Jump to content


Full Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Mouldy

  1. Star Trekkin' by The Firm?
  2. Looking at Griff's response, I'd say that more or less all of the remedial work is completed by the syndicate. If you were to get a small group of owners together, how many would wish to commit several days a year looking after the boat and keeping her looking good, or have the necessary skills. This includes compounding and polishing the gel coat, repairing any damages, servicing the gas system, heating, engine, gearbox, repairing or replacing damaged upholstery and other remedial maintenance etc. What would the cost of lifting the boat annually for cleaning be? Who would provide repairs to defects reported by owners at the end of their holidays and how would they be funded. Even what appears to be relatively run of the mill repairs are costly - a new fridge fitted to Moonlight Shadow recently was circa £700. Googleing Aquafibre Diamond 35s has revealed a few on the market, all around 60k: http://www.broadlandyachtbrokers.co.uk/boats/183 With just 6 members of a syndicate, that's 10k to buy into it anyway, without an initial refurb (if required). I know the maintenance figure for Moonlight Shadow appears quite high on the BCBM website, but that includes all maintenance costs, moorings, winter maintenance, cleaning and a contingency for unexpected costs arising. I realise that this will not suit everyone, but when I get holidays from work, I would rather spend my time cruising, not working on the boat. Personally, I think that a venture of this sort would be too easy to go into with rose tinted spectacles, without looking realistically at the potential pitfalls and your hypothetical costings look, to me at least, extremely low. Although buying an ex hire craft should guarantee that it has been regularly maintained, it almost certainly will have had a hard life.
  3. Jay . . . . don't go there. I used to think Agadoo, Superman and The Birdie Song were bad back in the eighties.
  4. Reply: Would that be for three nights, four nights or a full week, sir?
  5. Could be worse: Baby shark do do do do do do Baby shark do do do do do do Baby shark do do do do do do Baby shark Mummy shark do do do do do do . . . . . . . . . . . I'd managed to avoid hearing it until last Saturday, too.
  6. Could do, but Wisbech can be a pain sometimes, as can Kings Lynn. I think on the weekend we went, the problem was exacerbated by the demolition of a bridge over the A14 causing the closure. All in all, once there we had a great few days, so it was worth it in the end. Thanks all, for the positive comments - it's good to know that when you've written up your tale, that someone reads them.
  7. Mouldy

    Boat Names

    Nooooooooooo. And look who's at the helm! http://www.broads.org.uk/wiki2018/index.php?title=Boat_Details&BoatId=1485
  8. I was going to finish this tomorrow, but the wife is watching I'm a Celebrity, so I've made better use of the time!! Monday 19thNovember I was awake early as usual and laid in bed for a while, thinking how much I would have preferred to stay for the rest of the week, instead of returning home later. By about 06:30, the need for a brew became too strong, so I pulled back the duvet and got up, leaving the wife and Harley still snoring. With the kettle on the hob and the immersion heater switched on, I went into the saloon and peered out and across the basin. I was immediately apparent that the gloriously sunny weather we had enjoyed on Saturday and Sunday had given way to a far more autumnal, windy morning. I could hear the wavelets slapping against the hull at the bow and was glad that we’d been using the aft cabin. It wasn’t long before the wife got up and dressed, ready to take Harley for her walk. She set off up the high street, just as it started to rain, heading for the church to find what paths she could take and where they led to. As previously mentioned, we’d never been as far as the moorings at the end of the Chet before and it was new territory for us both. I had my tea and made some toast for breakfast and made Debbie the same when she returned with the dog a while later. Somehow, she had found the path leading from the church to the moorings at Pyes Mill by accident. Hope she can remember which way she’d gone when we return later in the year!! Although we’d enjoyed a pleasant night there, I can imagine it would be much busier and less peaceful when the hire fleets are on the rivers