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Hire boater basic training


nicknorman
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7 hours ago, bizzard said:

A bit like the hire saling cruiser tacking, going from bank to bank up the river Bure on the Broads with the wind blowig from astern. When asked why, they said, ''We know this stretch, we had to tack up here  last year''.

You nicked that from Michael Green’s The Art of Coarse Sailing, still a good laugh after all these years.

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Hirecos do vary. One (...it may have been Silsden Boats... I can't recall exactly as it was many years ago...) had a fully working cutaway model of a lock. Glass sides and filled with water (..and the gates didn't leak..) It showed exactly how a lock works, but did it prepare a complete novice crew for a real lock ? Not so sure. Andersen (Middlewich) insisted on accompanying us on the boat through the first lock even though that was our 11th trip.. overkill maybe.. Our first trip in 1992 was from Tardebigge (Dartline at the time) and we were heading to Birmingham so no locks to show us - unless they were gonna to force us to turn round and go down then up the flight ! It is a difficult one, but as a previous poster said, these folks are on holiday, probably excited and just itching to get away. How much can you teach them, but more to the point, how much will they actually take in.

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12 hours ago, rowland al said:

A couple of weeks ago I was chatting to a guy on a hire boat in the same lock about this very subject. I asked him if he had received any training before taking his boat out from Wyvern. He looked a bit peeved before telling me, no.

 

He then went on to say he used to be a pilot on a Thames ferry for many years (not that that makes someone competent at skippering a long narrow boat into a lock as I discovered). 

Mmm.... Wyvern actually do give excellent training.  They have a lock within 400 yards of their base and spend 45 minutes demonstrating and explaining - I have been held up by them on more than one occasion - but - by the time the boats reach the next locks - the Soulbury three, they are well able to cope - are you sure it was a Wyvern - or that the person driving by the time you got to WW was the same person who had opted to be 'in charge'?  Seems to me that by the time a boat from Leighton Buzzard had got all the way round to Aynho they would have negotiated enough locks to enter one fairly efficiently, Thames pilot experience or not.

 

 

Edited by Tanglewood
no edit after all
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13 minutes ago, Tanglewood said:

Mmm.... Wyvern actually do give excellent training.  They have a lock within 400 yards of their base and spend 45 minutes demonstrating and explaining - I have been held up by them on more than one occasion - but - by the time the boats reach the next locks - the Soulbury three, they are well able to cope - are you sure it was a Wyvern - or that the person driving by the time you got to WW was the same person who had opted to be 'in charge'?  Seems to me that by the time a boat from Leighton Buzzard had got all the way round to Aynho they would have negotiated enough locks to enter one fairly efficiently, Thames pilot experience or not.

 

 

Maybe he pulled the old Thames story on them? “I’m an experienced boat handler, I don’t need any help or training” :-)

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 If there are no locks near the hire base for them to actually show the hirers how to operate one they should do like Caley Cruisers on the Caledonean Canal do and make them sit in a separate room and watch a 15 minute video about the locks and other such aspects before the hirers are allowed on the boat,

 

I think it should be made a compulsory condition of hire,

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There seems to be a potential opportunity to use the volunteer lock keeper scheme for a genuine purpose. The way volockies operate at present is too random to be classed as a genuine service to boaters. It should be possible to specifically arrange tuition for new hirers at specific locks by collaboration between CRT and hire bases.

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg
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1 minute ago, Captain Pegg said:

There seems to be a potential opportunity to use the volunteer lock keeper scheme for a genuine purpose. The way volockies operate at present is too random to be classed as a genuine service to boaters. It should be possible to specifically arrange help for new hirers at specific locks by collaboration between CRT and hire bases.

 

JP

Can of worms: Mr & Mrs Smith hire their first boat and are told they will be 'trained' by a volly. What happens when that training turns out to be inadequate or deficient? Who is going to admit liability?

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6 minutes ago, George and Dragon said:

Can of worms: Mr & Mrs Smith hire their first boat and are told they will be 'trained' by a volly. What happens when that training turns out to be inadequate or deficient? Who is going to admit liability?

It isn't training, and nor is what they get at the hire base. It's a demonstration of how a lock works. That same argument can be used against the entire volockie scheme.

 

It's also unofficially what happens on occasion at some places anyway. I am suggesting it could be deliberately arranged for attendance at key locks when a new hirer sets off and there isn't a suitable lock available close to the hire base.

