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EastCoastIPA

Private Or Hire?

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Just as a quick straw poll, how many people on here reckon they could identify whether any boats they see on the river are private, or hire boats?

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Even if private owners buy ex-hire boats they tend to stamp their own individuality on them to mark them out. Also, those who spend a lot of times round the Broads will know the typical hire boats and the yards they come from. My daughter will tell me that I am sad to know such things.

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A lot of private boats were once in the Broads hire fleets. Of course, this includes many of the classic wooden boats you will see on the Broads - some of them belong to yards now consigned to the rich history of the Broads. It never ceases to be a source of interest when someone tells me they hired a boat like our boat back in the 1960's/'70's. 

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19 minutes ago, rightsaidfred said:

Yes apart from possibly ones recently sold, first clue number of licensed passengers following Reg no.

Fred

Our boat is x hire number was followed by a dash six.was told by BA to take off the dash six.Agree after a time you get to know boats private and hire.

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I remember the good old days  (60s & 70s) you could always tell. No hire craft had a pulpit or nav lights, and no hire craft flew the red ensign. Now it's not so straight forwards, but I reckon I'd get it right more often than not.

The private boat is skippered by someone who looks frightened all the time and it's festooned with fenders. .

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For me I don’t teally notice. It’s more whether the skipper knows what they are doing or not!!! Private boat owner here in Solent but a hirer when on broads. Keeping formation with rocky skippers is always entertaining!! We have to learn ha ha 

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It's the baggy, calf/almost ankle length 'shorts' and white socks that give the game away! 

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I think if you own a boat, or have hired a boat, or been on The Broads enough you will know the tell tale signs.

The number after the dash that tells you how many the boat is licensed for.

The colour scheme of yards you recognise.

The agency or hire yard logo on the bow.

You don't have to be an anorak to know, but most of us do just know.

Last week I was travelling South to North on Friday to grab a spot to watch the forthcoming three rivers race. Tides and travel times dictated that we couldn't cross on the low and so we timed our crossing as I have done a few times before to go across Breydon against the last of the flood. I have done this a few times and whilst I wouldn't recommend it to hirers, it does have certain advantages. If you time it right and turn up the Bure with the last of the fading flood, you get a fairly easy ride up the Bure and can stay ahead of the turning tide. You also get a much higher view over the surrounding countryside on the lower Bure rather than just staring at endless reeds. Off course you need to be able to pass the low bridges at Yarmouth and if timed incorrectly you may have to wait for the tide to turn and fall which in turn means you do push the ebb all the way up the Bure.

Just as we are approaching Breydon Water I see The Spirit of Breydon tied up at the NRA mooring. After a little while on of the two rangers on board appears at the back of the boat complete with loud hailer and announces that they are The Broads Authority and could I proceed over to them?

So I head over and the conversation is as follows;

BA "Are you aware that there are some low bridges ahead"

Me "yes and I need 6ft3in clearance" The gauge at The Berney showed 7ft.

BA "Are you sure you don't need 7ft3in clearance?"

Me "I need 6ft3in clearance with the windscreen folded down"  

BA "ok, no problem then"

I then set off and after a few seconds he calls out again, "Are you a private boat?" I was that speechless I almost couldn't reply!!!!!!!

For the record my boat is ex hire, but has been in my ownership for 14 years. It has never had a dash number after the reg and all hire yard decals and agency logos have been long removed.

I would have known it wasn't a hire boat, and it's not my job to know. The BA have super doper high powered binoculars on board S.O.B and should have been able to read my reg before calling me over. They should have known it was a private boat and assumed I might know how to read a bridge height gauge. I believe they also have access to a database that tells them whether the boat is tolled or not. I would assume the same database would tell them the owner details as well? 

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Generally I can spot whether a boat is hire or private and often whether it originated on the Broads or elsewhere but I wouldnt say I could do it 100% of the time...