and Pyes Mill looks a much more inviting proposition for a quiet night. I went to shower and dress and when finished, the wife did the same. I must say that the immersion heater is great – not having to run the engine for hot water was an unexpected bonus when we bought into the syndicate. The rain had stopped and the sun kept peeking through breaks in the clouds, but there was a strong, easterly breeze bringing a sharp nip to the air as we cast off, heading slowly back up the Chet. It was an uneventful cruise and we didn’t see another boat until we had turned onto the Yare at Hardley Cross. The wind was creating quite a ‘chop’ on the river as we headed back towards Cantley, the plant and a plume of steam spurting from the chimney clearly visible for miles across the flat land of the surrounding countryside. We were in no particular hurry, keeping the revs down and enjoying the day. It was too early to take Moonlight back to base, so I turned off the river at Langley Dyke and moored to the BA moorings near the end. Harley was pleased to get off and mooch about, the wife was busy cross-stitching and I went for a wander with my camera. The smell from the sugar refinery was being carried by the breeze as I walked up the other side of the dyke to the junction with the Yare, where I turned and wandered back. The clouds were threatening more showers, but fortunately the rain held off and the sun came out for short periods as they passed overhead. Back at the boat, we started to pack a few things away, before having some lunch, washing up and tidying the galley. To be honest, as we hadn’t done much cooking there wasn’t much to tidy, but everything was put back into place, ready for the next syndicate members to arrive. We set off again, destination Brundall and slowly retraced our earlier passage back up Langley Dyke and onto the Yare. The river was quiet, one or two fishermen in dinghies and a cruiser were all we saw. The sky became dark and threatening as we passed Coldham Hall and sure enough, the heavens opened as we prepared to moor a Brooms to refuel and get a pump-out. I topped up the water whilst we waited for someone to attend and top up with diesel. With the pump-out completed and the fuel and water topped up, we moved the few yards to our mooring and secured Moonlight Shadow. The wife stripped the bed, folded and packed the bed linen and I set about the saloon, tidying cables, chargers and cameras, before taking the blankets off the settees that we always use to protect the furnishings from our dog’s hairs. Being a Staffie, she has a smooth coat and fortunately doesn’t leave many hairs anyway, but prevention is easier that the cure, so they say. I moved the car and started to pack our things, just as another shower started. It was soon packed, so out with the Dyson for a quick vacuum round. All that was left to do was wash down the outside, but as I went out with the mop, the heavens opened again. Just a quick swill round would have to suffice on this occasion, but I’m sure that nature would have helped with the amount of precipitation that followed. We switched everything off, locked up and sadly pulled away at about 16:30. I needed some diesel for the car, so pulled into the Shell garage on the roundabout as we left Brundall to fill up, before heading for home. The journey back to Northampton proved much less eventful than on the way up a couple of days previously and we arrived home just after 19:00. It had been a short trip on Moonlight, but a good one. For the most part, the weather had been clement, the boat had been great and we were happy. And to answer the question, any regrets about buying into the syndicate . . . . . . . yes . . . . . . . . . . we should have done it years ago, but we happy that we have finally made the investment and are looking forward to many more holidays on her now we are in!! Roll on February – neither of us can wait.
  9. And the more observant of you would have noticed that there was no photo of Loddon . . . . . . . . . . . hear it is!!
  10. I've pulled a few more photos off my phone, that were largely 'grabbed' whilst helming, although the shots of my dinner at the White Horse and the basin at Loddon clearly weren't!! I'll try to write the conclusion to our tale tomorrow and add the last of the photos, too.
  11. I might have mentioned before, but we're back on Moonlight Shadow in February. The wife's consulted her diary and told me ten weeks tomorrow. Can't wait - bring it on!!!!!!
