Topic: Being a newbie

thebrownboss    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 2:16 PM
  I am looking to book a trip on the Broads for a week with my husband next August for our 25th anniversary. I am very nervous about it and have spent many evenings on the sites and found myself more and more confused and unsure if it is the right thing for us to do as we have never done it before. Can anybody help me please? I have so many questions but I don't understand the jargon!!

Kind regards..Browny

TerryTibbs    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 2:39 PM
  If your too shy to ask, use the search facility at the top of the page but if you do ask you will find plenty of people more tham willing to answer your questions. as for the question 2should you book a boat on the broads"? IMHO there is only 1 answer , yes undoubtedly.


if it is to be it is up to me!

rustic    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 2:52 PM
  Hi, welcome to the forum.

Probably the best advice so far is to read some of London Rascals posts, he visits the Broads several times a year on his own, whilst cruising along with a video camera in one hand and a tin opener in the other.

His views are not biased in any way, and the stories and tales he tells are how things are.

Chose a suitably sized boat for your needs, don't go too big as they take some handling in the wind when mooring and when casting off.

The best advice, take everything slowly.

Start on the Northern Broads, ie don't travel past Acle on the Bure, as the tidal rise and fall and tides and the currents are much smaller than on the south.

You should see tidal rises of less than 6-8 " most of the time, and can be ignored during normal cruising.

There are some great riverside pubs, and plenty of places to stretch your legs.
My advice, would be, don't be tempted to get a dinghy if this is your first visit, as it tends to get in the way whilst mooring, especially trying to reverse moor.

There are plenty of quiet places on the Broads, even during high season.

I'm sure that you will both enjoy it.

best regards, Richard.
I can't wait to be back on our boat on
the Broads.

Valeriejones    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 2:58 PM
Of course it's the right thing to do, you will both love it, and for a first for both of you is even more exciting, it's so easy to do, you will have plenty of advice from here, so please ask any questions, lots of people do, like what boat you are looking for and the type etc, you will get lots of help.
Go ahead its a brilliant anniversary present and one you won't forget for all the right reasons.

thebrownboss    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 3:03 PM
  Thank you. It is advice like this that we need as we have looked at the web sites out there but they don't give info on experience the experts in this field, have gained over years of sailing. I will follow the posts and see what information and advice we can gather. Thanks again.

Kind regards..Browny

Maurice_Mynah    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 3:42 PM
  The vast majority of the members of this forum learned to handle boats on the broads. It is an ideal learning ground.
The main rule of thumb is just to take it slowly and enjoy

I think therefore I am.  René Descartes.
I sink therefore I was.  Maurice Mynah.

steve    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 4:13 PM
  fully agree with mm ,take it nice and easy , stick to the northern broads if a short/ or week break,and do please ask away any questions you have , and welcome to the forum ,

steve and vicky

stevet0205    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 4:13 PM
  Definitely do it Browny.
We did our first broads holiday last September, we loved it so much we went back in May and are going again the first week this September.
The only advice I, still as a newbie myself really, would offer is to go for a boat with easy access on the bow and stern (front and back). We have found the boats with a front well with seating are ideal for us, it makes mooring so much easier and it is lovely to sit out in during nice warm evenings.
A broads holiday is THE MOST relaxing holiday you will ever have - Guaranteed   Smile

Soupdragon    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 4:19 PM
  8 days until our first broads holiday, still a little nervous about handling the boat but looking forward to it - like a kid at christmas to be honest!!. Will let you know how we got on when we get back. Smile

easyrider    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 4:26 PM
  Hi Brownie and welcome to the forum. I remember my first time of hiring a boat on the Broads and I can tell you I was very nervous. I read many a post on here and it set my mind at rest to a certain extent. I'm still a relative newbie compared to some of the other forumites on here and their experience and advice is invaluable. The main thing they taught me was to take everything nice and slow, especially when mooring, and to enjoy the experience. No matter how silly you think the question you want to ask sounds ask it anyway, someone on here will answer you and put your mind at rest. As has been said already "the Rascals" posts and videos are well worth a look. It does seem a bit daunting at first but believe me once you've done it you will be back for more. My best advice is to relax, ask as many questions your not sure about and enjoy one of the best holidays you can ever have Smile

all the best
"experientia docet"

londonrascal    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 4:54 PM

Welcome to the forum too.

It is fine to ask anything, and being nervous is something which in my mind gets worse the more you think and plan and worry.  

