Topic: Pacific Cruisers, Loddon.

Boatboy    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 12:43 PM
  I have always hired direct from Pacific Cruisers at Loddon. Find them at A family run boatyard built up by Tonay and Valerie Clarke in the 1980's now in the hands of Fiona and Richard Husband.

A modest fleet of mostly older boats but well maintained and reliable and avbailable without the 20% surcharge levied by Hoseasons and Blakes.

Whilst on the subject must say I agree with other postings, don't blame Hoseasons and Blakes for the downturn in holiday rents on the Broads. UK Holiday costs in all areas, hotels other self catering have increased out of proportion over the last twenty years. They do add to the cost but make choosing and booking a boat easy and put the product on the international market. What we need is an association of independant boatyard owners / operators again, but those who remember the A flag on Blakes boats will know this is how they started. At least then you would have the choice of which way to book.

So ends the lesson according to the Boatster.

Dibbler    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 12:46 PM
  Very valid point...

billmaxted    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 1:11 PM
  Very nice to have you aboard not sure how to respond to to your posting I know how I would like to but not the way of this site I'm afraid. Not however quite what you think !

No slur against r & f who are good nieghbours just your comments about the major B&H who ............

Bill no tag not funny.

This message was edited by billmaxted on 4-21-05 @ 1:15 PM

DanHorner    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 1:11 PM
  Hi Boatboy

The Pacific Boats always look like great value to me and also look quite well presented whenever I see them.

I know a lot of people on here give Blakes & Hoseasons a hard time on here for charging a lot for what they do, if this is extended to blaming them for a downtown in business then I would join you in saying this is complete nonsense!  With advances in the internet etc of late there are now definately more ways to 'get out there' for smaller companies that there were not ten years back when these companies were perhaps more crucial than they are today, but I actually think the organisations bring a lot of professionalism to the industry, although I have a higher opinion of one than the other.

On the subject of Pacific, it's a shame their web page and brochure includes no external illustrations...another thing that with the internet, digital cameras etc is soooooo easy to do, and increases customer confidence to book, and boookings but only a few firms have latched onto.  Wasn't there another fleet in Loddon that I could say the same on???!!  Playful

Ok, and there ends my lesson for today too!


This message was edited by DanHorner on 4-21-05 @ 1:12 PM

DanHorner    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 1:19 PM
  Whoops, meant to say no INTERNAL pictures.

Must take more water with it from now on!


billmaxted    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 1:22 PM
  Dan such things cost a lot of money if you are earning less than £75 per boat per week. Maybe once Paul and I have got it sussed, we might be able to help the little guys but please willingly praise them for what they do and privately help them through a personal e-mail if you have advice to offer.

I know you knew what you were doing, dear, but you still hit the other boat! Bill...

DanHorner    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 1:28 PM
  Hi Bill

At a bit of a loss as to quite what you mean.  Like I say I hold Pacific in high regard - boats are good value and well maintained.  Cannot see why having one or two internal pictures and one external picture would cost a lot of money, or any money in fact.  Can you enlighten me, slightly confused!

All the best


billmaxted    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 1:41 PM
  Sorry Dan but it depends how you are set up, any change can cost a lot of money or time and effort. That's why a lot of us could never afford to update. I would like to think that we will be able to change things but recognise that some are locked into existing arrangements It's the boats what count not the pictures of them. They have bust a gut since they took over from Tony & Val and if their site does not show interiors so what?


This message was edited by billmaxted on 4-21-05 @ 1:42 PM

DanHorner    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 1:59 PM
  Ok, final word on this....

you ask so what, the so what is I can't book with them because they do not give me enough to go on for what I need to make a balanced decision, so would be more of a gamble.

Fortunately, for myself I know their boats firsthand, but if I didn't, which many wouldn't then the above would be true and they could 'lose' a booking elsewhere or outside of the industry.

I am sensing you do not appreciate a fresh, or new view on the subject so will not push things further but may I assure you I understand the hardships and difficulties small businesses face, especially in the hireboat industry which is one of the hardest and lowest profit industries I have ever worked with.  I hope you can interpret my comments in the way they are intended which is as a positive suggestion, not a direcct critiscm.



