Anyone ever done a boating holiday?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Fat_Tony, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. Fat_Tony

    Fat_Tony
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    A few years back I got back in touch with my best mates from school (the original Inbetweeners) and we meet up each summer for a session. Last year we decided to do something different to a pub crawl next time and one of them organised a 3 night boating holiday on the boat shown below.

    I have no idea what to expect as ive certainly never done anything like this. I think they assume I know about boats because I have a little rowing boat ive used twice lol

    Probably a daft question but where does the water for the showers etc come from? It mentions having a car charger socket for mobiles, does that mean there is no plug sockets? Do the lights etc run off a battery?

    I need to learn to just go with the flow, but I like to know what's what and what to expect.

    I'm assuming there will be comparisons to camping, the inside looks alot like a caravan. Im sure it will be great fun, but I need to know what to bring that isn't especially obvious

    Thanks

    Caversham Boat Services in Reading | Hoseasons
     
  2. djbsom

    djbsom
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    Hi Tony.
    You're in a for a real treat.
    If you're expecting something akin to camping then it will feel like luxury. It is a great laugh and very relaxing when you're not moored outside a pub.
    So, to your questions.
    The boat will have a full water tank when you pick it up and it should last the four (?) Of you for the whole trip. This water will either be used to flush the toilet and then diverted to a foul water tank that will be pumped out after you hand the boat back or used in the shower and sink then pumped straight into the river.
    Most boats like yours, a centre steering cruiser, will have a cigar lighter type 12v outlet for your phones etc but the telly and stereo etc are hard wired. so, probably no 13 amp sockets. These are all charged by the engine during your travels and should be more than enough for your evening needs. The hot water also comes from engine heating.
    The boat yard will make sure you are comfortable with the controls and facilities before you are sent on your way.
    Believe me you will thoroughly enjoy the experience but make sure you understand the heating system before you set off. You should allow about 30mins for the 'tuition' they give you.
    Ask anymore questions you want, I've done this must years since the 80's.
    You'll have a blast.
     
  3. Fat_Tony

    Fat_Tony
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    Thanks for all the info, it sounds great. I have a car charger to USB adapter so should be able to keep the gadgets topped up. I'll pack my power bank aswell.

    I suspected they keep things simple as possible as most people will be beginners.

    Is it fairly obvious where you are supposed to park up for the night?

    The boat looks fantastic, ive read it's quite dated but I think we are all easily pleased, just have to hope we get a bit of nice weather.

    I'm sure I'll have more daft questions so no doubt I'll be back to rack your brains :)

    Thanks again
     
  4. a l e x

    a l e x
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    You'll have a right laugh.

    5 of us hired a canal boat... Was hilarious. The bloke showed us how to make it move and roughly how to steer it and left us to it. Was ok most of the time but stopping usually meant aiming at the sides and jumping off with ropes. We had to take the boat back where we started so after 2 days had to refil with water and turn around. It was an absolute nightmare... It was just loads of the hire boats struggling to turn! Brilliant few days. Loads of decent pubs too!
     
  5. DOBLY

    DOBLY
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    As a kid I holidayed on the Norfolk Broads for 7 years on the trot - great fun. This was back in the late 70's / early 80's, so life has moved on a bit in terms of gadgets. I remember the TVs being at most 14" diagonal and colour was a real luxury. Mum and dad would row a bit about things like cooking tea (the facilities were basic to say the least), and my brother and I would fight a bit less than usual. Best bits were taking the dingy out on my own for a sail, having dinner in a riverside pub, or having a whole stretch of river / lake (Broad) to yourself. The absolute best was when my brother fell in at a boatyard - he stank of stagnant water and diesel for weeks afterwards! Ah, the simple things in less complicated times....

    Back then, you could just drop anchor in the middle of a broad (as it were) and stay there for a night, or moor up in official, err, moorings on the edge of a little village. We used to take everything with us - food 'n' all - back then, so the car was really packed on the 5-hour plus drive to Norfolk.

    Cruising on the Thames these days will be quite different, but the same principle - a slower pace of life for a while - 4knots max! This site has some useful info, as does this one.

    Enjoy!!
     
  6. SteveCritten

    SteveCritten
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    Been trying to think of something to with some friends great idea thanks.
     