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Same has happened with Broad Ambition on Breydon - there was not enough clearance at the bridges, so we opted to head off down the harbour for a bit to kill time (having got permission from Yarmouth Harbour Master on VHF).  We were duly shouted at from the old fishing trawler that is now open to the public and moored at Town House Quay "Hire boats are not allowed down here" - we should have shouted back thank you but we are off to the continent for duty free lol

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A private boat is easy to spot as it's always helmed by someone with a jumper tied around their neck.

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38 minutes ago, Wyndham said:

A private boat is easy to spot as it's always helmed by someone with a jumper tied around their neck.

That's those in the Brundle Navy or down at Cowes week, normally accompanied by faded red trousers.

Me, you'll find I wearing the same as I would to work or sailing in good weather + life jacket or my waterproofs which are flotation devices as well. So if you wish to shout at a person for not wearing a life jacket don't shout at me!!

90% of the time I can spot a private boat, as they say above it's only the very recently privatised boats that are difficult to spot. You could spot my boat by, solar panels, navigation lights, Red Ensign and if your really observative, no diesel exhaust unless I've got the generator on.

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14 hours ago, EastCoastIPA said:

I would have known it wasn't a hire boat, and it's not my job to know. The BA have super doper high powered binoculars on board S.O.B and should have been able to read my reg before calling me over. They should have known it was a private boat and assumed I might know how to read a bridge height gauge. I believe they also have access to a database that tells them whether the boat is tolled or not. I would assume the same database would tell them the owner details as well? 

So it would seem that your question, as OP, has a barb to it.

I do hope you are not suggesting that the S.O.B is only there for the safety of hire boats and should obsequiously allow passage to the masters of private vessels?

I wasn't there of course, but I would hope that their brief intervention was done in the interests of your own safety, especially as you were navigating at a time when it is not normally recommended to do so?

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3 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

So it would seem that your question, as OP, has a barb to it.

I do hope you are not suggesting that the S.O.B is only there for the safety of hire boats and should obsequiously allow passage to the masters of private vessels?

I wasn't there of course, but I would hope that their brief intervention was done in the interests of your own safety, especially as you were navigating at a time when it is not normally recommended to do so?

No I'm not suggesting that S.O.B is only there for the safety of hire boats, however they do frequently make special directions to hire boats by closing Breydon to hire boats, not to private boats. Therefore I would expect them to know the difference between the two. On this occasion they were turning hire boats back to The Berney. I have no problem with that.

I was just really surprised that someone who patrols the area couldn't tell the difference and needed to ask. Does it have a barb, Yes because perhaps it reflects the shift in the quality of the ground troops recently. Just my opinion of course, a sticky subject for some though.

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4 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

Does it have a barb, Yes because perhaps it reflects the shift in the quality of the ground troops recently. Just my opinion of course, a sticky subject for some though.

So I still suggest that you are getting off what was your own subject. Or rather, that your subject has a clear ulterior motive. In which case, in my own experience of the value of Rangers and of the River Inspectors before them, I thoroughly disagree with you.

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16 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

Does it have a barb, Yes because perhaps it reflects the shift in the quality of the ground troops recently. Just my opinion of course, a sticky subject for some though.

This shift in quality. In what respect may I ask?

Andrew

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1 minute ago, Wussername said:

This shift in quality. In what respect may I ask?

Andrew

There is a thread here where a couple of people have had notices applied to inappropriate surfaces, in both cases incorrectly.

I think most of the members here if they applied for the job of ranger would know a private from hire boat. I'm still surprised that this knowledge alluded the rangers on Breydon that day.

The perceived lack of interest from the rangers at Reedham. I say perceived, because it is purely my opinion off course.

I saw a thread here recently where the ranger in Norwich helped two boat loads of drunk people cast off from the yacht station. Moving on a problem rather than dealing with it.

Just my thoughts off course. 

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8 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

There is a thread here where a couple of people have had notices applied to inappropriate surfaces, in both cases incorrectly.

