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The Norfolk Broads Forum / First Time on the Broads / Seasoned canalist - first time on The Broads!
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Seasoned canalist - first time on The Broads!

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robster
Feb-08-2013 @ 11:02 AM                           Permalink
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Hi,

Been lurking for a bit here, and you all seem like a very friendly bunch - I'm a seasoned narrow boat hirer, and, dare I say it, you all seem much friendlier than the canal bunch, where the divide between owners and hirers seems far bigger  Wink

Anyway, we've been hiring narrow boats for years, and are fairly experianced in the handling of long, thin boats on water with no flow, but I've always wanted to go on The Broads, and as it's my 40th in May, my wife has relented and booked us aboard Supreme Light from Herbert woods to celebrate my coming of age - it'll just be me, my wife, our 7 year old and our 12 year old....and I can't wait!!!

Anyway, some first timer questions.....

I expect the handling of the boat to be much different to a narrow boat (half the length, twice the width, different steering position, moving water etc..) but will it be very different?

Mudweighting sounds idillic - and there's bags of info on the forum about it, but where is the most ideal spot? Will I need to ask for another weight?

Seems I can hire a rowing dingy with my boat....why would I need one? Is it a neccesity, or just for fun?

Anyone got any experiance of Supreme Light? Seems like a beautiful boat from the pics on the HW site and on here, but would be nice to hear some personal experiances. I must say, I am full of confidence with HW - I only had a short telephone conversation with them yesterday, but they seem extremley professional and polite.

Nice places to visit? Any must-stop-at pubs? We depart on Sat 25th May, and by 40th is on the Tuesday, so a nice pub with great food and ale for that evening is essential! I imagine we'll stick to The North, but who knows.....

Mooring - that old chestnut - I've never really had any mooring woes on the canals - OK, so you might have a little walk along the tow path to the most popular pubs, but I've never had to walk any more than a quarter of a mile - you just arrive, and plod along the canal until you reach a space on the bank. Is this the case on The Broads? or is mooring very different? As it's Whisun half term, I expect the rivers will be busy, but there is a lot of river and bank, and there's nothing wrong with my feet!

Lastly - any recommended reading? Pearson's guides are essential on the canals, but is there a similar "bible" for The Broads? I've also used the Nicholson guides, but they don't seem to publish a Broads book either.

Anyway - thanks for helping, and hopefully I'll see some of you in May!

Rob

Regulo
Feb-08-2013 @ 11:18 AM                           Permalink
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Hi, Rob, and welcome,

I think the biggest difference you'll find is moorings. Out on the rivers, most of the banks are either reed or wooded, so "wild moorings", while available, are limited. But in May you'll probably be OK in most places on pub or public moorings.

Mud-weighting is our favoured overnight mooring, almost any Broad is available to you, but be aware of blustery conditions, when a single mudweight might "drag". If you want to be sure, ask for another weight.

Dinghy hire might be a good investment for the kids to explore and investigate, and to get ashore from some broads, but they can be a hindrance when stern mooring, involving deputising a crew member to take charge of them.

For your special day, I think I'd book a table at the Sutton Staithe Hotel, consistently good reports on here.

Whatever, have a good time, and remember - no locks to negotiate!

Regards, Ray.

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

TravellingMan
Feb-08-2013 @ 11:31 AM                           Permalink
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You will enjoy it, Rob, and I say that as an ex narrow boat owner and current Broads cruiser owner. It is different though, not so many pubs and no nice tow paths to moor against and walk along.

The flow is not so much an issue on the northern rivers, just take it slowly and you will be fine. Just remember you may have a lot of boat behind you, unlike a nb where it is all in front. Must admit I prefer the steering on a nb.

One thing to remember if you do experience flow, always moor into it. The same goes for wind - and it can sometimes get a bit blowy here.

Have a great time  Cheers

boat-mad
Feb-08-2013 @ 11:42 AM                           Permalink
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Rob Hi and welcome,
If you follow the link below to my boating guide web site theirs lots of advice and printable PDF's, maps and river distance chart etc.  Also a link to a great site for tide tables.
There are plenty of lovely riverside pubs with moorings directly outside. You can find a pub guide on this forum. Just follow the pub guide link at the bottom of the forum page.
Just had a look at the boat Looks sooooperb. .


