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About catcouk

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  • Birthday February 22

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Worthing, West Sussex (i.e. not close enough to the Broads)
  • Interests
    Sailing, boating, climbing, model railways

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  1. Thanks very much. I really just wanted to add to the wealth of info out there. I always get excited about "my" hire boat for a forthcoming adventure and it's great to watch a video with my wife of a similar boat beforehand. Of course, as you spotted, I am no professional! Sadly, no boating this Easter means no video either!
  2. Loddon staithe. Always seemed like a long way to go down the Chet when there's nothing else (on the face of it) but it was well worth it. Have to get in early though! Not a quiet spot like other posts but it is my favourite.
  3. Richardsons contacted me before 12 today (our holiday is 2 weeks away). I reluctantly accepted a full refund as we cannot go until next April and the boat we had booked wasn't available (already booked!). We (our family and my friend's families) discussed it and decided to upgrade and book White Champagne. I booked over the phone because I wanted to pay a larger deposit than £50. I know not everyone can afford to do that but if more people could put down a bigger deposit, I reckon the boatyards are more likely to survive - I would imagine Richardsons will be fine but you never know. I basically have them back what they refunded me. The lady was thrilled to be ending her day with a booking rather than telling another customer that their holiday is cancelled. She also appreciated our larger deposit.
  4. As has already been noted in other areas, our holiday is very sadly cancelled. As such, I won't be able to keep you updated. On to trying to book next year... Keep healthy everyone. Stay at home and save lives.
  5. The Clinical Director for Scotland this morning said that a booked holiday in the UK is probably fine - the NHS expect some movement particularly during the holiday. So my week in Easter looks okay - I'm a teacher so think this one is particularly needed. What they don't want is people moving full time to self isolate. However, as others have said, the country may go into full lock down. Will the holiday of two teachers still be considered essential travel...?
  6. Twitter is holding a free online exhibition this weekend to help us out: If you're not offay with Twitter, I think you can just go to Twitter.com and search #TwitterModelTrainShow and you'll find everything posted.
  7. Thanks for all the feedback. I'm going to try a cushion as well as a camping chair and a smaller folding chair - see if any of those work. I'll let you all know in a month's time!
  8. It's probably for the best but it was quite a sight to see!
  9. Thanks for the photo NorfolkNog - tricky to find good photos of the upper helm! deebee29 - I've read your holiday blog a couple if times - a good little read that I enjoyed. Sounds like you had a great time aboard her. Any advice about the helm?
  10. I think I might be inclined to agree but with a 1 year old aboard, the single level seemed like a smart move. Swan Rapide only has moulding and no extra seat. It looked large enough for four adults in the photos? Oh dear... I loved the Aquafibre Crystal 37 we hired a few years ago (Contessa of Richardson). Thinking that they may be one of the great boat builders...
  11. We hired Evesham Light from Herbert Woods out of Potter Heigham for a short break last year. I made a brief video review at the time and thought I should post it here in case anyone was interested. Is there somewhere more specific for hire boat reviews or us this the right place? https://youtu.be/Iwi774yAqUQ (Sorry, I couldn't get it to embed nicely.)
  12. Thanks for the idea. I was thinking about a folding camping chair. How did your blow up chair work out for legroom? As best I can tell, the 38 and 42 have identical cockpits.
  13. Thanks for the honest feedback - I totally agree with honesty. Guess I'm still after suggestions for ways to make it better / bareable! CambridgeCabby - I hope that it is good value. There are lots that think it are. Sure we'll have a good time regardless.
  14. Long time reader, first time writer! I'm hoping with the wealth of experience on here, someone might have a good suggestion... In short: We have hired Swan Rapide (see photo) from Richardson’s for the start of April - it's an Alphacraft 48 lowliner. Has anyone got any suggestions for how to make the upper helm of one of these craft comfortable/ useable? In long: This is our third Easter (in a row) boating on the Broads - I absolutely love it (and my wife indulges me). I used to come with my parents when I was a child (starting in bathtubs and then more usually in centre cockpits, usually Sheerline 950s). We started with friends aboard Contessa (of Richardson’s) and had a short break aboard Evesham Light (of Herbert Woods) last year. We were going for Astral Gem this year when my best mate and his family asked to join us; hence, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Richardson’s were amazingly helpful and allowed me to upgrade to Swan Rapide. Affordable, dual steer (my preference), and a huge saloon (perfect for two toddlers and two families) - one of only three in the hire fleet with this arrangement tat I can ascertain (Rio Light 1 and 2 being the others). I had been very excited by this turn of events. A week with my best mate and his family! A third year on the broads! These pale in comparison to knowing that I would finally get to hire an Alphacraft 48 lowliner - widely publicised in Hoeseasons in the 90s when I was a kid. These boats were so sleek that they almost seemed to be the Lamborghini's of the broads (to my 10-year old self). Heck, they are still used (after more than 20 years) to demonstrate what is meant by 'dual helm'. So, with great excitement, I turned to the web to find all I could. Forum photos, holiday experiences, I even found the boat for sale with loads of information when it left Swancraft (now sold obviously). When I started reading the forums more closely, I found opinion on this class of boat to be divided (typical supercar - never meet your heroes). Many praise what a bargain this boat is for what you get (240v, a microwave, bow thrusters, dual steer, low air draft, etc). Most complaints were about low head room toward the bow (we're short and we can just imagine we're on a submarine - am I the only one who thinks the forward lounge booth has a submarine flavour - see picture); small cabins (what boats of this crew size aren't?) and poor visibility from the internal helm (I expected this but it must be manageable even if inconvenient). My biggest worry though are reviews of the outside helm (where I prefer to be - no rain likely in early April I'm sure). When I look at pictures, the wheel appears to be on the floor, the throttle control beyond the reach of the bench seat, making neither sitting nor standing comfortable (see pictures). Reviewers say that anymore than 10 minutes up there might see you in traction or in need of a back made from iron. I know that many private owners have fitted a separate helm seat as a solution. As obliging as Richardsons are, I don't imagine that they'd consent to this. So I ask the cumulative knowledge and wisdom of this forum: does anyone have any tips, ideas, or solutions for how the upper helm of this class can be made comfortable? I'm quite fond of my spine... Many thanks in advance and, as with all new members, I hope that I've posted this in the right place and not broken any forum rules (I read the guidance notes, I promise).
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