How to hire a self-drive rental boat ?
I remember my father taking me for a self drive summer holiday cruise on the Norfolk Broads in East Anglia, England. Although this happened more than 40 years ago, I can still remember most of the events, especially the first impressions of seeing and climbing aboard what seemed to be a huge ship. I really didn’t think that we would be able to handle such a vessel by ourselves. After all, it was just my parents, my sister and me as the only crew members.
The boat looked like a blue-green flattened caravan on water. A Hoseasons Pacific class in 1979. Sliding windows, sliding roof, a wobbly steering wheel, foot pump for the kitchen sink…
But what a holiday it turned out to be. We all had a great time, even after crossing Wroxham Broad.
Now a few years have gone by and I’m still a very happy person when I’m messing around on the rivers and canals. In fact I’ve cruised many major rivers and canals in Europe, passed through 1000’s of locks, on small hire boats, luxury hotel barges and even old cargo boats, but the desire to discover more of the inland waterways is very much within me.
Times have changed since my introduction to the gentle waters of East Anglia, the boats you can rent can now offer you much more than you would expect. You’ll find air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms, interior and exterior helms, bow thrusters and much more. In fact some of the boats can easily be classed as luxury. However, each to their own, perhaps you prefer more simplicity which generally means a lower budget, today you have a huge choice and selection of boats and destinations.
Questions and Answers
A list of questions you should ask yourself
Where? Where do you want to go?
A French canal, the Rhine river, a Scottish Loch, the world is your oyster.
Is the weather suitable?
Is the time of year that I’m booking suitable to what I want to do?
When should I book?
Early is of course the best time to make sure you get the exact boat and dates that you are looking for.
Size does matter
Are you sure you’ll be able to handle the boat, is it not too big?
How many people will be on board?
Will there be enough cabin space for you all?
A list of answers you should know
Rental boats do have a legal limit in capacity of people who can be on board at any one time. You must always respect this limit for the safety of all.
One way, return or round trip cruise ?
You may have a choice of one way, return or round trip. However this is not always offered or what you need to do. Check the amount of cruising hours which are necessary to accomplish the journey you are being proposed.
A modern Linseen self-drive on the river Saone in southern France, easy to handle and no skipper permit is required.
Comfort and style are always with you.