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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Boatyards / Blakes /Herbert Woods
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Blakes /Herbert Woods

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geoffliverpool
Aug-16-2005 @ 8:08 PM                           Permalink
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Having just returned off our first boating holiday on the broads we all enjoyed the whole adventure and will be coming back again for sure.alas with the same certainty we will not use Blakes/Herbert Woods again.
what you see is NOT what you get or so it appears.
The gentleman who demonstrated the boat handover was superb very friendly great with the kids etc.
The boat internally was very dissapointing to say the least.grubby upolstery/curtains ,fridge leaking,
canopy came of tracks /rear window fell off
the mooring ropes on starboard/stern to short causing problems mooring. the veiw when steering the boat with
canopy up was very restricted on left side leaving you
with poor visability when raining /have windscreen wipers been invented? We did not allow this to spoil our holiday .though i would like to warn future hirer,s
of this boat Dassling Light 1 you will not be dassled
by its interior!Nor the response of Blakes or Herbert Woods on my phone call today to them both .
In short Blakes used the we are only the agents look at the smallprint line of defence.Herbert woods manager
informed me all their fleet have their upolstery/curtains updated anually ,are also inspected
by the agent at start of each season
He also advised me if i wanted a good interior to book the boat in april when its at its best!
I wrongly thought that paying £1000, plus entitled me  
to the same standard as the early season renter
Has anybody else had same problems
The web site pictures of this boat are a joke / Blakes
should be ashamed of itself  
                                

Boatboy
Aug-16-2005 @ 8:57 PM                           Permalink
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a tale of real ups and downs,

sorry to hear you were dissapointed with your boat, Geoff - some of the gripes you mention I would have taken with a pinch of salt (if they were the only ones of course) and dependant on what i'd paid for it (certainly not if it was top of the range of course!), others then like you I would not have been happy with at all. Sliding canopies do come off their rails occasionally, obviously i don;t know how bad this one was. Many boats don't have windscreen wipers, though why not i don't know - it rains, they should have wipers! And visibility out of boats with the roof up is often restricted. Generally, HW are not that bad but anyone can have a bad day. The real benchmark of your service is how you deal with those situations.

Grimy interiors is not on, full stop. Hire the boat in April if you want it to be clean? I can't stop laughing at that one. HW - will you offer a discount on all your boats hired may to October because they are going to be dirty then? Stop taking the urine. (mod friendly, me!)

On the plus side pleased that it has not put you off returning to the broads - use the ever developing boat reviews here maybe to source your next boat. Also really pleased you have let Blakes and HW know how you felt.

I'm a travel agent, though blakes are technically booking agents not travel agents their responsibility is the same, whatever small print they put in their booking conditions to try and persuade you otherwise. Much of their disclaimer carries no legal weight anyway so just blast through it.

As long as you have booked through them and most importantly paid your money through them on an invoice they issued then Blakes are responsible for your satisfaction. Any issues with Herbert Woods they should take up on your behalf. Yes your contract is legally with the boatyard but Blakes are still responsible to you as your agent, you have paid for their services as part of yout holiday cost. I'm afraid I hear too many tales of their give us your money then go away attitude lately.

The glovebox guide in these circumstances is the same as for package holidays. Get as much photo evidence as you can, inform the yard, by telephone straight away, they may chose to come and inspect the boat again at a place that suits you then full dossier to Blakes on your return. Point out that as your agent you hold them responsible to settle your greivances. Unless you consider the boat unsafe or of below a habitable standard you should not be expected to waste time on your holiday returning it to the yard. Let them come to you. If a boat is unsafe, or uninhabitable and you are forced to retun it then not only should the operator be refunding your holiday cost they should also be compensating you for your lost holiday time. After all, you only get so many weeks holiday a year and they just wasted one of them! Most claims we have to pursue, thankfully few and far between solicitors charge "lost vacation" at between £500 and £1000 per week, per person.

The hire fleet may be small noawadays compared to what it was ten years ago, but I wager it will be smaller still and I dounbt that companies not able to offer client satisfaction will be around. certainly rumours abound re Blakes future. I am sure HW will be around for a long time to come but sad to hear they have let you down this time.



