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Mon, 11 Apr 2016 7:20 am BST- Light Rain
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Hayley
Jan-04-2013 @ 10:26 AM                           Permalink
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Learning The Ropes
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Hi everyone.

I am new on here and would like some advise. Myself and my boyfriend have booked a boat to hire at the end of February 2013, my sister is also coming with her Fiance and their four month old daughter. We are picking the boat up from Potter Heigham and I wanted to know if anyone has any useful advise for us and also if there are any places we could visit during our trip?

Many thanks.

Hayley.

JanandPaul
Jan-04-2013 @ 12:51 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Hayley

Jan and I hired for 10 years before we eventually bought our own boat and we know the north broads fairly well. In February the temperature may be fairly low and you will probably find that the public staithe water supplies have been turned off. So my first advice would be to use boatyards for topping up your water tank. You won't get very long daylight hours so don't set yourself a long target for cruising each day, but remember that you will need about 3 to 4 hours to keep your batteries topped up. Personally I would stay on the northern broads and go up the River Ant to Stalham ( broads museum) and Sutton. Both have good pubs and plently of moorings. ( There will not be many boats around at this time of the year, so moorings should be free). You should easily be able to cruise along to Horning and Wroxham and all the broads en route, without rushing about. Depending upon your headroom you might get under Wroxham bridge and up to Coltishall. you may find one or two broads closed off, but i'm sure you will have a great time.

Paul and Jan

Pauline&Phill
Jan-04-2013 @ 1:01 PM                           Permalink
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Welcome Hayley, I hope this will be the beginning of a
love-affair with the Broads.
There are numerous threads on here you can search (blue
search box above right) relating to first time trips.
In summary:
1. wear lifejackets whenever on deck
2. choose upstream, under the bridge if your boat will
go there, pilots and boatyard will sort this out, or
downstream
3. Upstream you have wilderness, reedbeds, wildfowl,
great pub at the top of Hickling Broad, windmill and
seals on the beach at Horsey , and great pub Smile  There
is a theme here... tounge-in-cheek
You have the crystal clear water of West Somerton at
the limit of navigation.
4. Downstream there is a wealth of choice of locations,
we all have favourites. Womack with the Kings arms and
a cafe in Ludham, also shops for food. Turn left at
Thurne (with a pub) and reach Upton with a village co-
operative running its historic pub , also Acle, and a
pub with a warm welcome and big plates! Turn Right and
Ranworth, wildlife centre and ...yes pub! South
Walsham, right for the Ant and Ludham Bridge, water
there and a pub..lol, Barton Broad, Stalham and all
facilities, otherwise straight on for  Horning,
restaurants shopping and TWO pubs, no three if you
count the Ferry on the way in, Salhouse Broad,
Cockshoot Nature Reserve, Wroxham Broad, Wroxham &
Hoveton, separated by a bridge and busy with shops and
food outlets.

Personally, I would forget going south beyond Acle on a
first
trip unless you are experienced boaters.

Fill up with water regularly, have a few meals aboard
for wilderness night mooring, check out the Broads
Authority website for a Boating Guide, for basic
handling before you set out from home, it will help you
have more confidence. Take your time and enjoy.

If you post your boat name here and dates, no doubt
some members will keep a look out for you, and you can
print off a logo, link below to put in your windows to
let others know you are a member.


Best wishes,

Pauline

Once we were Rondonay, now we
are simply Brilliant!


Bittern Code 65


This message was edited by Pauline&Phill on Jan-4-13 @ 1:05 PM

Regulo
Jan-04-2013 @ 1:39 PM                           Permalink
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Edit: Where's my manners? Welcome to the Forum, Hayley.

Pauline, did you mention the pubs? Evil Grin

Good advice, the Broads can be all things to all people, just take care, especially if the mornings are frosty, and remember wooden quay headings can be like ice when wet. Don't worry unduly about these points, and enjoy yourselves.

Regards, Ray.

If it's neither here, nor there, then where is it?


This message was edited by Regulo on Jan-4-13 @ 1:45 PM

londonrascal
Jan-04-2013 @ 2:29 PM                           Permalink
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Welcome to the forum – and to boating.

Last February I too hired – just a weekend break.  In conclusion here is what I have to offer and found myself.

Some of this may seem over kill, some may sound as if I am trying to make the idea of winter boating seem a terrible idea – but actually I am just being honest with what you will come across when boating and as you are new to boating and as you are going in the winter think I ought to be frank about things.

Water availability:  During the break I found Ludham Bridge water point to be have hose and working, Potter Heigham – Herbet Woods and where we hired from (Freedom when based in Horning). In short it was no issue.  But if this February was to be a super cold one, it is not so much ‘is there a hose’ more is it not frozen up.  Boatyards who hire at this of year are few and far between, but will keep their hoses ice free for their customers – Herbert Woods, Anglia Boats at Womack, Faircraft Loynes at Wroxham – so those bases are where I would pop along to.

The cold: It is by its very nature going to be cold, remember too as you are new to boating that the heating on a boat varies wildly on effectiveness.  Some are very good some not so great – most too tend to have very hot air come out of the vent in the saloon, but cabins further back (and along the duct work) get very little.

With this in mind and that in most circumstances it is not advised to have heating left running over night (leave any safety aspect aside it uses fuel and drains batteries) the number one thing to bring is hot water bottles and ask the boatyard for extra blankets.

What I tend to do as a rule of thumb is put one blanket on the bed under the top sheet then one over top of duvet – this insulates you from beneath and above and proves to mean bedtimes are cost affairs and warm.

