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A week in September (very Late update)!


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Hi All, we had a very enjoyable week on the broads the first week in September. We hired Fair countess 4. We have had a Countess before around 8 years ago which was great but we did encounter a few problems this time. The front loo was a nightmare. It kept filling up and overflowing into the shower tray every night. It stank putrid as did the rear toilet as well. We returned to the boat yard on the 2nd day for the engineer to fix the problem but he could find no fault. However as soon as we set off again it overflowed again during the night despite being in the correct locked position. We gave up using it and merely drained it and washed everything down each morning! Not ideal but we didn't want to lose another days holiday stuck at the boatyard. The rear toilet really, really smelt. It was a case of get in and out as quick as you can! Other than that the boat was fine.

We visited a new place this year DILHAM! Very nice place but maybe not in a 40ft by 12ft boat! Oh what fun we had! I don't think I've ever held my breath for so long! Ha ha you live and learn as they say! It was a really nice mooring though and electric points to.

We also tried another new mooring whose name evades me at the moment. It had a grassy village green area, with a small red brick shop, café, art gallery and fishing tackle place. I also think they did t shirt printing there. It was a short walk into the village which had a butchers, pub and grocery store. There was a small toilet block and bins provided but I didn't see electric points. Does this ring a bell with anyone as I really can't remember where we were?

We couldn't get in at chedgrave so travelled down to Cantley where we were very surprised to moor up in front of Moonlight Shadow. We met Keith and Lisa who were on her that week and joined them onboard for a chat and another quick look round her. I partook in Lisa's Blackberry Vodka which was very good indeed and has inspired me on my return home. I currently have sloe gin and blackberry vodka doing its thing in the cubby hole! Ready in time for Christmas I hope. Big thanks to you both for your hospitality, see you at the AGM.

We are back down on the 25th October for our first time out on Moonlight Shadow so getting excited. Slowly getting a boat kit together in the spare room  which is looking scarily large! As the weather may not be great I think I need to plan our trip around moorings with electric which is something we have never done before. We normally just go with the flow! Any recommendations for moorings with electric but also good exercise areas for dogs down south are welcome. Not sure whether to cross Breydon and go up north in late October?

Anyway I should be at work so I better sign off for now!!

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Hi Mandy,

Those boat kits seem to get bigger every season and more so when you are on the boat early or late in the year, the hot water bottles, thermals, gloves, torches and the odd electric heater do not help.

I hope you enjoy your first time on Moonlight Shadow.

Yep sounds like Womak Staithe to me as well.



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Mandy, I admire your tolerance as regards the boat's problems.. An overflowing toilet is disgusting, unacceptable and a biohazard. I'm afraid I would have insisted that...the problem be solved there and then, we get transferred to another boat AND get an additional day or be given a full and complete refund.


The "I can't find anything wrong" card played by the "engineer" is a shoulder-shrug cop out and a perfect example of dire customer service IMHO. Attrocious attitude...especially regarding the nature of the problem. :mad:


I just hope your holiday wasn't spoilt...

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I presume these toilets are the type with the spring loaded ‘cup’ that closes the hole (there is a name for them) and not the ‘pump action’ type.


Regardless, these should never smell but over years of use do because the small rubber seal goes on the ‘cup’ that closes the hole.


Looking online in the pat was surprised how much they can cost – which is likely why (along with an unpleasant job) boatyards don’t replace them. 


If it seals ok not only should water stay in the bowel but of course no smells can come out of the tank below.


Upon taking the boat to the boatyard, if a problem with it could not have been found – but later the problem returned, then there would have been no messing about.  This is not something small like lights not working, or the TV playing up this is was sewage coming into the washing facilities which by default to clean would mean then pumping out into the river through the shower pump. Completely unacceptable.


Because you have mentioned the facts here in an open forum it would make a formal written complaint harder now – but in future should you have any issue remember you are the customer, you have paid a great deal and it is not your responsibility to make do and mend.

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Ah womack staithe yes that was it. 1st visit this year but we will return i think. Handy to have the village shop which was very well stocked and reasonably priced.

We really should of kicked up more of a fuss about the loo's but after nearly a full day wasted at the yard trying to get it sorted out we kind of gave up. Most of the boats were out with it being school hols so no hope of swapping boats. It was probably the last time we would be hiring for a while after buying our share in moonlight shadow so we just got on with it and had a good time despite the stinky loo! The good weather helped i think. Only 1 day of rain which happened to be while we were the wrong side of the bridge at dilham staithe!

I did think about putting in an official complaint with hoseasons but i had visions of receiving a voucher off a future holiday that we would not use. We filled in a feedback form at the boatyard which highlighted the problems so hopefully they will be sorted out.

Awful as it may sound things like the stinky loo's become something to be remembered for years by the kids! They never remember the nice bits only the gross bits or mini disasters ect...

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