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Posted By Discussion Topic: Blakes /Herbert Woods

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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


bartonbill
Aug-17-2005 @ 9:10 PM                           Permalink
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must agree with you on that one alan,i wouldnt wont to clean up after me !! all the guys that clean the boats on turn around day work really hard and in my veiw do a really good job.i wouldnt wont to do it Question

no i said forwards !!! whoops !!

geoffliverpool
Aug-17-2005 @ 9:26 PM                           Permalink
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HI Alan i agree with you totally about the staff at the yards the gentlemen that showed us around on departure day was very good ,that was one of the reasons i left my complaint till i arrived home   the  staff can only work with what they have got .i.e an 18year old boat with curtains to match.
would i be right in saying that most of the light fleet are that age ?

DanHorner
Aug-17-2005 @ 9:35 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Geoff

Dazzling Light was built in 1991 if I remember correctly.

The Herbert Woods fleet is quite a varied selection these days...some are only a few years old, some are much older.

I've seen a marked improvement in them over the last five years or so, but must admit my reason for not hiring them is that soft furnishings I have found to be below my expectations on several occasions of viewings - there seems a bit of a wide variety on this on their fleet - some are superb inside others look a bit in need of an update as you seem to have found.

Sadly I think some of your other experiences such as canopies coming off runners are commonplace and an occupational hazard, that personally doesn't worry me (I know to just lift them back on) but can understand yoir disappointment at it all the same - and perhaps yards need to sit up and take more notice when peoples expectations are not met as I guess ultimately its these expectations that need meeting in order to secure better booked charts for the future and long term of the industry.

Pleased to hear that you'll be back again soon, please don't be too hard on the yard for all the shortcomings, some I think you would have still found likely on the most expensive of craft.

All the best

Dan

Mrsg
Aug-18-2005 @ 1:24 PM                           Permalink
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HI all
Sorry you seem to have missed my point.
If there was a shorter turn around time on the boats then the person who has had it before still gets to keep it for longer - it need not affect the next hirer - it seems to me the only people who benefit from people hiring boats for 3 nights and returning after 2 are the boatyards themselves.
Sorry if you thought the comments were harsh, but I work in the world of high finance in the city so time is money my friend!

steve
Aug-18-2005 @ 3:06 PM                           Permalink
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hi mrsg
in the years i'd hired craft ,i found that Royall + son of Wroxham had a good turn around time for all it's craft ,and still to this day turn them round quick . when we hired from them ,we were out on the river by 1.00pm . but always took the craft back friday afternoon before we went home the next day , with that they cleaned the outside ,fueled up ,gave back any diesel money owing , all that left them to do was pump out next morning ,engine check , and the cleaners to go in ,already for the next hirer,
cheers  

steve and vicky

PizzaLover
Aug-18-2005 @ 3:34 PM                           Permalink
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No doubt yards could turn boats around in less than an hour... if there was a team dedicated to each boat. But this is not Formula 1.

I'm quite impressed by the flexibility of the yards I've used. This year, I have had both, "she'll be ready early" (NBY) and "she's not out after you get back, so keep her another day if you like." (EW)

Those are, to me, a good way to provide "discounts" to frequent-hirers... they don't cost the yard anything, but show great good will. (Thanks Jenny, thanks Anne!)

I think the yards do a good job on turnarounds when I think of some of the things that they contend with.... I've seen this year:

- "Sorry we're late back... it was such a nice morning, and we decided to sail (half the length of the Bure against the tide)"

- "There's just this bit of damage..." (ahem..)

- "You might want to look at the engine.... (looks like a four hour job to me)"

I've also seen masts fitted on Saturday morning.
And there was some tale of a blocked toilet here a while back...

DanHorner
Aug-18-2005 @ 3:58 PM                           Permalink
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I think it's quite true that turnaround times COULDbe cut, but with this stands a high risk of disappointmnt attatched.

Personally I'm a big believer in under promise over deliver....if you arrive early you may be lucky but if the times were moved forward then with this comes the inevitable scenario that boats would often not be ready when you arrived.

This is because there are so many variables and things that can go wrong, which are much higher in number than say a hotel room turnaround or many un-connected other industries.  Just a few I can immediately think of are
* Late return by the previous hirer (45 minutes late return  or vacancy would on a tight turnround be a disaster
* Major damage caused on last hire can require a lot of time to repair (In June our boat had had been out of the water had a major hull repair and put back in all before we arrived...would have not been possible if takeover time earlier)
* Filthy return of interior - a boat takes a lot of time to clean compared to most other forms of accommdation due to its design
* More staff needed as if all must be ready early there is no lee-way to have one boat ready before another etc etc - costs and hire fees go up

There's a few things that make it a tough one that I can think of, see the point, just think in todays world where meeting let alone exceeding customer expectations is a very hard job then moving a take-over time forward is almost asking for trouble, complaints, and compensation requests - so I can't see much change on this one in the main, although I agree it would be brilliant if it were possible or were to happen.

Cheers everyone

Dan


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