Boatboy    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 1:59 PM
  Agree entirley, though I don't think Dan meant any offence. If Bill's beloved Blakes (excuse me Bill, sarcasm is my medium!) can't manage interiors of most boats (I know Hoseasons do show some interiors now) I don't think we should criticise small independants for the omission.

So ends the lesson according to the Boatster.

DanHorner    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 2:05 PM
  This is a funny thread, everytime I reply someone replies at the exact same time.


steve    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 2:34 PM
  hi boatboy ,
and welcome to the site ! lots of help and advice on here for you ,and for you to give your broads expertise . reading your thread on a boat assocation needed ,there is or still an assocation  for hire boat owners ,(if i'm wrong im sure bill maxted will put right )A few boatyard owners have the logo on the side of there boats ,it's called " Broadland owners assocation "and have the old hoseasons bluebird logo .
cheers  Smile

steve and vicky

roya    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 2:58 PM
  Hi Boat boy
First names on this site are usual ?


I have a keen interest in your posts
cheers for now.

This message was edited by roya on 4-21-05 @ 3:00 PM

billmaxted    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 3:00 PM
  Listen to steve voice of sanity  Playful Wink  as you may be new don't worry about the banter Richard has his lists, someone else has a data base another is an anorak about boats and I'm the maddest of the lot because i've not only got a boatyard but also a small hire fleet. {is this  an advert bill}

Just to put the record straight I got shot of Blakes some years ago quite simply because once they ceased to be owned by the yard owners they did nothing for the Broads. Likewise the other lot since Jimmy retired are now so diservisified that one just wonders. I had a little go because I honestly don't think that everyone understands how tight the margins are. We all know what we would like to do but just to find the wherewithall to do it. Even Richard talked some where about a 28 week season 18 sir is what we are expecting at the moment.

We'll plug along and do our best but councils of perfection are just a little beyond our grasp. Rant now over back to rebuilding W.C.'s

I know you knew what you were doing, dear, but you still hit the other boat! Bill...

This message was edited by roya on 4-21-05 @ 8:17 PM

Boatboy    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 3:17 PM
  Hi Roya, excuse my ignorance  and let me introduce myself.

My mother called me Paul, and she still does but very few others use it. Most people find more approporiate names of their own choosing. Boatboy is one I acquired when I started my current job almost twenty years ago (not bad, twenty years in one job, still only 21 and totally nuts) because I spent five or six weeks holiday every year boating on the broads. it seemed appropriate to use for this site.

feel free to use whichever you prefer.

Best regards


roya    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 3:21 PM
  Paul welcome mate its good to have you on site. Smile


Richard    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 3:48 PM
  welcome indeed boatboy.

Bill my 28 week season was very much a broad (pun somewhat intended) statement. I know we all windge at the cost of boat hire, but I also think most of us understand the costs, and risks, of running a yard.

Paul    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 5:33 PM
  Oh no, not another Paul....    Smile

I already get confused when I'm conversing with Dr.Diesel.

Maybe I'll have to change my name to Wallace (or is it Wallis ?)  (But would I then have to work my way up through newbie and fensfatale etc.. ?)   Scared

Anyway, welcome to the forum Paul...

On the subject of interiors, whilst not wanting to disagree with Bill's point about costs and margins, I do feel that Dan has a point and that the Internet can at last enable very intuitive views of boat interiors to assist potential hirer's in their annual choice dilemma. I did a page on the Viking Owners Club at to give a 'virtual tour' of a new boat, but it could just as easily be used to illustrate the interiors of hire boats....   Smile

Boatboy    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 8:30 PM
  Don't worry Paul, I will try and come up with a very different personal logo so that people can tell us apart, though I am sure it will not be as cool as Wallace ....

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome, you may think differently in six weeks time when you can't shut me up. Wait till I get my braodband .......

