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Psycloud

Caley Cruisers or Le Boat for a trip on the Caledonian?

Caley Cruisers or Le Boat for a trip on the Caledonian?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Which hire company would you use for a 7 day trip on the Caledonian Canal?

    • Caley Cruisers
    • Le Boat
    • A.N.Other Company
      0


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We are planning a 7 day trip on the Celdeonian next April but can't really decide between Le Boat or Caley Cruisers (or even another company?).  

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We were up there earlier this year on our own boat.

The Caley boats seemed to be better turned out and presented. 

Also from what some voters in Le Boat boats said that base is a bit if a pain to get too whereas Caleys is in Inverness. 

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14 minutes ago, Psycloud said:

We are planning a 7 day trip on the Celdeonian next April but can't really decide between Le Boat or Caley Cruisers (or even another company?).  

Caley Cruisers, good Firm

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Booked with Le Boat for June next year.  Layout of the cruiser better suited our needs. From Glasgow area driving time is similar to going to Inverness. Also a choice of direction for beginning of holiday.  

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I had the chance to have a brief butchers inside a Caley's boat when we were up in Scotland earlier in the year. A Kintail class, and it was very well done inside. Looked more like a private than hire boat.

http://www.caleycruisers.com/boat-class/kintail-class-2/

PS I see this was the boat type Tim and Pru used too.

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31 minutes ago, AllanD said:

Booked with Le Boat for June next year.  Layout of the cruiser better suited our needs. From Glasgow area driving time is similar to going to Inverness. Also a choice of direction for beginning of holiday.  

The extras soon add up with Le Boat don't They?

We have booked with them next year. What started as a reasonable price soon escalated!

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I suppose they do, but have hired various craft over the years and am aware of additional costs which can be involved. 

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We were happy with Caley Cruisers when we hired this year. We had a very old boat (understood it was to be retired at the end of the saeson) it was in good order evreything worked on it. The briefing from them was very good, time was spent explaining the boat and then on how to manage it. Found that Le Boat boats looked like Christmas trees with about 20fenders permanently hanging from every available point. Inverness was fine to get to. We stayed the night before in the Premier Inn which is about a mile away, shopping was easy as there was a choice of supermarket, excellent second hand book shop in the city centre etc. We found that the cruising is just over 2 days each way so we had time to take a rail trip to Mallaig from Banavie and stopped early some days and went for walks.

Caley staff were very friendly and helpful. Caley would get our vote.

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Watch Le Boat. I suspect they may be part of the continental group that charges for diesel based on engine hours rather than fuel used.

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5 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

Watch Le Boat. I suspect they may be part of the continental group that charges for diesel based on engine hours rather than fuel used.

Correct.

16.    Fuel Charges & Fuel Deposit

16.1  Fuel is charged according to market rates and is subject to fluctuations in diesel prices. At the time of going to press, the hourly fuel charge is £4-£10 (in UK)  / €5-€15 (rest of Europe) / CA$12 – CA$14 (in Canada) depending on boat type and usage, but could have since changed. Fuel is payable in local currency. In all regions, Le Boat charges for fuel according to the amount of hours the engine has been running. At the start of your cruise, you will be informed how much the hourly charge will be and the current engine hours on your boat will be agreed and recorded with you.

16.2   At the start of your cruise your boat will have a full tank of fuel. Before departing the base you will be required to leave a Fuel Deposit, payable locally in local currency. At the end of your holiday you will either pay an additional fuel cost to cover the amount of fuel actually used, or you will be due a refund if your fuel consumption is less than the deposit paid.

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We went with Caley, found them very good. I like the start location at one end of the canal rather than the middle better. Somehow it doesn't feel quite the same if you go past the hire base in the middle of your holiday.

I generally prefer small firms to big multiples, I think you get better service.

Inverness was easier for us to get to as we came up on the night sleeper.

Caley don't have so many fenders which is a plus for me!

I think Caley Baots are probably better equipped to handle Loch Ness if it gets rough which it can do, they are just more boat shaped boats than Le Boat and I guess would ride the waves better.

I have never been with Le Boat so my experience is not entirely balanced.

