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About BryanW

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    Photography, both still & video
    Norfolk Broads

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  1. I reported this to them this morning via their Live Chat but it's still running, guess it must be their engineers.
  2. Merry Christmas everybody and a happy New Year. How about this: Road (Sea) Test: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/features/christmas-road-test-rnli-shannon-lifeboat-review
  3. BryanW

    Boats For Couples

    I'll second that for the ex-Swancraft boats from Richardsons. We've had Swan Roamer and Swan Radiance, both excellent for a couple but we did prefer Roamer which has a larger saloon with a fixed (lift up) table. All ex-Swancraft boats have bowthrusters, excellent heating with virtually no draughts and Roamer/Radiance (possibly others) have a walk round bed with plenty of space each side, large bathroom and a very usable airing cupboard. They're not too expensive either compared to some yards.
  4. Swan Roamer or similar from Richardsons, all ex-Swancraft boats seem to have very powerful warm air heaters and outlets in the bathroom and after cabin.
  5. Just double check with Barnes when you book. It isn't really too much of a problem, you may have to duck down to see to the left and right but the canopy should slide easily so you can always pull it back for a short while for a better look.
  6. So, I guess my eyes weren't deceiving me. I know Barnes built the first 2 but I am guessing that Brooms built the other 4 and reverted to the single helm seat, am I correct? How do you get on and off that seat? and no foot rest. All this was discussed about 2 years ago when Barnes announced these boats. With the Diamonds and the canopy back you had a good view back over the rear of the boat. I have to admit that I wouldn't now consider hiring the Serenades at all, I think they spolt the original design.
  7. Totally agree about the visibility to the sides with the canopy closed but superb with it open. Depending on how many guests and for how long, the forward cabin is fairly tight but a reasonable size shower.
  8. Hi James Used to love this design as in Gardenia Girl from Summercraft, double helm seat, easy to exit the boat from the helm seat via the canopy on the port side. Barnes redesigned the style by adding 3ft to the length, mounting the engine aft and lowering the stern, however, they originally put in a single helm seat on a very tall pillar and added a "lounging seat with cushion" to port of the helm meaning that to exit the boat from the helm you need to stand on it. They also put the bed in the aft cabin thwart ships but your feet are under the side deck and there is no facility for a bedside locker at the headboard end. The helm seat was changed to a hydraulically operated double helm seat but we saw No 4 in September this year and I am sure they had reverted to a single seat on a pillar (can't be 100% sure so I stand to be corrected). When the engine was in the saloon under the helm seat we never found it to be that noisy and it warmed the forward shower room up which dried towels nicely since the towel rail was on the engine bulkhead. The bed thwart ships seems to be a thing with some boats and I personally can't stand it, with some it also means that the space at the side of the bed is minimal, hired two like this (Royall Satin and Brinks Encore). Swancraft had the better idea with the bedhead on the outside of the boat and plenty of room down the sides of the bed. The above is only my opinion of course.
  9. Agreed about the windows, had a boat last year with all sliding windows and if you had them open and it rained the inside of the boat got nearly as wet as the outside. Clive Like the look of it, was hoping the airdraft might be nearer 8ft (thinking Ludham bridge when the water is high). When do you expect to have layouts available to see and when is it likely to go on hire?
  10. Hi David This boat does NOT have any "grab" rails fore or aft, the picture you show is an old one of a similar boat before Brinks Encores were built. We hired Encore 1 twice last year and I did a mini review plus two holiday tales so you may like to check them out: I know another NBN member '"Meg" hired Encore 2 last year and also recently this year and she took a small step as mentioned by "DAVIDH" above, I'm not sure if you can PM her yet but I will and point her in the direction of this topic so she may get in touch with you. As "oldgregg" says there are generally people willing to help if you are on a formal mooring. Enjoy yourself.
  11. How about this one? This was Commander (not Commodore as in previous picture) second week of June. They had moored in the early evening when most people were in the pub but give them their due they left just before 08:00 the following morning so didn't give anybody a problem.
  12. Enjoy yourselves, weather still looking good.
  13. Thanks Helen & Jean for your comments, still photography is what we really enjoy but the video fills in some of the cruising time. Yes, I am never too sure, when Richardsons were doing the pump out I asked how many flushes once the light came on and was told one maybe two. This type of toilet is all very well but they use an awful lot of water, when we had boats with the old 'dump through' type we managed to last the whole week but now we only go 3 to 4 days because you can never be sure and we always use the shore loos at Womack or Ranworth.
