I guess that every canal boater has encountered them sometime and experience ones steer clear of them as much as possiblee - stag parties. Six years ago we encountered one at a bridge on the southern Oxford Canal. Despite sounding my horn on approach to the bridge, stopping short of the bridge despite being their first - and eventually reversing - their hire boat still managed to dent our 6mm steel plate."It's a contact sport" was their only comment.The initial contact at the hire company was even worse because my shouting to stop the drunken lout in the front cockpit from attempting to fend us off with a pole he considered to put us in the wrong. I soon dispelled that thought from his head and the repairs were carried out quite satisfactorily in due course.
You may imagine my feelings recently when I discovered that one hire company is actively promoting their boats for stag parties.
Canal Boat Weekend – Latest Craze!Here’s your chance to spend your stag/hen weekend like no other! A unique canal party departing from various points throughout the UK. Join the boating community and navigate the locks whilst and cruising to waterside pubs. Experience a weekend like no other!
Stop at endless pubs on the way for a refreshing tipple or some food!
2-3 night cruises are available and all bookings include fuel deposit, damage waiver and cancellation protection fee.
This week we saw another example of what stopping at endless pubs can result in, when a boat overturned in a lock in Bath. Fortunately no-one was injured but the all-male crew were more concerned to recover their beer that they were to shut the paddles which would have prevented the boat from turning turtle. Because of its location and the position of the boat the pound below will have to be drained after first rehousing the wildlife therein. total cost is estimated at between £10,000 and £20,000.
Wouldn't it be comforting if an error was found in the booking which rendered the damage waiver inoperable?