Hire price is all important

Published: Friday, 15 July 2011

WHEN choosing a narrowboat holiday, the price is becoming more and more important to prospective hirers, which is proven by a hire company on the Shropshire Union.

Since not only keeping last season's hire prices, that were low in the first place, Simon Jenkins, Norbury Wharf's Managing Director, reveals after adding more boats to his fleet:

"We have been seeing so much demand that we have no doubt we can fill another three extra boats next year. We are planning for growth because we are seeing strong expansion in the value end of the market after we decided to offer boats at prices more easily afforded by families and groups of friends."

More boats

After expanding the size of his holiday fleet by a third this year, he is already planning another 25 per cent increase in the number of boats for next season, such is the demand from money conscious hirers.

This year saw a 10 berth, a six berth and a four berth added to the existing six-strong fleet, and next year, he tells us will probably see a similar range of size options.


As previously reported in narrowboatworld, in order to keep prices down, the company recycles narrowboats with complete refits and refurbishments of existing vessels, with Simon adding:

"We produce boats people can enjoy and that means we can book most of them out at a good price throughout the season. We also operate some luxurious boats, but we think that, on average we can beat everyone else on price.

"A lot of families out there would love a canal holiday and we have cut our profit margins in order to put that within reach, which means more people will come to know and love our waterways, and that brings more business for everyone."

[We went on to the Web—in strict order—to gain comparisons, against the Norbury 50ft boat Phantom (pictured above) for two people for the first week in August at £899. UK Boat Hire was £1,460; UK Canal Boating's website was so difficult to negotiate that we could not find a price; Drifters was £1,100; The Black Prince website wouldn't allow the date to be entered, so we could not get a price; Hoseason's was £1,136; Waterways Holidays was £1.000.]