Topic: hire boat hirers, that cause damage to owned boat

oddjob    -- May-19-2010 @ 9:17 PM
  I am new to this forum so forgive me if I dont understand things. We recently bought our own broads cruiser (Carribean 39) and love it. We love the broads and the people. Recently since the season started we have found that where we are moored, many boats use the area as a turning point. Twice in 1 day a hire boat whilst turning, collided with our boats bow. One of the hirers just turned around looked at us and laughed. We reported him to the hire boat company (Le Boat). Who I have to say reacted admirably, three cheers to Le Boat !! It seems to us that hire boat hirers dont give a monkey's about possible damage that can be caused aas they dont own the boats. These people are in the minority, because we have met and befriended hirers and they bare very sensible. Would like to hear of similar incidents and what others have done to avoid this happening. Thaks for listening to my winge... Terry

Terry Croarkin

yogibear    -- May-19-2010 @ 11:39 PM
  I think what infuriates me the most is the 'look the other way and pretend it didnt happen' attitude.

I dont want your insurance details and I aint out to spoil your holiday but just a "sorry mate, I got that one wrong. I dont think there's any damage" would go a long long way.

Maybe its just this litigious society we now live in

BroadAmbition    -- May-20-2010 @ 5:41 AM
First off, welcome to the NBF.

Thankfully your experience is not that common but it does happen and has happened to a few of the members on here, me included. If it is happening to you on a regular basis then the obvious solution is to move from your present location to another berth, a pain I know but what's the alternative?

Where are you moored btw?


'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Poppy    -- May-20-2010 @ 6:40 AM
  This is a discussion that has been had many times, on here and on the rhond.
The problem, IMHO is twofold. Firstly the (larger) hire yards do NOT instruct their customers correctly in the rudiments of boat handling.
Secondly, the demise of the 'deposit' and its replacement with the damage waiver charge leads to an attitude of carelessness when a collision is caused or about to happen. I have been told by hirers not to worry because 'they don't say nuffink when ya take it back!'
I am sure that nobody here is unaware of this fact,   but most boats on the broads are privately owned!

There is nothing more frightening
than ignorance in action.—Goethe


Maurice_Mynah    -- May-20-2010 @ 7:53 AM
  Without wishing to start a whole new debate on society, I think the problem is, sadly, more of a reflection of the way people generally behave these days.
The "Why should/shouldn't I" attitude is now so deep rooted in so many peoples minds, that there is no longer any sense of responsibility. An apology is seen as a sign of weakness, and of giving the other party an advantage.
It needs better training in how to be polite, rather than better training in how to handle the boat.
Sadly the upshot of all this is that you need either to putmore fenders on or look for a more "out of the way" spot.

Honesty and Integrity ... When you can fake those, you've cracked it.

essexboy    -- May-20-2010 @ 9:39 AM
  Twice last year I had hire boats damage our boat, both yards reacted well and repaired our bout to a high standard, however I think the root cause is the decision not to hold a collision deposit, it is now just rolled into the hire fee. The hirer sees no pain for his lack of care.

George Sims

Boatboy    -- May-20-2010 @ 9:53 AM
the demise of the 'deposit' and its replacement with the damage waiver charge leads to an attitude of carelessness

Amen to that.

I notice some yards do attach an additional security deposit to all male / all female parties but I wonder how often those deposits in part or in whole are retained - I get the impression you have to sink the ship before action is taken.

Paul - "Unsuspecting Tyro" Since 1985.

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

Gretzky    -- May-20-2010 @ 10:07 AM
  Got bumped last year at Yarmouth, guy came in to moor up in a hire boat, was doing well, came in against the tide, slid the boat into the spot in front of us... all going well, then decided it would be a good idea to tie the stern line on first, opps, current got behind the bow and out she swung on the stern line and mooring cleat dug a rather nasty scrape in the gel coat on out boat. Fortunately the rangers saw the who thing, took all the details and even called the Yard (HW) who were great to be honest. Repaired the damage, and washed the hull down too.  

Strowager    -- May-20-2010 @ 11:02 AM
  "there is no longer any sense of responsibility. An apology is seen as a sign of weakness, and of giving the other party an advantage."