Verbum Sapienti Sat Est

bartonbill
Aug-16-2005 @ 8:58 PM                           Permalink
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hi geoff,fist off im glad your boat trip hasnt put you off comming back please dont let it. my advise to any first time hirers is to stick to the small family run yards.im sure you saw many good boats on the rivers last week and like most off us on the site that still hire boats you learn very quickly. i have had the old story that the boat was out off the water all winter and has been painted and every thing has been cleaned right threw ( but the boats has had a hard season ) Mad  my answer to this is, ok thats fine then you can charge me end of season prices !!!!

no i said forwards !!! whoops !!

geoffliverpool
Aug-16-2005 @ 9:01 PM                           Permalink
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good point about the fenders hadnt noticed that.
I know the yards appear to be struggling to make ends meet but a little more thought on there part would help sell more holidays/i.e most boats seem to run on 12volt systems  why can they not supply inverters to power mobiles/camera batteries etc .i am keen on photography so had to invest a further £38.00
on one they could have rented me it they were quick to rent me the car park  

geoffliverpool
Aug-16-2005 @ 9:11 PM                           Permalink
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thanks for the reply,ive already checked out a good boat for may next year from moores at wroxham after taking advise of the forum to look around yards when mooring up thanks again

Dibbler
Aug-16-2005 @ 9:59 PM                           Permalink
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Geoff...you can hire a Moonfleet boat, a Royall boat or a Silverline boat ANY time of the year and be guaranteed to get a superb, well-maintained craft from a caring, reputable yard. You should have been given better quality for your money in my humble opinion. Glad to see it hasn't put you off coming back to the Broads though.





John

geoffliverpool
Aug-16-2005 @ 10:13 PM                           Permalink
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thanks for the help John i will check them out have seen a boat that looked very good in moores at wroxham
thinking of booking for may next year ,im hooked ha-ha

Mrsg
Aug-17-2005 @ 2:34 PM                           Permalink
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Hi all - have been a bit of a web stalker over the past couple of weeks and have enjoyed reading all the posts. Although I live in London, was brought up on the broads, grandparents, parents, uncles have all owned boats at one point or another since the 60's and have all lived around the broads for years.
Since my parents sold our boat some 10 years ago we haven't been up so much, but the boating bug hit me again big time 3 years ago and since then have hired a boat each year for a weekend.

My biggest bug is when booking boats over the internet you have a choice of either a "couple" or if my sister joins me a hubby we have to go as a "mixed group and 25 and over" - why can't their be an option for "Family"?? Also they don't take into account any past experience you have had on the water - I know it would be extremly difficult to asses the level of each person's knowledge etc of a boat, but surely seriel hirer like I know many of us are they could offer some reward type system? or every 3rd hire get a certain % off? I dunno, just seems to me that the broads are a lot lot quieter than they ever used to be and they should be going all out to attract people back - not hiking up prices! (we had a week in Lanzarote for the same price as weekend on the broads!!)

ALso what is really annoying is the fact that you have to have the boat back by 9am! All that means is you are forking out to spend a night at a boat yard and taking a days holiday for nothing! Really think they need to look at shortening turn around times (take easyjet - they lowered their turn round time to 20 mins per plane and make an extra £1m a year!) I know it is not in the same level but would encourage more people to do weekend hires - it isn't exactly cheap and they charge you for 3 nights regardless! No one seems to offer anything less than that! Ideal is to collect Friday and return on Sunday about 4pm/5pm.

Have hired from Hoseasons (Horizon Craft) and they were fantastic, boat was ready when we arrived, was clean and staff really helpful, brochure description and photos were spot on. Hired from New Horizon Hols (Stalham), staff were really slow waited about 2 hours to get out the boat yard, decks were filthy, toilets not pumped out properly. Blakes were the worst - hired a boat in May on the Southern Broads - was terrible - the boat was really old, nothing like the brochure description, heating failed to work, no where comfy to sit whilst cruising, leaked in the rain - all in all a nightmare. And we were the ONLY ones out and about! Couldn't belive it! We moored up at Norwich Yacht Station and we were the only ones there - felt very vunerable so we left about 7 and headed back to Thrope for the night. As for the costs in pubs and stuff they are defo London prices!
Still enough of a rant from me! OFf to look for a boat to hire for weekend in September.....  Wink

roya
Aug-17-2005 @ 2:55 PM                           Permalink
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hi mrsg
trouble is most of the spot on yards take 5 hours to clean  re fuel and pump out the smelly part.
plus the bedding has to be changed engine checked the list goes on.
god help us if easy jet ever takes over on the broads .
sorry sir you have missed check in by 2 mins will get you a later boat.
sit in the departure lounge for the week end and we will see what we can do.
i have allways hired from what i think are good yards and have no complaints.
but i do here what you say but when we book into hotels its the same in at 3pm and out by9.30am
sorry a big welcome.

roya

now about my bilges.

trambo
Aug-17-2005 @ 8:19 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Mrsg. Name that boat please?
Fred


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