  12. Good the see the thread has veered slightly of course!! All I can say is that the fish and chips we had from Brundall on Saturday were very good, easily comparable to Ken's or Greys in Wroxham (Hoveton) and much cheaper. Back to the original subject . . . . . . . . . . . Sunday 18thNovember I have to get up early during the week and the alarm on my body clock didn’t allow me the pleasure of laying in today. I got up at about 06:30, put the kettle on and looked out of the windscreen to see a glorious morning developing. I wouldn’t normally have left the heating on overnight, but I’d set it low and was glad I had, as it had been a cold night. Moonlight Shadow has an immersion heater, so I switched that on to heat the water for my morning shower. Being hooked up to shore power certainly has its advantages. Debbie got up and dressed, ready to take Harley (the dog) for a walk and stepped carefully from the boat onto the wooden key heading, which was white with frost. I pulled some clothes on and went out with the camera, after turning off the kettle, anxious to capture some images of the scene, bathed in that early morning golden glow. The river was almost flat calm, creating some wonderful reflections of the trees and shrubs on the far side. I walked a through the gate and a few yards onto The Wherrymans Walk, to look for a different viewpoint, before wandering back to Moonlight Shadow and carefully heading for the bow and watched as a lone rower made his way along the river, towards Bramerton, interrupting the reflections as he went. I waited a while longer, until the river calmed and took some more photos until a small cruiser with an outboard motor sped past, far too fast and creating a lot of wash and disturbing the surface of the water. I returned to the warmth of the boat, made a cuppa and waited for the wife to return and made her a tea, too. She had found a path to the right, off the lane leading away from the pub, which eventually met up with The Wherrymans Walk and both her and the dog had enjoyed their walk. I went for a shower and dressed, then waited for Debbie to shower too, before toasting some crumpets for breakfast. By now it was about 09:30, so we started up and cast off, making for Brundall and the boatyard to top up with water. It really was a beautiful day to be afloat, with glorious sunshine and a clear, blue sky. We arrived at the berth and I reversed in carefully before unwinding the hose and topping up the tanks. Once done and with the hose wound back onto the reel, we cast off again, heading in the general direction of Reedham. My plan was to overnight at Loddon. We hadn’t ever been to the basin there and the last time we’d cruised the Chet was about 23 years ago, when we hired a cruiser called Tramontana from Gale Cruisers. I knew that there would be electric hook-ups and with no hire craft on the rivers, moorings should be available. We were making good time, without using excessive revs, so having negotiated a flotilla of saillies, decided that there was time to have a look at Rockland Broad and moor at the Staithe for a while. I turned right, off the main river and down Fleet Dyke. It’s evident that Rockland is a haven for wildlife – it was teeming with birds. Swans, grebes, cormorants and gulls were scattered across the expanse of the broad. We turned right onto the narrow dyke, leading to the Staithe and cruised slowly to the end, before turning and mooring. Harley was grateful to get off and mooch about on the grass, I went for a wander with the camera and the wife was concentrating on her cross stitch. We whiled away some time before having some lunch and set off again, across the broad and along Short Dyke to rejoin the Yare. We saw a couple of other boats, heading back towards Brundall before passing the sugar refinery. The chimney was belching out thick steam, which was quite a visual contrast to the clear blue sky and the smell wasn’t too pleasant either, so I was grateful to be past it. Aside from a water ski boat and skier passing in the opposite direction, which made Moonlight Shadow rock and sway in its wake, not much else happened on the way to the mouth of the Chet, where we turned right. I had forgotten just how narrow and winding it is and in a stiffening breeze, there was no time to let the concentration wander as we meandered along its twisting course. The sun continued to shine brightly as we passed the moorings at Pyes Mill. Definitely on the list of potential moorings when the weather is warmer and we don’t need shore power. I recognised what used to be the base for Gales Cruisers and wondered what happened to the couple that ran the yard, who were so helpful and friendly. We hired from them twice, in 1994 and 1995, both times on Tramontana. They were our son’s first experiences of a Broads holiday, the first time when he was six. He, like us, is smitten with The Broads and is looking forward to when he, his wife and son can come with us on Moonlight on a future visit, possibly next year. Soon, we arrived at the basin and wondered what was going on in the far corner, nearest the road. Two cruisers were there and it was only as I drew nearer I could see that one was pulling the other. I moored near to the first electric post and as I turned, the skipper of