Well chosen words MM, and without wanting to sound morbid, one of the advantages of not being immortal, a shame for the kids though... Smile  

oddjob    -- May-20-2010 @ 6:17 PM
  Thanks for the nice welcome to the forum. I am looking forward to chatting to like minded people on here. I have a fantastic mooring at Stalham,  We found and fell in love with the moorings here before we even found our boat. When we bought the boat it was moored at horning, but it had no facilties there and having ventured to Norfolk all through the winter there we got a bit fed up with no lighting, elec hookup and just a mud track of about quarter of a mile to the boat, it all got a bit wearing. More than happy where we are at Stalham. So therefore rather not give up the mooring, but try and find a way of avoiding these collisions. Thought about millions of fenders on the front, Maybe its worth a try. Terry

Terry Croarkin

oddjob    -- May-20-2010 @ 6:30 PM
  Hi Poppy.I am sure you are right about the instruction procedures. Its not like learning to drive a car, unfortunately. My other half spoke to a hire company about one of the collisions. She said, " if i had a collision with your car laughed and drove away, I am sure the police would come running after me, but with a hire boat the hirers dont really seem to care. Hirers dont seem to worry, cos its "only an old  boat". Its still someones'  treasured possession isnt it. terry

Terry Croarkin

oddjob    -- May-20-2010 @ 6:38 PM
  Hi Maurice. It wasnt my intention to start a new debate on society's attitude, but it seems that most people put this sort of collision down to attitude. Perhaps we should start something then maybe the hire yards may bring back the deposit system and if enough people complained to the yards then just maybe !!!

Terry Croarkin

oddjob    -- May-20-2010 @ 6:45 PM
  I think you are right Yogibear. All I wanted was a considerate apology.... Unfortunately I tend to agree that the society of today is changing. Terry"

Terry Croarkin

HeartsDesire    -- May-21-2010 @ 9:23 AM
  Hi all, we have had our boat bumped twice now by a hire boat from Richardsons. The lady there is very helpful & they have not quibled about the repair bills at all.The only problem is, that is fine if you are on your boat, but what about damage caused when not there!  Frown

Mick & all

Exile    -- May-21-2010 @ 11:34 AM
  " Thought about millions of fenders on the front, Maybe its worth a try "

Or just one bowsprit Smile

Actually, fitting bowsprits to motor cruisers (especially hire ones) is a bad idea. Imagine the carnage they could create on a busy day.......

zacthedog    -- May-21-2010 @ 12:35 PM
  i think most hirers are ok but the few that do cause problems is not only restricted to hirers, i have seen many a private boat get into a mess and they are worse because they do not want to show inexperiance and like to think they are experts, hence why they are charging around with no care or thought for the rivers and other users of the broads,  

1hr 30mins 60mls away
forum girly swot 19/3/2010

jaguar    -- May-21-2010 @ 1:21 PM
  Actually, fitting bowsprits to motor cruisers (especially hire ones) is a bad idea. Imagine the carnage they could create on a busy day.......

could be the start of a new broads attraction!
"hireboat jousting on barton broad"
especially on saturday afternoons in the silly season.   Scared


chairman of cider lovers united

forum girly swot  25/9/2009, 6/11/2009 , 10/12/2009,8/1/2010 and 2/4/2010

ABC123    -- May-21-2010 @ 3:22 PM
  Actually paying isn't the whole story; what about the time lost whilst the boat is being repaired?

I am one of the "fortunate" that own an old and fragile boat, I shudder to think of the damage that would be caused if a 2 ton bathtub even bumped her ... and after spending a year restoring and another probably to complete her, I now have some idea of what a proper repair entails.

gramarg    -- May-21-2010 @ 4:17 PM
  I feel for yuor pain, unfortunatley i am not in a position to own a boat so i am one of the many hirers, yes there is a bit of not considering others but i think most hirers are responsible and i would hope they would stop and assist if they had a bump, however i am most in favour of what the greeks and eygptians had on the front of their boats or a boat with a steel hull, hope you have no more problems

"One day"
Member of cider lovers united
Forum girly swot 18/09/09 12/02/10

tiddler    -- May-27-2010 @ 7:23 PM
  Hello and welcome.

Have a look at my post last year headed "lunatics" You can find it somewhere on the forums using the search facility.

