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The Norfolk Broads Forum / General Chat / Hire Boat Booking System
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Hire Boat Booking System

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Richard
Jun-04-2005 @ 5:15 AM                           Permalink
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This might be a long post, so please read it all before you hit "reply", and "richard you're a moron" !

There was a thread recently, and a few others before that about the booking systems from B & H, and how wonderful they aren't.

So here's my plan.

I'm going to create a database of Broads hire boats, extracting the information from where ever I can get it. This database by the way is not intended to infrindge at all on Craigs fantastic database (any one know the link ?), but in fact would have a lot of pointers to his database.

After loading the base data members will then be able to comment on the boats ('Merryweather III' has a windward helm, 'Glorias Pride' smells of dead cats,'The palace of Gin' is the best boat I've ever hired, etc), add interior/exterior photos (that is real ones - not the air-brushed jobs in the catalogues)

Then the user will be able to look up pricing and availability , and be able to search for a boat using what ever criteria they choose. I've no idea what the criterion might be, that's what makes it a fun project, because I'm hoping you guys will help me build the perfect hire boat search system, as 90% of the improvements to this site have come from member ideas.

Now to build the initial database it would be great if any one has a list of Blakes and Hoseasons Boat reference codes.

And here's where the fun part comes in. I was thinking of directing the user to either Blakes or Hoseasons for the final booking, I'm not an ABTA agent so I can't take the bookings. BUT there are a few members on this site who are, and if they're prepared to do a split commision so that the members get a discount (and the site gets a slice too) everyone wins. The agent gets a booking, the member gets a discount, the yard gets the boat hired, and I get a couple of quid to help defray the costs.

Also any yards that want to do the same thing can as well, even if they are not part of B or H.

Well that's my idea for discussion, as always any and all feedback would be appreciated.

steve
Jun-04-2005 @ 9:12 AM                           Permalink
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steve
          

hi all ,
what good idea richard ,plus we can see the real picture and the insides of the boat ,up to date pictures ,none of those that were taken 20 years ago when it was brand new and still being used today in the brouchures ! yes be good to see the and hear the boats up to date state ,
yep gets my vote ! Cheers

steve and vicky

DanHorner
Jun-04-2005 @ 10:12 AM                           Permalink
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Hi Richard

Sounds like a great plan, although quite a task ahead of you to organise it.

I have in the region of 2,000 pictures of Broads hire boats (sad muppet that I am!), I am happy to upload pics of all that are still currently running in fleets if these will help, will a high number of pics cause problems or is this the ideal your working towards.

Great idea, look forward to seeing it....this site keep getting betting...yay!!

Dan

Boatboy
Jun-04-2005 @ 12:14 PM                           Permalink
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It's one heck of a task Richard, but the best of luck with it. If I can help I will - perhaps compiling some B&H reference numbers perhaps.

Before we do though, do we know if they change the references each year?

It would be great to think a system could include not just Blakes & Hoseasons but independant yards as well. A single reference point for all hire boat - what an achievement that would be.

pm to follow ....

Karen&Mike
Jun-04-2005 @ 12:31 PM                           Permalink
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Karen&Mike
          

Wow Richard - that would be ab.fab! - for all the reasons mentioned so far. I particularly like the idea of "real" current interior pics ( after our experience last year...) This will help folk to know what they are getting for their money, especially "newbies" who don't know what to expect (we certainly didn't first time out, and the brochures are often quite naughty!!!)

Not sure what me or Mike could do to help, but shout up if you think we can do "owt" (oops, there's a bit of my "Yorkshire" there for you!)

Would definitely use the sytem for booking our hols.

Karen

cheers!

DanHorner
Jun-04-2005 @ 1:37 PM                           Permalink
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Great to see so many people happy to help on this one.

Hoseasons do definately change the brochure codes each year as they refer to page number and boat on page reference, I would guess Blakes' system works on a similar basis.

So there would be some updating each November when the brochures get launched, but with so many happy to help maybe this is less of a worry.

Dan

Ethel
Jun-04-2005 @ 3:07 PM                           Permalink
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This is an absolutely brilliant idea.   I'm only sorry I can't help, being a newbie to the Broads.

However, if I knew such a database was in place I would be happy to take appropriate photos and give feedback of my next holiday boat.

And I would certainly use such a database.

Good for you,

roya
Jun-04-2005 @ 3:59 PM                           Permalink
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Ethel its you new members that keep us on our toes,
no rank on this site we are all members.
ps spot on idea richard

roya

Richard
Jun-04-2005 @ 6:23 PM                           Permalink
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yikes - I didn't realise their reference codes change every year (do better research Richard!) so I think I will be increasing the load on Craigs server as I'm going to take a SWAG that the boats registration number doesn't change often ( on a boat name change maybe ?)

I'll start playing today and see what I can come up with - it will be a slow long project but one I think will be of use to those of us who hire.

Richard
Jun-05-2005 @ 5:30 AM                           Permalink
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well I've got the first bit going. If you get a chance and have a look at the Boat List and see if you notice any boats missing.

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