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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Holiday Tales / Silver Emblem 1 27/10 - 31/10 2014
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Silver Emblem 1 27/10 - 31/10 2014

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Nov-10-2014 @ 12:43 AM                           Permalink
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As promised, I will attempt to give a brief account of our recent 4 night visit to the broads on board Silver Emblem 1, from Ferry Marina. Although this was my fourth time on a boat, I would still describe my wife and me as novices as each time we go we learn more and more. In 2011 we hired Sandringham from Sanderson’s on the Southern broads for 4 nights as a beginner holiday. We had a great time exploring a lot of the rivers in that area. No dramas.
In 2012 we hired “Brilliant” from Herbert Woods, for a week and, after relatively little experience, but a bit of research, we crossed Breydon with no issues and wondered what all the fuss was about. We learnt a great deal in that week by just trial and error. As my wife is not too confidant with boats or ropes, Brilliant was a great choice, as from the helm, with the roof slid back, I could quickly jump over either side a get a rope attached without assistance. I experienced approaching a mooring outside the Ship Inn at Reedham, against a very fast tide, with limited space, no bow thruster and wife nowhere to be seen. I gained some confidence.
2013 we were back to Herbert Woods and at short notice, took “Princess” for 4 nights, along with my 75 year old Dad and my 83 year old mother in law. Again, due to the layout of this boat we could accommodate everyone’s need with no real issues. On the first night we headed straight down south, crossing Breydon just in time for light and tide and reached Berney arms for our first night. For whatever reason I do remember struggling to get moored, later learning about the effects of both wind and tide! So, as I said earlier still loads to learn. We had a great time again, but heading north, mistakenly, I was heading for Yarmouth to coincide with low water as opposed to slack water. I soon learned the difference. On turning at the yellow post, I immediately became aware that I was being pushed towards the mud bank on the opposite side. It was quite an alarming experience considering my passenger list! A lot of throttle, noise and diesel, and we finally made Stracey Arms just as the sun went home. More lessons learned, but valuable experience for the future. I did think that that particular boat did not have the power to enable it to cope with slight wind or tide differences. Maybe it just had a propeller the size of a 2p piece. Other than that, a great trip.
2014 was the year that has spoilt us. Due to commitments during the year we decided that we would hire for the last week in the season, and just take a chance on the weather. Since it was highly likely that the weather would not be great, we decided that we would hire a dual helm, so as I could hide inside if the weather was inclement. We chose Silver Emblem, after some research and were certainly not disappointed but will give a short insight which hopefully will help but newcomers and people like ourselves who are gradually getting better.
The night before the hire we stayed at the Swan Inn in Horning. Very friendly, easy, polite and speedy check-in. lovely food and Aspels. Happy Days.

Day 1 (weather sunny with some wind) Helm position - Outside
The following morning after a beautiful breakfast, we wandered along to the boatyard to inquire as to getting the boat a little earlier. Staff could not have been more helpful and asked us to return at 12, instead of 2. We arrived back at 11.30 ish and told we could start loading the boat. No fuss, just helpful people and an easy experience. Once loaded, a young chap called “Dave, give a very in depth and comprehensive demonstration of everything. I learnt more in that hour than I have learnt in the previous three demos put together. Top marks for the intro and trial run.
1pm, and we were off. Plan was, due to the clocks having gone back the night before, to head for Womack Staithe and moor before fading light. I chose here, as, having never been there before, if there was no room, and then we had time to get in the Thurne Dyke as a backup plan. (Always near a pub, obviously)If plan 2 failed then Herbert Woods yard would be last resort (only for time and light)
As we approached Womack Staithe, it became apparent that there was only one space left, and it was right at the shop end. Stern on, and everybody was watching. No pressure. At this moment I fell in love with Silver because it was like reversing my car. I have now found “bow thrusters”. Within minutes we were tied up and had time to have a quick look round the boat before heading to the Kings Arms. This boat is everything it is described as and is a pleasure to handle. It nearly made a novice like me look good!! Just back-tracking slightly, I noticed whilst in the beer garden on the riverfront at the Swan Inn, this mooring looked so desirable and I thought to myself, “one day, I will get moored there and sit , having a beer whilst watching the world go by” judging by the traffic waiting for anyone to move, this was highly unlikely.
Anyway, my only criticism of Silver was that the lower helm has slight restricted forward view due to the window layout and absolutely no stern view from that position.
The only reason I mention the rear view is that on our way from Horning to Womack, a group of girls aboard a boat from Royall’s managed to pass us on our right and was lucky not to cause a collision. Since there is no rear vision, we were unaware that the boat was even there until it came into view on our right.
After a brief visit / drink to the Kings Arms we decided that it was maybe more for locals and decided to walk to the Dog Inn. Apart from the scary walk along that unlit road we were not let down. Same friendly greeting and food served immediately. Very important to carry a good torch otherwise we would have put ourselves in danger along that road. Goodnight. (Was good advice from someone on the forum to take our own duvet? Due to the time of year can get chilly at night and the bedding supplied may not have been adequate). Goodnight.

