Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tumbleweed on the canal!

It's the last day of July - you know the month with the well worn description of  flaming-July. An ominous overcast sky and the wind blows in from the west. Cue a large ball of tumble-weed which rolls by. It could be the opening shot in a Spaghetti Western. However, it's the state of the canals. There is a an almost complete lack of hire boats and holiday makers. It's the school holidays and yet it is so quiet. That's what gives the canal this almost deserted eerie feeling.

There are a few boats around, a few with soggy families aboard. Unlike us, they are on a time schedule. Where we can sit out the worst of the weather. The hire boaters have to grit their teeth and push on despite what the weather may do. I feel quite sorry for them. For the price of a typical hire-boat holiday in the UK they could be in much warmer climates. In sandals, shorts and T-shirts. Enjoying the hot sun, warm sand and a tasty barbecue. 

Times are tight, and any money spent on a family holiday is a very important budgetary item in any families life. I know that some hire companies have made drastic cuts to their charges for this season to try and attract customers. We have been past a number of boatyards over the last few weeks (cue a large ball of tumble-weedMost seemed to be full of boats standing idle. One boatyard that we have heard of is being very pragmatic and taking a long-term view. they are offering their regular customers who have been disappointed by the weather this year "money off" vouchers for next year.

The signs do not bode well for what remains of this boating season as the weather continues to disappoint. I am beginning to wonder if any of the hire boat businesses will go under so to speak.



  1. Do any of the hire companies do a last minute discount? It must be better to earn something rather than have them sitting idle.
    It was very quiet on the southern end of the GU when we were out just before the holidays - even at the weekend.

  2. Each boat hire yard that we pass, seems to have spare capacity. Maybe now is the time for families to make an offer of what they can afford to pay rather than the hiked up price boatyards charge whenever its a bank or school holiday?


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