Kind Regards
Alan...
www.mynorfolkbroadsboating.co.uk/


This message was edited by boat-mad on Feb-8-13 @ 12:05 PM

JennyMorgan
Feb-08-2013 @ 11:56 AM                           Permalink
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Hi Rob, how you will miss those locks! Have been on the canals several times, thoroughly enjoyed it.

What we don't do on the Broads is to intentionally push against other boats. I have been ticked of several times on the canals for using my engine to hold my position rather than a lock gate or someone else's boat, bit of a culture shock was that. Did a three point turn in one basin, using the engine to kick the stern round, whoops, obviously not the done thing!

That aside, more pubs, more room, tides, sailing boats,  no locks, quieter engines, you'll grow to love the Broads I'm sure.

Jenny Morgan,
A vane, a boat, but not a
bird.

Suffolk by Birth, Broadlander
by the Grace of God.

Dylly
Feb-08-2013 @ 12:01 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Rob and welcome from me too. The last time that we hired, September last year, I finally persuaded SWMBO that we needed a rowing boat. She moaned and complained...right up until she wanted to moor at Horning. Mooring on the village bank was very tight, boats double moored and what looked like a North Sea Ferry taking up half the moorings (SWMBO did notice that the tea towels hanging out to dry on the gin palace were from Poundland. Bless her!) The moorings the other side of the river however were virtually empty, so moored there, into the rowboat and across into Horning! An exercise repeated wherever moorings were at a premium.

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BroadAmbition
Feb-08-2013 @ 12:05 PM                           Permalink
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Anyway, we've been hiring narrow boats for years, and are fairly experianced in the handling of long, thin boats on water with no flow, but I've always wanted to go on The Broads, and as it's my 40th in May, my wife has relented and booked us aboard Supreme Light from Herbert woods to celebrate my coming of age - it'll just be me, my wife, our 7 year old and our 12 year old....and I can't wait!!!

First off welcome to the NBF proper (Lurker indeed!)

Are you in for a surprise and then some.  You will have a ball.  loads of info in here, you'll not be able to read it all, use the search engine.

imho you have booked a very nice boat and a yard that has a good reputation, it is currently my fave yard btw.

Dinghy - go for it, it adds to the whole experience, gives you more options, the kids will love it.  The stern on mooring thing won't be a big problem, it adds to the fun.

Mudweighting - you will only need a second mudweight if intending to do it when there are stronger winds, pay attention to wx forecasts and you won't need one.  They are handy for fishing but it's out of season for fishing when you are afloat so you won't need to bother

Print off copies of your forum logo (Bottom of the page in red) display - you then hopefully meet forum members afloat.

I can see you waving goodbye to those pesky locks forever.



Griff

'Broad Ambition'
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rads
Feb-08-2013 @ 1:12 PM                           Permalink
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And if you're going to take a dinghy, you may as well go the whole hog and take a sailing dinghy.

Learn to sail this year in the dinghy, then when you come back next year, you can hire a proper boat from Martham, Eastwood Whelptons or Buttifants.

Don't worry about not being able to sail. An air of confidence and generous Pimms ration will compensate for any lack of actual ability.

Allegedly.

Smile

David

BroadAmbition
Feb-08-2013 @ 1:19 PM                           Permalink
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Don't worry about not being able to sail. An air of confidence and generous Pimms ration will compensate for any lack of actual ability.

Which mind sound tongue-in-cheek  but it is very true too!!

Also you won't need to learn how to helm in a straight line for more than say 10yds either!


Griff

'Broad Ambition'
Queens Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant 2012 - H91

'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

Forum Manly Swot 30-07-10

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16E
Feb-08-2013 @ 1:55 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Rob,

You will be fine.  The main thing that unlike a direct tiller handle/rudder on a narrowboat there is little or no feel in a remote wheel set up on a broads motor cruiser with a lot more wheel movement needed to get a little bit of rudder movement.

River flow, you an work out with a tide table.  Going with the flow will help with fuel economy.  Coming in to moor alongside with the boat facing into the tide is nearly always best.

Remember that you can also moor in hireboat yards except for change-over days.

In case you get withdrawal symptoms there are a few narrowboats about.  If you see people waving at you from a little red one - it will be us.

Mal
16E

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