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About DJB

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  1. @MikyOA conversation I had with some boaters down at Loddon a year back suggests that there are some big carp in the river near Brundall. Escapees from lakes when the river has flooded.
  2. I didn't manage to do much fishing in my week there two weeks ago. The little I did I had hardly any bites, nothing to encourage me persevering. Up at Neatishead a couple of locals from Coltishall set up their rods just as I was mooring so I was limited to off the boat in the staithe itself. It was rubbish, not even a bite in the two hours I tried. Speaking to the two locals they said it was currently poor everywhere. I was parked up in Brinkcrafts marina for most of the week. The people in the holiday homes opposite appeared to be having as much joy as me. Just one of those weeks I suppose.
  3. I live in Ipswich. It takes just one and a half hours door to door. I'll be taking the week off regardless otherwise I'll lose it.
  4. According to Freedom's website I'd be limited to the southern broads from 1st Nov to 31st March. Herbert Woods website doesn't let you select dates in November.
  5. I was thinking about hiring a boat for the week in November. Do any of the yards hire out in this period? As far as I can tell from their online booking only Ferry Marina appear to be open for business. To avoid really bad weather I don't want to book until the last minute.
  6. DJB

    Mooring At Wroxham

    Oops, perhaps I told someone the wrong thing last week. I was in Barnes marina and a bloke just as it was turning dark asked me about mooring. I just assumed that he was in a hire boat and told him he'd be OK to moor up as it wasn't a changeover day. He did mention something about having to pay £15 which from a hirer only perspective seemed very odd. Perhaps he was in private boat and got stiffed in the morning.
  7. I've literally just finished a week on Serenade today and I had really been looking forward to it, but regret it now. I have to be open about something first, I'm carrying far too much excess baggage. So sometimes things can be a tight squeeze. Positives: the induction hob is great. We didn't use the microwave as we ate out most of the time. The galley was well stocked with equipment if you want to self cater and enough room for preparation etc. I had to squeeze a bit to get through the rear bathroom but once in there was enough room even for a hippo like me to have a shower. The toilet seat was fine as well. We had a boat in the past where I described the toilet as trying to sit on a polo mint. The mirror however was pointless as you have to crane your neck to use it. The double bed was ok but could have been deeper and softer. With exits both sides I was able to get out without clambering over her. I actually found the bench in the centre cabin more comfortable but we were only given bedding for the declared manifest so I couldn't sleep in there anyway. The heating worked very well. We had problems on our previous boat. Plenty of cupboard space although I always manage to live out of a small suitcase anyway. The stern exit is good. I did manage to get it wrong at Womac Staithe at Ludham and stepped on the very wet and greasy wooden sleeper that forms part of the dock. I lost my footing and ended up with one leg in the water and the rest of me face down in the gravel. They need to put some sort of grip surface on those timbers. The engine is very quiet. If I haven't mentioned it then the rest of the boat was ok apart from ... Negatives: As I mentioned above I'm no slim jim but I wasn't able to get in to the forward cabin. I don't think the door could ever open 90 degrees because of the layout. However that is then reduced by a piece of timber that forms part of the door catch so a few more degrees are lost. Then you have the door catch itself that reduces the opening by a few more degrees. Finally there are the door handles. The gap between the left hand of the door frame and the handle is only 375 mm. This is significantly less than the door frame width. I measured the width of the frame and rear cabin shower frame door and I was able to get in to that. Fortunately our guest, the wifes brother, is 9 stone wet through so he had no issues. The opening could be widened if they used different handles and put the door catch on the top of the cupboard that the door opens up to. The step up to the driving seat is about 560mm, or two inches shy of two feet. With no grab handles to help haul yourself up this is too high if you have mobility issues(see slipping at Womac). Fortunately I had brought along a footstool for my wife to rest her foot on. She never got to use it as I commandeered it. Our grown up kids also came on board during the week and two of the son in laws agreed it was too high. The one who is 6' 4" was not bothered by it. Once you are up on the seat the view is dreadful. I couldn't see the brow of the boat. You have to open the sliding roof to see the edge of the boat. When you have people in small fishing dinghys they disappear out of view when you get closer to them. Driving the boat into boatyards is a nightmare. I had to open the roof and put the seat down so I could stand and see what I was about to hit. It rained this week and the front screen misted up. Everyone struggled to get to windscreen to wipe it clear. Vents or a mini fan are needed here To summarise to live aboard this is a very comfortable and well equipped boat. To drive it is awful and I will going for something that either has the wheel at the front or something with a second driving seat up top next time. Finally, I brought our kids and grandchildren up to the broads this week and put them in the sail loft apartments. These are brilliant for the price. With the free day boat they are hard to beat.
  8. I was going to speak to them anyway regarding life jackets.
  9. We are going to hire a large boat that can sleep 4+2. There are more of us going who will be land based. In total there will be two of us living on the boat and 7 plus a toddler and two infants onshore. I'd like to take us all to a pub during the day. Would the hire company object to this? It's not a major issue if they do as I can send the overspill via taxi.
  10. I don't have a problem with the pilot not working but the lack of information in the brochure about it or at least a message when you go through the online booking.
  11. DJB