VetChugger    -- Apr-21-2005 @ 10:51 PM
  Or is Bill referring to being stuck in a website contract? If this is it, then I can understand what he is saying. What it reinforces is that it is well worth doing the homework and building your own site.
Anyone know why Maffett are selling off their boats? I've been on a couple of theirs while they were still with AlphaCraft and was going to try one again. I've seen them out on the rivers many times and they do look well cared for considering their age. The owner, John I think his name is, was with Leland Jillings when they changed the clutch plate on "Samarkand" At Yarmouth Yacht Station.
One question leads to another.... I tried to hire a Maffett boat last year but couldn't have one before the fishing season closed. Have most yards stopped year round hiring?


billmaxted    -- Apr-22-2005 @ 8:04 AM
  Hi Trevor, all Pauls and others,

Web sites certainly seem to cost a lot if you want them to look good and are rather inflexible if you can't at into them yourself the larger they are the greater the cost. The other contracts I was thinking about are those with booking agencies where you are locked in for a year or more and where you have little control over how you are portrayed. If you have a fleet of say 10 boats going out for 18 weeks there is only a limited amount of income you can generate and the costs of quality printing in large numbers is frightening. All of which is why I am so grateful to Paul (the one with Grommet).

John Cressey at Maffett's is concentrating on the diving work. He Linda and Grahame are all well but Grahame is fully occupied with engineering work. they still at the moment have a couple of boats which they will let to old friends but have otherwise retired from the hireing game.

Very few yards do all year cruising there is just not enough demand. Even boaty types tend to be attracted away to the south of France and warmer conditions. It is still just possible

I know you knew what you were doing, dear, but you still hit the other boat! Bill...

VetChugger    -- Apr-22-2005 @ 11:11 AM
  That rings a bell, the diving work. Last year Langford Jillings told us how John had gone into a huge bog holding tank in a wetsuit to try and clear a blockage. His view, held with a great deal of respect, was that John was a tad mad and would try anything! Harking back to the "Samarkand" tale, once they had done the clutch plate, or damper drive as John called it, the boat didn't seem to have any thrust and John offered to get into the water to look at the prop. Bearing in mind that this was at Yarmouth Yacht station, its understandable that Jillings senior refused to even consider this.


billmaxted    -- Apr-22-2005 @ 12:44 PM
  John ain't simple, I can just see the months in someone wallet all getting a qivvering. Evil Grin

I know you knew what you were doing, dear, but you still hit the other boat! Bill...

Broads01    -- Apr-22-2005 @ 11:08 PM
  I hired from Pacific in 2003. The boat (Pacific Moonlight) was tatty (more detail on earlier threads) but it was fantastically cheap & Richard & Fiona were very friendly. I recently e-mailed them for this year's brochure & it duely arrived with a personally written note from Fiona: 'Good to hear from you again, we've just refitted Moonlight this winter'. Good stuff!

I agree with Dan on the subject of interior pictures & would extend that to include decent exterior photos as well. The more photos the better, especially with older boats, otherwise there is always the question in mind 'I wonder what it's like inside?'. The best boatyard websites are Sabena marine & Swan Craft, both of which have good quality interior photos.


trambo    -- Apr-26-2005 @ 10:48 AM
  Just a quick plug for Maffetts. Really nice people. Now down to just two craft but if you want a traditional, no frills, yet clean well kept boat then I fully recommend.
Your also guaranteed a genuinely friendly welcome.


ZigZagSailer    -- Apr-26-2005 @ 1:56 PM
  I was just thinking on the subject that Bill introduced regarding cost of brochures with glossy pictures etc. I have noticed over the past few years that many companies which look to deliver a great deal of information are ditching the brochure for a CD. Could a CD not be utilised and burned en-mass for a small cost than would be for brochures.

This is not a practice which is only being adopted by large corporate giants, but also smaller businesses with reasonably small turnovers!? Just something to consider!

furthermore, if burning en-mass was not appropriate, it could be done individually as need arises and thus be easily updatable! It could be argued that many people now have computers now, and so would be an easily accesible formant!


This message was edited by ZigZagSailer on 4-26-05 @ 1:58 PM

flonker    -- Apr-26-2005 @ 4:57 PM
  An interesting comment Alan. With digital photography being used by so many people, and with user friendly software being readily available, the opportunities to promote a business, relatively cheapily, are endless.

I have used a slide generating programme for my holiday photographs which allows me to watch on my computer screen, or DVD player on the television screen - with music, captions, fade in and fade out - whatever.

