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The Norfolk Broads Forum / General Chat / Boat air drafts (heights)
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Boat air drafts (heights)

Similar Threads That Might Help :
Boat air drafts (heights)| Air Draft| Air Draft and Bridges| air draft | air draft |

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romany
Feb-20-2006 @ 9:17 PM                           Permalink
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just been thinking it would be good if people could post the airdrafts of any boats they may have hired, as this information is not readily available in the hire brochures, and would help plan a route for people in the comming season.

                 julia  Smile

expilot
Feb-20-2006 @ 11:58 PM                           Permalink
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The air draught required for Potter Bridge for every current and most past ex-hire craft capable of a Potter passage are kept by Phoenix Fleet who operate the pilotage service.  At one time, when we were piloting fifteen thousand boats a season through the bridge I had every boat;s height in my head - a bit like the taxi driver's "knowledge".  The only difference was that when a taxi driver made a mistake with his knowledge, the meter always read in his favour.  On the very rare occasions my memory let me down, it was another expensive laundry bill.

Please do not ring Phoenix Fleet until after Easter.  This is their busy period.  They will not thank you for unwittingly becoming an unwilling information provider.  

At the same time PLEASE do not rely on the boatyard's air draught height.  I could never understand why a certain DC30 used to cruise down to the bridge, turn round and disappear week in week out.  Whilst relighting a fridge on this boat I noticed the yard had marked it up at 7' 6" - eight inches higher than it needed for Potter bridge and probably more than a foot higher than it needed for a flat span bridge.

On another occasion, I was called up by the wife of a yard owner that shall remain anonymous.  I was severely berated for telling her boat's hirers that they couldn't get under the bridge that week.  She had the audacity to sk why I had refused them passage.  I explained to her that, at low tide we experienced only 6' 9" air draught.  She then proceeded to tell me that the yard had measured the boat at 6' 8" and that the boat would, therefore, pass Potter bridge at the next low tide.  I asked if she were authorising me to put the boat through at 6' 9".  "Of course I am," came the reply, "if it will fit."
"Madam, all boats fit at 6' 9"," I replied, "it's just that some are a tighter fit than others and, therefore it takes longer for us to get the pieces back out again."

Had I taken the yard's boat through at 6' 9" it would have taken a diving team to retrieve the sliding canopy from the murky waters.

She then asked how we measured the boats for Potter bridge.  I hadn't the heart to explain that wjen both handrails touched the bridge's arch simultaneously, we made a note of the clearance at the time and added ONE inch!  Her yard's boat needed 6' 11" or 5' 10" with a lot of luck and with the whole crew and dog sitting in the front well.



"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

expilot
Feb-20-2006 @ 12:00 AM                           Permalink
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P.S.  Anyone desparate to know a Potter Bridge clearance height, please pm me.  I promise to check the books rather than rely on a failing memory!

"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

Richard
Feb-21-2006 @ 1:32 AM                           Permalink
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I can attest to expilots comments about the pilots having an encyclopedic knowledge.

For the first time ever I used a pilot to go through Potter last year. The skippers handbook stated 7' height so I asked the pilot when he thought we could get through,

"not this week, what boat are you on?", "Lapwing", "no problem she's 6'8", you've got time for about 2 pints"

And he took us through perfectly, despite all the bits of string lying around.

Ellaboat
Feb-21-2006 @ 2:54 PM                           Permalink
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With all the figures quoted above, I wonder just how many boats have actually made it under that bridge in the past 2 years.
We need 6'6" and the only time in the past 2 years that I have seen that is when I was visiting by car.
Aargh

E/boat Steve

expilot
Feb-21-2006 @ 3:26 PM                           Permalink
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About three thousand a year

"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

Ellaboat
Feb-21-2006 @ 6:46 PM                           Permalink
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Any predictions as to when we are next likely to see 6'6" for a few consecutive days?
(We could actually squeeze under at a little less but I am loathed to try it).

E/boat Steve

p.s. I know that in practice it also depends on air pressure etc. on the day, but it's good to have someone on site with real experience of the area who could gaze into their crystal ball

This message was edited by Ellaboat on Feb-21-06 @ 5:50 PM


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