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Loddonlad

Single Parent Hiring Boats

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Good evening 

I have been advised that single parents with children can no longer hire a broads boat . We are having a family cruise and my cousin was going to join us with his kids on a seperate boat . he is a widow with 2 boys . He has been advised that due to insurance he cannot hire . we are now going to book canal boats as the boatyard said ' no problem'.  .  we thougth the broads would be easier 3 boats 3 families but not so . anyway we have got a good deal for the 3 canal boats , now got to learn about locks for the spring. 

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Hi Loddonlad

This does not apply to all yards only those who insure with one particular insurer

Waterways Holidays have boats available on the broads for single parent families

Ray

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What a shame, annoying too. With the advent of two separate parent families I'm quite sure that this new ruling, if it applies to all Broads yards,  is going to prove a problem both for the yards and their potential customers. Why it should apply to the Broads and not the canals is a bit of a mystery too. Does anyone know if this ban is a Broads thing or just particular yards?  

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If this is just one yard, then there are still plenty of others. Several of the Northern yards have large fleets, with a lot of clesses of the same boat, so rather than spend a lot more on the canals, i would have contacted the yards individually.  That said, i can understand a yard prefering NOT to hire to an inexperienced single parent crew.  Also, if you DID find a yard up north that were happy to hire to your freinds, then i would recommend staying on the north rivers with their slower more gentle tidal effect.

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I think it is more than one yard it is all yards that insure with one particular insurer

There are yards on northern rivers that will hire to single parents

Ray

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45 minutes ago, Boatingman said:

Peter

I believe it is one insurer not the yards

Ray

Would have thought that the bigger yards could have called the tune, or changed to a more sympathetic insurer.

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I agree with you Peter

Maybe they will but no insurers premiums vary wildly so that may be the consideration.

It does seem a strange policy 

I am sure you like myself could handle a boat well before sixteen years old

Ray

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Hopefully the yards that hire to experienced solo hirers also hire to single parents. Yards that do so are Richardsons, Freedom (both of whom I've used when solo), Barnes Brink craft, Silver line and possibly Broads Boating Company. Herbert Woods and I think NBD have a very strange 'minimum 2 adults' policy. They'd rather hire to two novices than one person who knows exactly what they're doing. 

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I guess its risk mitigation by the insurance company, ie -a single parent cannot be expected to both helm the craft and keep an eye on the kids at the same time (I would think a lot would depend upon the ages of the kids too.)

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How does a boat yard determine if a customer is experienced?

How does a boat yard measure that experience?

Who on the boat yard is responsible for the approval of that experience?

Finally, when is that approval given..............on arrival?

 

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Richardson's have changed there policy

They now will not hire to Single parents but apparently will allow solo hire at there discretion strange

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I get the idea that under a certain age of child would be a bad idea, but mid  teens ought to be ok especially in a flotilla situation.

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All the conditions of hire that I have ever seen, say that a boat must have a skipper, who is an adult. It doesn't stipulate the ages of the rest of the party, nor at what age a child may steer the boat. That us up to the skipper.

Otherwise how could you have school parties, where all the children on a boat are supervised by one teacher?

There is also the condition of course, that the boatyard may refuse to let the boat to "unsuitable hirers".

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I get that Vaughan. I was just thinking of an inexperienced skipper and two very small people maybe. You can't watch small children and a boat with no experience.

Teachers tend to work in pairs, or even three at once like the London buses.:default_biggrin:

 These days you can't undertake hazardous activities without backup. 

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I find this extremely strange and think the yards should challenge this either through the company themselves, change insurer or indeed through the Insurance Ombudsman. I believe the Ins Co have got their wires crossed  - I cannot believe this to be a condition of the Underwriters

If you pursue that logic through the industry, no single parent should take an under 18 to Center Parcs,, go to the seaside , or go to a hotel with a swimming pool.

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30 minutes ago, Polly said:

I was just thinking of an inexperienced skipper and two very small people maybe. You can't watch small children and a boat with no experience.

I also get where you are "coming from". I think in this case, that would be considered an "unsuitable hirer".

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Common sense surely says that the ages of the children are the defining factor and a blanket veto doesn't make any sense, does it?

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I remember a lady and her daughter arriving for a fortnights holiday. The lady was on crutches which obviously caused concern though her daughter, probably about 12, was very attentive and did a brilliant job of helping as needed. Anyway they immediately asked for life jacket s (always a good sign) and, with the help from some improvised steps, were soon onboard. It was a dream handover, they listed intently to everything and were keen to learn. They had never been on a boat before. 

Jimmy decided that he was happy to let the boat go out and so off they went. 

In the fortnight they had a whale of a time and managed everywhere, Hickling, coltishall, Geldeston and that boat came back without a scratch and cleaned to within an inch of its life.

 

The point is ability can only be ascertained at the point of handover by the person charged with making that decision. If you are capable then you should be offered the hire irrespective of anything else

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Never realised this was an issue is it a recent thing or are they more accepting with yacht hiring? I twice went with just me and my dad. First time I was 9 with marthams and second early teens with a hunters yacht.

.

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I think it's a crying shame. I've got some lovely memories of time spent on the broads with my son when he was really quite small. Just as I have memories of sailing with my dad as a kid.

-

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Another important point about this is that if you have special circumstances, always inform the boatyard when you make the booking, and not when you turn up on the quay. A yard will never want to turn away a customer and by discussing it, these things can normally be worked out.

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This, unfortunately, is the reason I have not returned to the Broads. I've hired a narrow boat before and had a great family holiday a few years ago on a large Herbert Woods boat. My wife had a knee injury that preventing her from helping much of the time. My boys were, I think 11 and 8 at the time - all the mooring was done with the help of my eldest.

My attempts to book a short stay with my two sons were met with a definite no or no response at all from the boatyards that I contacted. The eldest has just turned 15. Any idea at what age they are considered as an adult?

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11 minutes ago, SimonD said:

The eldest has just turned 15. Any idea at what age they are considered as an adult?

These days,  about 30 :default_biggrin:

My granddaughter is 10 and happily hops off with my ropes.

I can see it might be a problem if it is a single adult and say two under sevens.

This policy needs a rethink.

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As an owner, I cannot see anything in my insurance policy that prohibits me from solo cruising, having to have two adults on board if there are children on board. In fact even the section about helming is not age related, or restricted. All it says is that I must be satisfied of the competence of any one in charge of my boat. I think I'm right in saying that the BA regs are more stringent than my insurance company when it comes down to age and helming.

So why the difference for hire craft? OK I guess there is more chance of a novice skipper, but then there are novice private skippers. I wonder if it is to do with the hire companies using the minimal insurance they can find for financial reasons? After all I think most of the damage done on boats is normally completed by the yards themselves and if at all possible they try and complete the work on any other boat that may have been damaged by one of their craft, so I can imagine in most cases their own insurance is only called upon for the most severe of incidents, or where a private skipper insists upon the repair being carried out by a yard of their choice.

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