Could also be used commercially for the cost of a blank CD.

Have a look at and see various examples of what can be achieved.

Dwile Flonker

Denise    -- Apr-26-2005 @ 10:27 PM

That's interesting to hear that Moonlight has been refitted - we hired her last year. We thought the layout was great - lots of space for four. Tatty , yes, but great value - I'd be interested to know if the price has gone up much compared to the other Pacific boats.

RedDuster    -- Jun-14-2005 @ 11:43 PM
  we just hired moonlight last week (but we never took her out as we upgraded to imperial) but i did have a nosey and it looks rather nice inside to say the least as far as prices are concerned one for you dan. It costs very similar to Ruby Gem from richardson and cost me around the £500 mark for the first week in june (including the 45 fuel deposit and parking etc)

Imperial is far better though Smile

Timjen    -- Aug-20-2005 @ 10:01 AM
  I've just noticed that Pacific's new web site is active. Still quite simple, but a big improvement. Lets hope Richard & Fiona will add a few internal shots soon.


DanHorner    -- Aug-20-2005 @ 10:29 AM
  It is much better than the last one, I like it, simple and easy to navigate...shame the prices aren't listed on there though, especially as they're such good value, seems a bit illogical?  Unless I'm being slow and have missed some button somewhere - quite possible!


Jonzo    -- Aug-21-2005 @ 8:51 PM
  Yeah it's a nice clean site - It's obviously built by a third party from a template though, so don't expect any internal photos just yet. The omission of prices seems odd too, though I imagine that could be down to cost. I'd be interested to know what those guys charge.

I was curious why the picture of Pacific Princess has been flipped and the name stuck back on though. I guess it does look better that way and only AF37 nutters like me would notice.

Their dayboat looks cute, I don't know how old the pic is but I'd be interested in hiring it at that price if their 'day' is a long one.

This message was edited by Jonzo on Aug-21-05 @ 8:53 PM

Boatboy    -- Aug-21-2005 @ 10:23 PM
  Good spot on Princess Jonzo, I asked Richard how the photo came to be transposed yet the name still be OK?. The sundeck access is on the wrong side in this picture and you can clearly see the drinking water filter in the foreward window which should be on the port side.

Fiona promises internal photos to follow soon, so you'll be able to see the boat interiors too. Not sure about prices but my guess would be cost of regular updates etc. It is a shame as they're such good value.

Jonzo    -- Aug-22-2005 @ 5:44 PM
  I would say someone's been playing in Photoshop.

Yeah it's normal to charge an initial fee and then per update.. I'm just curious to know what kind of rates those guys work at.

Boatboy    -- Aug-22-2005 @ 5:56 PM
  there is an option which I've seen on some other boat co.s sites where the web page links to an external source, usually an excel spreadsheet which the yard can update themselves, hence no need for the web designers to get involved in updates but the costs are still high for initial set up.

I looked at getting a site with such a page designed for our church recently and set up costs were phenominal. I'm about to enter the world of webmastering myself!

osdguy    -- Aug-22-2005 @ 7:36 PM
  It's funny you should mention excel as an update method, that is what we started with on availability dates for a french holiday site we were involved with - end user gets on great with it.
Another option is Macromedia Contribute, lets you update sites easily enough but without any knowledge of html


Marc (osdguy)

Richard    -- Aug-24-2005 @ 12:51 AM
  Drifting off-topic somewhat, but it's rather easy to provide the customer with complete control of their inventory, bookings etc. And it just so happens that I've almost finished writing such a booking/reservation system   - yet another subtle plug !

Stranger    -- Oct-1-2005 @ 7:22 PM
  heres an internal of moonlight taken sept 2005

have a nice day all the best Dave

ncsl    -- Oct-1-2005 @ 8:17 PM

I was intersted to read your comments ref. Web design and update charges.
I am a web designer and been so for just over 9 years and my way of working / charging is to charge a fixed cost yearly and allow free updates as and when required.

If companies are still being charged for up dates then they should be looking into another provider / designer.
Companies should be able to have their sites changed when required or at least on a three monthly basics.

Good advertising is too important not to have it updated.