Ice: Please never just walk out the door on the boat and on to the deck without thought – be very cautious because even if it has not got to the point of ice over the decks, a hard frost can make decks slippery, ropes hard and grab rails things you don’t want to grab with bare hands.  So please be cautious – always wear a life jacket when on deck and when mooring up and bear in mind that things like the wooden toppings to formal moorings may be slippery – it is all pretty much common sense but it is easy to get carried away with excitement of a holiday and in a moment an accident happens it ruins everything.

How far you can go: This is really dependant on two things: daylight and that old adversary to boats in winter ice.  You see while the main rivers, such as the River Bure and River Thurne may not ice up – slow moving waterways like the upper reaches of the River Ant, or large open areas of sheltered still water like Womack Water – Barton Broad ice up very much faster.  Because of this when I went I avoided mooring at a sheltered location over night to avoid risk of waking in the morning to find the boat was ‘iced in’.

If you are chugging along the river and come around a bend to find it is iced over – don’t be tempted to carry on.  Sure the boat will likely go through the ice and break it up but if it is a few inches thick it could potentially breach the hull at worst, at best it will cost hundreds of pounds and a lot of labour at the boat yard to repair damage that the ice does to the bow of the boat.  Of course it may not be iced up at all, we may have a mild February and all will b wonderful.

I mentioned though something we are stuck with – short days.  This means you will need to plan your cruising to the available daylight hours – note when sunset is and then plan to moor up 30 minutes at most before this – this means you will have that 30 minute ‘buffer zone’ if you have not timed things quite right and need to ditch your intended destination and moor up somewhere else.  It is better to do that than end up at dusk trying to moor up on slippery wet grass and mud with cold hands and ropes.  

You can work out distances easily using this very forum, just click  this link and you can print off the distance/time chart to take with you – but bear in mind tide and wind does effect journey times so they are an estimate not absolute.

If you intend to pass under Wroxham Bridge I the Bridge Pilot (so I understand it) the Bridge Pilot is not working during February.  Therefore you would be ‘in breach’ of your hire agreement if you took the boat through and something happens (you hit the bridge) don’t expect it to be covered with your damage waiver.  Because of this I’d not attempt it – and indeed water levels are likely to be too high anyway.

If you did want to explore up to Colitshall – or indeed up to Hickling – two very beautiful parts of the Broads, boath at Wroxham and Potter Heigham you can rent a day boat and if you split the cost between the four of you will be a bargain and a good day out – both at Hickling and Coltishall you will find a welcome warm pub.

So that is it really, take care, stay warm, don’t go where there is ice and take the best pre-cautions not to moor over night where it is too sheltered and the water is still if temperatures have been and are forecast to be below zero. You will have a great time I am sure.

I know I have not answered anything you wanted to know (what to do where to go) but I am perhaps not the best person to ask about that – I know too this is a blatant plug, but if you want a laugh and see what the Broads has to offer have a look here videos I have made when I am afloat.


| Robin |
     
My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.


Hayley
Jan-04-2013 @ 2:45 PM                           Permalink
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Learning The Ropes
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Wow lots of advice there! thank you to all of you!! Smile We have been to Norfolk a few times and we love it there! We had a trip on the paddle steamer last year which is at the Swan and we loved the broads soooo much that we decided to hire a boat this time. This will be the first time in Norfolk for my sister, her fiance and the baby so I know they will love it too!

You are right. there are pubs everywhere so we won't go hungry or thirsty and hopefully we will find some that have a games room too. I have been told that the Ferry inn has a very big games room so we will be going there at some point, also three of us will be celebrating our birthdays while we are away so I think the broads will make it special and the other halves will be happy with the fishing!!

We have hired Morning Light 2 from 23rd February - 2nd March.

Again thank you all for your help Smile

Hayley.

ranworthbreeze
Jan-04-2013 @ 4:00 PM                           Permalink
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Hello Hayley,

Welcome to the forum.

You have been given loads of advice so its all down to common sense, keeping warm especially with the baby and remaining safe at all times.

Regards
Alan

Alan Hood
Ranworth Breeze Boat Syndicate
www.ranworthbreeze.co.uk



Paladine
Jan-04-2013 @ 4:31 PM                           Permalink
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Welcome to the forum, Hayley.

Lots of good advice here. I note that the boat you're hiring has got 240v shore power. You might like to consider bringing a thermostatically controlled electric heater (or two) with you (I've got a fan heater, 'cos they heat up quicker than the oil-filled variety). Then you can consider mooring at a place with electric posts and hooking up to the mains. Then you can either leave the heater on low overnight (safer than leaving the diesel heater on) or have a quicker warm-up in the morning.

This is a link to the Broads Authority leaflet about using the posts, and their locations, which you can print off. Bear in mind that the post at Ludham Bridge is not a BA post and will only accept cards which you can purchase from the Ludham Bridge Stores.

At the end of February, I cannot imagine you'll have any problem in finding a empty post. The cards cost £1 each and the whole amount is deducted from the card when you insert it into the post, so it's worth checking the meter on the post, in case there is still some credit left from the previous user (some you win, some you lose).

Mercator
Jan-04-2013 @ 6:26 PM                           Permalink
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Hi haley
Welcome to the forum. Loads of sound advise given, don't forget to wear your life jackets, decks will become very slippy in cold weather


Steve & Maggie.

Magellan (Westward 38)

Not quite an ancient mariner ..... though some say he was at sea before Pontius was a pilate !

BuffaloBill
Jan-04-2013 @ 6:48 PM                           Permalink
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And DON'T forget a good torch!
Take it with you everytime you leave the boat in case you
return later than planned.

The winter solstice has passed
and now the days get longer!

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