Punting

The basics:

  • You can book the punt once a week in 2-hour timeslots on UPay with a price of £5 to cover its maintenance.
  • You can book 1 week ahead of the timeslots, much like with formals. Please do cancel your booking if your plans change.
  • The punt is moored by the Fisher building in St John’s college. The keys for the punt as well as our locker keys are stored in a lockbox. The lockbox is attached to our locker in the basement near the Johns punt pool. The code for the lockbox will appear on your UPay booking. Please be sure to return both sets of keys to the lockbox when you are finished punting.
  • By the end of your booking, return to the punt to the correct side of the quay (see below) and lock the punt and pole as shown in the images below. Ideally you would lock the punt to ring 4, but as the picture shows, it’s not always free.
  • Do not leave the cushions or any rubbish in the punt.
  • If you run into any problems or have questions about this process, email sports@mcr.jesus.cam.ac.uk.

Some punting tips:

  • Try not to let go of the pole, the metal ones like ours don’t always float.
  • Be careful of digging the pole too deep in mud where it might get stuck.
  • If you’re having trouble directing the punt as you push it, you can use the pole as a rudder.
  • Give your phone and keys to someone else if you are punting.
  • Collisions happen, passengers can sometimes try use their hands to soften the impacts but use your judgement to avoid getting your fingers trapped.

FAQs:

  • If you want to take the punt out for longer than 2 hours? Please go with other MCR members and book 1 slot each, consecutive to each other. Please don’t try book multiple slots yourself as we may have to remove you from the list of punt users.
  • If you want to use the punt more than once in the same week? Similarly to the above, you need another MCR member to book and go with you.
  • Can I go up to Grantchester? 2 hours is enough to go along the backs, but not to go Grantchester. Please refer to the above on how to book for longer than 2 hours and be very careful taking the punt on the rollers up the river if you want to attempt Grantchester punting.
  • How many people can go on the punt at once? The punt is rated for 6 people.
  • Can I bring guests? Yes! Please note that you are responsible for your guests though, and at least one MCR member will have to be on the punt to take it out.
  • Where are the cushions? We have 1 set of cushions. The punt cushions are stored in our locket at Johns (as shown in the photographs). Please be sure to return the cushions to our locker when you are finished with them. Do not leave them in the punt unless the next group agree with you to return them themselves.
  • I’ve never punted before; can I still give it a go? Yes. Most amateurs on the river are likely new to it too! Please do be as patient with other people on the river, listen to any tips given (particularly by professional tour guides), and be considerate about letting other boats pass.
  • There’s no space on our side of the quay! You may need to push other punts apart. If all the rings on our side are taken, make sure the staff at the Fisher building lodge know before you go.
  • What happens if there’s damage to the punt or to another punt? Contact sports@mcr.jesus.cam.ac.uk. Ideally get the registration number of the punts of any other parties involved and note the time.

This is a bit new for us, so we may have to change the rules and procedures as things arise. If you have any suggestions or issues, please do use the MCR anonymous feedback form or email sports@mcr.jesus.cam.ac.uk.

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