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Has anyone hired a boat in the Isles of Scilly?

(17 Posts)
RoastieToastieReastie Sun 02-Oct-16 14:26:27

I went to the sinks of Scilly as a child and I have this wonderful dream in my head of hiring our own boat and driving ourselves around the islands. I've found a company hat rent boats by the week but I'm unsure how this works with self catering as I've never done anything like this before. Do I just park (moor?) the boat anywhere and leave it and come back to it when we need it or do we need to find somewhere to stay which has a mooring? Do we rent a mooring separately to a self catering house? I'm a nt confused so if anyone could help or recommend somewhere I'd be grateful.

I know there are lots of water taxis but there's something about having our own boat I'd really love to do.

mummymeister Mon 03-Oct-16 09:40:28

I don't think that it is a "thing" around the Isles of Scilly - not like greek island hopping. you would need to be a really competent sailor - cornwall is famous for ship wrecks!

your best place to start would be the Cornish tourist board now called Visit cornwall. I would phone them rather than e mail and tell them what you are looking for and what qualifications you have - day skipper, night skipper etc.

if you really want to do it, then I think it is going to take an awful lot of time and energy to pull together the kind of thing that you want as it will mean searching for accommodation near a mooring, speaking to them directly etc. good luck

RoastieToastieReastie Mon 03-Oct-16 09:49:57

Thanks, maybe it just won't work then ad its more a little dream. I know a lot of the unlived tiny islands you can't stop at because they are nature reserve (or some such) and they don't allow people but there are also lots that theoretically could be and I love the idea of taking a boat and seeing what we can find but you speak much sense. Thank you.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 03-Oct-16 09:56:32

Big tidal ranges, unlike the Med. I think you would need to be a very experienced sailor to do it safely.

RoastieToastieReastie Mon 03-Oct-16 11:01:59

Ok, probably not a good idea then sad

lamprey42 Mon 03-Oct-16 11:13:02

I think you would need at least Rya yacht master to charter a boat and that would need to be from England and sail across. The local operators have to do an exam before being allowed to drive water taxis etc commercially as the islands are so dangerous (tides, rocks etc) to get around. There are local boats you can hire for the day though so that might be an option to get to some of the places you want.

colouringinagain Mon 03-Oct-16 11:19:25

Sounds like an amazing idea.

But having been to the Scilies a few times you need to be an experienced sailor around there

I'd have thought it Would it be possible to hire a boat with crew - even if one - so you can get close to your dream grin

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 03-Oct-16 11:27:14

You could always start learning. Sign up for a competent crew course with a view to building up to yachtmaster one day!
Have you had boating holidays in other places? If not, you should! I don't want to sound patronising by mentioning the Norfolk Broads but it is a lovely safe place to start boating and great for nature and birdwatching.

akkakk Mon 03-Oct-16 11:27:57

I have yacht master level in sailing and advanced in powerboats and would be very cautious about either in that area (though have sailed around the cornish area) in powerboats, level 2 is the accepted level to give you the documentation to hire - but it is not a very high level of ability and as others have said that is a very dangerous bit of water...

FeckTheMagicDragon Mon 03-Oct-16 11:34:19

Without a license you can hire a small moter boat and go between most of the islands - we did a couple of years ago. There are areas that you can't go due to tidal currents and big waves - basically the outside of the group of islands. We used the boat as a way to pop between them without taking the (very regular) ferry.

You still have to watch the weather, but as it's much calmer and shallower on the inside bit (some places you can even walk at low tide)

Silly was one single large island once upon a time and got flooded.

Go, do it. We LOVED it. And we saw seals snd all sorts. Son snorkel next to the boat ( water is still bloody cold though)

RoastieToastieReastie Mon 03-Oct-16 12:58:02

Ok, I should clarify here. We would fly to the isle ps of Scilly not boat ourselves and it's just a small motorboat we would rent (the website says you don't need a license and they give you training to drive it yourself) nothing like a yacht which I imagine you'd definitely need to know what you're doing. We would be staying in a house so it wouldn't be a boat we'd live in for the week, just a means of transport to look around.

Feck it's good to hear from someone who has done it. Which island did you base yourself on and what did you do with the boat at night? The boat company I think is on st Martins so I wonder if that's a good island to be based on. Did you get good instructions on where it was safe to go?

FeckTheMagicDragon Mon 03-Oct-16 22:59:22

We were on Bryher and moored back up at the boatyard at the end of every day - but there are boat hire points on St Martins and Tresco that I know of (and probably more)

this was the one we used www.bennettboatyard.com/about-bennett-boatyard.html

this might help - we stuck to the green and blue areas in between the islands. pretty much just pottering around.
www.visitmyharbour.com/harbours/channel-west/scilly-isles/chart/03C75B6E9EC71/scilly-islands-chart-2016
www.visitmyharbour.com/harbours/channel-west/scilly-isles/

The boatyard will give you a map that shows you where you can, and can't go. past cromwells castle, for example, it's dangerous.

If you do want to be more adventurous then as above you'll need a license - and a more powerful boat than the 16ft one we got smile

FeckTheMagicDragon Mon 03-Oct-16 23:10:41

I want to go back now ...

RoastieToastieReastie Tue 04-Oct-16 06:40:21

That's so useful feck, thank you. Another question (sorry, it just occurred to me). Was it easy to leave the boat in places during the day whilst you got out to explore around or did you only ever moor in the place at the boatyard? I have no idea if you just drive it into a beach to stop for the day or if you have to leave it in the water and swim over to a beach or if you can park it at any quay (I'm not sure if quay is the right word).

FeckTheMagicDragon Tue 04-Oct-16 14:03:49

The boat has an anchor (be aware of the tides) or if there is mooring you can tie up - some places charge - sorry at work so rushing.

midsomermurderess Thu 06-Oct-16 12:48:53

You talk about driving and parking. Perhaps you would need to hire crew too.

Stalkcackling Mon 31-Oct-16 06:31:56

It's really easy. You're briefed by the boat people (we used the same people in above link) so it's really safe.

It is the best way to explore Scilly. You'll totally love it.

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