the first one, an Elysian aft cockpit, called to me that he’d just pulled the other off the mud in the corner, due to the low water levels and to warn anyone else who may turn up not to moor there. I was pleased to have chosen to moor where I had!! I hooked up the electric, which had 49p left on it and added £1 for good measure, before setting up the TV aerial. I wanted to try the burgers in The Kings Head, so we went for a walk and called into the pub to book a table, only to discover that they don’t serve food on Sunday evenings, then saw the sign outside The Swan saying that there was no food served after 14:00 on Sundays. Concerned, I called The White Horse and was told that they stop serving food at 19:00 and as they were quiet, there was no need to book. That was settled then – no need to buy dinner from the Co-Op. I had a mooch round the church and the wife took the dog for a short walk before we returned to the boat. Darkness fell and I read and Debbie knitted, just passing time until we were ready to go for dinner. We had a great welcome from the landlord, selected from the menu and waited for the food. The wife had a mackerel dish to start (I can’t remember exactly what it was) and I had cod cheeks. It must have been a huge cod – the cheeks were lovely and the presentation of the food was outstanding. We had both chosen roast sirloin of beef for mains, with roast potatoes, parsnip, carrots, Yorkshire pudding, cabbage and green beans which was very tasty and also well presented. For once, there was room for dessert, so the wife had ice-cream and I opted for the apple crumble and custard, which did not disappoint in any way. It would be wrong to describe the food as pub grub, it was much more civilised, but great food nevertheless and we will be back. We sauntered back to the boat and settled down for our last night on board for this trip at least, watching the TV for a while (the wife wanted to see who was on I’m a Celebrity) before our customary hot drink and bed. Neither of us could believe how lucky we’d been with the weather – clear blue skies for both days.
  13. We didn't want too much to eat at lunchtime, knowing where we were heading for our evening meal. The chippy was good (well, we thought so anyway). Still haven't sampled the food in The Yare, but we may well do on our next trip in February. Can't wait now!!!!!!
  14. Saturday 17thNovember When we bought into the Moonlight Shadow syndicate, our first allocated week, which had been drawn at the AGM in 2017, was due to be in February next year. The wife and I felt a bit like children who had been given Christmas presents and told we couldn’t open them until June. However, at the AGM in October, we managed secured an unwanted week, but due to holiday restrictions at work, was only effectively (for us) a long weekend commencing 17th November, which gave us the opportunity of experiencing the boat for ourselves. I had been anxiously watching the weather forecast on the BBC to see what was in store for us weather-wise and much to my amazement, it was looking promising for Saturday and Sunday at least, so with the car packed, we left our house at about 08:40 on Saturday morning. The weather was grey and gloomy, not the bright sunshine that had been forecast, but we were heading for The Broads and our first trip on the boat we had a share in, which made up for it. I was in two minds about the route – with roadworks expected to last until 2022, on the M1 from Junction 15 to 13 and works in progress on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge, I had pondered which would cause the least problems. I chose to go A45 to Thrapston, then the A14 and was making good progress until just before the junction with the A1, when the overhead gantry signs warned of the closure of the A14 between Junctions 26 and 29. I was not best pleased, so turned right onto the A1 to Eaton Socon, before turning onto the A428. All was going well until we hit traffic that had been diverted off the A14 by the closure. The sat-nav came up with an alternative route, which it said would save me a lot of time, so I followed it through some unfamiliar lanes and eventually came back out on the A428 and familiar territory. The diversion had cost us about half an hour, but the predicted eta on the TomTom was still 11:30, so not too bad. My mood was improving with the weather, which was becoming ever better the nearer we got to Norwich. The rest of the journey passed without further delay or incident and we arrived at the boatyard pretty much on time and in bright sunshine, just as forecast. Having viewed Moonlight Shadow in August, we knew where she was moored, so drove to her berth and tried our keys for the first time. We let ourselves in and had a look round – all was clean and tidy, ready for our arrival. We were met a few minutes later by the representative from BCBM, who officially showed us round, pointed out a few bits and pieces, but realising that we had hired many times previously didn’t go into unnecessary details. We were quickly signed off and we were left to get on with unloading the car and preparing to start our first cruise. The wife sent me to the Co-Op to get a couple of breakfast essentials for the following morning and I called into the chippy in Brundall