  7. MrSossidge

    MrSossidge
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    Don't worry about it. When you get to the boat place they will spend time going through everything with you.

    We did 2 nights on a barge. Complete novice. They show you how to drive, how to do locks, all the things you need.

    We even had proper plug sockets to keep our gadgets charged but actually we spent our time talking, enjoying the scenery, driving the boat, visiting pubs, operating the locks.

    Lighten up and relax. You could have a great time.
     
  8. SteakAndCake

    SteakAndCake
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    I've been on two boating holidays and hated both with equal displeasure.
     
  9. djbsom

    djbsom
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    Two more points,
    Locks - there are locks on the Thames but few and far between and are either 'automatic' or are manned so all you do is throw a rope or two around the bollards to hold the boat still while the water level changes.
    Where to Moor (park),
    Depending where you go you'll have a choice. River side pubs and restaurants will have a few spots that serve their customers. So, free to Moor if you're going to be a patron. Often you can also stay overnight for a fee (some places will take this fee off your bar bill).
    Public moorings, these will be typically free for a short stay and a small fee overnight.
    Wild mooring, this is where you find a bit of the river bank that doesn't say "private, no mooring" and you just put down your 'rond anchors' and enjoy the quiet. Alternatively, if you can find a quiet back water, you just stop somewhere safe and drop the mud weight off the front and swing quietly at anchor all night. I don't think this last option is very likely on the Thames tbh, it's my favourite but I go on the Broads where you have a larger choice of lakes (broads).
     
  10. Fat_Tony

    Fat_Tony
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    Thanks chaps

    Ive no doubt we will have a great time, they are a great bunch of lads. Im already looking forward to it more now that I have a better idea what to expect.

    Im away with the wife and kids in Tenerife for our first foreign family holiday, back for a day then flying to England for the boat trip.

    Ill grab loads of pics. Assuming we don't all capsize or hit an iceberg it might become a regular thing.
     
  11. Sloppy Bob

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    I wouldn't worry about stuff like that, you'll have killed each other long before then.


    :p
     
  12. Fat_Tony

    Fat_Tony
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    Lol that's the worry, I'm not great in confined spaces and im not the most patient of people at the best of times.

    Got to be easier than a week spent watching my kids like a hawk in Spain.
     
  13. Barbs77

    Barbs77
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    We have had two fantastic holiday on boats. One was a Narrowboat on the Llangollen Canal, very relaxing 32 miles in 7 days It would of been rude not to stop at the pubs.

    The second a Cruiser on the Caledonian Canal that was fun we were a tiny boat moored at a landing stage when we woke up the next morning there were massive boats tied on to us. Also watched a couple trying to moor on a landing stage and he hit reverse she didn't leave go of the rope and got dragged in. When he fished her out of the water she was not a happy bunny but unhurt.

    Would recommend this type of holiday to anyone.
     
  14. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP
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    Amen to that.
    A mate has a motorhome, a group of us have done long weekends in it.
    It's a totally different dynamic from when we go away and stay in a hotel, the cramped space can mean we get on each others' nerves pretty quickly.
    A week would have us fighting, guaranteed.
    "You stunk up the tiny toilet again, you bellend!!" etc.etc.etc.etc.
     
  15. Fat_Tony

    Fat_Tony
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    We did ibiza together when we left school, first holiday abroad etc so we booked 15 nights as it cost about £50 more than the standard week. We were ready to kill each other after about 4 days.

    And I broke my leg playing football on day 3, which made things interesting.
     
  16. djbsom

    djbsom
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    Now that you've mentioned breaking your leg there are two golden rules -
    Never ever put a limb in between the boat and anything solid. Sounds obvious but time and time again you see people standing on the boat put out a foot to slow the boat down when mooring. Yes the boat is moving quite slowly but they weigh the same as a bus. Momentum is harsh.
    Second, never jump on or off a boat. If you can't step easily ashore/aboard wait until you can even if it means abandoning the mooring manoeuvre and going around again. Quay sides and river banks are wet and often uneven. Slipping on wet grass and head butting the boat on your way down to drowning unnoticed in two feet of water is a particularly silly way to die.

    All that said, I've probably been on over a dozen broads holidays, a couple of narrow boat holidays and a few sailing holidays around the solent and all I've ever done is bumped my head walking around inside every boat I've ever been on. I'm 6'4, it has its downsides.
     