Day 2 (weather fine but windy) pullover required for upper helm!
Decided to head for Neatishead as we had never been before, liked the sound of the White Horse and liked the look of the staithe in the pics.Before leaving Ferry Marina I spoke to Dave about Silver getting under Ludham Bridge. This is one of our favourite areas and I am aware of the problems associated with the bottleneck. Sliver has an air draft of 8’3” and Ludham Bridge apparently has a clearance of 8’6” at mean high tide. Tight, and this is last week in October. I must have been mistaken but I thought Dave had told me that I could navigate the bridge from the upper helm. I’m not the tallest person in the world but that was surely not going to be a possibility. On entering the Ant, the first marker was showing 8’0. This was a worry. I quick engaged neutral. Hopped down below, switched to lower helm and headed off towards the bridge. I asked my wife to put her head out of the starboard door opening, which is well below the highest point of the boat, which is the handrail around the upper helm position. On approaching the bridge I was starting to sweat. One boat in front but a Canadian type canoe, four on board, slowly paddling from the north side of the bridge. Canoe passed, boat in front through, we inched our way forward to the point where I think I virtually brought the boat to a stop. Not good, as it is better to use some throttle when passing under a bridge. I asked my wife if we could make. She didn’t think so but as we got even nearer, “yes” was the reply, we have got about 10cm clearance. How fantastic it was to have a bow thruster in this situation. It made a delicate, stressful time an absolute doddle. Relieved I wondered about the accuracy of the marker post or my eye sight. I didn’t care, we were through. My first starboard mooring from the inner helm and it went without incident. This is testament to how easy this boat was to handle. (Oh yes, and I may just be getting better)! A quick visit to the store and off we went Barton bound. It was a beautiful cruise up to Neatishead but on arrival, (very limited space) the chaps fishing from the end of the staithe did not look too pleased to see us. The staithe looked full and the fisherman did not look like they were going to move their lines (these people were fishing from hire craft I may add not local fishermen), so we moved off, done a three point turn and headed for Gays (or is it Gayes, two different spellings on signs on state). Just a nice space here for us, no drama, torch, White Horse, lovely food, 1st class service and loads more Aspels. More Sleepy

Day 3 (cloudy, light rain, still upper helm c/w jacket for a while)
Rudely awoken by selfish man aboard Grenada Girl from Summercraft who is either ignorant or can’t follow a simple code of practice which respects other folk on the moorings. After a quick breakfast we filled up with water after turning around, then heading for Stalham . It was very crowded as usual so we done the required handbrake turn and headed south once again. A first attempt at wild mooring on the Ant, whilst I took a shower. Passing visit to all new places, including Paddy’s Lane and Barton Turf. All intelligence gathering for future visits. Arrived at Ludham Bridge at 2.30pm. Moored up and walked to the height marker. Below 8’0 maybe about 7’10”. High tide about three, so if I waited for tide to drop it would be dark. Stuck !! I really wanted to be at a new pub that night and the Thurne Dyke was my initial plan. I told my wife we were going to take a chance and creep up to have a look. This time I told her there was to be no maybe, no I think sons, it had to be yes or no. I considered putting a towel across the handrail but did not have time to go “upstairs “Just before the bridge a privateer aboard a wooden traditional broads cruiser ( experience I assumed ) gave me a very worried look and shouted to my wife “ what height are you “ I prayed she didn’t reply 5’6”! Her reply was 8’ something. He shook his head. I got worried. I lined up for the bridge gently nudging my life-saving bow thruster. “Are we ok I shouted to my wife” “I don’t think so was the heart stopping reply”!! “I need a yes or a no “her reply – “ok you’ve got 2 inches” cheeky I thought but Silver went under and we were free. Yeah !! Into the Thurne Dyke, nice three point turn at bottom, moored up on farm side, simple snack on board, then off to the Lion. How good was this? Three out of three excellent mooring spots. Guinness time. Good night.

