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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Hire Boats Q & A / best boat hire please?
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Posted By Discussion Topic: best boat hire please?

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ginahk
Jan-09-2013 @ 4:59 PM                           Permalink
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hi,we want to hire a boat for a bank holiday weekend, what companies do people reccomend for first timeers? party of 8 adults + 2 small dogs. COMFORT is no 1 on list!!

Jeremy-Aslan
Jan-09-2013 @ 6:05 PM                           Permalink
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Hi  -  Welcome to the Forum

In some respects, asking which is the best Hire Boat is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string.  However, you usefully gave us the size of your party, and that you desire comfort over economy.

So, I would look at some of the newer and larger boats from Richardsons, Herbert Woods and Barnes Brinkcraft (other posters here may suggest more places to look, of course).  To get 8 people on a boat in luxury does require a pretty big boat.  

Effectively, there is (roughly) a maximum size of boat which is as big as it is safe to hire, and some of those companies use the space inside which that maximum size allows to give quite a bit of space per person  -  so you might get six people in superb luxury in a space which a few years ago would have been fitted out for 10!  However, they still have quite a few boats for 8.  Another possibility would be to hire two spacious boats for your party, and plan to moor together.



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londonrascal
Jan-09-2013 @ 6:29 PM                           Permalink
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That is a very subjective thing to try and answer - a bit like saying 'what is better an iPhone or Android'?

Each person has their view of what suits - some people will choose a boat, that leaves me perplexed at why but they have the best of times and are most happy.

I can only give my opinion therefore:

I don't think you can beat the value of Richardson's Boating Holidays - and if you were to go from Horizon Craft at Acle (part of the Richardson's) it is fair to say you get a far more personal service. They have a range and budget to suit just about anyone and have invested quietly refreshing interiors, new fridges, cookers and the likes and the fitting of new engines to their many of their classic range of cruisers over the years.

They have had a bit of a poor reputation in the past, this I think they are over and on an independent website 'Trust Pilot ' have 8.9/10 for service.

But perhaps you would like an independent yard and just pay an upfront cost inclusive of fuel, parking, damage waivers etc then Horning Ferry Marina is worth a go - having never personally hired from them I cannot comment on service levels, but they were voted 'best Hireboatyard 2012' by members of NB.org. They seem to cater for larger parties and the 'higher end' of the market with their new build boats (which look unique if nothing else).

Herbert Woods I would say is somewhere between Richardson's (indeed fair to say as boatyards are perhaps competitors) seeing as they have large fleet of boats which cover many tastes and budgets.  All of the boats are of a similar internal fit out, have 240v power and over the last couple of years Herbert Woods have made huge investments of their own not only in their boats, but boatyard and holiday homes.

Some would swear by the smaller yards who give perhaps a finer attention to detail. Wroxham has two such, Royalls and Summercraft but because they have such a loyal customer base actually getting a booking is hard - which while great for their business and reputation means many a hirer will be left looking elsewhere for a boat.

I would say Faircraft Loynes and Barnes Brinkcraft both are shouting 'look at our new boats' and it is fair to say the majority of their fleets are new and luxury cruises fitted out to a high standard - the price charged reflects this however.

There are then of course many boatyards I have not mentioned - Silverline Marinein Brundell is said to bea very nice yard for the southern rivers, and for customer service it is often said that Pacific Cruisers of Loddon is high up on the list.

Have a look at the above links, the boat choices on the dates you wish and the price of course.  Even the most 'posh' boat will still mean 'making do' compared to being at home, a hotel etc so bear in mind the expectations may have to be lowered a little.

Personally speaking I know boat from boat will not be much in it, and so I focus on price and classes of boats - my last hire was Sunlit Horizon, which for the features and fit I felt was better (for same money) as the boats which all looked identical might not have had such nice upholstery or not quite as good cabin lighting.

So as I say, it really is subjective - take time, use the 'Hireboat Info' link (in blue bottom of every forum page) to look up a boat to see if any forum members have made a review or added recent photos.

Happy boating Smile  

|  Robin  |

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littlesprite
Jan-09-2013 @ 6:48 PM                           Permalink
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COMFORT is no 1 on list!!


Don't expect 5* hotel luxury on a boat, there are some that are very good but you will find your having to compromise.
If booking one of the more modern/new boats check that they allow dogs as some don't.
As for which boat/yard try getting up to Norfolk and take a look, most yards will be happy to let you look over the boats before booking.

Sorry if the last sentence sounded it bit blunt it wasn't meant too, I do realise that getting up for a preview isn't possible for everyone.

martin

how can such a sleepy paradise create such passion.


This message was edited by littlesprite on Jan-9-13 @ 6:02 PM

boat-mad
Jan-09-2013 @ 7:47 PM                           Permalink
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ginahk  hi,

Myself and 5 friends have booked a 12 berth boat (Brinks Emperor) for a week starting early may bank holiday weekend.  Although there is only 6 of us we are all friends needing seperate beds and if poss our own cabins. This greatly restricted our choice of boat. If you are a party of 4 couples you have more choice than us but even so a lot of the boats for larger parties make use of every bit of space.  Some cabins may be restricted in size and height above the beds may also be confined. If comfort is your priority you would be better off with 2 boats but this will obviously be more expensive.  However below is a link to a boat (Brinks Romany 2 class) that I thought looks real luxury with all home comforts that I would love to have been able to hire.
http://www.barnesbrinkcraft.co.uk/our-boats/detail/10/

For  tips on chosing a boat pls use the following link.
http://www.mynorfolkbroadsboating.co.uk/choosing%20a%20boat.html
Within the site there is also general boating information river distance charts and maps etc.


Kind Regards
Alan...
www.mynorfolkbroadsboating.co.uk/


This message was edited by boat-mad on Jan-10-13 @ 11:24 AM

fidear45
Jan-10-2013 @ 1:19 PM                           Permalink
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Please dont forget that many yards will permit one pet and not allow two, and no pets at all in the luxury end. Faircraft have Fair Empress out of Wroxham and they will permit two well behaved dogs, the boat sleeps 11, handles well and has a power canopy. They (3 of them) are getting on a bit now but fine craft none the less.
I would not expect luxury from a boat where the yard will permit two dogs. If by luxury you mean three toilets and three showers and space to get round a table then there are quite a few choices.  

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

ginahk
Jan-10-2013 @ 2:08 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks everyone!! spent many an hour and have booked our boating break, really excited now can't wait 'till may.
just need to find a hire place for life jackets for my canine crew they are our most precious cargo! Gina

ranworthbreeze
Jan-10-2013 @ 2:11 PM                           Permalink
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Hello ginahk,

Welcome to the forum and to the Norfolk Broads.

Robin has given you most of the best boat yard listing available. I have never hired a boat on the Norfolk Broads other than day boats to get under the bridges to search out pastures new. I have friends that have hired from Silverline and have been very satisfied, when they have gone with larger groups they have hired two boats.

From hiring Narrow Boats on the canals I can confirm it is best practice to hire a boat with two more berths than you need, this allows you to have more space and the ability to store items on the redundant berths.

Regards
Alan

Alan Hood
Ranworth Breeze Boat Syndicate
www.ranworthbreeze.co.uk



londonrascal
Jan-10-2013 @ 4:23 PM                           Permalink
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@ ginahk: What boat have you gone for then? (we are all nosey now lol)

|  Robin  |

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boat-mad
Jan-11-2013 @ 4:08 PM                           Permalink
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Yes I am also intrigued Question

Kind Regards
Alan...
www.mynorfolkbroadsboating.co.uk/

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