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Let me start by saying the holiday itself was nothing short of amazing. but the service and treatment we received from our hire company was utterley disgusting!!!!!

Day 1 - collected the boat, asked for some extra tuition on stern mooring, was talked through one example, that went very wrong. but was told you will be fine, drop me off over there.

so off we went to rockland staithe, lovely little spot and amazing pub.

and so we continued over the next few days without any hiccups.

that was until we came to depart the waveney center. I was stuck between a current and a boat and was going nowhere fast. A BIG BIG thanks to B17 Flying forttress for his assistance.

that evening our water pump failed, we called the out of hours emergency number. no answer!!

we had to wait 15 hours untill the following morninng before calling the yard again, despite messages being left with them.

pump replaced plus complaint lodged about very poor battery life, advised to turn down the fridge temperature.

And so we come to last night, and our boat sinks!!!! fortunately we were in the yard, i again called the emergency number several times. NO ANSWER!!!!

no boat, wet, no bed, 18 mth old daughter, 2300 hrs, disabled father in law.

coastguard called.

big thanks to the family in the boat next to ours, who after being woken up, assisted us no end.

then the engineers arrive, and i kid you not, the first thing said to me was, 'what did you hit?'

no concern about the family, just the boat.

and so we come to this morning, and the yard owner........ well i think i may jeopordise the legal action if i say anything else.

so in short, i will never board a boat again, it was a dream holiday that turned into a nightmare.

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Very sorry to hear about your experiences. This all sounds terrible, but I can in all honesty say that after 37years experience of hiring on the Broads it is certainly not typical and you have been incredibly unlucky.

I don’t suppose you can reveal the identity of the yard?

PS - with a bit of detective work, Ive seen the yard. Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course but if you had gone to Swancraft you would have had a very different experience. So sorry though.

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I don't think it would be fair to say the name of the yard at this stage, maybe once we have resolved our issues then maybe i can inform you.

as i said the holiday itself was incredible, aside from last nights issues.

In fact it was soo good, that we were considering making a second trip this year, and were even looking at the possibility of buying into a boat share

The scariest thing of all was that my daughter was in bed, and had we not been awake............. well i dread to think to be honest.

And this fact seems to have by-paassed the person concerned.

Unfortunately, it is down to one person that ruined our holiday experience.

We found all other broads users incredibly helpfull and patient and we will probably holiday in this area again, but im affraid it won't be on a boat.

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So sorry to hear of you experience with the boat yard,

As Norfolk said, a little bit of investigation and we know the yard and boat......

but im affraid it won't be on a boat

Give it one more go......

A different yard, different boat, DIFFERENT OUTCOME....

PS, I didn't say this, but try Richardsons...

(don't let one bad apple spoil the barrel)


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Sorry to hear of your bad experience, So how did it come to sink?

It's actually incredibly rare for a boat to sink if even only vaguely maintained, don't give up on boating entirely as it's generally very stress free, different yards will give different levels of service obviously.

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the reason is rather long winded but i will do my best to explain.

Apparently the rudder post was sent through the hull. I will at this point stress that at no stage did i hit the boat. I may not be the most able helm when it comes to handling the boat, but i take things very slowly (ask B17, he witnessed me first hand), and remain in controll at all times.

now we moored in the yard at approx 1800.

we had reported the batterys earlier in the week because they failed to hold their charge. we were advised to turn down the fridge.

it appears that the batterys failed, preventing the bilge pump from running, hence boat sinks.

i myself am convinced that the damaged to the rudder occured once we were moored, otherwise how would i have manouvered the boat?

we did hear a large cracking noise about 2100, but didn't think anything of it at the time.

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:wave hi david am really sorry to hear about your holiday, hope everyones alright, but please don't let it put you off boating, me & my sister have been going for about 12 years & have never had any real problems with any of the boats, i'm sure if you give it another go that you'll enjoy it. lori :Stinky
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What on earth happend to your rudder? so rare to have a rudder issue. long shot..... having moored the rudder was caught on a object in the water and held the boat, im gussing you were moored in a tidal area and the water level dropped putting boat weight on rudder.

If this was the case what a freak occurance! Please dont let this put you off, maybe put you of the yard you used but as said give it one more go. I wouldnt have advised jumping into a boat share untill you have hired a few times, becoming confidant/compitant at the helm. Take whatever action you feel necessary againt the yard and use the compo to restore faith in what should be a fantastic experience.

very glad that all are safe, that is the main thing. but i cant stress enough how rare this is.