Sorry if I have offended any company but I do feel strongly about keeping advertising correct.


Boatboy    -- Oct-1-2005 @ 10:10 PM
  Nice photo of Moonlight Dave, looks in fine fettle since her refit.

Paul    -- Oct-2-2005 @ 11:01 AM
  The contibutions to this thread have already shown that many members are 'well up' on web design, so please forgive me if I've gone into too much detail, but I thought it might make an interesting read for anyone without computer knowledge  ( i.e. normal, intelligent, balanced people !! Smile  )

I've been involved in analysis and programming and then web design over the past 20 years, working for a number of companies and also as a contractor.

The development of web sites has become much simpler for end-users due to the continually improving development packages now available. It is now perfectly possible for anyone, or their neighbour, or even their children, to develop a very attractive website with a sophisticated navigation interface.

Websites are however either 'Passive' or 'Active'.

Passive websites, (the vast majority), contain predesigned web pages with images and text already created and waiting on the server for the browser to request them. They are often given more sohisticated navigation by the use of 'frames', where the screen displays two or three pages at the same time (like where you see a consistent navigation bar to the left, even when the main page changes.)

Active websites on the other hand, are more correctly know as web applications, because the developer creates program code that runs at the web server end, to respond to the browser's requests in a much more sophisticated and flexible way (such as Richard's site here).

They are able to search and read from databases, (and even more importantly, write to them). They enable the site to act upon the user's input and return complex answers, such as boat availablity, based on direct calculations of the bookings database that have already been placed, and create a coloured grid or table, in real time.

So although Passive websites can be quick to develop by non-professional authors, (and can often exceed the professional's quality, because of the greater enthusiasm and (free) time available), Active websites require language programming skills for things like boat availability grids.

As regards charges, the range is fantastic. Now that I am retired, I have developed many active websites for a fraction of the State basic minimum hourly wage (if the subject appealed to me, usually boats !).  Whilst working for large Corporates however, the basic charge for the client was £800 per day, plus expenses, (5 years ago) !!   Scared

This message was edited by Paul on Oct-2-05 @ 11:04 AM

lovejoy54    -- Oct-2-2005 @ 3:39 PM
  hi dan,i agree if you want to "sell" your product the more info and photos the better ,i as you cant see a problem with that.

roy haslam

ncsl    -- Oct-2-2005 @ 3:58 PM
  I must agree with Paul regarding:-
"It is now perfectly possible for anyone, or their neighbour, or even their children, to develop a very attractive website with a sophisticated navigation interface".

BUT what has and still is happening is these "school boy designers" are getting wonderful sites, yet not able to  promote to the search engines.

You may as well be ex-directory if the search engines can't find you.

Even will tell you (they did tell me! ) "We do not add your site to any search engines. If you want this to happen then you will have to do it yourself"

My main job as web designer is, as well as working with the client to produce a site that they want, is to promote the site to the search engines and I currently promote to over 64,000 ( YES! sixty four thousand ) search engines to ensure coverage.
This work takes up nearly as much time as the design side does.

Rant over!   Sorry!


Stranger    -- Oct-2-2005 @ 7:49 PM
  hi   it can also be a waste of time when the web site owners dont look for replys to them this is my second time of trying to contact pacific online ...............still waiting for a reply
hmmm me and my big mouth lol got a reply today from fiona not bad really sat to mon
have a nice day all the best Dave

This message was edited by Stranger on Oct-3-05 @ 7:02 PM

Paul    -- Oct-2-2005 @ 8:58 PM
  It's strange, although I've spent a great many years publishing sites on the web, I still find search engine rankings rather a lottery.

I gave up promoting web pages to search engines because any high ranking they then achieve is quickly lost when newer promotions are submitted the same way.

I find the most consistent (and cheapest !) way is to make sure the meta tags are correctly declared in the page code, so that the web spiders (Google & Yahoo etc.) find the pages automatically, without needing submission.  I just checked my 'Norfolk Broads Tides' in Google and Yahoo, and it was 3rd and 9th respectively, and I have never submitted the page to any search engines.  

