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WRC Boats Moving To Nbd For Next Season?


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2 minutes ago, OldBerkshireBoy said:

Are you thinking that is the reason for shutting down the hire business at WRC.

Perhaps one of a number of reasons. Prospective boat cleaners must be few and far between at Burgh St Peter, it's hardly a bustling metropolis.

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I find it unbelievable that people would book any kind of holiday in the countryside and then moan about countryside roads. It's especially stupid to do so when, as a boat hirer, you have to travel th

Less boats down south then..............

WRC already employs a big team, to maintain a large site and all the facilities, so I don't suppose turning round 4 or 5 hire boats on a Saturday would be too much of a problem of logistics. A bo

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1 hour ago, JennyMorgan said:

...Beyond that the suggestion that the neighbouring Bridges are a problem is a sound one.

Oh no, not more sinking bridges I hope. No wonder the rail one wont swing properly! 

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The road in and out of the WRC is an issue, but it doesn't stop people buying a lodge there or mooring there so I hardly think that road access for a hire boat business is the issue. Remember as a part of various planning applications over the years the signage has been improved to encourage people in from the Haddicoe end and a number of extra passing places were paid for by the WRC as a condition of planning for the various lodges and hotel rooms etc.

At one point James was very keen to attract a certain type of private boater to increase the prestige of the place. It was noticeable this year how many migrated down the river to St Olaves, as confirmed recently by MM that they are now full. I think there will be a move back to catering for the private boater both in terms of annual moorings and the weekend visitor. 

If the spare boats can be squeezed into NDB with perhaps one or two boats being sold on then it makes sense.

 

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I did wonder whether there was a loss in income once they had to let hire boats moor overnight for free when they became a hire yard themselves. 

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1 minute ago, lakesailor said:

I notice on WRCs faceache page they are advertising that they have private mooring available  is this maybe because of moving hire fleet to NBD ?

Quick, somebody tell MM. Dunno about his trailer(s) though.

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1 hour ago, OldBerkshireBoy said:

Are you thinking that is the reason for shutting down the hire business at WRC.

I think maximising profit after the shortfall of this covid year is the reason. Duplication of cleaners, engineers etc does not help the bottom line.

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I was due to hire from WRC this year before Wales lockdown messed me up and I was refunded. I'm not surprised by the news but disappointed for a few reasons. I was looking forward to hiring from the location in the future, another South Broads hire location is going and, almost certainly, another operator sensible enough to permit solo hirers is going. NBD don't allow solo unfortunately.

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2 hours ago, OldBerkshireBoy said:

And for how long has there been hire boats there.

Fowlers hire boats were there for one season, WRC's hireboats, three or so years, Waveney Cruisers pre Fowlers five or so years. Probably no more than ten years in total since 1950. When I say 'hire boats' I mean cruisers rather than dayboats.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Velo500 said:

Holiday cruisers are still available to hire next year from WRC.

Have you managed to book one though? I see elsewhere someone managed to book online for next year only to receive a telephone call to say the boats were moving to NBD. 

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WRC already employs a big team, to maintain a large site and all the facilities, so I don't suppose turning round 4 or 5 hire boats on a Saturday would be too much of a problem of logistics.

A boating holiday needs two things : a starting base, and a "destination".

The destination is the area that you will cruise in and daily destinations are pubs or villages along the cruise.

The base is a different matter.  Just the place you start and finish from and where you leave your car.

But it must also have other services nearby : a shop, a pub for lunch on arrival, a bank, a doctor's surgery, a post office, perhaps a launderette and maybe even a vet!  You will never get all of these things in a perfect spot but the more available, the more convenient the base.

Back in the 60s there was a canal company letting narrowboats out of the centre of Birmingham (maybe still are) and someone in Blakes said "who wants to go on holiday in Birmingham?"  Answer, maybe no-one, but that's not the point!  The holiday is spent cruising the lovely canal system in the Birmingham area but the start base is very convenient!  Straight off the train onto the boat!

