Broads stag party debate: Boat firms argue FOR and AGAINST
- Credit: Archant
Two Broads boat hire companies with opposing views on stag and hen parties have spoken out following calls to ban pre-wedding celebrations on hire boats.
A recent stag party where a groom was stripped naked and urinated on in front of horrified onlookers led to an online debate with some posters calling for an end to the parties on the Broads. However, police and major boat hire companies said such extreme incidents were rare. Here, two firms with opposing policies make their case:
Kerry Sharp, the marketing manager for Barnes Brinkcraft, said the company's policy was to welcome everyone. 'Yes, we do allow stag and hen parties and we don't discriminate against them,' she said. 'We find that generally everybody is here to have a good time and yes, unfortunately you do get the odd bad group but they are the exception rather than the rule.
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'But they are the parties everyone hears about. You never hear about the ones that come week after week and we never have problems with at all. We find that you're just as likely to have a family that could be noisy and disruptive as you are a stag or hen party.
'I think it would be really wrong (to ban them) and very bad for the local economy. If we get a call out during the hire period and there is disruptive behaviour it is our policy that we insist they return to the yard and the agreement is terminated.'
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Wroxham Boat Hire owner Steve Bradley said the company enforced a policy of not hiring out to stag and hen parties.
'I know its difficult as you shouldn't tar everyone with the same brush as some stags can be brilliant, well behaved - same with hens - but others as we've seen in the past can get (out of hand).
'The boats are my boats, my income and I need them back in one piece. Why would I send them out to a party I know are going to get drunk and quite likely unruly?
'When I first bought the business I was very new to it and I just said yes to everybody. You very quickly learn from your mistakes. I sent a group of lads out with a lot of alcohol one day and they came back and had caused hundreds and hundreds of pounds of damage. The boat had to come out the water and there was a lot of damage. We quickly learnt that stag parties and hen parties potentially are a risk so it is just easier to say no.'