BryanW

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About BryanW

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Cambridge
  • Interests
    Photography, both still & video
    Norfolk Broads

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  1. Well, having slaved over a hot computer for the last couple of days the video is complete.
  2. We have never stopped there and I suspect I would be eaten alive even more if we did, don't know what it is but the midges used to prefer my wife but now its me instead. I was always under the impression that mooring at these pumping stations was a no no, I am sure I've seen 'NO MOORING' signs at some of them. Not sure if I would like it if the pump starts up in the middle of the night anyway. I would guess that the boats moored up were struggling to find a mooring on Saturday night. Last time we lost a mop head was with Brister Craft, that time it sank and I actually bought another one from Russell Marine. We actually nearly lost Encore's mop over Barton Broad on Monday and two years ago we lost the boat hook off Royall Satin, that's the problem with these light weight aluminium things. I usually tie them up now if I expect it to be windy but sometimes forget.
  3. Since I have already written a Boat Review there will be very little regarding the boat itself, a video will also be uploaded within the next few weeks once it is edited. Generally a good week apart from the wind and rain. We did note, apart from a few exceptions, that most boats were keeping within the speed limits. We saw a lot more canoes and kayaks than in previous years but not much too wildlife, I think that a lot have migrated to the flood relief channels. Friday 2nd June We had put down on the Arrivals Sheet for 13:00 but since we got to Wroxham at about 10:45 decided to check in at Barnes where a very helpful receptionist took our mobile number and said she would call us when the boat was ready. We also managed to say hello to Paul (ex Royalls) who seemed quite happy after the upheaval last year. We had some shopping to do at Tesco in Stalham so we went off there (surprised at how crowded it was), after that we went down to Belaugh Staithe to have our sandwiches and a flask of coffee. At about 12:30 we went back to Barnes and located the boat, a cleaner was just finishing off the outside of the windows so once she had done we went back to the office where we were told we could ‘load up’. Once loaded the office issued our lifejackets, gave us the ‘Goody Bag’ and, to our surprise, a vast cardboard box containing a hamper of food, this turned out to be because we had previously been with Royall’s but we were not expecting it. Because of the 3 Rivers Race on Saturday I was keen to get downstream of Horning today. We were away from the yard at just before 14:00 headed to Cockshoot Dyke for our first night, fortunately the rain that was forecast for just after mid-day held off until the evening. The river didn’t seem as busy as I was expecting, quite a few cruisers heading back to Wroxham to finish on Saturday morning I guess and some day boats. When we reached Horning we did consider going on to Ranworth but decided against it. Having made a good mooring at Cockshoot at the river end of the downstream side my wife took a short stroll up to the Broad but didn’t see much (as usual). Some Egyptian Geese, Ducks and Swans were about all with youngsters. Once the unpacking was complete (most had been done on the way) we settled down to our usual Chilli Con Carne that we had brought frozen from home followed by strawberries and cream. During the evening (and night) it rained quite heavily, we had left the bedroom windows open slightly and this was when we discovered the disadvantages of these bonded windows with sliding openings still it wasn’t too bad, just a small bit of mopping up. I decided to sleep in the Saloon due to the way round the bed is (can’t easily swing my legs out of the aft bed due to the bedside cabinets being at the bottom of the bed), this had been anticipated so I had requested two sets of bedding. Saturday 3rd June Up early this morning (about 05:30) after a slightly disturbed night due to the rain but we are usually up early anyway. The day started off fairly overcast but by the afternoon had brightened up nicely. Once breakfast was over we decided to head up the Ant which was relatively uneventful, a couple of ducks decided to hitch a ride on the Bure until I chased them off with the mop and on the Ant we met a bathtub with three kids playing on the roof (one didn’t even have a life jacket on). Noted some new very large signs on the approach to Irstead asking boats to slow down and create no wash, during the week we did note that the vast majority of boats were actually going quite slowly through Instead. Although our water tank was showing over ¾ full we decided to call in at Gates Staithe to top up. There were only a few boats on the staithe so a good stern on mooring was made (very powerful Bow Thruster). As we arrived so did the the guy cutting the grass. After filling up with water it was a case of taking a lot of grass cuttings onto the boat (which we cleaned up later) and then off back onto Barton Broad. Once on the Broad a decision was made to head for Sutton Staithe. After mooring towards the Broad end of the staithe we spent a relaxing afternoon, helped a few others to moor, saw a Kingfisher flying down the dyke and the usual Swans with cygnets. I did clean the grass off the decks but when I was rinsing the mop the