I was nearly crushed and sunk by some idiot hirer who just motored away as if nothing happened. Thank your lucky stars you have a good old solid "broads bus" made to take the knocks. My little tub is not and they still aim straight for it.

Make sure you have anything breakable securely stowed even when moored.

Best of luck. Enjoy our broads as on the whole we are a fairly responsible bunch. Some of the hirers are regulars every year and are very experienced.



Which way up?

Still-Cruising    -- May-27-2010 @ 9:02 PM
  Firstly I agree that the don’t care attitude is the worst thing and seems to be prevalent these days. A while back while moored at St B’s we unfortunate enough to have been tail-ended on our bow with sufficient force to knock my wife of the seat that she was on, at the same time at emptying the contents of some of the cupboards on the floor. The offending boat was then knocked off course and ploughed into the stern of the boat in front. As there was nobody visible I suspect that the offending skipper thought that he was safe to set of again without stopping. By the time I was on deck the offending boat was moving off at some speed, I shouted at it and the two people looking back immediately turned round and ignored me. On checking out our boat I was amazed to see that there was no apparent damage, strongly built these Seamaster 30’s. I’m sure that these would have been significant damage to our more fragile previous boat.

On the insurance issue the non-returnable insurance money was defiantly a bad thing. We have just returned from a family wedding / holiday in the Caribbean and the norm out there is to go everywhere by taxi. The drawback to this is that they are not cheap and the driving is downright scary !. We therefore decided to hire a car and the insurance is done the same way i.e. non refundable ‘deposit’ BUT there also have an insurance excess that you are liable for . The amount of the excess can be varied by paying more up front on the rental price but is never less than the equivalent of £250. In order to make it work you are obliged to leave you credit card details with the leasing company which they keep on record for three months.

I think that a system like that would be good on the Broads as it would restore the accountability of the hirer again without reducing the extra income from the insurance money for the yards.

Best Regards


Blimey that was close !

expilot    -- May-27-2010 @ 11:16 PM
  It's a fact.  Accidents happen.  In forty-odd years of cruising the Broads in some pretty hefty lumps - hirecraft and my on - I have bever knowlingly damaged another's property.  With all that experience, I'm the first to admit that I've been lucky.  When things go wrong they go wrong very quickly and I've had my share of near misses.  I like to think, however, that had I had any sort of collision, my first reaction would be to consider the thoughts and feelings of the crew/hirer/owner of the boat with which I had collided.  Good manners and politeness in such situations cost nothing bar a loss of one's pride.

Some of you will know that my own restoration project - moored up at the time - was severely damaged by a yacht.  The yacht was crewed by four. late middle-aged, well educated gentlemen.  Despite their clipped accents, not one thought to say sorry.  "Don't worry, old chap, it's only the rubbing strake.  They're designed for that sort of thing," does not constitute an apology.  Did the yacht or a single member of the crew return to inspect the damage? I'll give you one guess.  The skipper sent me an email.  Did the email feature a single use of the "sorry" word?  I'll give you one guess.  "Novice helmsman." was the excuse.  Why is, "sorry" such a hard word to say?

"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

kfurbank    -- May-31-2010 @ 11:01 PM
  Expilot, Sorry is not the only word that many find hard to say. Thank you is as well.

Today I visited The Reedham Ferry. I approached from upriver and moored on the stretch directly outside the pub which has enough space for about three boats. There was a Barnes hire boat closest to the ferry and we came in just past it. We pulled the boat back close to the hire boat leaving one space on the end. After a little while the hire boat left leaving my boat on its own right in the middle of that stetch of mooring. After a while a sailboat appeared and made an attempt to moor behind me. It got very close to my boat, very close to the ferry and then decided to abort. It was trying to come in under sail and with the wind blowing them away from the mooring. They had an outboard on the back, but didn't seem to want to use it. After a second unsuccesful attempt it headed across the river ready for a third attempt. My friend and I decided at this point, it might be safest to move my boat and help them out. We left our drinks on the table we were sitting at outside the pub and untied the ropes and pulled my boat right up close to the ferry to make it easier for them. They came in and tied up right in the middle of the remaining part of the mooring, thereby blocking any other boat from being able to moor there and effectively taking up two mooring spots. Not a word was uttered. They left the boat and walked past us and again not a word was said. I was by this stage fuming. After about an hour all four in the party, a couple about retirement age, one middle aged man and one young man, came back out and proceeded to prepare lunch and sit there eating it, right outside the pub, on the pubs mooring. No wonder some pubs charge for moorings. Again not a word had been said to us.