for some lunch, whilst she made up the bed unpacked our clothes. I drove back to the berth, parked the car and we had our fish and chips (which were very tasty indeed), before starting the engine and casting off. I have always been careful with every hire boat we’ve been on in the past, but was doubly cautious as I went astern, knowing that it was I was at the helm of a craft that was jointly owned by our fellow syndicate members and us. Realising that it would be dark by about 16:00, in bright sunshine we turned towards Coldham Hall and set off for a comparatively short trip to our overnight stop at The Ferry House, Surlingham, where I had booked a mooring and a table for dinner. We turned off the Yare and across Bargate, before re-joining the main river towards Bramerton. Despite the lateness of our visit, there were still some leaves clinging to the trees, creating some wonderful colours on either side of the river. The river levels seemed quite low, a fact born out by something we witnessed on Sunday afternoon. There were a few private boats about, but not many as we headed up to Bramerton Common, before turning round and finding our mooring at The Ferry House, right by an electric post. I checked, but there was no credit on it and was advised by someone on a nearby craft that the cards were available from the pub and that the BA cards didn’t work in them. I went in and bought one, before hooking up the cables, setting up the aerial and settling down to watch some TV. It was getting quite cold, so we were grateful that the heating fired up and soon warmed the inside of the boat through. I broke out the camera and took a few photos as the sun began to set. We have visited The Broads for years, but usually during late April, May, June, September or early October. The mainly bare branches of the trees and shrubs in the light of the setting sun revealed views that we had not previously experienced. The traffic problems that had blighted the early part of our journey seemed a million miles away as the sun disappeared and I went back inside Moonlight Shadow to resume watching the TV until it was time for dinner. We went to the pub shortly before 19:00 and once seated at our table, made our choices from the menu – prawn cocktail for the wife and whitebait to start for me, followed by lasagne, chips and side salad for each of us for the main course. As usual, the portions were generous and tasty, so much so that neither of us could manage a dessert. We finished our drinks and returned to the boat to watch TV a little longer before having a hot drink and going to bed, tired , happy and looking forward to the adventure continuing on Sunday.
  15. Not sure if I would say I'm comfortable with 'er indoors driving, but at least if my eyes are closed I can't see what she's doing!!😁😁😯
  16. No axe to grind with the BA and I don't want to discuss the issues of the boarding and relevant planning permissions, but as the building in question is not by the river's edge and in no way 'iconic,' why all the fuss? To my eyes (at least), the visual abomination that is Hunsett Mill is much more worthy of comment.
  17. In all of the times Ive passed that mill, Ive never noticed that it is leaning. Senility, stupidity or blind - not sure which one applies. I though I'd held my camera on the skew when I looked at the pictures I took of it a few weeks ago and saw the mill leaning!!!! Doh!!!!!!!? Nice write up and photos Helen, glad you had a good time!
  18. We visited in September 2017 and were slightly underwhelmed with the decor and menu, but went back a few weeks ago when we were on Gainsborough Girl . The menu has been transformed, with far more choice and the lighting didn't seem as gloomy. Coupled with attentive staff and a great selection of beer, our opinions were reversed to the extent that I would be disappointed to be on the Northern Broads and not visit. Probably my favourite pub on the rivers north of Great Yarmouth.
  19. I haven't hired Serenade, but have hired Gardenia Girl in the past. It was comfortable and convenient, but I personally found the visibility through the windscreen to be restricted with the roof closed and preferred to helm with one side of the roof open and my head sticking out. This was okay when the weather was clement, but not ideal when it was raining. Purely my opinion, of course.
  20. Googled Newman Thompson and found the same printers you suggested and was going to post on here, but you beat me to it! Have forwarded the file and it hasn't bounced back this time, so hopefully it's the right one!
  21. I'm sure we will, Alan. Thank you. Our syndicate AGM was held on 13th October, where we met most of the other owners and now know our allocated weeks until May 2020. The Broads remain a special place to me, almost 50 years after my first holiday today there and this ensures that we will be able to keep on visiting as long as we are able to get on and off the boat. Thanks each for your positive comments about our tale. It was a pleasure for me to relive a wonderful week and to share some of the hundreds of photos I took whilst there.
  22. Just tried to send the file twice, but it bounced back on both occasions with the message 'domain name newmanthompson.co.uk not found' Now somewhat bemused.?
