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Loddonlad

Single Parent Hiring Boats

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So the insurers are taking the view that an adult and a couple of children are a bigger risk that a boat load of stag or hen parties out of their tiny minds on booze or worse!!!!!

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2 hours ago, LondonRascal said:

So, its seems this is a new policy decision (based upon insurance) at Richardson's now effecting solo hirers too.

I've read over on one of the Facebook Groups that a regular solo hirer has been called to say that his holiday is cancelled due to the fact he was a solo hirer and he has accepted a refund.

This is a great shame as I had planed a couple of trips with Richardson's myself as their classic fleet are cheap and cheerful and ideal for a quick break - while Barnes Brinkcraft accept solo hirers still, they don't have the same range of budget boats. 

I can only assume that something may have happened at some point that has caused Richarson's to take this move perhaps based upon a risk assessment or to ensure premiums are kept reasonable for their insurance (or just because there was once a claim) who can say, but sure is a real shame. 

You've got me worried now, Robin but thanks for the info. My solo trip is booked for 26th April and I haven't received a phone call yet. I will phone them to clarify because I'd hate to turn up on the day to be told "Oh sorry, you should have received a phone call to cancel". 

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I don't like the sound of this trend.

Because of other responsibilities i have not been able to take a holiday for 4 years now and  I do not know when, if ever, I  am likely to get to the Broads again.

If the policy among the yards is going to go in the direction of a blanket ban on single handed hire then I guess I may be forced to accept that my days of boating are over.

It would be nice if some of the yards would issue some clarification on this issue.

I have had several decades experience of single handed hiring.

For many years with Aston Boats and then with Richardsons, Horizon Craft and a couple of yacht hires from Eastwood Whelpton.

Given up Facebook so I have not read any of the accounts on there.

There must be other regular single handed hirers on this forum.  I wonder of others have heard anything.

 

 

 

 

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Well about half an hour after my last post I received a phone call from Chris Clarke, marina manager at Richardsons. He explained that the policy for solo adults hiring has changed, this being a reluctant policy decision on their part and not related to insurance. It's partly due to "incidents in the past" and partly to come in to line with Hoseasons' policy thereby avoiding having different policies for different booking routes. For my April trip (which was to be solo, no children) , he gave me the option of either a full refund or a free upgrade (subject to availability)  to allow someone else to accompany me. I need to think what to do now, it's knocked me for six a bit. 

I was impressed by Chris' handling of the call which he dealt with sympatheticly. I can sort of understand the decision, albeit it irks me they're still happy to hire to anyone else who walks of the street as long as there's at least 2 adults. What I'm unimpressed with is the timing - could they not have waited until 2019 bookings to implement thereby leaving existing bookings unaffected? 

 

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Oh, well that is a shame, I had hoped to be able to solo hire a few different boat styles to try out the pros and cons of each before making any future purchase(Richos were in the frame). Kinda sucks for those who have no choice but to go solo(with or without kids) too!

Back to the drawing board.........

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34 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Has anybody thought to p.m. Clive at Richardsons?

Hi Jenny I've messaged Clive just waiting for his response

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Well, you may have thought he handled it sympathetically, but still no nearer to the real truth - which boatyard owner would allow a group of six lads, but turn their backs on someone who would probably take greater care of the boat. No guarantees of course, but I would hazard a guess as to which I would prefer!

 I wonder what these "different " policies are - even with my experience I would hesitate operating a boat single handed up the Hatton Flight, but on the Broads?? How can you NOT have differing policies for differing areas and degrees of difficulty - typical of a large uniterested Company to pretend all are equal!

At a rough estimation, I would guess that at least 25% of private owners operate solo but if this is what Richardsons feel is being "foisted" on them, then perhaps a change is required!!

I await a further sympathetic explanation justifying this bizarre episode - even amongst our readers they have already lost a few thousand quid of hire monies!!

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I think we may need to start a thread for those who want to solo hire together, ie holiday share, there must be some out there who would love to hire, but for various reasons, dont have someone to go with, or dont have the confidence/ experience to solo hire.

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On 13/02/2018 at 09:16, SteveDuk said:

Maybe a thread on here somewhere could give people the chance to get together?

 

I think that people considering the broads may look to Facebook first though so maybe a mention on there directing them to the forum?

 

3 minutes ago, grendel said:

I think we may need to start a thread for those who want to solo hire together, ie holiday share, there must be some out there who would love to hire, but for various reasons, dont have someone to go with, or dont have the confidence/ experience to solo hire.

Now where have I heard that before :default_beerchug:

 

The main question is where to put it?

 

A sub-forum of the Holiday Tales board perhaps?

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Maybe time for Barnes to take a lead if they can, surely at least 1 or 2 hire companies will jump at the chance to help a 'captive audience' maybe even offer preferential rates to solo boaters ?????

Just a thought

 

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Simon (Broads 01) I would suggest that you have already entered into a legal contract of hire with the yard and they should honour it. You are a regular customer who is part of their loyalty scheme and you have hired solo with them before. Stand by your rights!

