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Hire boat and red boards

nfluester

Member
Joined
10 Jan 2020
Messages
97
Location
Shepperton Marina Thames
So we have been out on the river for half term and trying to dodge the sections on the Thames that have been going on red board over the last few days.

It has amazed us how many hire boats seem to ignore such rules! One lock keeper said that the hire companies have a duty of care for thier customers and should pick them up and send a pilot out navigate the boat

However we subsequently learned the at least one hire firm told thier customers if they felt they could handle it then they could go out.

Seems a little crazy under powered and under qualified boaters are allowed out on the river in such conditions!

One has to ask if they are covered by any insurance?
 

Outinthedinghy

Active member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
907
Location
Limehouse hole
I noticed this too.

I always assumed that the red board situation was directly tied to insurance in that boats navigating during red boards would not be insured but maybe it isn't that simple.

It does seem a very risky strategy if it's the case. Would presumably put the hire company in a very awkward position if there was an accident.

They must be insured, surely.
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
680
In the event of a serious accident, the investigating authority and the insurers would ask what the navigation authority's advice was at the time. If it was 'do not navigate' then it is likely that the hire firm would be at fault and suffer the consequences.

I've only seen Kris Cruisers boats with pilots during strong stream conditions. The others seem to allow their hirers to get on with it.
 

The Glassman

Member
Joined
14 May 2013
Messages
51
Location
Streatley
In the event of a serious accident, the investigating authority and the insurers would ask what the navigation authority's advice was at the time. If it was 'do not navigate' then it is likely that the hire firm would be at fault and suffer the consequences.

I've only seen Kris Cruisers boats with pilots during strong stream conditions. The others seem to allow their hirers to get on with it.
That's a very telling comment, OC. Kris Cruisers are IMHO, the best Hirers on the river by miles. I'm sure though, that Hobbs are equally good, but have no experience of that.
When there were Lockies about, it was normal to see hire-boats and narrow boats tied-up in the event of boards going from yellow to red and only competent (or apparently competent!) privateers allowed through.
Hope there's no accidents as a result of this apparent change of rules......
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
680
I don't think the rules have changed. I have seen hire boats from a Reading based firm out in red boards that told its customers it was ok to continue of they felt safe. I instructed the hirers to moor up in Boulters head lock cut, phoned said firm and asked the owner, WTF he thought he was doing. Two pilots arrived a couple of hours later.
 

The Glassman

Member
Joined
14 May 2013
Messages
51
Location
Streatley
Thanks for that. We all know how tough things must have been for these firms this season, but you really don't want to see a nasty incident as inexperienced hirers (probably with kids - it is half-term) try to deal with a red board passage. Think of Mapledurham, Benson and Days - and even Caversham, when going upstream.
There you go.....
 

nfluester

Member
Joined
10 Jan 2020
Messages
97
Location
Shepperton Marina Thames
Have seen both Kris and Caversham boat service boats out this week on reds without any visable pilots.

Lock keeper at Marsh said that Kris hirers had been told if they felt OK then they should keep going

Interestingly there are 2 abandoned Le boats in Sonning lock cut.

I'm guessing with the losses with Covid they are trying to make the last bit of money for the year whilst people are on half term holiday
 

NEB

Member
Joined
29 Sep 2005
Messages
103
Location
UK
It may well be the hire boats have experienced crews on board, hence some have pilots and some don't. Knowing Kris Cruisers very well I doubt they would let any inexperienced hirers out in red board conditions without a pilot
 
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