    We were out. Pulled into Ludham and it went from sunny and blustery to dark, wet and very windy just as we tried to tie up. A kid in the boat next to us came and helped with the pair of us hanging on for dear life. Another boat then broke its mooring and hit us. I wonder if they noticed that they were tied up differently when they came back from the pub. Turning in Thurne was a nightmare. I had us nice and tight stern on in Malthouse so a decent sleep. Neatishead was positively tranquil thanks to the adjacent fences and wind direction.
  12. You are always at the mercy of the weather and storm Gareth put a right damper on the break but it was still relatively enjoyable but there were a few things that niggled. My first question on arrivals was would we get under Wroxham Bridge. I was thinking about river levels but the hire company told me there were no pilots until the end of March so no we couldn't go. I had deliberately booked a low boat that would get under without rolling back a roof exposing the cabin to the weather. The lack of pilots should have been flagged at the time of booking/in the brochure. We'd not been to Coltishall for years and I was looking forward to going there. The lack of water facilities was another issue. We found none in Ludham or Neatishead and people I spoke to said they'd found it difficult elsewhere as well. A warning that you might have to call in to boat yards at this time of year would have been handy. Water was available at Malthouse broad. The last week of the fishing season and the small tackle shop at Ludham was shut. The one at Ludham bridge was open. We had a few problems with our boat. The TV was broken, but it was replaced. We had a small leak in the roof, but it was fixed. As the week went on we noticed that the drain near the steps was blocked so we had to walk through standing water each time we got on or off. A similar story in the front well of the boat. As this was the first week of hire of the season this should not have happened. They should have been flushed clear over the winter. The biggest problem we had was with the heating. First I cocked up by failing to notice the warm air outlet had adjustable vents. They were closed shut so the air was not getting blown out. Previous boats we had did not have these. So our second night was spent shivering in the cold. The rear bedroom was also cold. I didn't notice that the middle room was particularly warm. The lad at the boatyard put me right on the vents and I felt a right idiot for not looking at the outlet closer. My excuse was it's all black in a dark corner of a dimly lit boat. So when left the yard with our new TV, fixed roof and hot air blowing I thought we'd be ok to see out the windy weather coming our way. How wrong I was. Despite keeping the heating on for hours the boat didn't warm up at the front or rear. The middle cabin did get cosy. I think that the reason for the cold in the other rooms was a lack of draft excluder on either the front or rear door. The curtain that hung over the glass on the top half of the door was billowing in the wind. The heater simply couldn't overcome it. Perhaps I should have tried calling the hire people out on Sunday evening but I didn't want to be a nuisance. I probably wouldn't have mentioned it on here had I been given a sympathetic ear when we returned the boat. Instead of making a note of the issue all I got was you should have called us out and we would have fixed it. This boat is probably over 20 years old, we have had plenty of cold windy weather in East Anglia in the 25 years we've lived here, so I can't be the first person to complain about a boat being cold. Apart from that sour note at the end everything else about the boat was fine. I was particularly pleased that the toilet seat was a regular size and not like trying to sit on a polo mint that we had with another boat. The Sunday carvery at the pub in Ludham was superb. We drove over to the Rising Sun at Coltishall and had a great meal there. A couple of things to note if you are not a regular boater. Take some slippers with you. The floors get really cold overnight. If you are going to be using the mud anchor take some waterproof gloves to pull it back on board. Don't try going down narrow dykes in windy weather without bow thrusters as you can get in a bit of a pickle. Perhaps you should try and get to the boatyard early so that you can test the TV, heating, cooker etc etc before you leave the yard. We'll be getting another boat in September.
  13. We have booked Gold Gem from Richardsons for next year. I chose this style of boat because I want to get past Wroxham and Potter Heigham. I realise the second bridge may be impossible. I also chose it because it is single level so no steps once on board. My wife jarred her knee on the last boat so mooring became a real issue as her knee became stiff for a few days. She can't drive to save her life so I depend on her to tie up. I think the front door will help me do the mooring with or without her help. Running from the driving seat down the steps, through the door into the back cabin, through the double doors and up the steps to the back of the boat was a right carry on. Finally it has a well at the front and that seems perfect for fishing. Three good reasons to get this boat. However I am concerned about the cabins on this boat. It's a shame that they don't have the same size boat with a single more comfortable cabin and a larger ensuite. I have a 'healthy appetite' so I think it's all going to be a bit of a squeeze for me. I looked at all the yards and couldn't find anything that was low, single level, had a well and was roomy. Richardsons do have some more modern boats that look less of a squeeze but the price hike is just too much. Are there any boats designed just for couples?
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