common is to start boating by being invited to crew by others, in my case by my brother who had himself started by hiring, then found himself hiring several times each year and calculated that buying a boat made sense.

 

Then there are the brave people like patty-ann who just decide boating is for them and bypass the trying-it-out stage.

Some who inherited a boat, bought one on eBay while drunk, or otherwise became accidental boat owners.

And, probably quite rare nowadays, those who were brought up on boats and perhaps see living in a house as Really Weird.

 

Statistically I suppose that a hire boat is less likely than a private boat to have a competent crew, but as others have said it's silly to make assumptions, and I try to avoid doing so when I meet them. It's certainly a nicer experience to meet a clueless hire boat crew at a lock, than some of the other oddballs I've come across.

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I have no problems with hire boaters - have found them in general to be very positive and friendly. Day boats can be a bit scary sometimes...had one decide to turn right in front of us the other day, that was interesting :)

 

 

It is interesting this concept of Hire Boaters, how many on this site can say that they have never been a 'Hire Boater'? At a guess possibly in single digits if any at all. I came here from hire boating so that is me out then, is there anyone here who hasn't hired?unsure.png . They're not a different race really!

 

First time I was on a flat bottomed boat was after we bought ours and a couple of kind forum members came along and took us out for a day to teach us the basics...how to make it go forward/backwards, how to moor up and what to do when meeting oncoming boats and how to pass moored boats :)

 

The past 2 & 1/2 years have been a very steep but enjoyable learning curve

 

 

I hired my first boat in 1974 and hired one for two or three weeks most years till 2001 when I purchased a share with ownerships. When I retired 3 years ago, I bought my current boat, so I have been boating for a while.

 

On a good day I am bloody brilliant while on my bad days I am woeful, so for me at least, it's not so much how the boat is financed as how I feel on the day.

 

I imagine this is a more common state of affairs than many would like to admit.

 

Frank.

 

On a good day the boat reads my mind fairly well and goes where I want her to go without me looking silly in front of onlookers, on a bad day I blame the wind :)

 

I'm not one for blowing my own trumpet, but I can crab crawl up or down the GU pretty well now

 

That's very honest. Some boaters would perhaps modify it to "On a good day I am bloody brilliant while on my bad days the wind/ rain/ current/ tiller response/ other crew/ other traffic/ Guardian Faerie of the Canals is woeful". The truth for many of us perhaps lies somewhere in between.

 

Oi...find your own excuses the wind is mine laugh.png

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  • I came off the middlewich branch, turning towards middlewich,b4 hand there was a few boats queueing as we eased forwards me and other half got off to lock those in front through,got talking to the lovely lady hirer in front of us, talked about boating and they were wanting to buy a boat, approaching retirement, and they had ,had a lovely time, all is well.As you turn,. there is three locks, and we caught up with them again, o.h went to do the lock as there was another boat coming through the lock on the bend, this was a Hotel boat nb that gave them a torrent of abuse as they had gone ahead and, as the lock takes you out that way, had stayed on the right, although the lock moorings are on the left, this hotel nb that works that stretch was screaming and swearing in a aggressive manner at the poor hire boater, who may have not made it easy for him practically because he would find it hard to turn his shiney boat there ''SHALL I BEND MY FCKING BOAT TO GET PAST YOU, YOU,£$£$**,but he had done the right thing in keeping to the right of another passing boat. it probably ruined their last day, and possibly their holiday, as he was in a rush and didn't like the way they steered. The hirers was a nice gentile couple, not bothering anyone, and this person on a hotel boat who deals with the public acts this way,how terrible. So its people ,not what they own or hire.

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I remember being a hirer of a full length boat on the Oxford going down a lock and a privateer nudged so far into the lock mouth I had to scrape past whilst exiting the lock - he made a snidey comment about "you don't have to repaint your bloody boat".

 

Pathetic fool gave me no option.

 

Personally I always give hirers a friendly wave as I have too many memories of grim faced snotty "Harold Shipman" types ignoring mine when I was a hirer. :)

Edited by mark99
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The Middlewich turn is awful, if you've got two long boats coming out of locks at the same time it's virtually impossible to avoid each other. One has to come out and slither to the mooring, and as an experienced bloke, the hotel boat should have done it.

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Not that it excuses the hotel boat steerer's behaviour, but I don't think he did the right thing.

sorry I meant to his way of thinking, as you pass boats on the right and that was what he was waiting to do. As you say, nothing excuses his behaviour, he has a license to ferry people around,but treats people like this.I e mailed his company address to tell him my thoughts about him but did not receive a reply.

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sorry I meant to his way of thinking, as you pass boats on the right and that was what he was waiting to do.

This is it, you don't always have to pass to the right. I expect the foul mouthed skipper expected the other boat to go to the moorings on the left, and was inconvenienced a bit when it didn't.

Was it the Reverend on Oak and Ash?

Nope, the Reverend has I heard gone to meet 'is maker (which would be an interesting conversation....) and his pair have gone to Stagedamager of this forum.

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sorry I meant to his way of thinking, as you pass boats on the right and that was what he was waiting to do. As you say, nothing excuses his behaviour, he has a license to ferry people around,but treats people like this.I e mailed his company address to tell him my thoughts about him but did not receive a reply.

Was it Tranquil Rose?

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What sort of positive horror stories are you expecting, Mike?

 

Richard

 

Not quite a positive horror story, but certainly a positive one

 

Stag and hen parties have a bad reputation locally, to some extent deserved. they get drunk and there are stories told of high jinx, some of which are undoubtedly true, so when a local operator was approached for the hire of several day boats (4-6 people each) for such a party they asked their insurers who wanted the hirers to pay a deposit into the thousands of pounds.

 

When the boats were returned they were spotless, beer cans tidied up and bagged ready for the hirers to take home for disposal, if there had been spillages they'd been mopped up, no crumbs, no noticeable damage to the boats. The lack of complaints from such a flotilla on the canal meant their behaviour must have been impeccable, after all, the very presence of this convoy might have struck fear in some people's hearts.

 

They also appear to have enjoyed themselves - as the operator pointed out, These are the stories we don't hear about

  • Greenie 2
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