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expilot

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  1. 12.30 pm and it is Low Water at Potter Bridge and the gauge is reading 5' 9". The river is still ebbing, but, unless the tide is late, within the next half hour or so I would expect to see the gauge reading 5' 6" At HW it will probably be reading 5' 5" - two inches lower than at HW yesterday.
  2. Today's HW at Potter Bridge this afternoon was 5' 3" as indicated by the upriver gauge.
  3. No need to apologise, ST. No offence taken. It can be difficult sometimes to write things down to mean precisely what we mean without creating alternative nuances unintentionally.
  4. ST, snipes such as this do nothing to enhance your reputation. I drive through THAT bridge every day, but haven't "driven a few boats under a bridge" for two decades. As I have stated before, I have no axe to grind. I claim no superior knowledge. If the bridge is sinking, I will suffer more than most as a direct result. You made a claim that the bridge was sinking. All I did was to ask you for the evidence of such. It would be a very strange world we lived in if people made decisions based on what they thought may be true. Come to think of it, given the present state of the nation, perhaps that is what most people do
  5. Sorry, MM. The tidal rise and fall at Potter Bridge has been 4" twice daily for the last thirty-odd years. Perhaps once or twice a year the tidal range may be 5" or, just as rarely, no range at all i.e. no drop in water level during the ebb phase before the next flood tide begins.
  6. I thank MM's for his considered intervention. Reference ST's post and the rather naughty reference that I have ever claimed to be an "EXPERT". I have never ever claimed to be an expert, but will readily claim my entitlement to be able to claim local knowledge and my preference to base my own opinions on personal, experiential evidence in the absence of other evidence or data. It is ST who has repeatedly claimed that the bridge is sinking. As soon as he has published the data to show that he has been right all along, I will concede that the bridge is sinking. Until then, I will continue to repeat what I have frequently been told by those very people tasked with measuring (with instruments sufficiently accurate) any deflection, year on year, of the listed monument that is Potter Heigham' medieval bridge. Reference ST asking, "....just exactly how much the depth of water has either increased or decreased?" I'm sorry, ST, but I simply do not have that information and nor do I know where you may find it, if it exists anywhere at all. ST does himself no favours in making claims such as, "What is a historical fact is since the 50s the volume of traffic that use it has multiplied at least 5 fold". In the 1950's Potter Bridge was the only road bridge crossing the River. The bridge that now carries the A149 over the river didn't exist as a road bridge in the 1950s. It was still a rail bridge. All of the A149 traffic needing to cross the River used Potter Bridge, cars, lorries, buses, the lot. In the hope that the simple and sincere hope that it does not generate ill-feeling, I would, again, ask where I may substantiate for myself such an "historical fact". For the record, I am not suggesting for selfish reasons that we do nothing to prevent anyone's perceived idea that Potter Bridge is sinking. I am entirely dependent on reasonable clearances at Potter Bridge to enable me to use my 1960s motor cruiser in waters other than the upper Thurne. Doing nothing to prevent any reduction in air drafts at the bridge - if such were possible or desirable - is most certainly not in my personal self-interest.