Day 4 (early fog, bright and sunny in afternoon).Upper helm
Once again people aboard Brinks Prelude, engine running 7.25am. I still had hot water from previous day, did they not try theirs?
Straight off to escape the noise and stopped in Herbert Woods’ yard for a quick visit to Potter and “Lathams”Quick turn around and off to St Bennetts for breakfast stop. Because of early morning fog I was quite pleased that we stayed up north as this was the day that I would have travelled back across Breydon, light and tide being in our favour. If we had needed to wait for fog to lift, we would have missed the tide, not being able to cross until the Fri, therefore being unable to get to the boatyard by 9am. Phew!! Another good (lucky) decision.
We decided moor at Ferry Marina, since we wanted to spend our last night for another nice meal in the Swan. On arriving at the yard I decided to carry on up to the swan, have a look at it from riverside, then moor at yard. I really wanted to spend every last available minute on this boat!! It was 1.30pm and as we approached the Swan I could already see the “3 obligatory boats” on the beer garden front state. So I prepared to turn around. Unbelievably, the centre boat pulled off the mooring. I immediately slowed right hand down. My wife appeared from nowhere asking if we were going in. “Yes” was the reply but it was going to be tight. I eased the bow inn, aware of the fact that being a sunny afternoon, the world, and Horning were watching from the garden. No pressure. Clearing the stern of the first boat nicely, little burst of reverse, a touch on the bow thrust and we glided to my best mooring in four years. To my amazement, my wife had stepped from the boat, for the first time, holding the stern rope until I got off and secured the front. I was so happy that we even looked like we knew what we were doing. Lots of Aspels. Even though it was early afternoon, I decided I was not moving from this mooring. Spent a nice afternoon drink and chatting with another family until it was dark. More Aspels !! Ate again later in the Swan, once again faultless.
Day 5 ( sunny ) upper helm
Quick trip up to Salhouse broad, turn around and into Ferry Marina for 9am. Cannot fault any part of the service or boat or staff from Ferry Marina. 1st class from start to finish. I can honestly say that boat can be managed by a lone person if necessary, which was my only initial fear.

This message was edited by hedgehog on Nov-10-14 @ 11:52 PM

Nov-11-2014 @ 9:54 AM                           Permalink
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Hedgehog hi,

Thanks for your very detailed post.  Glad you enjoyed yourself and were very pleased with the boat.  I have not hired Silver Emblem but have been onboard and was well impressed.

My only reservation would be mooring up when using the inside helm.  My wife doesn’t want to steer and I do mostly solo mooring as my wife is not as nimble as she used to be.    I normally plan the tides so that when I approach moorings the conditions are best for me to moor port side to the riverbank.

I normally run the stern rope along the side of the boat so that is reachable from the helm.  I do the same with the bow rope so they also meet.  When mooring I open the roof, and climb out the side to tie up.

This would not be possible on Silver Emblem as from what I remember there is no exit to the port/left.  It’s a shame but I know it would be brilliant using the helm at the top but I do tend to hire end or early season so weather is a bit more of a gamble.

I can relate to your mention of being overtaken on the right.  This year I was on a bath tub in a fairly long queue/line of boats travelling from Horning to Wroxham.. We were in an orderly fashion and travelling at the speed limit.  During that journey I had two boats overtake me on the right one causing me to take evasive action.  One smaller cruiser just came from nowhere hugging the riverbank and stopping for nothing.  Further into the journey another bigger bathtub just appeared to my side.  I hooted and waved trying to attract his attention so I could tell him to drop back and pass me the other side.  Waste of time as he just stared straight ahead.  I ended up in a position that my best option was to overtake the boat in front “on the correct side”.

I have now added a warning of what can happen should someone overtake the wrong side on my website under Boating Tips/General Cruising.

Happy boating

Kind Regards

Nov-11-2014 @ 10:16 PM                           Permalink
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Hello hedgehog I very much enjoyed reading your tales and I too can relate to the fear that low bridges can bring, the Swan Ripple and Wroxham Bridge (pre pilot days) still brings me out in a sweat when I think about it. Scared   Smile

Nov-13-2014 @ 11:21 PM                           Permalink
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a very enjoyable read thanks hedgehog  Cheers

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your
May the sun shine warm upon
your face,

Nov-13-2014 @ 11:46 PM                           Permalink
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Hi there

Very interesting, thanks for posting


Jan-31-2015 @ 2:17 PM                           Permalink
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Have not hired Silver Emblem but had it's longer
sister, Golden Emblem, in July 2013 for a week. Lovely
boat, so stable, very little wash, and as you found
with Silver, so easy to moor. My wife is not too nimble
on her feet either, so I'm the one that has to hop on
and off with ropes but Anne does like to take the helm
and with Golden she managed stern mooring without much
difficulty. This was our third visit to the Broads and
our third boat - Malvern Light, a small "bathtub" from
Herbert Woods on our first visit, Quartz Emblem from
Ferry Marina on our second, and Golden Emblem on our
third. For this coming year we've hired Amber Emblem in
hope of getting through Wroxham Bridge and less hassle
at Ludham Bridge and elsewhere. With Golden Emblem we
decided we would at last face the ordeal of Great
Yarmouth and Breydon Water and go into the Southern
Broads. Apart from having to watch tides and bridge
heights with an 8ft3in high craft, Golden handled
beautifully and we wondered why we had never headed
south before. On the final Saturday, back in the North,
we headed up our favourite river, the Ant. Like you, we
almost chickened out at Ludham Bridge and was going to
wait for tide to go down a bit lower (not that it
varies all that much there at best of times) but guy at
boatyard waved to us to go on and we had a few inches
to spare. So know exactly how you felt as Silver and
Golden are the same size apart from length. Nice to
know the hire boat fishermen were blocking mooring at
Neatishead for you too - must be a popular annoy other
holidaymakers spot! We had similar experience in 2013.

This message was edited by SandyA1954 on Jan-31-15 @ 1:19 PM

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