Same applies to the Broads, in towns such as Brundall, Wroxham, Potter or Oulton Broad. They are the main boating centres because they had the best access, back in the 60s. Even Martham Boats is on that site because there was a railway station.

So in the principle of the thing I see the WRC as more of a cruising destination than a convenient hire boat base. And I am looking forward to my next visit there, whenever that may be!

 

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Wise words, Vaughan, as ever. It makes me wonder if James is not aiming for a very desirable destination rather than a departure point, your suggestion certainly makes sense. It has so much to offer in than it's set in a delightful area that for one I have never tired of. As a local we now have the amenity of the Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve on our doorstep which James has very wisely provided ferry access to and from. Hats off to James for what he has created. If you are very lucky to might witness galloping yurts! The WRC has become a gem on the Broads.

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37 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

Back in the 60s there was a canal company letting narrowboats out of the centre of Birmingham (maybe still are) and someone in Blakes said "who wants to go on holiday in Birmingham?"  Answer, maybe no-one, but that's not the point!  The holiday is spent cruising the lovely canal system in the Birmingham area but the start base is very convenient!  Straight off the train onto the boat!

The base is not there. In the first instance it was bought out by another local rival who underinvested in it, but the final nail in the coffin was the rise in popularity of apartments in Birmingham.  The land became so much more valuable for development that it was economically impossible to run a hire base. Same happened on the Thames any boat yard which was freehold owned was sold off for development. The few that survive are either in areas which wouldn't get planning for housing, or have the freehold owned by someone who has no need to sell (e.g. the Queen - and she wouldn't want to spoil the view from the castle!)

I suspect the same would happen on the Broads if planning was easier. e.g. dig a large new dyke out of town designed for todays modern cruisers and then build more houses in those desirable spots such as Wroxham. I hope this doesn't happen as I think the boating history needs to be in its historic locations and is actually what makes places such as Wroxham desirable. 

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I think location doesn't help.

WRC is a great place to stop at on a boat, and is pretty much my defacto destination on a North to South run. You have a pub, showers, swimming pool etc and a decent number of moorings with electric etc.

But there is just something about the Southern Rivers that people don't like, I really can't figure it out myself as I love it down there but I accept that your average boater does not want to do the sort of cruising hours that I generally do.

Having been on a syndicate recently and observed the engine hours that the boat was doing over a season, it was only around 600. That's a 48 week boat, so in theory just 12.5 hours a week.

If you assume that in reality perhaps just 35 weeks are being used, that's still only 17.14 hours a week - Just 2 and three quarter engine hours per day.

You average boater does seem happier cruising sedately around from one location to the next, and is not bothered about how much ground they cover. The southern rivers don't really fit with that model so perhaps explains why they're more popular with seasoned boaters who are more interested in doing six or more hours at the helm.

It also explains why we have such problems with batteries on boats...

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Many first time boaters (of which there are many each season) won't venture from North to South, especially if on for less than a week. The decline has happened over many years, probably without being noticed. The South needs more infrastructure to be attractive, but the infrastructure will only come with the crowds. I often tell people one of the main differences between the North and South is that you can usually cruise to a new village in less than an hour in the North, but less than 2 hours in the South. Plus.... the tides! 

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3 hours ago, oldgregg said:

Having been on a syndicate recently and observed the engine hours that the boat was doing over a season, it was only around 600. That's a 48 week boat, so in theory just 12.5 hours a week.

If you assume that in reality perhaps just 35 weeks are being used, that's still only 17.14 hours a week - Just 2 and three quarter engine hours per day.

You average boater does seem happier cruising sedately around from one location to the next, and is not bothered about how much ground they cover. The southern rivers don't really fit with that model so perhaps explains why they're more popular with seasoned boaters who are more interested in doing six or more hours at the helm.

It also explains why we have such problems with batteries on boats...

Is the low engine hours anything to do with finding moorings by lunchtime and then staying put from fear of struggling later to finding one.