I think most of the members here if they applied for the job of ranger would know a private from hire boat. I'm still surprised that this knowledge alluded the rangers on Breydon that day.

The perceived lack of interest from the rangers at Reedham. I say perceived, because it is purely my opinion off course.

I saw a thread here recently where the ranger in Norwich helped two boat loads of drunk people cast off from the yacht station. Moving on a problem rather than dealing with it.

Just my thoughts off course. 

I have to agree with Vaughan here, I don't  and I havn`t seen anyone else here display a flag or notice saying experienced crew on board, there are several "Private" boats each year helmed by novices as witnessed by those coming on here asking for advice.

Although I have close to 40 years experience I would far sooner be hailed and given advice by a ranger than ignored where there is a possible risk of danger or a problem, as for the rangers they do a very difficult job under increasing pressure and I have every respect for all of them including the less qualified Auxiliaries, like the police we may not always appreciate their presence but would be in a sorry state without them.

Fred

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As you are quoting your experience with rangers, here is one of mine :

At the end of our recent holiday on Monte Carlo, we were coming back to Stalham on the Friday afternoon, to hand the boat back in the morning, and saw a BA launch with 2 rangers in it, moored on the opposite bank from the junction which joins the dyke down from Stalham with the river, just up from Barton Broad. In this way they could see right up the dyke as all the "new hires" were coming towards them. You can imagine that they were having a lot of fun using their radar gun with "gay abandon" but it was clear that they had no intention of "do-ing" anyone for speeding. They were there for two purposes :

1/. To demonstrate that these rivers are policed!

2/. To give the new customers an exact idea of what 4MPH is like, so that they would know in future.

If they are doing this every Friday and Saturday afternoon then that is a first class use of their time and equipment and I salute them for the friendly and light-hearted manner in which they carried out their duties.

I cannot image any first time customer being offended in any way by such helpful and practical advice.

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Let me state categorically that I have no problem with the rangers giving advice or directions to private helms. I would expect them to know their subject matter and know which are private or hire craft without having to ask. It is that which really surprised me. Makes you wonder how much time they have spent around Broads boating before applying for the job, based purely upon the fact that most of us here would have known without needing to ask. Incidentally I wonder why the need to ask? Would or should they have treated me differently if they had known? I don't think so, which makes the question all the more strange, and redundant. My only conclusion would be that if I said it was a hire boat, they may have insisted I turn back? Whilst this is not a bad thing, they really should have known and had the means to check.

Once before I was moored at Acle and heard that Breydon was shut due to wind and poor visibility. I rang the rangers at Yarmouth and was given the advice that Breydon was shut to hire boats. It was open to private boats, but their advice was not to cross. We headed down to Yarmouth and moored at Yarmouth until the visibility improved and then we went across. I have no problem with this kind of advice and heeded it.

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For goodness sakes,  I can tell a hire boat from a private boat any day.   It has nothing to do with what anyone is wearing.   We had our own boat for 10 years and we are still wearing the same clobber now that we are hiring , so that is a nonsense for a start.   Most private boats tend to have a flag flapping at the back and often many more flapping elsewhere.      Also you get to know the boats that are about.

 

As for SOB ,    I guess yelling at people through a loud haler does give them something to occupy themselves with.

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1 minute ago, Hylander said:

For goodness sakes,  I can tell a hire boat from a private boat any day.   It has nothing to do with what anyone is wearing.   We had our own boat for 10 years and we are still wearing the same clobber now that we are hiring , so that is a nonsense for a start.   Most private boats tend to have a flag flapping at the back and often many more flapping elsewhere.      Also you get to know the boats that are about.

 

As for SOB ,    I guess yelling at people through a loud haler does give them something to occupy themselves with.

For completeness I should add that we had already taken the ensign down ready for the low bridges, but there are enough other tell tale signs which you would have spotted. :default_beerchug:

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