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Svenuk

Decreasing Number Of Hire Boats On Southern Broads

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Having  been on the broads for a number of years(over 50) i'm thinking of returning after several off due to the discovery of the Captains Blog on YouTube  I previously been on boats out of Beccles, Oulton and Somerleyton plus the Brundall and Stalham areas .I prefer the south as its less crowded but I have noticed a few hire companies missing. Whats happened?

Whilst looking online i have noticed a new beed of upmarket and expensive boats available. Certainly out of my price range. I know there are the older types still being refurb but as they are pensioned off will they be replaced by more expensive ones. Mood lighting, solar panels. expensive furnishings and head lining all add up. Are the companies trying to go for more upmarket clientele ?

 

 

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You've answered your own question. Yes, there aren't the small yards around, with a few exceptions, and the big boys are increasingly aiming their boats up-market. There doesn't seem to be a lack of hirers for these boats, either. But there are still a few smaller operators surviving on good customer care and standards. Richardson's and Woods still have a good proportion of "mid-range" boats to hire, well maintained on the whole, but not up to top range standards.

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Brundall still has Silverline, well maintained boats,which are always well turned out.Before we owned boats used them many times.You can't go wrong with them.

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56 minutes ago, Svenuk said:

Are the companies trying to go for more upmarket clientele ?

Of course they are :default_biggrin:

I know Carol has hired from Pacific in the past, small family yard and I believe their prices are very reasonable.

Just a shame about Swancraft :default_crying1animated:

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There is a small family owned boatyard called Freedom Boats in Thorpe St Andrew.

This is on the River Yare about 2 miles from Norwich.

 

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How many people would be happy to drive around in a car like an Austin 1100/1300? 

They would much prefer their larger SUV!!!

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I have a saying which i use for holidays "5 weeks in 1 star i.e tent  self catering rather then 1 week in 5* all inc.Time away is more important to us. Don't need the frills . Have used   Silverline and quite pleased with them. Have not heard of Freedom. Will have to look them up. Thanks for the replies.

p.s Still one thing, if less hire boats it will be more quiet which does for me

 

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Seems few ever mention Sanderson Marine at Reedham when this question comes up. I've never heard a bad word said about them and they are mid to lower range in price. Not mod con boats by any means but will provide a great holiday on the southern Broads.

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33 minutes ago, marshman said:

How many people would be happy to drive around in a car like an Austin 1100/1300? 

They would much prefer their larger SUV!!!

Now, Marsh, if you relate that to boats, some folk prefer antique, sailing h.g.v.'s with black sails!  

My mid sized Dacia Sandero or a mega SUV when confronted with a crowded car-park, no contest!

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Hello Svenuk

Ive hired from Pacific cruisers twice in the last 3 years and both times they have been top drawer. Especially in value for money, the two boats I had were competivly priced , very well turned out with everything you need on a boat. The staff just couldn't be any more helpful and friendly. Lovely people.

Freedom boats I have never had the pleasure , but the yard and boats look great any time I have seen them, and I've never heard a complaint.

 

let us know how you get on. 

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I rarely hire, last time was ten or twelve years ago, but I do see most if not all the various hireboats over the course of a summer season. Silver Line and Pacific Cruisers always appear to be well maintained and presented, even during the high season. 

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10 hours ago, VetChugger said:

Seems few ever mention Sanderson Marine at Reedham when this question comes up. I've never heard a bad word said about them and they are mid to lower range in price. Not mod con boats by any means but will provide a great holiday on the southern Broads.

I think Sandersons charge far too much for what they're offering. Pacific and Freedom are much better value. I really like both. Freedom have the advantage of any day to any day hire, especially handy for short breaks or if you want to go for between 1 and 2 weeks. 

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The other thing about Sandersons is that their boats have very poor review scores on Hoseasons. Now I'm not commenting on whether that's fair or not as I've only ever passed them on the rivers, I've never looked inside. But as someone who scours the websites trying to decide what I might want to hire next, that will definitely put me off. 

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I think also the "as standard" fittings are a growing consideration.

