|Chartering, hiring boats and pleasure cruises|
For those of us who are simply not fortunate enough to own our own boat but have a love of boating, then chartering or hiring a sea or river boat may be the solution. Boats can be chartered to include a crew, in which case you a free to sit back and enjoy the views, with little other to do than eat, drink and talk, or of course fish. Weather permitting you may choose to take a swim. On the other hand, chartering a boat without crew is an option; especially common for narrow boat and river boat days. Chartering a motor boat cruiser without a crew is not such a simple undertaking however, due mainly to the very high cost of motor cruisers and the cost of any repairs resulting from possible damage done to the boat whilst in your care.
Fortunately for us in the UK, the regulations and requirements for self charter are relatively relaxed. This is not necessarily the case across other countries in Europe and usually at least an ICC (International Certificate of Competency) is required to drive boats.
If you are planning to take a boat charter holiday, you should ensure that you use a trustworthy and reputable broker. Check that the company you use is an active member of the CYBA (Charter Yacht Brokers Association), which would preferable as all CYBA members need to subscribe to strict criteria such as:
1. Adherence to CYBA's strict code of ethics
2. Extensive requirements to qualify for membership
3. Inspection of yachts / boats as well as interview crews regularly
Chartering yachts and powerboats
Yachts can be chartered and crewed by you and your own crew. It is fairly common place to go on sailing holidays in flotillas, however, experience of sailing is essential if you are crewing the boat yourself.
When chartering a powerboat or motor cruiser, it is usual to go out with the charter company’s own crew.
Chartering fishing boats
When chartering a fishing boat, the usual option is to go out with a local fisherman who will drive the boat, and quite often provide all fish bait and even rods. Fishing trips are usually on a full or half day trip basis.
Chartering a river boat
There are over 4,000 miles of inland river ways in the UK, and you can charter and drive your own boat for canal or river holidays. Qualifications are not necessary when chartering a river boat, and you are instead given instruction, should you need it, when you arrive to hire your boat.
Hiring a boat
You can hire all types of boat across the UK, usually just for a matter of hours or even just an hour. This can be a rowing boat, pedalo, canoe or a small motor boat on both the sea and on the rivers, and for the most part, you will be left to your own devices once you have hired your choice.
A pleasure cruise is the ideal way to simply experience boating on the sea, or indeed river for just a few pounds. Pleasure cruises usually last a couple of hours, more often than not on a larger vessel where you will be one of a number of paying passengers.
Happy cruising …
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