head fell off, fortunately it was at the stern and didn’t sink so I was able to retrieve and reattach it. Few insects to photograph so not many photographs taken although the midges did come out later judging from my arms the following morning (really must make more use of the Jungle Juice). Later on in the early evening when the staithe was full a boat decided to moor bow on at the end and then a short while later another one double moored against the first, I guess they had just left Richardsons (although it was about 18:00) and it was their first night. Sunday 4rd June Another early waking but it was nice morning, however the wind was starting to pick up ready for Tuesday. We had already decided to head to Womack today so I reversed out of the staithe but had to go further into the broad than usual to turn because of the boats double moored on the end. A fairly uneventful trip down the Ant but there were three boats moored at the pumping station (with the derelict wind pump) above Ludham Bridge. Once on the Thurne past Thurne Dyke I noted that there were a few boats behind me with one coming at speed and creating a lot of wash, just as I was turning into Womack Dyke he was right behind me (and I mean just a couple of feet), big advantage of this class of boat is that I can stand up and see right over the top. Once in the dyke I dropped my speed down to about 3mph and then he came past at what must have been 6 or 7mph. Then, lo and behold, just before Hunters yard another one decided to pass at much the same speed, they both continued up the dyke without slowing down. When we got towards the staithe I could see that there was plenty of room and noted that the two boats that had passed me were mooring next to each other at the far end. There was space next to the parish moorings so decided that that was a good spot and safely moored up. I dropped the mud weight (winch) but before it reached the bottom the winch stopped due to a twisted and balled chain. Call to Barnes and an engineer was with us well within half an hour, it was a bit of a struggle for him to sort out the chain because there was no direct access to the Chain Locker so he had to go in from the two access hatches on either side of the forward well. While he was with us I also got him to tighten up the Shower Pump switch which was loose and asked him to have a look at the Cutlery Drawer that had nearly fallen out on us, this he failed on because one of the runner clips had broken. While the engineer was working on the chain my wife went up to Throwers for some bread rolls because being Sunday they shut in the afternoon. Once the engineer had finished we settled down and watched a Swan chasing a Duck for a fair bit. Quite a few boats came and went and then later on in the early evening a boat decided to moor bow on to the staithe, surprisingly there were still one or two spaces available by the end of the evening. Monday 5th June Today it was back up the Ant to Neatishead for a visit to the White Horse for dinner. After another early morning, filled up with water (still had over half a tank left), had breakfast and then left the staithe with the mud weight about a foot under water to wash it, I did remember to raise it once it was clean. Nothing eventful until we were on the Ant when Royall Satin decided to pass us at speed (we were doing about 3.5mph), we saw Satin above How Hill later at Johnny Crowes staithe, obviously he wanted to get there before anybody else. We decided to stop at How Hill so I went past in order to be able to moor into the wind, turned and moored near the wherry. Had a short wander about, we would have like to do the Nature Walk but decided that the weather could not be guaranteed and we wanted to get to Neatishead in order to guarantee a mooring. On leaving How Hill I would normally go down stream and then turn past the moorings but since we had a good Bow Thruster I decided to turn Encore as soon as we were clear of the quay heading. On the way up Lime Kiln Dyke we met the usual Nancy Oldfield boats. Once at the staithe, because of the wind, I decided to go in bow first, this was a good decision and we moored with no problem one boat in from the dyke end behind a private boat. A phone call was made to the White Horse to book a table and then it was a walk to the White House Stores where my wife bought fudge and some Italian nougat which turned out to be absolutely delicious (I am told). The staithe pretty much filled up with people roping boats in backwards and then late afternoon three boats came up the dyke together, on what I guess was a ‘lads’ week, but they were very good and did manage to find space. In fact nobody made a hash all afternoon with everybody being very careful and helpful which is rather unusual here although people do not realise that there is turning space beyond the staithe now that the sign has gone. In the evening we had our dinner in the White Horse, I had never seen it so busy (we were seated upstairs), and then walked back without getting too wet. Tuesday 6th June Again we were up early but did wait until after 08:00 before we started the engine to leave. No problem reversing out despite having a boat close behind and yacht close in front, didn’t touch any boats at all. Because of the weather forecast we had decided on Womack for the afternoon and night. Nothing of note on the trip down the Ant and Bure followed by up the Thurne apart from the fact that Royall Satin was still at Johnny Crowes staithe. I did spot an otter on the south side of