  23. Thanks JF. Appreciate that. Always read and enjoy your ramblings and photos, although I will miss the banter with Gracie?. As you can imagine, we are looking forward to our first trip on MS - don't even know whether the keys fit yet!! Enjoy your trip and look after yourselves (and Moonlight, too). Mouldy
  24. For the three years prior to this, we have hired Grand Girl 1 from Summercraft, as our son, daughter-in-law and latterly, grandson have accompanied us. This year, they came to France with us in June instead, so we were able to choose a different style of boat. In the past we’ve been on Grenada Girl and Grecian Girl from the same yard, as well as various other styles and designs prior to that. We have never been on a dual steer, or fly bridge before, so had a quick look over Gainsborough Girl at the end of our holiday last year, liked it so booked it. My wife had some degree of trepidation over the height of the freeboard and it looked high when we arrived at the boatyard at the start of our holiday, moored in the boatyard. During the week of our holiday, in reality this didn’t really present a problem when moored side on, but generally high water levels did exacerbate it at a couple of places. Stern on was different, as the deck height rises towards the back making it even higher. Climbing aboard wasn’t a problem for us, but the wife was nervous jumping off when mooring stern on and we had to help the dog on and off, especially following the injury to her paw. Once aboard, there were a few steep steps to descend into the saloon, but once there, the boat was very comfortable with ample seating to both sides with drawers beneath. There was a sizeable cupboard under the inner helm seat and one to the left of the steps leading to the aft cabin with a larger that average LCD TV on top. Further storage for drinking glasses in a cupboard with a lift-up lid could be found under the radio and the table was accommodated under the steps. Although the windows were tinted all round, the space was light and airy, aided by two opening lights in the roof. The aft cabin was well appointed, with a double bed under the upper helm position with drawers under, which in reality had plenty of headroom when seated on the bed and was in no way claustrophobic. There was a dressing table at the stern end, with more drawers and a large wardrobe. The door to the starboard side led into the en-suite heads and shower compartment – not particularly spacious, but fine for us. Returning through the saloon to the front of the boat, there were a couple more steps down to the galley, with a four burner cooker with grill and oven, sink, microwave and fridge. There wasn’t a great deal of worktop, with some occupied by the microwave, but it suited our needs and as not segregated from the living area, you didn’t feel isolated when preparing food. As usual from Summercraft, the galley was comprehensively equipped with good quality utensils, crockery and cutlery. The forward heads were off the galley to the port side and were slightly smaller than the ones aft. We didn’t use them for showering and they might be a squeeze for anyone of a larger stature to use comfortably. The fore cabin had the usual arrangement of V berths, both with drawers under and a cupboard to each side, one of which configured as hanging space and the other with several shelves. The wife helmed a couple of times from the inner helm, both for relatively short periods, but sitting in the seat, visibility looked to be okay, certainly no worse than any centre cockpit style cruiser we’ve hired before and with the usual comprehensive instrumentation. The digital thermostat for the powerful heating was mounted to the side of the helm position and warmed the boat quickly on the couple of occasions we used it. The only issue we found was that the hot water did not stay hot overnight, perhaps because the tank was small. The fact that it only took about half an hour with the engine running to produce hot water may confirm that. I didn’t take any photos of the upper helm, but there was basic instrumentation, under a Perspex cover and aside from a recalcitrant throttle, that seemed to nothing for much of its travel before increasing the revs, everything worked as it should. The visibility was fantastic, affording views across the surrounding marshlands that would otherwise remain hidden from a lower position. Stern mooring was a breeze, even without a bow thruster and the pushpit rails that surrounded the stern deck, extending along the sides and the pulpit rail at the bow were a good safety feature. As ever with Summercraft, the boat was in stunning condition, especially considering we hired her towards the end of the season and immaculately presented inside and out. She drew some positive, admiring comments from people we had moored near to on more than one occasion. If we were in the market to hire again, I would certainly consider Gainsborough Girl, as long as our mobility wasn’t impaired and affect our ability to get on and off and to tackle the steep steps to the saloon.
  • Create New...

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.