In the past, no leisure visit to Largs would be complete without a sail on Largs Bay in a hire boat.
Most boats were hired from stands at the promenade pebble beach and boarded from wooden piers on wheels pushed out into the sea. The stands were hired from the Burgh Council and the boathirers had to have licenses which were issued at the start of each season (the beginning of May).
There were regulations attached to the licences - no touting and each boathirer was responsible for the cleanliness of his part of the beach. Also no boats were to be left on the promenade at the end of the season which is why the licences expired on 31 October each year.
All the boats had to be inspected by the Burgh Surveyor at the start of the season for seaworthiness. But if some boats were not available you could get a provisional licence on the approval of the Inspector of Police and the Surveyor.
Boathirering in Largs was a family business and the main families were Paterson, Halliday, Anderson, Dick and Hart. Most of the boats were originally rowing boats but motor boats and even speed boats were for hire by the 1930s. The boathirers also had larger vessels to take parties out into deeper water for longer excursions or on fishing trips.
Today there are no hire boats at Largs promenade only an occasional excursion craft for trips round the bay.
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