Indeed, the problem is almost the opposite, when I develop a new section of a web site without any links to it whilst testing, the d*mn spiders find it and publish the thing before it's finished !   Blush

You're quite right about the importance of responding quickly to emails, even the most impressive sites quickly lose their shine when emails are ignored...

wow, that's cool Richard !  I wasn't sure about using the word 'Damn', thinking I might get modded out, but you automatically replace it with 'D*mn'  !!   Smile

This message was edited by Paul on Oct-2-05 @ 9:01 PM

Broads01    -- Oct-2-2005 @ 9:22 PM
  Agree with the comments about the online side of Pacific's communications (or lack of it!) & I've experienced lack of response to email too. What I would say is, don't hold it against them - ring them up you always get friendly service & nobody is better value for money - they make Richardsons look pricey!

Really interesting photo of Moonlight Dave. I hired it pre-refit & what a dramatic difference! Have you got any more?


Stranger    -- Oct-2-2005 @ 10:04 PM
  only this one simon shows the radio/cd player

have a nice day all the best Dave

Paul    -- Oct-2-2005 @ 10:41 PM
  Hi Robert,

thanks for the kind compliments...  Blush

and yes, I agree, even though the web is now a well established advertising and communication medium, it can still be a minefield for companies wishing to have a 'web presence'.

Without wishing to criticise Pacific's arrangement, (of which I know nothing), many existing and already well respected busineses now find that they are expected to be 'on the web' to maintain their  credibility.

They are therefore thrust into unfamiliar territory where they have to somehow chose an economic and effective solution where hindsight is often the only way of knowing which way to go...

Boatboy    -- Oct-3-2005 @ 2:35 PM
  I have not come back on this thread as I don't want to be seen to be defending a yard which I have already admitted is my favourite. But! I do find it a bit harsh to criticise a companies efforts web wise when so many broadland copmpanies, boatyards included still have no web presence.

We have debated before that the cost of web sites may seem reasonable to some but the fact is at even the cheapest set up each single web page a company like Pacific use wipes away the profit from two weeks hire. I know that interior photos at least are on the wish list for future web development at Pacific but the money has to be earned before it can be spent, simple, sound housekeeping. Bearing in mind their decision to promote themselves independantly the web site may be more important to Pacific than to many other yards, however it is only one priority alongside current proven advertising which is known to pull in bookings and of course the refitting of their boats, as we have seen in this thread with Moonlight, which looks fab. If more funds were to be diverted to the website something else would have to give!

Re the slow email response have you made the yard aware, I will certainly mention it when I see Richard and Fiona later this week. I must admit to knowing nothing about how search engines find sites, I've been trying to get our Church site noticed for months, and meta wotsits are way over my head. I will however mention the need to get more search engine attention as well.



"Better drowned than duffers, if not duffers, won't drown"

billmaxted    -- Oct-3-2005 @ 2:42 PM
  I have talked to them about the site that Paul and I developed but as the last hire yard on the Chet I think they are already fairly swamped. If anyone wishes to book with them I would suggest you approach them pretty soon.

"What do you mean it hasn't got a prop anymore? Is that why we are not going anywhere!!!"  Bill...

Richard    -- Oct-4-2005 @ 12:27 AM
  Having some knowledge of the web I thought I might as well chip in my 2 cents worth, although both Pauls have really covered everything better that I could (they also rite better than wot I do), and actually both have better looking sites than I - hmm maybe I should just stop while I'm ahead !

My "day job" is affiliate marketing. This means that when you go to a search engine and are looking to buy a mitix 5000 with quad do-dads you'll find my site first with all the info you need then I just pass you on to the person that's actually selling it.

So this requires search engine optimization (SEO), not something I do with this site by the way. In fact if you search google for "norfolk broads" it will take you awhile to find it, search for line azzuro and we'll be top of the list. But if you google "Pacific Cruisers, Loddon" you'll find their site, last updated in the google cache feb 8 2005, and the next listing is this thread last checked sept 29. As their listing is not really their site but a sub-listing on another I realy hope they are not paying for it.

SEO is very time consuming and expensive for a small company. But we have a number of small customers (they have a small business, they're not midgets) for which we set up framework sites. This way they can edit there own content, without having to know html, or anything about the internet for that matter. If they can write a letter, they can update their site. Of course this costs them nothing.