  14. This will probably be a fairly short write-up but there will be a link to the video at the end which contains even more stills this time. Saturday 9th June As usual on arrival in the area we stopped at Hoveton to visit the toilets and have a look at the river. Having noted that the car park behind the toilets (belonging to the Kings Head?) was now controlled by ANPR cameras and payable we parked in Roy’s car park and walked across the road. We then went on to Womack to have our sandwiches and coffee. At about mid-day decided to go on to Stalham where we went into reception to be told that they would open at 13:00 not 12:30 as previously because they had an awful lot of boats going out. Duly opened just after 13:00 and we were checked in being told that the boat was ready so it was off to collect lifejackets and on to the boat on Swan Quay. Once the boat was loaded the car was parked and after a short wait the instructor came on board, since we had been in April on the same boat it was a very brief handover and signing the paperwork. Left the yard at 14:00 a bit undecided where would be our first stop but since we hadn’t been to Barton Turf in April decided to make for there. We were going to moor on Paddy’s Lane but there was space on Barton Turf Staithe so we went in there. We did see a couple of Kingfishers sitting together on a branch while we were coming down Stalham dyke but it was too busy to stop unfortunately. Had a walk round to Paddy’s Lane in the hope of photographing dragonflies and butterflies but only a few very flighty damselflies however we did see some Southern Marsh Orchids so not a total loss. It had been a dry day and evening but there was heavy rain overnight but thankfully this was the only rain for the whole week. Sunday 10th June Topped up with water and assisted neighbouring boat with water hose taken across Swan Roamer. Left the staithe at about 08:00, destination Womack. A slow steady run down the Ant and onto the Bure and then Thurne, passed a lot of paddle boarders after St Benet’s and on the Thurne, it seems to be the latest craze now on a Sunday. Found plenty of space on the staithe at Womack, moored near the water hose. A quiet peaceful, afternoon photographing a Grebe with boats coming and going, by the end of the afternoon the staithe was full. At about 20:30 a HW boat next but one to us decided to start his engine but only for about 15 minutes so I guess he needed his heating on so no real problem, as a point of interest this was really the only occasion anybody ran their engine on moorings the whole week. Monday 11th June Topped up with water, usual slow job. Having left Womack just before 08:00 we decided that a meal at Neatishead was called for so it was a slow cruise down the Thurne, up the Bure and Ant to Lime Kiln Dyke, near the end of the dyke we spotted a deer on the right hand bank in a house garden so it was a quick astern to stop the boat, we were only crawling anyway (Roamer really will go slow), and a short bit of video before the deer decided he/she wasn’t going to pose any longer. Once at Neatishead Staithe we only found one of Nancy Oldfield’s yachts moored there so reversed in on the west side leaving space for a boat at the end. Phone call made to book a table at the White Horse. By 13:00 there was only one space left but there was some movement of boats out and in during the afternoon. Lovely afternoon and usual good meal in the evening but on return to the staithe found one of Richardsons Commanders moored across the corner effectively blocking everybody in. We were all a bit concerned what was going to happen in the morning but give Commander’s occupants their due they actually left just before 08:00 in the morning. Tuesday 12th June Topped up with water (again). We left just after 08:00 and successfully navigated between the boats either side at the end of the staithe, actually hardly had to use the bow thruster so it was a quiet exit. Decided to make for How Hill to check out the insect population but the only thing we saw were some baby rabbits which were fairly tame. Left How Hill after an hour or so and decided to go Kingfisher hunting so proceeded to Stalham Dyke but nothing seen. We then made for Sutton Staithe for the rest of the day and night and found plenty of space, I started to become surprised about having no problem with moorings even though it was busy on the rivers and very few boats left in the yards. The weather started to improve during the afternoon with fewer clouds. Wednesday 13th June Lovely early morning with a light mist on the water. Reversed out of the staithe and turned on the broad, then made our way to Richardsons for a pump out (red indicator not lit but played safe) and refilled with water. Then up to Wayford Bridge and back to How Hill. This time we decided to take the Nature Trail since the weather had been dry for a few days but the first field was still quite soggy, however, we were rewarded with Swallowtails and plenty of dragon and damsel flies. The weather turned very nice in the afternoon. Thursday 14th June Very windy this morning and we had decided to pick up water at Russell’s on South Walsham, I don’t know why but it always seems to be windy when we go down there and once down Fleet Dyke the wind had really picked up, still Russell’s only charge a pound for water. Decided that we would go back to Womack for the rest of the day so it was a slow cruise again, the staithe was quite full this time but we still found enough space for Roamer. A lovely sunny afternoon just lazing and talking to people. At about 18:30 ish a private boat came along the moored boats very close and could be heard complaining that there was no room for him, what did he expect at that time of day? Then lo and behold a hire boat did the same thing just after 19:00 and he was quite intimidating coming very close to the moored boats bow on, eventually he left and was seen going round the island but where he eventually moored I don’t know since he wasn’t on the island in the mooring. Friday 15th June Last real day so we headed to Cockshoot for a few hours and then on to Paddy’s Lane for another couple of hours. About 16:00 we left and proceeded back to Richardsons to find it very busy still with boats going out, in fact I had to wait for a couple of boats to come out of Swan Quay before I could venture in, while waiting we got a very slight nudge on the stern from a boat out on his trial run but it was only gentle. Saturday 16th June Loaded the car and waited for the quay office to open together with all the others. Once open checked in with the office and refuelled to find that we had only used £22.41 of fuel (at £1.15/l) so plenty of refund (still surprised they give cash back rather than refunding to credit card), they must love us. Overall an excellent week but still no Kingfisher or Otter photographs, we will succeed one year. That’s it until next year now when we have the same boat booked again. This is the link to the video:
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