Do I really need to book in advance?
I recommend that you book in advance at all times, even if you just check availability the day before.
Apart from main summer holidays I am nearly always running things on my own. So I have to balance running the kayaks and the boat; if I am busy with one then I’m not doing the other. We can be very busy in the summer, so if you just turn up you may be disappointed, especially if you’ve come a long way.
See below for information on evening bookings on “Paramour 2”. Also bear in mind that I am not just “hanging around” in the evenings with the boat; St. Mawes inner harbour dries out on low tides, so if I don’t have any bookings I may let the boat dry out alongside the pontoon, or put her back on her mooring and enjoy a night-off! Either way, don’t assume that I can take you if you haven’t made a booking.
If you do find yourself having a meal and suddenly realise you haven’t made arrangements to get home (it’s happened on numerous occasions), and will need my services, call ASAP… don’t wait until the After-Eights are all gone…
Evening bookings on the RIB?
As mentioned above, evening bookings are normally always in advance, especially after 2200. I will not take passengers who have had a night drinking in the pub, so do not call me! Please go by road taxi, or even better book a room.
For bookings between 2200 and midnight the full fee is payable in advance. If I have to cancel because of the weather a full refund will be offered.
I will refuse to take anyone who, in my opinion, has had too much to drink and there will be NO refund, either in full or in part (this has happened on four occasions since 2009).
Please keep in mind that a night time passage in an open boat is not the same as getting into the car, and conditions can change rapidly. With modern forecasting I can normally inform you a few days in advance if your trip is looking doubtful, giving you time to make alternative arrangements. Very occasionally conditions can deteriorate on the day / evening.
What if I’ve made a booking and it’s too rough to go out?
I’m not going to send you out into the teeth of a raging gale! If it is too dangerous to go out then you will be offered an alternative date or full refund.
If you are kayaking and it is just raining, then you can still go out. You’re probably going to end up a bit damp anyway so a few drops of rain won’t hurt.
If visibility is poor I will not be sending you out until it has improved. You may be surprised to learn that the kayaks are not equipped with radar or fog horns!
If you have a RIB trip booked it can be good fun if it’s a bit windy, and we can usually find good shelter within the Carrick Roads so it is not too exciting for the whole trip. If there’s a full storm blowing we’ll be staying on dry land. Similarly, we will not be venturing out in fog.
All kayaking and RIB trips are always subject to weather and sea conditions and safety is paramount.
Will I get wet on the kayaks?
It depends on how much splashing you do. Even on a calm day you are very likely to get a damp backside at least! You are hiring a 10ft kayak not a 50ft motor launch- you will get wet…
So wear something you don’t mind getting wet. Swimming shorts are ideal, and you can wear something warmer on top if you need to. Jeans or cotton trousers are not a good idea. You will also need to paddle into the water to embark your kayak, so wear sandals or go bare foot. DO NOT WEAR WELLINGTON BOOTS. During the early season a wetsuit is advisable.
Will I get wet on the RIB?
Unless it is raining no, you shouldn’t get wet on the RIB. Paramour 2 is a very dry boat with spray being thrown well to the sides. Now and again you might get a splash if the wind catches the spray and blows it on board.
You should wear something warm, particularly at night and, depending on your footwear, you may be asked to remove your shoes for embarking/disembarking; I don’t really want a sharp stiletto heel going through the tubes, and that’s just the blokes…
Do you take cards?
Yes. In 2018 I moved into the 21st. Century!
Now we have a much better ‘phone signal in St. Mawes it is possible to have a card machine. You are able to get cash with most bank cards at the Post Office (not weekends / Bank Holidays), also cash-back at the CoOp. (An ATM was installed in the main car park in 2019)
If you are being collected on the RIB, and wish to pay by card, please let me know in advance so that I have the machine with me.
Do you hire the RIB on a self-drive basis?
NO! Paramour 2 only goes out with me behind the wheel.