Now here comes the very unsubtle plug Smile  I'd love to set up some framework sites for those small, independent yards out there.

This message was edited by Richard on Oct-4-05 @ 12:58 AM

Timjen    -- Oct-8-2005 @ 4:11 PM
  Fiona mentioned Roberts (Spider) posting this morning as we were chatting about this site, and I have to say she feels very sad to have upset anyone.

On a general note, and it’s been mentioned many times before, they are a small family business, totally committed to offering good, well priced boating holidays. They have slowly changed and built a small fleet to offer something for most people. Their priority has been to get that side of it right, which I believe they have, and are now slowly working through the fleet to further improve each boat. Moonlight is a great example, last time I looked over her she was OK, but scruffy. As Stranger knows from two weeks ago, she is now really nice inside, plenty of space, & well appointed.

They have taken an almost softly softly approach, gaining loyal customers often by word of mouth. We found them by chance, and have just booked our 5th visit for next year.

As for the poor e-mail communications Robert, they very recently upgraded their computer system, and are finally on broadband, but this caused a huge problem as the first modem was faulty, system crashed, and they were off line for a week Fiona has never failed to respond to my many e-mails, usually within a few hours.  It’s a shame your e-mail got missed because of the crash, but I really urge you to try them again, whilst they have lost your booking for next year, you have almost certainly lost out financially on a like for like basis.

They are aware their web presence needs to improve, and over time it will.

Although not members, they do read these postings, so “have a word” Bill, and try again to get them onboard.


Timjen    -- Oct-8-2005 @ 6:07 PM
  BWS, tell me about it, got back from a fantastic week at lunch time and to make matters worse my counter tells me we have 250 days to go till the next one. (might try and sneak a week in April to help  BWS problems)

I think your feelings about their web presence is correct, I just wanted to explain the very unusual lack of response to your e-mail.  Once you meet them, you will realise they are exactly what my type of broads holiday is all about. Yes if I want 5* Blue chip, super-dooper luxury, I would look at Moore’s etc, but for good clean, nice craft, they are in my opinion, fantastic.

I don’t think they are upset by your posting, but by not getting it right over the e-mail,  we all know what its like having ISP problems.


JamesLons    -- Feb-24-2006 @ 8:23 PM
  Sorry to bring this thread back up but I emailed pacific last night askiing for a brochure and also inquiring about princess for next year they replied a couple of hours later telling me princess was having the rear cabin and galley refitted and they have already fitted a new wash basin I was also told I was welcome to drop in at april. Seem like a really nice yard.


Richard    -- Feb-24-2006 @ 8:27 PM
  [added guide link]

ian40    -- Jul-20-2006 @ 12:01 PM
I have just returned from a week on Pacific Princess and can confirm that the rear cabin and galley have been refited and are very nice.
Richard tells me that the boat is being refited in stages as time and money allow and there are bits that do need doing but in general Princess is a lovely looking boat with very comfortable and spacious accomodation, it also has the advantage of a new engine which at anything under full revs can hardly be heard with none of the usual rattles and bangs.
little points against her, and they are little are the wood planking ceiling in the saloon which tends to close things in a bit and has a habbit of comming lose, (nice light head linnings would be good)but by far the worst is the dark brown corded carpet up the walls and accross the ceiling of the 2 front cabins, not as bad as it may sound but still making things a bit dark and closed in.
Overall though the boat is lovely and huge for a 37 footer, loads of storage space under seats and in lockers but short on hanging space so pack what you can in black bin linners so it can be hidden away.
there were actually 8 of us on the boat for 4 days and there was still plenty of room, once it dropped down to 6 for the rest of the week the boat was fantastic.
Can't say enough good things about Richard and Fiona they are friendly and genuinley concerned that you have a lovely time. they allowed us to pick up Princess 4 hours early and despite it going straight out again when we returned were still happy to allow us to bring her back an hour late on the Saturday morning after a phone call on Friday evening.
Overall a lovely yard with lovely people who really do deserve to be supported.
Thanks to Richard and fiona and their staff for a great holiday.
Ian, Heather, Brian, Pat, Rachel, Tom, Richard and Chris 08/07/2006

Jonzo    -- Jul-20-2006 @ 1:31 PM
  Glad you enjoyed your trip aboard Pac Princess. Did you get any photos of the boat at all?

