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The Norfolk Broads Forum / General Chat / Advice Please - Foster 21 and PH Bridge
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Advice Please - Foster 21 and PH Bridge

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steve-king
Apr-17-2009 @ 1:04 PM                           Permalink
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Hi all,

I hope you will help put my mind at rest. I am considering buying a Foster 21, which has a big wheelhouse.

The boatyard claim that it will go through PH bridge if I take the floodlight off the top. It is not something I would do often, and I'd probably use the pilot when I did (I assume that private craft can use the pilot?). However, my cottage is the other side of the bridge from the yard, so I must do it at least once (or arrange road transport).

Any advice on whether it will fit?

If not, any suggestions as to what to look at instead? I don't need anything plush, but it must be sound with a cabin and WC. Min 2 berth and easy to get on and off (and in and out of the cabin).

A Siesta 20 would be just about perfect, but they are £13k and my budget is no more than £6k.

While I am asking questions, does anyone have a Foster 21? If so I'd like to know what they are like to own and how easy they are to moor singlehanded in a bit of wind (given the inside steering position).

Thanks to all who can help,

Steve

Pandamonium
Apr-17-2009 @ 1:42 PM                           Permalink
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I would ask the pilots, take the boat name with you as they have lists of all the boats they have taken through. Also phoenix fleet had one in their fleet for a bit - they are the same company as run the pilots! I would thinl it should fit, they dont look that tall!

Cheers

Chris

Springchicken
Apr-17-2009 @ 1:42 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Steve
I've had a 'nosey around' and suspect it's the one at St Olaves ?. Nice looking, roomy boat for the money, and yes, a fair height out of the water. The boatyard should be able to give you specific air draft measurement which will help you to know if you'll pass under PH bridge. I can't imagine them misleading you though. If you like the boat and are prepared to enjoy the water beyond the bridge then it's probably worth getting it transported, although I'm sure you'll want to navigate further afield at some point in time. As for handling any craft on your own, it's always going to be a bit of a trial as I find. Calm water should allow you enough time to stop and tie up on your own but obviously a strong tide can dictate otherwise. Best to look for some form of human assistance when approaching a mooring; there's usually someone more than happy to catch the rope. Good luck.

Regards, John G

essexboy
Apr-17-2009 @ 1:45 PM                           Permalink
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Hi,
If you phone the pilots at Potter on 01692670460
tell them the boats name and they will be able to tell
you at what height they have taken it through before.



George Sims

billmaxted
Apr-17-2009 @ 2:00 PM                           Permalink
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Foster 21's are only narrow beam so should not be a problem most of the time but ask first time and they will show you how.

Bill...(The Ancient Mardler)

VetChugger
Apr-17-2009 @ 4:30 PM                           Permalink
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The narrow beam aspect is far from a guarantee Bill. My Norman 23 was "captive" topside for some considerable time and I could get through on 6'3".

Trevor

www.normanboats.co.uk


expilot
Apr-17-2009 @ 11:35 PM                           Permalink
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I do not recognise the Foster 21 at St Olaves and doubt that I ever put it through Potter bridge.  However, as has been pointed out, the electric picnic boat at Phoenix Fleet is similar.  The boat will definitely go through Potter bridge.  At what clearance height?  The only sure way of finding out is to get the pilots to offer her up to the bridge.  Private pilotage is currently £10.00 each way.

Will you manage a Foster 21 single handed?  I would suggest this will depend on your agility.  The picnic boat referred to earlier is not the easiest of boats to get in and out of - particularly with the canopy up.

I would have four mooring ropes fitted and bring the fore and aft on each side brought to the rear well of the boat.  Step off with both ropes and make a quick temporary mooring with the stern line before tying off the forward line.  Once the boat is secure you can adjust the lines to your heart's content.

When buying a boat I always insist on a couple of mooring exercises with my intended purchase as well as the standard run up and down the river.  All boats have idiosyncratic tendencies, a few are just plain horrible.  I am reminded of a Seamaster 813 that had a mind of its own in reverse.  Stern on moorings were never less than embarrassing.

Good luck with your purchase, but don't hurry the process and don't allow yourself to be hurried either.

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

Glen_Mist
Apr-18-2009 @ 3:49 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Steve

       I don't know if this helps at all but my Mum has got a Foster 24 (a lengthened 21) and she was told that it would go through potter, although we didn't doubt this advice (much) we still had a look and it was discovered that it was lower (and narrower) than the Safari 25 it was moored beside.

Chris J

"Beer, is there anything it can't do?"

steve-king
Apr-18-2009 @ 11:30 PM                           Permalink
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Hi all,

Thanks for your help. I will remove the clutter from the top of the coach roof and give it a go (with a pilot the first time at least!).

It is the one at St Olaves - Setting Sun. I will be with the family most of the time, but often do the run down river to collect or return the luggage to the car by myself - hence the questions about mooring solo.

My plan was to rig up a pair of springing lines on the steering (port) side of the boat. I would use a shock cord between two bowlines on each springing line, and bring them both together in a generous loop just outside the helmsman's window. I'd attach a sturdy snap shackle to the loop as well.

That way if I am solo in a bit of a blow, I can always motor alongside and either drop the loop over a post or snap the shackle to a ring.

Then I could go aft to grab the mooring lines (led to the back as suggested above) and tie up the normal way.

(I should say that the motive behind all this is that the boat has a sterndrive - I assume that these lose all steering when you cut the power just like the outboard on our current Pacific 550 does)

Any thoughts / improvements you can suggest?

Many thanks for your suggestions and advice above.

Regards,

Steve


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