the Bure just at the Ant mouth. On arrival at Womack it was pretty much full, in contrast to Sunday, but we found a space towards the far end of the staithe, reversing in between two boats, I was a bit concerned about a dingy attached to one of them since the wind was starting to pick up but no problems, the boat slipped in between them nicely. By early afternoon the wind and the rain arrived in force with the rain being almost horizontal across the water so we sat and read for the rest of the day, even the ducks stayed put on the green. This is when I did the video around the boat that was put on You Tube earlier. Later in the afternoon/evening we turned the heating on for a while. Wednesday 7th June A slightly disturbed night with the boat occasionally knocking on the adjacent ones but again we were up early and although the rain had stopped it was still very windy. Didn’t bother to fill the water tank this morning. We thought that Irstead (if we could get in) would be good for what was effectively our last night but we needed a pump out first so decided to go down to South Walsham to Russell's first. On arrival at Russell’s we found a Faircraft boat stern on at the quay filling up with water, it transpired that this was unintentional but they had been blown that way. I needed to moor starboard side on for the pump out and this proved very challenging due to the wind (and the fact I couldn't see the starboard stern quarter) but after a couple of aborted attempts on the third we made it good. The yard owner?, came out and prepared for the pump out but then found that the pump would not start, after he made some enquiries it transpired that the wind had damaged one of the electrical cables and one phase was down hence, since the pump was three phase, the pump out was a no go so I fed the water supply with a pound and filled up with water. We then decided that our next best option was Richardson’s since we wanted to be up the Ant anyway so off we went. As we passed Irstead there was, annoyingly, space, still it was on to Stalham where we moored between two of Richardson’s boats, despite the wind it was a good one. Paid £12 in the office and pump out was completed. We were a bit unsure where to go now but decided that we would give Irstead a try. When we arrived at Irstead a private boat was still on the outer part (BA) of the staithe but there was only a yacht on the parish section and he was well on the upstream end so it was a turn and moor job. Later on the yacht left so we moved Encore up to the end and overlapped the quay heading as much as possible to allow plenty of space behind us. A short while later a large cruiser came in but they only stayed a short while to look at the church then we were joined by another yacht (one of Colin Buttifant’s new ones with a hydraulically elevating roof) for the rest of the day and night. My wife did actually see an otter come out of the dyke opposite the staithe but it was only the one sighting. Thursday 8th June It was up early again (I am, actually, up early most days anyway but especially on The Broads) and we left Irstead just after 08:00. A slow cruise down the Ant, after going up to Barton Broad to turn, (Royall Satin was again at Johnny Crowes staithe, must be his favourite spot) and then up the Bure to call in a Ranworth. After Ranworth we cruised slowly through Horning and into Salhouse Broad where we dropped the mud weight as near the shelter of the trees as prudent since it was still pretty windy. We spent some time watching a Grebe trying to feed one of the chicks with a fish that was far too big for the adult let alone the chicks (three of them). We had decided by then that we would go home today since the weather wasn’t overly brilliant so it was ‘up the mud weight’, and a slow cruise back to Hoveton (Wroxham). Approaching Barnes’s yard it was pretty full but plenty of space in the basin behind the river front mooring so that was where we moored the boat. Just as we had finished mooring our car was driven up to just behind the boat. One of the boat yard staff re-filled the diesel tank and it transpired that we had only used £30 worth of fuel which is slightly less than our norm so we were more than happy with the £70 refund. All in all a good week despite the wind and Tuesday’s rain and impressed with Encore and Barnes Brinkcraft. The video is not quite finished yet, I still have the sound to sort out (hopefully to reduce the wind noise) but will upload it in the next week or so.
  4. Before this week the only type I had come across were the bronze tube type and I have had to get a lot of weed out of these in the past. Totally agree that oil and water does not really require checking and I never have after the first couple of days once I knew that that no oil or water was being used. Mind you, talking about maintenance we did have a 'fan' belt fail a few years ago (thus no coolant water or alternator) which I felt was down to poor maintenance, obviously the yard hadn't even looked at it for some time since it was totally shredded.
  5. My father taught me in an old (not sure if it was pre-war or just post) Hillman Minx that would slip out of 3rd gear on the overrun which it duly did on my test, but I did pass 1st time even though I ran over a kerb on a left turn due to the gear slipping. I had been driving milk floats (electric and ic) and tractors for some years ago through. Robin, don't let anybody tell you that driving a car is like driving a boat, cars steer from the front (unless it is a dumper truck).