  17. Barcoing Mad

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    This thread made me grin a bit. Everything djbsom has written is spot on, but I must admit if I'd seen the OP first, I'd replied with something like: Shower water comes via an upturned bucket filled from the river. Beware of duck poo. The only form of artificial light on a boat comes from distress flares, but since you're inland, you won't have any of these etc etc
     
  18. Sonic67

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    Buy lots of food and drink beforehand and take it on the boat, shops and pubs near the water charge a premium on everything as you are a captive customer.
     
  19. djbsom

    djbsom
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    As far as food and drink goes - order online from tesco/asda/whatever and have it delivered to the boat. Simples.
     
  20. Fat_Tony

    Fat_Tony
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    It's hardly Bear Grylls but I like my creature comforts. A cool box filled up with ice each day and ill be fine :)
     
  21. deantown

    deantown
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    Many years ago my FIL had a cabin cruiser based at Walton-on-Thames. We were lucky enough to have several holidays on the boat and one year we even made it to the source of the Thames at Lechlade. I can tell you these trips were some of the happiest, funniest and most fantastic holidays we've ever had. You will have a great time.
     
  22. Fat_Tony

    Fat_Tony
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    Thanks for all the info folks, I love these forums, it goes well beyond just AV stuff.

    Im really excited for the trip, im sure the weather will be a big factor but if it's no good in July there isn't much more you can do.
     
  23. DIYlady

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    Holidaying on the Thames is easy and fun. Lots of good riverside pubs. From Caversham head upstream. Lots of mooring spots, often at pretty villages (Pangbourne & Whitchurch, Goring and Streatly) and at pubs en route. You should make it to Oxford and back in the week, though it will depend on just how much time you spend at the pubs! Coming back is downstream so you generally make better time. If you head downstream then the stretch through Reading is not particularly great, but you then get Sonning, Shiplake, Henley, Marlow.

    Make sure you take some soft soled non slip shoes and a spare pair just in case (it's not unheard of for Novices to push the boat out and find themselves with hands on the boat and feet on the shore as the boat gently drifts away!). Take clothes in a soft bag (or even better bin liners as they are easier to stow away). Not hard bags though, they are a nuisance on a boat.

    Take plenty of sun cream, if you do get good (or even moderate) weather it is very, very easy to get burnt on a boat; you don't tend to notice the heat as the air blows past as you move and the sun reflects off the water. A hat is a good idea (but just a cheap one so that you don't worry about it getting blown off).

    The water on the boat is held in tanks and you'll be shown where to fill the tank. There are usually water facilities at fuel stations. Waste from toilets is also held in tanks; it's worth asking where you can get this emptied should you need to (they may say you won't, but I know people that have been caught out)

    Enjoy!
     
  24. NewfieDrool

    NewfieDrool
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    It's great fun, you will have a great time.
    A client of mine has a boat on the Thames and we pop down for trip up to Marlow or Henley way as it's moored between both places.
    The rivers are fairly quiet compared to how they were, so much so the poor lock keepers are in danger of disappearing and the lovely banks once again are filling up with reed beds and lily patches.
    My tip is if you enter a lock after the lock keepers have finished for the day, don't make the mistake of tying up the ropes if you lowering the water to pass on. It's been done and hangs the boat on its side or rips the mooring rings off the boat.
     

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  25. Barcoing Mad

    Barcoing Mad
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    Just one thing - slow down for rowing sculls. They're easily swamped :(
     
  26. Fat_Tony

    Fat_Tony
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    Thanks again everyone, im sure I'll be referring back to all this great advice once we get going. Its only a 3 nighter, I don't think we will stray too far. Thats a stunning dog there Newfie
     
  27. Fat_Tony

    Fat_Tony
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    I was kayaking yesterday and a few boy racer types left me in all sorts of bother as they sped past me
     
  28. Sonic67

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    Wave to other people on boats, it's sort of a done thing to do.
     
  29. Flashy

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    While shouting "Ahoy!", too.
     
  30. NewfieDrool

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    Did you decide on one in the end.
    Was on the Thames yesterday and ended up looking at a boat for fishing. Lovely day with just a light shower to cool us down.
    Seemed to be a fair few about on the river but we stayed moored as we had a nice picnic and just chilled out.
     

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