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Bodgers

Boating holiday

23 posts in this topic

I'd like to try a boating holiday, but I've never been on one before (well, only as a passenger on a commercial short trip). Is it easy to 'drive' a boat? I'd want it to be relaxing and so I wouldn't want it to be too much of a worry - or get in other people's way! Any suggestions on pretty locations? I like the countryside of the Welsh borders, but I suppose that's got lots of locks?

As you may have guessed, I'm starting at the bottom, knowledge wise!

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Don't be frightened of the locks they are an integral part of the experience. We still manage to make fools of ourselves after 20 years plus. Try something like Middlewhich to the Llangollen. Enjoy.

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I'd like to try a boating holiday, but I've never been on one before (well, only as a passenger on a commercial short trip). Is it easy to 'drive' a boat? I'd want it to be relaxing and so I wouldn't want it to be too much of a worry - or get in other people's way! Any suggestions on pretty locations? I like the countryside of the Welsh borders, but I suppose that's got lots of locks?

As you may have guessed, I'm starting at the bottom, knowledge wise!

 

We all had to break our boat driving 'viginity' at some point - it's not as hard as it appears, go for it!

 

I too can recommend the Ashby and the Ashby Boat company for a first time narrowboat hire. It helped us get used as a couple only two up, to narrowboating without having to tackle any locks (though now of course we know the locks are one of the best bits).

 

Check out the link here -

 

http://www.waterscape.com/things-to-do/canal-holidays

 

This is also worth a watch

 

http://www.waterscape.com/watch

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Is it easy - well generally yes, otherwise they'd not simply let hirers be let loose with a hire boat! In general, most people take to it quite easily, at least with enough competance to do the miles on the holiday and not have it be an issue. Some people take to it like a duck to water and are really good straight away. Sometimes the person who can do this is surprising. I knew of a case where a group of 2 families went on holiday, and the best driver turned out to be the 14 year old daughter because the adults were all 'clouding' their driving from driving cars, and she simply did it. Occasionally you'll get a hirer who really struggles with the boat and it might spoil the holiday.

 

You'll probably get a guide off of the hire firm, something similar to this:

 

http://www.considerateboater.com/considerate%20boater%20manual.pdf

 

or this:

 

http://www.waterscape.com/media/documents/1784.pdf

 

There's plenty of little tips you'll pick up over time to make the driving smoother and easier, but discovering these is part of the fun of canal boating...

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Many thanks for your replies; lot's of reading to do! The Ashby canal might be the best to try as a total beginner, and there looks to be more interesting places en route than I'd thought there would be.

I'd imagine that July and August would be busiest? Maybe September would be the best time and hopefully still pleasant weather.

Thanks again.

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Many thanks for your replies; lot's of reading to do! The Ashby canal might be the best to try as a total beginner, and there looks to be more interesting places en route than I'd thought there would be.

I'd imagine that July and August would be busiest? Maybe September would be the best time and hopefully still pleasant weather.

Thanks again.

 

Avoid the summer hols. the prices ramp up then...September's weather can be fine.

 

If you do go Ashby boats and book them and then think you'd like to try locks that will be no problem, head towards Marston Junction and turn right or left...

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Many thanks for your replies; lot's of reading to do! The Ashby canal might be the best to try as a total beginner, and there looks to be more interesting places en route than I'd thought there would be.

I'd imagine that July and August would be busiest? Maybe September would be the best time and hopefully still pleasant weather.

Thanks again.

 

September can be a beautiful time for boating

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My first and to date only experience was with Ashby boats . Just the two of us, we headed south and reached Cropredy on the south Oxford. Initially we were quite concerned with perceived lock problems , but it proved unfounded. Think we did something like 60 within the week . Great fun . happy boating .

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Try the Broads, plenty of rivers with loads of room to go at and no locks. Out of season is best.

 

Phil

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Try the Broads, plenty of rivers with loads of room to go at and no locks. Out of season is best.

 

Phil

Or Ely, it's even quieter.

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I recall ( when about 5 years old ) learning to ride a bike . Dad was running along behind - holding on to the saddle. ( no trainers back then ). We were chatting away, until i realised dad was no longer replying - he had let go about 50 meters away! That's when i fell off ! But i got back on and realised it was only as hard as you make it. Bit like a first boating experience really. If only i had known back then what i would do for a living 50+ years later .

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Posted (edited) · Report post

As you live in Oxfordshire, you do not have to go far to find a hire fleet and some beautiful scenery (and some locks). Start close to home and investigate Oxfordshire Narrowboats at Lower Heyford. Another good company, a little further North but on the same canal, is Napton Narrowboats.

EDIT: I think, though I am not sure, that Oxfordshire have a day boat for hire, so you can try the experience for just one day before committing to a full week away. There are certainly a couple of day boats available for hire at Thrupp, just a few miles North of Oxford.

Edited by Athy
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As you live in Oxfordshire, you do not have to go far to find a hire fleet and some beautiful scenery (and some locks). Start close to home and investigate Oxfordshire Narrowboats at Lower Heyford. Another good company, a little further North but on the same canal, is Napton Narrowboats.

EDIT: I think, though I am not sure, that Oxfordshire have a day boat for hire, so you can try the experience for just one day before committing to a full week away. There are certainly a couple of day boats available for hire at Thrupp, just a few miles North of Oxford.

 

 

The Thrupp boats are Oxfordshire NB's boats....

I don't know for sure but they may do a hire it there / leave it there option between the two bases - save having to turn round. The Oxford locks are (mostly) very easy to work and not very deep (so not heavy to work or frightening...)

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Or Ely, it's even quieter.

 

That's true, never thought of on my doorstep.

 

Phil

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I am very interested of boating outside. At vacation always I used to go boating when I was in a college.

Where did you go boating?

:)

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Sailing and rowing a dinghy on the Thames and Norfolk Broads pitching a tent on the banks for the night, Superb. We did the Broads with a GP14 and Thames with a 10'10''Mirror.

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Sailing and rowing a dinghy on the Thames and Norfolk Broads pitching a tent on the banks for the night, Superb. We did the Broads with a GP14 and Thames with a 10'10''Mirror.

Great holiday.

:)

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Great holiday.

:)

Glorious. One of the Broads trips was 1976, too hot, little wind and had to row most of the way back across Breydon and up the Bure and Thurne, i'd left my trailer at Potter Higham.

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Its easy and you are given instruction, we are on the Leicester Ring, the River Trent have least locks. We do 3 days to 3 weeks and find that most newbies take a couple of days to settle with the boat, but no one yet has come back and said they have not enjoyed themselves. Look us up on www.canalboatforhire.co.uk

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