  7. Sea Gypsy, the pilot may have said one of the bigger boats to go through. From memory, Constellation and Caravelle needed 6' 10" at Potter bridge (Although I think Caravelle may have need an inch less now I come to think of it). There were many boats needing 6' 11" and 7' 0" in the hire fleet - including Broom Admirals - that often passed under the blockage. The stepped sheer Alphas, as we used to call them, all needed 6' 11" (bar one that didn't have a handrail immediately above the side saloon entry) and they frequently got through until my last couple of years when the tides were more often high than low. Reference Batrabill's comment about filling in the gaps, I am confident that the Flood Alleviation Project will have achieved precisely that, but I can think of nowhere on the Thurne where there was such a pre-existing overtopping point that would have eased things at the bridge. The tides have to be very, very, high (4' 11" at the bridge) before fluvial overtopping takes place. Even Grendel's much promoted Martham boats would be marooned one side or other of the bridge at such heights😉
  8. Never let evidence get in the way of myths, legends, beliefs, assumptions, lies or damned lies. If ST wants to prove that Potter bridge is sinking, either under its own weight or because cars are getting heavier, then let him drop an email to Norfolk County Council's Highways department, bridges division. Let him ask NCC for the survey data collected over the last five decades. Perhaps ST can then prove, with hard evidence, that the bridge is sinking. That river levels have risen is surely evidenced by the number of Thurne property owners who have been persuaded to spend thousands of pounds of hard-earned cash in raising their properties above fluvial flood levels, raising their quay-headings and plots against increased river levels and the increased frequency of flooding. These two hundred and twenty properties have, for more than a hundred years, been located on the functioning flood plain of the River Thurne between the river and the concrete flood wall or floodbank to the rear of them. I don't presume to know why the water levels are rising. That they are, I can see every day from my window where now I sit to type this reply - the same window at which I have worked every day for the last thirty years. Incidentally, at Potter Bridge, inches matter. Respectfully, Broom Admirals needed 7' 0" clearance from 1989 to 1999. I presume they still do. If they really needed 7' 4" I would never have had the pleasure of piloting one through THAT bridge. I put several through during my ten-year stint working there. And similarly and equally respectfully, to correct Marshman, the floodbanks of the River Thurne were not raised, they were strengthened by being made substantially wider, not taller. Again, the gps data should support the promise made by Broadland Environmental Services Limited to the River Thurne Tenants Association before works began that no part of the then existing flood defences would be raised, and that the over-topping points of the flood defences that existed before the engineering works would continue to exist in their then existing locations post the Broadland Flood Alleviation Project.
  9. Tower Bridge needs 6' 10" at Potter Bridge.
  10. Sadly, there are many myths about woodies. Broadland Swift has an iroko (poor man's teak) hull. After more than fifty years of being in the wet stuff, (only being lifted for a quick antifoul and tar varnish) she has recently had to have some strip planking at her stern replaced. Please note, however, that the iroko planking had rotted from the inside not the outside. It was rainwater that did the damage. I would venture to suggest that woodies rot and sink due to poor initial design and/or poor workmanship and/or cheap materials and/or poor maintenance.
  11. That's the one! Good piece of research Webntweb.
  12. I think I overheard the local lunchtime tv news report that Breydon will be closed tomorrow until the forecast weather improves. I have just read, too, that Herbert Woods is NOT hiring out day-boats tomorrow and is advising those of its cruiser hirers who may be unsure about cruising away from the yard to remain in the yard until the weather abates.
  13. Hi MM There used to be an Alpha 31 in the hire fleet. Something tells me that it may have come out of Stalham Yacht Services boatyard. It was a boat that we pilots used to have to use a specific technique to get it through THAT bridge. We would approach the bridge at sufficient speed to guarantee safe steerage and then drop the revs to allow the bows to dip - the pulpit was unnecessarily high and particularly wide - but then we would have to pick the revs up again in order - wait for it - to get the helmsman's seat through! I kid you not. At THAT bridge the highest point on that particular Alpha 31 was a helmsman's seat with a particularly high back. The ripped vinyl was a constant reminder of previous arched bridge contact. And the technique was called? Banana-ing. For obvious reason. I confess, cannot remember the Alpha 31's name. I keep getting "River Dart", but I believe "River Dart" may have been an Ocean 30 as opposed to an Alpha 31. I've probably got the wrong name and the wrong hire boatyard, but the Alpha 31 I'll never forget. Bit of a heart-pounding bum-clencher! Whatever, with an Aplha 31, remove the pulpit and put a standard helmsman"s seat on board, 6' 8"(?) at Potter - probably. The Alpha 31 that I remember, despite being aft cockpit, needed all of 6' 10" at THAT bridge.
  14. With respect, where does this idea come from? None of the dayboats hired out by Phoenix Fleet Limited, the first boatyard to hire out electric dayboats thirty odd years ago, none had go kart motors - whatever they are. They had - and still have - the original 48volt Nelco motors. As for torque, an electric motor delivers its full torque throughout the rpm range. Electric boats are much more manoeuvrable at low rpm than any diesel can be. Happy to demonstrate in either of my all-electric boats to any disbeliever or sceptic. The seriousness of the weeding up problem at Somerton is vary much dependent on the type of weed picked up by the prop. I do not know the names of the various weeds up there, but one is like wire. Get that round the prop and you need a very sharp saw to get rid of it! Another weed looks like lettuce and is much easier to shift.
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