As for me, I find myself, yet again on this forum, standing up for the hire boat companies, as a lone voice, when in fact I am retired!

We know we have several members here, who are boatyards, so why can't we hear from you please? What is going on?

You are losing customers, as we speak!!

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I wonder what these “incidents” were?  We’ve all heard lots of stories about boat loads of yobs but I cannot recall any any issues with solo hirers.

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1 hour ago, grendel said:

I think we may need to start a thread for those who want to solo hire together, ie holiday share, there must be some out there who would love to hire, but for various reasons, dont have someone to go with, or dont have the confidence/ experience to solo hire.

Whilst I agree in principle I will add that being stuck aboard a small boat for a week with someone with whom you are unable to form a bond is no great picnic. I used to skipper charter yachts and whilst the majority of trips were a great success I had one party of folk who had previously never met, one of whom was anti everybody but himself, that was an incredibly hard week!

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1 hour ago, Broads01 said:

 It's partly due to "incidents in the past" and partly to come in to line with Hoseasons' policy thereby avoiding having different policies for different booking routes.

I always thought that Hoseasons were just a booking agency.

Surely the decision regarding who they are prepared to hire to is down to the boatyard.

 

As has already been mentioned.

This is a golden opportunity for those yards that will allow solo hiring to let us know.

A list  could then be compiled and I am sure they would gain a lot of business from members of this forum.

 

The suggestion has been made about members teaming up to share a boat.   

Fine in principle.

However, despite the fact that most of my solo hiring was due to not having anyone to share with there are times when I actually enjoyed being alone on the river away from all the stress. Plus the freedom to stay still or move as I wished.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Vaughan said:

Simon (Broads 01) I would suggest that you have already entered into a legal contract of hire with the yard and they should honour it. You are a regular customer who is part of their loyalty scheme and you have hired solo with them before. Stand by your rights!

As for me, I find myself, yet again on this forum, standing up for the hire boat companies, as a lone voice, when in fact I am retired!

We know we have several members here, who are boatyards, so why can't we hear from you please? What is going on?

You are losing customers, as we speak!!

You may be right about the legal contract thing Vaughan but I suspect the conditions of booking say words to the effect  "we can cancel if we feel like for any reason we want". In any case its left a bitter taste in the mouth and I've already been looking into booking an alternative. 

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2 hours ago, grendel said:

I think we may need to start a thread for those who want to solo hire together....

I know what you mean and good idea... but....you can't solo hire with somebody else. :default_biggrin:

There must be more to this than we know, Richardsons wouldn't suddenly have a change of policy which disappointed customers already booked and turn away customers looking to book. It just doesn't seem to fit.

Agree with Broads01 that they should have at least honoured any bookings already made.

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2 minutes ago, Broads01 said:

You may be right about the legal contract thing Vaughan but I suspect the conditions of booking say words to the effect  "we can cancel if we feel like for any reason we want". In any case its left a bitter taste in the mouth and I've already been looking into booking an alternative. 

The way it has been done would leave a sour taste in my mouth too Simon .....sometimes it aint what you do its the way that you do it and this is very bad customer care .i can only assume that there is some financial downside to this but considering the small amount of solo hirers out there honouring present bookings would have been far more understanding 

finny 

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At a time when hire companies are firmly behind the NP competition because it promotes the Broads and brings them much needed customers,  why on earth would you disenfranchise a sizable and growing part of the market.

Not only are single parents,  (a growing statistic)  and solo hirers, a decent percentage of the customer base but these groups are now being very vocal on social media.

Madness.

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8 hours ago, NeilB said:

I wonder what these “incidents” were?  We’ve all heard lots of stories about boat loads of yobs but I cannot recall any any issues with solo hirers.

Exactly!!  Remember these plonkers? 

DSC_1330.JPG

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Yes I remember them !  Think they even made a few posts but cannot remember if it was here or the other site.

3 years ago I took my mum for a weekend break on San Francisco.  She was 82 with wobbly legs and dodgy eyesight but is classed as an adult, I was effectively single handed.  My 12 year old son is nearly 6ft, not far from me in terms of strength and probably a lot more sensible but far more helpful on a boat than my mum.  I could still take my mum who is even more wobbly than before but not any of my children.

I appreciate a line has to made somewhere but a little bit of discretion based on the hirers experience would be nice.

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15 hours ago, marshman said:

I am reminded of all those individuals, when hiring a car abroad, being "forced" to take out excess insurance, when all you need to do is to take out an excess policy here in the UK and pay only a modest premium, rather than the inflated cost from a commission based salesman on a car hire desk in some foreign airport!

I've had car hire firms in the UK try that one on me when I have come with an all-costs-covered hire contract from within Germany.  Try to take advantage of people not able to defend themselves in the English language.  Failed in this particular case.  Hertz in Seattle tried it once as well.

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13 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Has anybody thought to p.m. Clive at Richardsons?

I believe that if you type an ampersand followed by a username that person is notified by e-mail viz: @JennyMorgan

At least that works on another forum which appears to use the same or similar software.

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