  6. There were a couple of things I forgot: The bow mooring ropes are a very good length for a hire boat, probably only just short enough not to reach the prop which made my wife's life a lot easier. The Water Tank Gauge only reads with the engine running but the Holding Tank Gauge does read continuously
  7. The dip stick on the Gala Girls was a real pain in the butt to get at, right on the outboard side of the engine bay and under the side deck (traverse Nanni with hydraulic drive. With Royall Satin I was always worried that I was going to drop the weed filter cap in the bilge because of where it was. Couldn't agree more. In fact we changed from Royall Velvet II to Encore when Barnes took Royalls over on the basis that the bed was as shown on Barnes' boat plan. That is why I slept in the Saloon. From what people have said about Silverline boats I suspect that Encore has been built to a slightly lower spec with regard to the interior fit out. Still a very nice boat we would highly recommend it and the yard.
  8. Don't know Helen, if this is the case then I would expect a lot of call-outs if you go to Coltishall or venture to Dilham. Maybe they are fitted with a self cleaning filter or it has a very large surface area, maybe one of our boat surveyors may be able to answer this. In the past I have certainly had to clean the filter on many occasions.
  9. This is the video of the exterior & interior, excuse the 'lived in' look but it was.
  10. Never had a problem with those fitted on Gala Girl 2 & 3 but they are much slower and a different design and there is easy access to the Chain Locker.
  11. First of all “The Yard”. We had put down on the Arrivals Sheet for 13:00 but since we got to Wroxham at about 10:45 decided to check in at Barnes where a very helpful Receptionist took our mobile number and said she would call us when the boat was ready. We also managed to say hello to Paul (ex Royalls) who seemed quite happy after the upheaval last year. We had some shopping to do at Tesco in Stalham so we went off there (surprised at how crowded it was), after that we went down to Belaugh Staithe to have our sandwiches and a flask of coffee. At about 12:30 we went back to Barnes and located the boat, a cleaner was just finishing off the outside of the windows so once she had finished we went back to the office where we were told we could ‘load up’. Once loaded the office issued our lifejackets gave us the ‘Goody Bag’ and, to our surprise, a vast cardboard box containing a hamper of food, this turned out to be because we had previously been with Royall’s but we were not expecting it. The problem was that we now had too much food so we ended up taking all of our ‘emergency rations’ and some more back home at the end of the week. After a short time an engineer came round to do the handover. Now for some surprises: Engine start procedure - turn the key and the engine will start all of its own once it has run the Pre-heaters. No need to check the Weed Filter, the engineer would not even tell us where it was. No need to check the oil or coolant water levels, again the engineer would not tell us where the header tank was. No slow running ‘standalone’ drinking water filter, all water is filtered. After the engineer had been through the usual things he asked if we wanted a trial run, this was declined so we were on our way shortly afterwards. On our return to the yard, as soon as we had moored the boat our car appeared (driven by an engineer) right behind the boat ready for us. The Diesel tank was refilled and we had only used £30 pounds worth which is probably the least we have ever used so this boat must be pretty economical considering we did use the heating one evening but there again we don’t go haring around, most of the time just 1400 to 1600 rpm. The Boat. This is a brief review of Brinks Encore 1, it will be nowhere near as comprehensive as Robin’s reviews but, hopefully, assist other people to make a decision as to whether to hire her (or not). I will upload a video taken around the boat but this may not be for a few days. There will also be our usual video of the week at a later date. Instrumentation: GPS Speedometer, Rev Counter, Engine Coolant Temperature, Engine Oil Pressure, Diesel Tank Gauge and Water Tank Gauge plus the usual warning lights. The Holding Tank Gauge is in the Bathroom next to the toilet, we did need a pump out about half way through the week. Very powerful Bow Thruster (hydraulic). Solar panels and electric ‘hookup’ cable supplied which we didn’t use, the electric was connected at the yard to give the batteries a good charge. Not sure why the electric ‘hookup’ is supplied since the cooking is gas and all lighting is LED including forward and after wells. Air Draught is 6’ 10” which I think has a good safety factor built in since the old Aquafibre Opals are 6’ 9”, you do have to look in the manual for this information. Mud Weight winch, we had a problem with this whereby it stopped before the Mud Weight reached the bottom at Womack due to a twisted and balled chain (a la Sonnet a few weeks ago), an engineer was with us within half an hour (on Sunday) and sorted this but it was a bit difficult since there is no central access hatch into the Chain Locker. I think that the winch is too fast, not allowing the chain to fall properly. The Throttle is quite sensitive and you need