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Friday, April 24, 2015

Boat hire on the Grand Union

Something new on the southern Grand Union is Puddling Cruisers hire boat. Plenty of hire boats on this canal but the difference is Serenity is a wide beam 10feet wide and 55 feet in length. I have come across wide beam hire on the Leeds and Liverpool but not this far south although I await correction on this.
Looking at the bookings for the rest of this year; there seems to be a lot of vacant weeks. I suppose a number of factors could be the reason: it`s a wide beam, which could be daunting for first timers; the company has yet to get established. My guess is the price of £1375 ($1993) for one week starting May 2nd.
Wyvern Shipping at Leighton Buzzard is a large hire base of about 32 boats, all narrow beam, and is just a few miles south of  Puddling Cruiser`s Milton Keynes base. They have a narrow beam boat on the same date, four berths but 9 feet shorter in length for £842 ($1220). Due to the different class of boat price comparison is not fair but... Put yourself in the position of a young family, 2 young kiddies seeking their first canal boat holiday looking at Puddling Cruisers.  The width would probably nerve them but in this day and age I would guess price would be the biggest consideration.


Anonymous said...

Hi Les,
Interesting thoughts.
Ironically, while staying at a lock-side cottage on the K&A earlier this month I helped a boater through Lock 21. She had booked a boat (first timer) thinking it would be a pretty thing to do (sit on the bow, relax,read a book, etc)never realising that boats came in more than one dimension. Hence she was about to lock a widebeam up the Caen Flight with no hope of another boat to share the work!
Until that point I had no idea that you could hire widebeams - on the K&A or on the GU!
Best wishes,
Sue /Boatwif /nb Cleddau

Unknown said...

Rental hire anything can be fraught with problems. To me just handling a wide-beam would be like driving an 18-wheel lorry versus a small
20 foot long straight body lorry. The two do similar jobs; one is just more unweildy than the other.

Adam said...

We've seen the widebeam hire boat out several times over the past few years -- and the steerers seldom look relaxed! One had got as far as Stoke Bruerne, though, and had to negotiate that bend above the top lock, with boats moored all the way along -- just to wind and do it in the other direction!

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs