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Captain

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  1. I remember mooring like that as well, what I don't remember is how we got off, jumping off the bow and paddling perhaps, I don't remember getting wet perhaps we did back then or am I being really thick? Neil
  2. Indeed, great looking boats particularly as they are upto 42 years old. What was the first boat I saw after typing the above at Holywell another Sancerre on the Goba mooring! Neil
  3. Hi, Currently on the Fens, loads of Broads boats around including atleast 6 Bondons Sancerres seen so far including 4 at St Neots alone. Plenty of Sheerlines, a new Starlight 24 apparently bought from a boat show, masses of Broom/Ocean 30's . Horizon 35 and old Broads boats Inc what looked like a Brinks 35 footer Bourne 35 Sorry off topic but I have never seen so many Sancerres in one place. Neil
  4. Hi As David has stated above there are three Commander types according to the Richardson's website Commander, Commander A and P. I am also fairly certain the two new builds for 2019 are ready as I saw Commander 5 in the yard a week or so back outside the office. no.1 & 2 were built in 17, No. 3 in 18 and 4/5 in 19. I am not sure whether any more are planned as I believe a new sedan boat is due later in the year. Neil
  5. Hi, I am a bit of an anorak when it comes to boat bookings, interestingly the overall booking weeks are quite good compared to previous years however the weeks that are down are peak periods, school holidays etc. September is doing well yet in July/August some boats are aren't out at all! Therefore suggests its familys who aren't booking. Certain boats are out come what may (ex Swan boats). The yards wont be liking this as the big money is made in the school holidays, out of season bookings are never going to make up for in season rates. Neil
  6. I have hired three similar Alpha 35s Jade Emblem, Swan Romance and Braemore all needed about 6ft 10 at Potter according to the pilot and I failed to get under therefore I am afraid you will be very lucky to get through. Wroxham shouldn't be problem unless the tides are very high however. Similar but shorter Swan Reflection is a couple of inches lower and Brinks Encore, Broom Bolero, Silver Coral all need about 6ft 6 if you want to hire similar style of boats in the future with slightly better chances. Neil
  7. Sanderson's are one of the few remaining long established family run yards on the Broads and I wish them all the best for the future. I think it's possible to just about manage a very small independent yard on the Broads however you have to build a regular base of customers and a good reputation with regular investment, if they follow the Pacific cruisers model they should have a future. If they're not prepared to change a little then the market may not be there I sorry to say. Neil
  8. Hi David, I imagine that Ferry have a quite a loyal following now they have managed to build up a direct trade therefore Len could afford to move them direct whereas they had to swallow their pride and go back to Hoseasons and the commission they charge in order to shift boats likely costing 6 figures to build. I notice they have added 2 more affordable boats which appear to be Faircraft A/F 35 possibly the Broads Boat co. Wroxham/Hoveton. This is worrying for that Acle yard as they are now down to 7 boat's as upto 4 have gone. Neil
  9. Sunshine is a very tidy Opal 28, I had a look over her when Richard acquired her back in October 18. According to Facebook he has now added a bow thruster making her very easy to handle. I agree with Broads 1 that the wide front door way and forward cockpit are stand out features over the equivalent Alpha design all be slightly less accommodation. The layout however feels slightly more spacious than Broom Bolero and the toilet and shower are along the side of the boat rather than across. I am not sure whether she will still have it on hire however she did have a reversing camera too. All in all for her spec she is one of the best value Opal 28 on the Broads I am tempted particularly with the bow thruster however the one downside is the settee in the saloon which is a lovely piece of furniture however doesn't extend therefore she is really suited to a couple with a child. Neil
  10. It appears you had a lovely time, we had Reflection 1 twice under Swan ownership she is great boat, cosy warm and from experience the best fitted of her type by a country mile including an airing cupboard. I am bit of an anorak and review website bookings and can say that the ex Swan boats are almost all fully booked from March to the end October already and are by far some of the most popular boats on the Broads beating several of the newish fly bridge types. Richardson's definitely made a good decision buying these boats. Neil
  11. Richardson's have I believe 5 A/F 38 of this design in total. 2 Major Gems, 2 Ibiza's and 1Broadland Mercury however only 2 are Woods built the rest are former Super/Superb Gems of which 10 were built cc 1975. Certainly an enduring and popular design which started back in 71/2 with the Dawning light class and still looks good nearly 50 years on. It was more less replaced by the 42 in 1976 which was built on mass featuring on the Thames, Loch Lomond and across France. I believe Richardson's Supreme Gems were the first built in 76 (Beaver fleet had some at the same time) of which three stalwarts remain on hire renamed Superior Gem after the sister class of which 2 remain. Indeed Richardson's had until recently a large fleet of 42's including Thames and possibly French examples and Loch Lomond craft. Between 1981 and 1991 various modified 42s appeared many to slightly different variations such as Glistening Light (originally Flash of light) and the mainly Thames boats Rickos have 2/3 (Corsica) and Hamptons built 2 Majestic and Imperial Safari (Pacific Imperial) in 1987 and 1991. The Brinks Symphony class was probably the last 42 built in 1991 which briefly morphed into the huge 48ft Brinks Emporer class. Sorry I do carried away when I start to think about these things. Neil
  12. Hi Apollo, Nice boat by the way, I am sure someone will be along with a photo/brochure pictures of your boat shortly. I believe it still has its original reg and operated at Richardson's after its time at Woods. Having a perusal of the Broads database and from memory suggest s Woods built around 13 of these new aquafibre design s back in 1971-3. Turnoars photo appears to be one of 6 Dawning Lights and Rapid Streams F200-5. I have a feeling these ended up in France and or the Thames at Woods subsidiary yards (Ladbrokes). 4 Gleaming lights appear to follow in 1972/3 F866-9 and finally 3 Hearts cruisers. Richardson's still have 1 of the Gleaming lights as a Major Gem and a former Hearts boat as Mercury. Good luck in getting the photos Neil
  13. I concur, Bittern is a great little boat for a couple or a small group for a day. I have hired here 2/3 times for short breaks. Visited Catfield for the first time in her. Whispering Reed's is a good family operated yard and Bittern needs 6ft or less for Potter and is very good value especially compared with Woods day cruisers which are restricted to the other side of the Bridge. I hired Janet 3 from Martham boats last year which I can also recommend, most of Martham s fleet need 6ft or less for Potter. Bittern is a little cosy and Martham boats are relatively basic however you have to accept a little compromise to see this beautiful area Neil
  14. As a side issue I believe it was Bert Bushnell of Maidenhead who pioneered the pump out boat toilet using aeroplane toilets as a template Neil
  15. The Richardson's Thames saga is even more complicated than suggested above. Back in the 70's and early 80's the Thames operation was Bushnell's of Maidenhead which was bought from the Olympic rower Bert Bushnell by Rank. Many of the Bushnell's fleet were latterly built at Stalham including the former Princess and one of the Distant Horizon's. When Rank sold Richardson's back it appears the Richardson family inherited the Bushnell's fleet if not the yard? Back in the mid 80's a large chunk of the Stalham fleet operated out of Maidenhead before they eventually returned to Stalham and the yard closed. Then the Saga began again when Richardson's bought Maidboats three yards, Thames Ditton and Wallingford being the original Maid yards, Benson Pleasurecraft a more recent acquisition by the previous owner s (who were the former owners?). Whilst Thames Ditton and Wallingford eventually closed up, Benson became Benson cruiser station and Swancraft, as far as I know Le Boat operates out of the yard however doesn't own it, the boats are run by Swancraft on behalf of Le Boat. Neil
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