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Old 02-24-2018, 10:09 AM   #1
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England canal boat holiday?

Has anyone done a canal boat rental in England? Or a cruiser rental on the Norfolk Broads? We are considering 7-10 days on a boat in southern England this September and would be very interested in your experience. Any favorite route? Stretches to avoid? Good rental company? Thanks
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:34 AM   #2
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Another item on our bucket list. Good luck!
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:45 AM   #3
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YES! Do it! We were sailboaters until 2015 when we did a week on one in Wales. We bought our TT and offered our lovely sailboat for sale when we returned.

We did Chirk, Wales, to LLangollen, Wales in four days aboard a boat rented from Black Prince.

Tried, but failed, to upload a video. Here are some pics.
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2015-10-09_24 Great Britain 065_Llangollen Canal.jpg   2015-10-09_24 Great Britain 145_Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.jpg  
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:48 AM   #4
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Ya All watch out , they speak a different version of English over there!

But most natives are friendly as heck!!
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:23 PM   #5
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YES! Do it! We were sailboaters until 2015 when we did a week on one in Wales. We bought our TT and offered our lovely sailboat for sale when we returned.

We did Chirk, Wales, to LLangollen, Wales in four days aboard a boat rented from Black Prince.

Tried, but failed, to upload a video. Here are some pics.
How many of you were there? Any problems with space? Did you like that route? Photos look gorgeous! Thanks
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DHeckrotte View Post
YES! Do it! We were sailboaters until 2015 when we did a week on one in Wales. We bought our TT and offered our lovely sailboat for sale when we returned.

We did Chirk, Wales, to LLangollen, Wales in four days aboard a boat rented from Black Prince.

Tried, but failed, to upload a video. Here are some pics.
We did the same trip a couple of years ago - absolutely fantastic - esp the viaduct. - The narrow boats are just that- in the saloon area I could stretch my arms out and touch both side walls - but the boats are very well appointed and very comfortable.
A new mind set is required though, even for trawler owners - max speed is walking pace - and the canals are shallow - ie when we were having our initial briefing we asked about life jackets (as a any safety conscious boaty would) - the answer....well just stand up! The cockpits are a platform at the back with no roof - if it rains, there is an umbrella provided - its walking pace after all.

A great experience and one we will repeat
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:58 PM   #7
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Pan, we were two, my wife and me. The boat was said to be suitable for four or six; I think four would have been plenty and the two of us did not rattle around. As George wrote above, it really does take a mindset. The first little bit was a company rep giving us a talk and a bit of a drive; then he stepped off at one of the numerous narrow places in the canal (which are intended to be readily blocked so that a portion of canal can be drained for maintenance). Amongst the lessons: "See those rub rails? use them! Turn the boat around in the obvious places; put the bow into the bank and use fwd and rev with the rudder. Check the engine sump for water ingress (from the shaft log)." They give even inexperienced folk enough to get by. The boats are about 7' wide and the narrow parts of the canal are about7'6". The first time through one is accompanied with scraping the rubrails against the stone. By about the fourth time, you go through without touching.

The UK has restored to functional recreational use about half of the thousands of miles of canal. There are plenty of rental outfits, plenty of boats of various sizes, and plenty of routes from which to choose. We chose the Llangollen Canal because of the famous aqueduct. Built in 1820 of stone piers and cast iron. It's got a drop of something like 130 feet right next to your feet standing on the boat, and the towpath on the other. Unbelievably gorgeous!
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:42 PM   #8
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DHeck - required credentials to rent one bareboat?
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:47 PM   #9
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DHeck - required credentials to rent one bareboat?
A credit card - no licence required
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:00 PM   #10
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No license, no experience necessary. They'll teach you what you need to know. I think that they're pretty confident that you could not really damage the boat.
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:08 AM   #11
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Thanks, good info!
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