to be careful standing up because you will catch it with your leg it also seems to be set so that if you increase the revs above about 1600rpm then, unless you hold it in position, it seems to want to settle back to 1600rpm. 1400rpm is about 3 to 4mph depending on tide. The engine (Nanni) is fitted aft on hydraulic drive. I did find the Helm seat too low and quite hard, no cushions are supplied so I couldn’t use one of those to increase the height and soften the seat. CO and Smoke Alarms are fitted in the Saloon. Beware the domestic Water tank filler cap, apart from the engraving around the cap there is no differentiation between that and the Diesel tank filler cap, neither need a wrench of any sort. The cooker is a fairly standard domestic gas type with four rings, a medium size oven, a grill and, at the bottom, pan storage space. Two metal oven baking dishes were supplied stored in the oven. The rings, oven and grill are all spark ignition. The fridge is domestic sized and electric. The shower is thermostatically controlled so no more trying to juggle two taps to get the temperature right. The toilet (electric) is fitted with a soft close lid and seat but the seat will not stay up on its own (too close to the side deck), so be aware gentlemen, but it does come down slowly so no damage results. The toilet roll holder has a swivel cover so no need to remove the toilet roll when showering and as the cover is closed it rolls the toilet roll up so long as the roll is fitted to unroll from the top, best idea I’ve seen for years. Heater is an Eberspacher with outlets in the Saloon, Bedroom and Bathroom, this was used on one evening and heated the boat up quickly. The heater seems to be just forward of the helm on the port side with the exhaust on the curve of the bow so no scorching of the boat next door or quay heading. Both the forward and aft doors are double glazed but the windows (apart from the small opening lights in the bathroom and above the cooker) are single glazed. I didn’t like the sliding windows in the bedroom because you cannot leave them open if there is any chance of rain unlike the old ‘scuttle’ windows. Storage space is excellent: Three large drawers in the saloon one good food cupboard, crockery cupboard, cutlery drawer and general utensil drawer plus a large storage space behind the settee back. The bedroom has one large cupboard, three drawers and wardrobe plus two bedside cabinets (at the bottom of the bed). All drawers and cupboard doors are ‘soft close’ We didn’t use the TV apart from to switch it on as a test. The Wi-Fi seemed to work well although, again, it wasn’t used much. I am afraid that I do not like the main bed the way round that it is so I slept on the large pull out in the Saloon leaving the bedroom for my wife. I had taken the precaution of asking for two sets of bedding and making up the Saloon bed was very simple, pull out the seat and the backrest drops down to form a large double bed then just a case of putting the sheet on. The hot water was still slightly warm until the morning, I will qualify that to say that we generally stopped cruising at about mid-day and had showers in the evening with two lots of washing up. Engineer called out on Sunday due to winch problem but the service from him was excellent. Overall very impressed with both the boat and Barnes.
  12. Thank you Fred. I have to admit that the credit for most of the movie sections of my videos must go to my wife, I concentrate on the stills and do all the titles and editing. I have to agree that Russel does waffle a bit but his videos are still very entertaining.
  13. A good few years back we had just arrived at Irstead and moored on the outer section (BA) facing upstream and while I was sorting the mooring ropes out I left the engine running, lo and behold a lady came round from the house that adjoins this part of the staithe and told me in no uncertain terms to turn the engine off because the fumes were affecting their BBQ. I should point out that this was a Summercraft boat with a well maintained engine and you could barely smell the exhaust, I was going to switch off anyway once I was happy with the ropes (I tend to put a Spring on when I moor at Irstead so it did take a bit longer than normal). On another occasion we were moored on the same part of the staithe on a hot June day and some lads came down swimming just in front of us and using the escape ladder to exit the water and then jumping back in. On this occasion the same lady came out and took photographs of the lads and our boat, she didn't say anything but obviously thought they were from our boat. Don't think so providing you pay the mooring fee, I have never seen any signs saying 24hr Mooring.
  14. Just seen the pictures on a Facebook page.
  15. Hi Robin Watched your review and was very surprised at your comment that there are no stern fenders, I would worry when stern moored with that low stern possibly catching under the quay heading, I'm especially thinking Womack Staithe where I have seen the water rise and fall considerably. Also, you did well at Ranworth although I couldn't agree more that the Throttle would have been better on the other side, I also noticed that you had to stand on the 'sun lounger' to exit from the helm. I still think that the old Diamonds were better in this respect having steps on the port side.