Still fuming, as we departed I went over to them, in full view of a few tables of drinkers and said, "excuse me, do you realise it has been nearly two hours since I moved my boat for you, and not one of the four of you has yet said thank you" As I walked off, I heard two embarrassed sorries, and one mumbled thank you. I wasn't going to let this incident put me off helping out other people in the future, but was detemined that their ignorance and arrogance didn't go un-noticed. Maybe they will think twice in the future.


BroadAmbition    -- May-31-2010 @ 11:32 PM

Friday 28th at the Pleasureboat Inn (YEP Got under THAT bridge) we came alongside past one of the Martham Julietts' right outside the pub. They left the same evening at around 2015 but not before they had bumped into our stern with their bow and broken our Yorkshire Rose flagstaff, by the time I got out it was to see them dissapearing and not a word   Mad

Happy ending though as Martham Boats fixed it the very next morning - Big thanks and respect to them for doing so without any quibbles.


'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

uitmis    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 11:54 AM
  Griff, be glad you left Potter when you did! We were moored up, having cruised up from Acle early Friday morning and saw BA (and may I say, what a lovely boat she is!) Anyway, about 6.30 pm one of the big 'Emblem' boats from Ferry Marina (sorry, can't remember which one until I see the video we took) decided to leave the moorings and cruised past us, to turn round (as we thought) before the bridge. They got closer and closer and we suddenly realised they were going to attempt to go through.  We didn't have time to call out to them (I doubt whether they would have heard anyway as there was a stiffish breeze blowing and we were a fair distance away).  The idiots hadn't even lowered the windscreen.  Anyway, the inevitable happened, and they were well and truly stuck. (I think everyone of us was in a total state of shock, as all we could do was stare open-mouthed!)  Eventually, with much engine revving, they finally managed to reverse off, turned round so quickly that they managed to hit the bridge again with the stern, before bouncing off the bank just about where BA had been and headed down river at top speed!

BroadAmbition    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 12:12 PM

Which is why the incidents like the one you describe have led to Hirers having to use Bridg pilots at Wroxham etc.  I would think a call / e-mail to the yard concerned would be appreciated by them not to mention video evidence, looking forward to seeing that.

I feel sorry for the yard staff not to mention the following hirers who could well suffer a delay.


'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

BuffaloBill    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 5:35 PM
  We were moored at the last spot before the water
point most of the day on Friday and saw that too!
AND... not many minutes after another large boat
(an Aquafibre 38 like ours) nearly did the same
thing. The pilot had just brought a bathtub
through and was shouting at them that it would'nt
go through but they did'nt stop until they were
only feet from the bridge! They only just got
away with it. If the pilot is free to hire
boats, why try to do it and risk damaging the
craft? Stupidity reigns suppreme I guess.
(More on that point in a week or two when I calm down!)

Avalon...The mythical island,
Avalon, the tangible ideal; the pursuit of beauty and passion and wonderment in a world designed to be mediocre

BuffaloBill    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 5:39 PM
  By the way Griff, you had at least 4" to spare on your upstream run! Meant to show you the photo's on Saturday morning. Confused

Avalon...The mythical island,
Avalon, the tangible ideal; the pursuit of beauty and passion and wonderment in a world designed to be mediocre

BroadAmbition    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 6:17 PM
There might well have been 4" to spare at the centre, there was a little less at the outer edges, the pilots office height indicator was showing 6ft 7" I made it 3" to spare at the corners, which seems about right as I reckon if I unscrewed the windscreen I could get through at 6ft4" but that would be fag paper clearance and I hope I never have to do so  Scared


'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Sharon&Tony    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 7:03 PM
  A few years ago we met a group aged between 18-25 who had hired one the Bahama type bathtubs.  All the top of the boat at the front had been crushed an shredded.