You could be the captain of the “Queen Mary”, or World Powerboat Champion, but the answer’s still no!
Try St. Mawes Boat Hire or Roseland Paddle & Sail.
Is there parking nearby?
St. Mawes has two car parks; The main one is on the right as you drive into the village. Turn right in front of the Rising Sun Inn. There is also a car park on the quay, this is much smaller and really only short-stay. In the summer months both car parks become crowded and you may be directed to the overflow car park at the top of the village. This involves a longer walk down to the harbour.
Please allow plenty of time to get here and get parked. The road to St. Mawes is pretty but fairly windy and narrow in places. Alternatively, if you are staying in the Falmouth area, why not leave the car behind and come over by ferry? A delightful way to reach St. Mawes.
Why did you call your RIBs “Paramour” and what does it mean?
Well, in the very early 70s the first boat that my parents bought was called “Paramour” (there’s a picture of her on the Biog. page). So the name is very nostalgic for me and conjours up many happy memories of holidays in the 70s and 80s in West Wales, where we had a mooring at Dale.
Paramour means mistress or illicit lover, which I have always thought to be very apt for a boat and, when thinking of a name for both RIBs, it was the only choice.
What’s the difference between a kayak and a canoe?
One main difference is that a kayak uses a double bladed paddle whereas a canoe uses a single bladed paddle. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that kayaks originated with the Eskimos and were made of stretched sealskins. Canoes, on the other hand originated with the North American Indians and were made of stretched tree bark. Kayaks tended to be closed decked and could be righted without taking in water, hence the term “Eskimo Roll”. Whereas canoes took a more open form with a higher freeboard.
Today canoe and kayak tend to mean one and the same thing for most people, even though they are quite different.
Do you hire Stand-Up Paddle Boards?
No, but I know someone who does- www.getonboardsup.co.uk My friends, Lucy and Luke, offer tuition and hire from St. Mawes and other locations around the River Fal. We often have groups that hire some paddle boards and some kayaks together for a few hours of fun on the water.
Can I purchase a gift voucher?
Yes. Paddle Vouchers are available for you to give for special occasions. They can be used for RIB rides and Water Taxi too. Email with your requirements.
Will you be open in October?
The kayaks and RIB are licensed and insured for use up to the 31st. October, so I do operate in October on fine days. I hope to always be operating during half-term week, if the weather is favourable.
Paramour 2 is also licensed and insured to operate a Winter Season from November 1st. – early January, daylight hours only, in favourable weather, on demand. Always call ahead if possible, I may be away. I may also finish the season early, and take the boat out, if forecasted weather conditions are not favourable.
What ages and sizes can paddle?
Well, as long as the smallest person can fit into the smallest buoyancy aid / lifejacket properly they can go onto the water with their parents (normally 3 and above) as a passenger in a double kayak.
From experience the youngest paddler in a single should be approx. 7, you may need to be prepared to give them a tow if they become tired. So don’t race up the river with youngsters and not think about the paddle back!
With regard to the size and weight of paddlers, I have included some more information on the “Kayak Hire Rates & Info” page in the description of each kayak. Although, if you have a chest size of more than 50ins. you will not fit into the largest buoyancy aid. I hope this helps.
What about ages of children on the RIB?
I have set a minimum age on the RIB of 3 (unless from a boat in St. Mawes Harbour to shore, with your own lifejacket). This is purely because children under three cannot physically brace themselves on the jockey seats and hang on. With very young children speed and course may have to be altered depending on conditions prevailing on the day.
Are there any fishing trips from St. Mawes?
James Brown no, not THAT one!!! (07891 300078 or www.fishandtripstmawes.co.uk ) “Madeline Rose” is fully MCA Coded. This means James can take you deep sea fishing for the day if you wish, or on one of his 2hr family mackerel trips, which have become very popular over the years.
Self drive boats can also be hired through James. You could even hire some kayaks and a boat, and spend the day messing about on the water.