I'm known on here for my love of that style of boat (see my Avatar!) so I'd be interested to see what it looks like nowadays.

I've had a couple of Santa Christinas over the years (sadly no longer on hire), and must admit I still quite fancy the idea of Pac Princess for a week.

This message was edited by Jonzo on Jul-21-06 @ 12:59 PM

Boatboy    -- Jul-20-2006 @ 8:37 PM
  I've hired Princess many times, more than I can remember in fact. After my own home it's probably the second most lived in place of my life!

We were lucky enough to get a tour of her the day she arrived on the yard. Tony (the yards Previous owner) was still on board signing the contracts! When she was first acquired from John Williams she had a light fawn coloured cord headlining in the saloon which I agree did look better, though it was inevitably grubby and I can understand the decision to replace it and strip wood was the fashion of the day. At the same time all of the cushions, curtains etc were replaced and she went out on hire a few weeks later looking super.

Like us all though time was starting to catch up with her so good to know her revamp is taking place. I can't agree more about the space on board, the boat is like the tardis. We've had parties from two people upto seven on board - never quite made eight!

Got to say this is may favourite style of boat, it was the first time I set foot on one and although there are newer versions available I still like these old 37's

Broads01    -- Jul-21-2006 @ 8:16 PM
  I'm definitely a Pacific Cruisers fan, having hired Moonlight & Emerald. I was impressed when I looked aboard Princess (even before the refit) & I'd a love a dual-steer as I enjoyed similar in Ireland. But! I chatted to Princess's hirer at Easter, a Pacific veteran who'd hired every single Pacific boat more than once who was hiring Princess for the first time. His view was Princess 'is just too big' & having witnessed him squeeze it through Ludham Bridge I'm tending to agree. Any of you hirers tell me any different?


Jonzo    -- Jul-21-2006 @ 8:26 PM
  Too big? Not at all. They might be a bit of a squeeze through some bridges (you sometimes have to crouch down on the aft deck, and switch between peering over the top to check she fits and looking through the cabin door to see through the main windscreen to keep it in the right direction) but for the rest of the time they're a wonderfully spacious craft with plenty of deck area for soaking up the rays, and lots of space to be when the weather's not so great..

Very easy to moor too because you have lots of visibility upstairs (the view of the scenery is also superb), and the handling is excellent mainly because the hull doesn't look like it should be in your local branch of Plumbase.

This message was edited by Jonzo on Jul-21-06 @ 8:31 PM

Yisbitty    -- Jul-21-2006 @ 9:03 PM
  Not a very good picture of Princess cabin planking.


This message was edited by Yisbitty on Jul-21-06 @ 9:04 PM

Boatboy    -- Jul-21-2006 @ 9:24 PM
  Size is relative Simon. She's deffinitely not too big, unless of course the top places on your "to visit" list are Coltishal and Hickling!

Wroxham, Potter Heigham, Wayford and Beccles bridges are out (though I can promis you she will physically go under Beccles the concern is getting stuck the other side on a high tide. She'll also go under the Thorpe Bridges at low water.

I've never yet come accross a tide high enough to prevent me getting under Ludham Bridge, though I can't absolutely promise she'll get undr at all states of tide.

The size does, as others have said make her very comfortable, more like a floating appartment than a boat!

Boatboy    -- Jul-21-2006 @ 9:25 PM
  Size is relative Simon. She's deffinitely not too big, unless of course the top places on your "to visit" list are Coltishal and Hickling!

Wroxham, Potter Heigham, Wayford and Beccles bridges are out (though I can promis you she will physically go under Beccles the concern is getting stuck the other side on a high tide. She'll also go under the Thorpe Bridges at low water.

I've never yet come accross a tide high enough to prevent me getting under Ludham Bridge, though I can't absolutely promise she'll get undr at all states of tide.

The size does, as others have said make her very comfortable, more like a floating appartment than a boat!

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