Now you talk about going next August, so there is a lot of time to think ahead and book this year a boat that otherwise closer to the time next year will be booked – you will also pay this years prices, and be able to pay a  small deposit now and put aside the money so that will help finances.

Feel free to join in here, ask anything – detailed, or simple there is never a stupid question.  

What I would suggest though, is since the weather of late is nice (and I am not sure how far you live from the Broads) why not drive here – or even let the train take the strain – and have a day out?  You can bring a nice picnic, hire a small day boat and get a real taster of things.  If you did not want to hire your own dayboat, you could take a trip boat from say Wroxham and have a look at the boatyards – if it is not change over time many would be happy to let you have a look-see at the boats that are in the yard.

Either of the above will mean you can both decide if a week’s holiday on a boat is what you want – you might go back home thinking that it was great and you can’t wait to helm  your own ‘floating home’ – or decide actually it was a lovely experience, but boating might not be for you – in which case you might prefer to hire a waterside property where you get up close and personal to the river but everything stays still and no worries about mooring and ropes.

Truthfully when it comes to boating there is nothing to be nervous and worried about – as long as you take your time and are safe – and that means the person doing the mooing and the person at the wheel to both have on their lifejackets when mooring up – never jump off or on a boat or leap from the boat to the bank – there is never a rush, if the wind makes the boat drift away from the bank you go around again.   I get worried about ‘cocking up’ a mooring, and it is that which what you will find yourself thinking of more than ropes and correct knots and the like – but if you do it well after a bit you will be flushed with pride and think “year we did it”.

You can click my link below to the ‘Captain’s Blogs’ where I have playlists of each boat I have hired and you can get an idea of what different boats interiors are like, and places I have visited.

I'd recommend this video [Click Here] as you will see the way controls work and average way a boat is laid out for while they may differ in size and style much of the things inside are going to be the same.

It is truly a great holiday and unlike anything you will have done before and it only takes a week for many people to ‘get hooked’ and come back time and time again.

So maybe try a day out on the water for as taster, but for sure don’t worry about doing things right, using the right terms to call things it is not a test its a holiday after all Smile

|  Robin  |

Norfolk Broads LIVE!
Captain's Blog Video Series

Dibbler    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 5:02 PM
  Browny...welcome. Cheers

You'll be fine, just take things easy and if you're not sure...ask. We don't bite...well not all the time  Playful


rustic    -- Aug-18-2013 @ 5:04 PM
  Choosing a boat.
A forward driving position with front well is certainly good, with great access for mooring, and deploying the Mud Weight ( anchor for broads etc), but, because there is very little boat in front of you, it is very difficult to see what the stern is doing, and trying to steer a straight course is quite difficult for the first few days with Newbies, and when seen from astern, they seem to wiggle from side to side, they do suffer from "over steering"  But after a few days this is no longer the case, so keep with it, you will soon be fine.

"Oversteering" is caused by the driver turning the wheel, sees that nothing happens straight away, so turns more, eventually the boat turns too far and now the driver is frantically trying to steer the other way to compensate and thus the cycle continues, with the wheel being turned both ways.

To overcome this, be aware that it takes a few seconds for the heavy boat to start to turn, so if there is space and you are not steering to avoid any obstructions, only turn the wheel about a hand width or two, at a time, wait, see what happens.
This will help to keep the boat on a straight course.
Certainly the right technique for following the course of a river.

Hope this helps.

A rear cockpit cruiser
means that you can see what the front is doing, and you can aim the boat better in the first instance, but if it has a canopy, can be a real pain to put up and take down between showers. That's what we have on our boat.
Also access to mooring up can be more difficult as you have to deal with the canopy and some of the smaller rear cockpit cruisers from Barns Brinkcraft that are shaped like a pair of trainers, or one shoe in this instance, have a rear platform, but I cannot see it being easy to get ashore when coming alongside, as it is very low and narrow on this particular design. I have seen people struggle where the banks are high, eg at Acle at low tide.

There are centre cockpit cruisers, but they tend to be for 4 or more people, and tend to be bigger too.

If you have an idea of the chosen boat, let us know and I am sure someone would have hired it, and tell you the pros and cons.

This is quite exciting choosing your first boat.
Will Hubby be aware, or is it going to be a surprise?
Does he like fishing etc, some boats are better than others, some like the front steering, front well boats can provide more weather protection, and you can still be together.