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Many thanks for your kind words.

Maybe we are still just raw because of the scare we had.

As for boat share, we would not have dived into it, but it was something we were going to investigate as something to do in the future.

maybe in the future we will reconsider boats, but not jus yet.

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Chuffin eck!!

I never ever had any trouble when we hired and thats from several

different yards, but not from the one you used.

Thought....... If your batteries kept going down, maybe there was

damage done before you took over the boat and the bilge pump was

on all the time, which would flattern the batteries fairly quickly.

As the tide went down when back in the yard, the boat settling on an

obstruction could have been the last straw. It is possible that the rudder

could have worked ok upto that point. Again, not your fault.

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What a crying shame, please don’t let it cloud your perception of boating though, it sounds like a one off occurrence with the boats rudder grounding after you parked it and the level dropped, I accept that is pure speculation on my part but the cracking you heard a while after parking is a big clue. However, what is not speculation is that decent maintenance would have highlighted the battery issues so they could have been replaced, a correctly sized bank and decent battery management system would have ensured they were up to charge and a bilge water alarm would have alerted you early and at least mitigated the outcome, it seems these things were not present, very poor show indeed.

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Just a thought - I've seen two boats in the past 10 years with hull damage around the rudder stock and unfortunately one was my Fairline Mirage aft cabin back in 2004 :cry .

We'd been having water leaks in the aft bilges for a few months and were convinced it was the water tanks under the aft cabin berths. The boat was lifted (with empty water tanks) for its annual antifoul and were suprised to see water coming OUT of the hull around the rudder stock. With the antifoul scraped off, two cracks could be seen about 10" long each (imagine the cracks as two sides of a square).

Like the OP, I never hit anything underwater but I do recall when we first got the boat doing some doughnuts at full revs in reverse on more than one occasion. I can only assume that our cracks were caused by having the rudder hard over when going astern and the force of the water inevitably led to the fractures/cracks around the rudder stock.

With hire boats, and private boats for that matter, you never know if the same has happened and over a period of time something has to give. I don't think that rudder stocks are designed to take high reverse loadings time after time as I found out to my expense some £600 later. Lesson learnt :cry .

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Hello David,

I am so sorry to hear of your experience and that all of your family is safe it must have been a nightmare for you and I can understand why you do not wish to go on a boat again.

In your earlier posts you were asking all the right questions and it was apparent that you were really looking forward to this holiday.

How many days into your holiday did the boat sink? Did the boatyard give you full training prior to your departure, did they mention battery usage or was there the means of off shore power or was there a generator etc.

It seems to me that the boatyard you hired with were not up to the task, provided little or no support or emergency cover.

I have seen hire companies pull out all the stops to sort out problems with their craft by even borrowing craft from other yards in order to attend to their customers needs.

Things do happen on waterways that are not in the control of hire companies such as people cutting boat lines etc (the German family moored at Yarmouth found this out several weeks ago whe their lines were cut at 4.30am by yobs) we have had ropes untied when on the canals and stones thrown at our boat whilst passing through Yarmouth for example.

You should have had a warning with the pumps cutting in and out, if they were in fact operational.

If I were you I would name and shame the boatyard you hired from, I know who you hired from but if you are in a legal negotiations you will need to think about it.

Again sorry for your nightmare on the Broads, please give it a few years and try again, I am sure most of the posters on this forum would give you the same advice and would also advise you which are the better boatyards/hire companies.

As Matt says from one of the other boat syndicates on the Broads we all take safety very seriously.



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We are not messing around with Evening Shadow this month!

First I spent about £150 on replacing some items onboard, then oven gives up and needs replacing-£600 and last sat big drive shaft problems-£700!

Expensive this boating lark!

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If I were you I would name and shame the boatyard you hired from, I know who you hired from

Not nice to do on open forum,

But as you say, you know the yard used. I, and others know the yard and boat.... It is not hard to find out.

But naming and shaming, not nice, two sides to stories and that.

I am sure davidkeir will get it sorted and hopefully be back on a boat (maybe he will get one that has problems, but with a yard that sorts it)


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We are not messing around with Evening Shadow this month!

First I spent about £150 on replacing some items onboard, then oven gives up and needs replacing-£600 and last sat big drive shaft problems-£700!

Expensive this boating lark!

Aye blossom

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