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7 minutes ago, OldBerkshireBoy said:

Is the low engine hours anything to do with finding moorings by lunchtime and then staying put from fear of struggling later to finding one.

Yes definitely, they leave their mooring motor for 1 hour maybe 2 by mid-morning people are leaving the popular Moorings and you dive in tie-up ready for lunch, but if you leave after lunch will you find another mooring will you heck,and let's hope where you've stopped  has electric because if it hasn't you're probably find your batteries are well depleted come the evening and you will have to do start your engines and annoy everybody, sound familiar

 

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We've just returned from a full weeks hire of 'Pegasus' from WRC, a holiday we'd been looking forward to for quite some time. Quite pricey (£900 for the week) considering it's only a 2 berth boat but we figured it'd be worth the extra money to treat ourselves to a 'Hoseasons Starboard Collection' boat. Unfortunately, we came home rather disappointed after various issues through the week. However, I'm still awaiting a response to my email from WRC and I feel it's only fair to give them the opportunity to 'put things right' before posting a full boat review - which I will do here in due course. 

The location of WRC didn't put us off and we didn't find road access an issue at all. Yes, it's a small country lane with limited passing places, but it's hardly a traffic heavy road? We only had to travel up/down it twice, so wasn't a problem at all. 

We ended up cruising a lot more than expected, not for any particular reason, other than we really enjoyed visiting new places. It's a long old cruise from South to North but we did enjoy it and ended up seeing almost all of the navigable Broads (excluding bits under bridges we couldn't pass, including Ludham).

Whilst we did enjoy the Southern Broads, we didn't feel like there was a whole lot there and it's a fair old cruise in between destinations with not much to see except wide open rivers and high reed beds. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but we much prefer the North.

We didn't stop off in many places during our week afloat and didn't visit any pubs/cafes etc. However, we did note the majority of the ones we passed on the Southern Broads seemed closed and there wasn't many boats around at all. In fact, we were the only boat moored at Rockland St Marys (where the electric post is inoperable, may I add).

Up until last week all the boats at WRC were showing on the Hoseasons website, and we noticed they dropped off there the other day and aren't bookable through Hoseasons. They are still showing on WRC website, though.

The staff at WRC had told us they struggled to rent any of their cruisers out last year, but this year post lockdown had been good for obvious reasons. Looking at availability on their site for next year, their forward bookings aren't very strong. 

WRC is a long way from anything and I can't see it being a very attractive location for 3-4 day boat hire. Even on a weeks hire, it's still probably a bit far from everything for most people. 

Not sure whether we'd hire a cruiser from WRC again or not, but I'll post a full honest review of the boat and boatyard in the next few weeks

 

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28 minutes ago, 750XL said:

Up until last week all the boats at WRC were showing on the Hoseasons website, and we noticed they dropped off there the other day and aren't bookable through Hoseasons. They are still showing on WRC website, though.

I'm guessing they will reappear under Faircraft in Wroxham in time. It will be the physical time required to reprogram and ammend the databases at Hoseasons. 

 

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6 hours ago, 750XL said:

Whilst we did enjoy the Southern Broads, we didn't feel like there was a whole lot there

Sorry you had issues. There is 100% a lot there on the South Broads, the difference is you have to cruise a lot longer in between destinations. That's part of the fun though and I love the South Broads and the contrast with the North (which I love just as much).

 

5 hours ago, DAVIDH said:

I'm guessing they will reappear under Faircraft in Wroxham in time. It will be the physical time required to reprogram and ammend the databases at Hoseasons. 

 

Plus at NBD they may want to rename and rebrand the boats.

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18 hours ago, 750XL said:

Whilst we did enjoy the Southern Broads, we didn't feel like there was a whole lot there and it's a fair old cruise in between destinations with not much to see except wide open rivers and high reed beds.

For many of us that is the attraction  of the place. Mustn't forget the excellent pubs. Surely a boating holiday is about a 'fair old cruise in between destinations'?  Granted that there are a lot of reeds, for that reason it pays not to hire a 'bath-tub' type of boat!

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