 

If the volockie scheme can't be relied upon to demonstrate how a lock works safely then it's a useless scheme.

 

JP

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Black prince on worcs birmingham very good , a hire boat pulled out in front of us. The trainer then moored them up 100 metres from lock, waved us past, and told the crew to watch us go through. After we exited he supervised them draining the lock before bringing in the boat. They were 2 up and heading to tardibigge. Baptism of fire

 

I wouldnt want the vlockies to be teaching hirers...

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Yes I have personally witnessed the chap from Oxfordshire NB waiting for their boats to arrive at the first lock and demonstrating how it is done. That is to their credit. What was not to their credit was when I complained about one of their boats having music on at full volume, doors wide open, and a party going full swing at 3am on VMs surrounded by other boats. They were not in the slightest bit interested in my complaint.

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We hired from College Cruisers in Oxford a couple of times a few years ago. They did an excellent handover, chap came on board with us down and through Isis lock, winded and back up again before jumping off at the boatyard. This was despite both my wife and I having taken the helmsmans course, which they were aware of and had seen our certificates.

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21 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Yes I have personally witnessed the chap from Oxfordshire NB waiting for their boats to arrive at the first lock and demonstrating how it is done. That is to their credit. What was not to their credit was when I complained about one of their boats having music on at full volume, doors wide open, and a party going full swing at 3am on VMs surrounded by other boats. They were not in the slightest bit interested in my complaint.

I do sympathise with you Nick, unfortunately Oxfordshire Narrowboats still cater for stag and hen parties. I wish they wouldn't because they can sometimes be a real pain in the arse, unfortunately the boss loves them as they are a good source of revenue.

On occasion groups causing to much trouble have been turfed off the boat, problem is we usually don't get to hear about it until the next day by which time it's too late as the boat is on its way back to us as it was only hired out for the weekend. 

Edited by Bewildered
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3 minutes ago, Bewildered said:

I do sympathise with you Nick, unfortunately Oxfordshire Narrowboats still cater for stag and hen parties. I wish they wouldn't because they can sometimes be a real pain in the arse, unfortunately the boss loves them as they are a good source of revenue.

On occasion groups causing to much trouble have been turfed off the boat, problem is we usually don't get to hear about it until the next day by which time it's too late as the boat is on its way back to us as it was only hied out for the weekend. 

Hen parties are often the worst. When I ran Daves fleet of four on the Thames before he stopped doing them the worst we had was two boats racing around 3 am one morning below rad cot lock and elsewhere    They or rather one of them rammed a moored plastic fantastic and did it some significant damage. When we tackled them on boats return they coughed and paid a fair whack of money over for repairs no questions asked. It transpired they were all female doctors so they were not skint.

Edited by mrsmelly
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38 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Yes I have personally witnessed the chap from Oxfordshire NB waiting for their boats to arrive at the first lock and demonstrating how it is done. That is to their credit. What was not to their credit was when I complained about one of their boats having music on at full volume, doors wide open, and a party going full swing at 3am on VMs surrounded by other boats. They were not in the slightest bit interested in my complaint.

I am not sure what you can expect them to do about it. The hirers are unilaterally responsible for how they behave whilst on the boat. What would you do if you experienced a car doing the same?

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17 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

I am not sure what you can expect them to do about it. The hirers are unilaterally responsible for how they behave whilst on the boat. What would you do if you experienced a car doing the same?

Complain to Hertz or Avis. similar thread going on FB

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1 hour ago, Mike Todd said:

I am not sure what you can expect them to do about it. The hirers are unilaterally responsible for how they behave whilst on the boat. What would you do if you experienced a car doing the same?

Obviously it is tricky for them. But an apology and some sympathy would go a long way. If they had Ts and Cs that said corroborated reports of antisocial behaviour will result in the boat being immediately repossessed, their personal belonging just being left wherever on the towpath, it might make the hirers think carefully about their behaviour.

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4 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Obviously it is tricky for them. But an apology and some sympathy would go a long way. If they had Ts and Cs that said corroborated reports of antisocial behaviour will result in the boat being immediately repossessed, their personal belonging just being left wherever on the towpath, it might make the hirers think carefully about their behaviour.

I took engine keys off 2 boats 1 party at Thrupp last year as they had lots of complaints against them. They were told to vacate the boat and had to make their own way back to Heyford to get their cars.

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