They were a nice lot and as we chatted to them found out that they had done the damage at Petter Heigham, we asked had they been told about the pilot? They freely admitted that they were aware they had to use a pilot. So why had they done it ? Well the answer was quite simple, they despite all the signs they didn't know it was Potter Heigham !!!  Like many others we have met over the years they had no map, and hadn't got a clue where they were.  There only way of navigating asking someone in the morning which way to ??  They were nice people just badly organised !!!

As for the point of hirers (of which I am one) not caring about damage, most of us do!!! I am afraid just like car drivers, some people are always going to speed and show a lack of consideration for others, it's human nature.

Thank god we are not all the same !!!

Sharon & Tony

Is it Pimms O'Clock yet ?

expilot    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 8:37 PM
  Many hirers believe they're heading either for Yarmouth or back to their base boatyard at Stalham when they meet the unexpected obstacle that is Potter bridge.

Some "gentlemen" were recently heading for Ipswich!  I kid you not.  Others have asked if it was the way to Ely!

Overheard a heated discussion between hirer and pilot this morning.  Hirer refused to accept that his boat would not pass the bridge - despite being seven inches too tall.

The fact that the service is no longer free does not appear to have generated more DIY jobs.  It wasn't unusual in the old days to stop at least a couple a day.

Must make time to write that book one day. Smile

"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

littlesprite    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 9:41 PM
  Not sure if I should own up to this but a couple of years ago I had a lesson in not being complacent.

Stopped at Potter to take on water before going through the bridge. The height at the bridge was high so that plan was changed and I would spin round and go back to womack, something I had done many times before.
Having cast off the tide was stronger than I realized but still no worry, then as the boat is broadside across the river, the wind (same direction as the tide) caught me, oops!
by the time the boat had turned fully and I could start to make headway, the back end was inches away from clipping the bridge.
Having done this so many times before I allowed myself to become over confident and nearly paid the price.


how can such a sleepy paradise create such passion.

This message was edited by littlesprite on Jun-1-10 @ 10:47 PM

expilot    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 9:48 PM
  You're in good company Martin.  On one occasion we had so many boats across the bridge you could walk across the river without getting your feet wet, or walk from the bridge to Herbert Woods footbridge in a similar fashion.

One kind bystander dialled 999 on one occasion.  Every single branch of the emergency services turned up - ten minutes AFTER we had hauled yjr cruiser to safety. The downdraught from the coastguard helicopter had to be experienced to be believed.

"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

ADI    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 10:29 PM
  Don't suppose you have a photo of that event Dave or any other out of the ordinary happenings at Potter?

Regards Adi, Michelle and Beck.

missing the broads.

expilot    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 10:53 PM
  Sorry Adi

This was before forums and digital cameras in the days of expensive 35mm film and procesing .  I was at work and work in those days meant being very busy - three hundred boat passages a day were not uncommon.  Not much time for chit chat with the customers or photography.  The many memories are, however, etched in my memory.

"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

BroadAmbition    -- Jun-1-2010 @ 11:08 PM

Well it about time those etched memories were put into a book for all to enjoy, a request for the more 'Interesting' photo's via todays forums would assist you.

Come on Ex-pilot you know you have got it in you and most unfair to keep it all to yourself.


'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

uitmis    -- Jun-2-2010 @ 2:42 PM
  We could have made a whole film of incidents at Potter on Friday.  It started not long after we arrived as moored boats tried to get off the bank in the teeth of a pretty strong wind.  One particular hireboat (I won't name it as the crew were obviously extremely embarrassed by their performance) got into all sorts of difficulties. However, they managed to turn round eventually, with no lasting damage and remained good-humoured throughout.

steve    -- Jun-2-2010 @ 3:22 PM
  hi all,
couple of pictures i've found / pinched from here ,over the years with boats at potter heigham bridge

steve and vicky

steve    -- Jun-2-2010 @ 3:25 PM
  no 2

steve and vicky

steve    -- Jun-2-2010 @ 3:29 PM
  no 3 , exploit may remember this 1 from easter 2006 ,when he helped the crew out ,

steve and vicky

ADI    -- Jun-2-2010 @ 9:20 PM
  Wow 300 passages day, must have been an amazing sight, thanks for that little snippit. keep it coming, maybe you should start a thread called 'I REMEMBER WHEN'. cheers Dave.

Regards Adi, Michelle and Beck.

missing the broads.

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