Modern, economic engines, bow thruster, higher capacity batteries better 240 inverter and indeed, a 240volt hook up are becoming expected.

A fridge that runs all night, higher security windows and doors and better modern cookers.

These are just some of the considerations most expect for what is an expensive holiday.

As I'm now a blue water sailor, I know the cost of these and probably why the smaller yards can't compete.

Shame really but progress is forward.

Who remembers gas mantels in woods boats?

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Remember gas mantels? Modern!:default_biggrin: We have oil lamps on Brilliant.

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I've hired 41 times from Pacific in the last 33 years. I've also hired a couple of times from Freedom. Both are excellent. Pacific would be my first choice, but only just and Freedom do have the flexibility of choosing any start and finish day which may be important to you, or may not.

Just because their boats are older it doesn't mean they are not up to standard. All of Pacific's boats will have modern up to date engines with their improved economy and quieter operation. Most have had galleys replaced along with upgrades to soft furnishings, carpets, headlinings etc. And they are always presented in top condition. 

If you want to see what goes into preparing a hire boat or refurbishing one then seek out Freedom Boating Holidays on Facebook. Andy's always working on something or another and bless him he always shares on fb.

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And remember many of the older designs offer much better space on board. The modern trend is to "use space cleverly" which I have decided means wedge as much into each square foot as possible, plus each extra cabin adds to the sleeping capacity which allows the boatyard to increase the hire charge. Some of the new designs will sleep 8 - 10 but can seat no more then four or five to eat, and you are having to step around each other every time you move. Have a look at Pacific Princess or Dawn and compare.

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1 hour ago, Polly said:

Remember gas mantels? Modern!:default_biggrin: We have oil lamps on Brilliant.

I remember as a child on the broads, the gas mantels,also in caravans. They would crackle ant the gentle light was almost magical. 

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58 minutes ago, Paul said:

The modern trend is to "use space cleverly"

I find that a very interesting observation as I have believed the contrary to be the case. I have always found that the older boat to utilise space far more cleverly. The oldest boat I've owned was a 17' marine ply effort. I had 3 on board (comfortably) over the Queens silver jubilee. More recently I owned a 25' Seamaster that I could (and did) have 5 onboard for nearly a week. I'm now up to a 27' Elysian Bounty. Sleeps 4 max and has far less stowage than the Seamaster.

It seems to me that the larger the boat, the more space is wasted, and with the more modern boats, they fit fewer people in longer craft. 

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I like the boats from Marthams, traditional wooden boats, small enough to get under that bridge, and a refridgerator that runs off the leisure batteries and doesnt run out of steam, even after 48 hours without engine.

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True, I sail a 1978 westerly Longbow, great boat, plenty of space.

But I find that space being eaten up by modern life!

More navigation tech, bigger batteries, solar panels.

And here's the point, it can't outsail more modern designs of hull.

Back to the point, as long as there is a gap for us who don't mind the more classic boat then I'm happy. 

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On 18/10/2018 at 20:24, Svenuk said:

Mood lighting, solar panels. expensive furnishings and head lining all add up. Are the companies trying to go for more upmarket clientele ?

I think they are. The problem is the boats are getting larger and better and costing more - there seems no end to those willing to pay out for this, fuelled by what I term 'Fridgeupmanship'. This is based on the fact people will upgrade their most mundane appliances not based on need but on looks - white went to black went to grey and now it is all about the brushed stainless steel look.Once they have such they will of course share it on Facebook or Instagram and enjoy all the likes and comments.

So when it comes to boats you pay more, you get more bling and can do the whole posting and sharing thing. I may be well far of the mark here, but I do wonder what impact social media has on peoples holidays whatever or wherever they are by trying to go that one better - all good for business though.

What troubles me is with these new people willing to pay top dollar do the places to visit, service and quality of such live up to what a premium holidaymaker expects? Is the choice there? If you don't want a pub what is left to do at many a mooring spot?

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Fishing, birdwatching, stargazing, playing board games with friends, drinking wine, sharing stories......what indeed?

The best things on the broads are free.

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