All the above is personal opinion but I guess that's what the OP wanted!

Whoever you go with you will have a great time.

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9 hours ago, MJG said:

Correct.

16.    Fuel Charges & Fuel Deposit

16.1  Fuel is charged according to market rates and is subject to fluctuations in diesel prices. At the time of going to press, the hourly fuel charge is £4-£10 (in UK)  / €5-€15 (rest of Europe) / CA$12 – CA$14 (in Canada) depending on boat type and usage, but could have since changed. Fuel is payable in local currency. In all regions, Le Boat charges for fuel according to the amount of hours the engine has been running. At the start of your cruise, you will be informed how much the hourly charge will be and the current engine hours on your boat will be agreed and recorded with you.

16.2   At the start of your cruise your boat will have a full tank of fuel. Before departing the base you will be required to leave a Fuel Deposit, payable locally in local currency. At the end of your holiday you will either pay an additional fuel cost to cover the amount of fuel actually used, or you will be due a refund if your fuel consumption is less than the deposit paid.

So although it may be possible to buy the fuel more cheaply locally you will pay  whatever price Le Boat deem to be the "local price". I bet that will be several pence per litre more than you could pay. Note - not so sure about the number of fuel outlets on the Caladonian but I bet it would be easy to undercut their price on the Thames for instance.

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15 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

Watch Le Boat. I suspect they may be part of the continental group that charges for diesel based on engine hours rather than fuel used.

Yes they do. Which is partly why we have paid for the all inclusive package for our Brittany trip. The hourly fuel charge for the boat we are hiring is £6.50. That will soon add up with the amount of cruising we intend to do. The fuel is included, amongst other things, with the Le Boat all inclusive package.

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My limited experience of Le boat drivers on the Thames and Canal du midi is that they are usually arrogant and incompetent, therefore I would seriously look elsewhere. 

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Just now, Ratty's Retreat said:

My limited experience of Le boat drivers on the Thames and Canal du midi is that they are usually arrogant and incompetent, therefore I would seriously look elsewhere. 

We found this on the Caledonian. They were usually French as well and trying to queue jump at locks :rolleyes:

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I shall try my best not to be arrogant and endeavour to handle my charge in a competent manner at all times.  But we all know that life is never that certain. 

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8 hours ago, Ratty's Retreat said:

My limited experience of Le boat drivers on the Thames and Canal du midi is that they are usually arrogant and incompetent, therefore I would seriously look elsewhere. 

Pretty hard to do given 'Le Boat' seem to be prevalent on all the major boating holiday centres including the Broads and the Caledonian.

Of course they don't feature (AFAIK) on the English and Welsh canals but as that appears to be not the type of holiday being looked for that doesn't really help.

  • Haha 1

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1 hour ago, MJG said:

Pretty hard to do given 'Le Boat' seem to be prevalent on all the major boating holiday centres including the Broads and the Caledonian.

Of course they don't feature (AFAIK) on the English and Welsh canals but as that appears to be not the type of holiday being looked for that doesn't really help.

They are not on the Broads!

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2 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

They are not on the Broads!

Interesting. They used to be based at Wroxham.

 

  • Haha 1

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Caley - you want a proper boat not a bath tub the weather/conditions can change very quickly - v poor conditions across Loch Ness in June are quite possible.

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The advantage of hiring at the top end of Loch Ness is that you do the first 'choppy' bit at the start of the holiday down Loch Ness to Fort Augustus. It can get quite rough on Loch Ness with the wind blowing SW to NE and causing a big chop that the hire boats struggle into. We have 'Spinnakered' up there in our lumpy water boat up to Inverness at 12 Knts with a 25knt following wind a few times watching the hire boats bounch up and down into it. Get it out the way first and the return trip up will be downwind - unless you are unlucky!

Its nice they let the sailing yachts into the locks first before the 'rabble' are let in. :giggles:

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Loch Ness behaved itself for the three days we were on it in July. We were hoping for a bit of chop but had to wait until later in the holiday for that on Loch Lochy.

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The advantage of starting midway is that you can choose which direction to go if weather is iffy. As I said we chose Le Boat because they have the layout which best met our needs. 

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