Hope this helps.

best regards, Richard.
I can't wait to be back on our boat on
the Broads.

boat-mad    -- Aug-19-2013 @ 8:11 AM
  Hi Browney,
It is really helpful to hire a boat that has a bow thruster. This is a great aid for mooring up/parking, leaving moorings and turning the boat around.

For more information Please click here

Kind Regards

OldBill    -- Aug-19-2013 @ 9:01 AM
  Hi Browny & welcome to the forum.
As a relative newby (first trip 2011 but have already been 3 times) I would concur with all that's been said. From my own experience I would just like to add 3 things.
Firstly, when considering a boat don't do as I did & tend to go for a cheap one as they are usually older & although O.K. don't always give the comfort needed to fully enjoy your first trip.
Secondly, as soon as possible after leaving the yard,if you can get onto one of the broads where there is more room than the rivers,have 1/2 an hour just practising steering & getting used to controlling the boat. Seeing how easy it can be will give you confidence in more confined areas.
Lastly, re oversteering, I found the best way to minimise this is just to use fingertips on the wheel & apply gentle pressure whilst keeping in mind response takes a couple of seconds.
I'm sure you'll manage & like the rest of us, become addicted to this wonderful way of holidaying

stevet0205    -- Aug-19-2013 @ 4:45 PM

Can I just say your website is also a place of excellent tips for the novice and new hirers. Wish I had found it before our first trip, I may not have ended up on my backside covered in mud outside the ferry inn by the reedham chain ferry. Didn't realise wood can be so slippery and how strong the flow is there Wink . Mooring with the tide behind you isn't the best thing to try on your first trip, or any trip come to think of it.
Some great advice and very useful bits on there, especially the pub map, the B A moorings and the distance calculator have come in very handy - keep up the good work

Minor2011    -- Aug-19-2013 @ 5:34 PM
  Brownie if you're looking for a centre cockpit boat & there's only two of you then I can reccomend Bronze Emblem from ferry marina. It's only a 2 berth & for a craft that size to be only a 2 berth means you have LOTS of room. Being a centre cockpit you won't suffer from oversteer & the boat handles like an absolute dream. It doesn't have how thrusters as has been advised but honestly the boat handles that well you won't need them. Being ferry marina the price you pay is all inclusive so no insurances or fuel to worry about.
We used to do the canals & were nervous the first time we took the controls of a broads cruiser, but after about 20 mins we really wondered what we were worrying about.
I know it's a cliche but it really is the fastest way to slow down & if you don't do it, it's something you'll regret. Honestly.

Sheque1    -- Aug-19-2013 @ 6:56 PM
  Welcome and enjoy your Holiday, You've been intelligent enough to worry about it and come on here to ask questions, thousands who go on the broads have no clue and don't ask questions but they survive OK.
so just ask away here  then enjoy the Broads.
The Q

Rough Collies, the best 4 by paws by Far

Charlie    -- Aug-19-2013 @ 7:53 PM
  If you are at all nervous about driving the boat, manoeuvres and mooring up I would like to suggest that you or anyone for that matter thinks very carefully about the yard from which they hire. I've just finished an almost month long stint on the boat (yes I know that's jammy), I've covered both parts of the broads extensively and have noticed significant patterns in the the boats which are well handled and those which are not. Now I know that some of it will be down to the individual's ability to listen and follow advice and also conditions such as weather etc will often play a part however, when you see 4 boats from a small yard (almost half their fleet I suspect) make foolish and frankly dangerous mooring manoeuvres in less than a 12 hour time period you have question their standard of tuition. Conversely when moored close to another hire yard on turn round day I witnessed a very thorough trial run where the hirer was made to do a side on mooring in a gap no more than ten feet longer than the boat and then moored stern on before manoeuvring in the middle of the river.
On chatting with someone who had hired from one of the larger yards I was horrified to find out that the poor woman had asked for more help after her trial run as she was nervous about causing damage to her vessel or one belonging someone else. She was given another ten minutes (a repeat of the first) and then told that there was nothing more they could do for her. She was then sent away to 'enjoy' her holiday, which she was still finding incredibly stressful three days later  as a result of the lack of help from the yard.
I'm sure that those forum members who have hired from a greater range of yards will be able point you in the direction of quality tuition. I know where I would send someone based on what I've seen. And I also know which yards I wouldn't touch with somebody else's barge pole!


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