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  1. Thanks for the advice. I did not mention "running"!
  2. My trip was the week before half-term, but attractive mornings seemed rare. I did not expect to berth outside a pub, but getting one anywhere near was also rare. Our first ever jaunt after picking up the boat at Ferry Marina was to Wroxham, did not find a mooring, so came back again to Ferry Marina! Very disappointing! If I had found a morning, in a busy boatyard, it probably would have been very challenging for a beginner to negotiate.
  3. Novice here: Is it possible to berth near Somerleyton Hall?
  4. I'm a novice, but that's so much cheaper than I would have expected. Loved the Swan.
  5. My wife and I are just back from our first boards hire-boat experience. Even though we were the week just before half term, we found the rivers (especially the berths) busy. Is an off-season trip recommended? Does the potential for cold, rain and dark nights out weigh any advantages of less crowds? When do you go? What is your experience?
  6. My wife and I are just back from our first boards hire-boat experience. We found handling the boat, as novices, with just the two of us a little busy/daunting. However, what it like being on a boat with another couple? Do the tensions rise as the space shrinks or does this work well for you? Any experience of this?
  7. So I'm just back from my first Broads boat hire experience. Now, I like a drink, but normally in a Pub. However, I was a little shocked at the drinking mentality on the broads. When my wife and I were loading our luggage into the boat, on day one, the couple next to us (in their late sixties, maybe seventies) were loading six boxes of beer onboard! I also saw skippers piloting their boats with the wheel in one hard, beer in the other. Then there were the day-boats, on a sunny day, which appeared to often contain drunken young people. Maybe I'm just a kill-joy? This modern trend for supermarket beer must really be hurting the pubs, mind you the cost of a pint in a pub does them no favors. They are in dancer of pricing themselves out out the market, I'd suggest. Maybe if I had a stiff drank while skippering the boat, my skills might have improved!
  8. SwanR, the boat was very maneuverable, in slightly more experience hands than mine. It's such a pity that the water moves and the wind blows! I felt like I had just had my first car driving lesson, then was required to drive solo to a multi-story car park, two hours away, negotiate it and reverse park into a tight space (without ever doing so before). it is not easy for me to find that relaxing! Somebody at the boatyard told me that the boat was worth half-a-million. That information did not help me.
  9. Thanks everybody. I obviously cannot compare my experience and level of service, ease of driving the boat with ANYTHING else. As I said, the generator never kicked in as I did short journeys, a couple of hours at a time. I also moored with shore power each time. (They did not recommend it as such, but suggested it was preferable). If you bert without shore power, you have to isolate the generator before you go to bed as it might come on in the middle of the night! The generator on this boat is actually UNDER the bed! I don't mean under the floor, under the bed. If you lift the mattress up, it is under the bed! The generator only kicks in when the batteries reach 60%. Mine never go that low. The boat really is almost silent (apart from the bow thrusters). My wife used to go camping as a child, then her family upgraded to a little touring caravan. As a result, as an adult she likes some luxury. I picked the boat as the accommodation look first-class, with a real toilet and real shower and a real doable bed with access each side. The accommodation certainly ticker her boxes. It is quite easy to over-steer a boat, it would seem. It is definitely NOT a car! A worker at Ferry Marina said they had 43 boats and at times they did not know where to put them all. He said that ideally they need less boats or a bigger marina. By the way, a Ferry Marina worker called "Ian" (grey beard/jeans) was so kind and helpful. Keith (an ex-Fireman) was also a bit of a character. He drove a Harley!
  10. Thanks oldBerkshireBoy, I never went for four hours, did shorter bursts. Always used shore power, so the generator never kicked in. Ferry marina did give me ten shore power cards (free). Used zero fuel. Bow thrusters are a great invention, but I needed practice. Learning my mistakes could involve hitting outer boats! My wife and I shower every day (quickly) so I guess that uses water up quicker. I'd say you might reach two days without filling up water, but I worried after 1.5. I did know to bring towels. it just seems mean to me.
  11. ..oh I did like Horning's RAF Radar Museum and the Secret Garden, Ludham.
  12. My wife and I have returned from my first experience of boating on the Norfolk Broads. We chose Ferry Marina and Silent Emblem. It was a week of very mixed emotions! I don’t have time to write a full review, but here are some comments: Tried all three pubs in Horning. Though the food, service and ambiance was best in the Swan Inn. Found the Ferry Inn unwelcoming, inefficient and food average. Found the food/service at the New Inn mediocre. (Based on one visit each, but two to the Swan) I managed to pick mediocre beer, in my opinion (Ghost Ship and Doom Bar). The Ferry Marina staff were generally good, but they seemed under a lot of pressure to get boats in, turn them around and get them out again. It all felt like an assembly line to me. Our boats accommodation/facilities were EXCELLENT. However, several aspects of the boats design are madness in my layman’s opinion. Driving the boat from inside if difficult with poor visibility. Driving from the upper helm (the roof) offers no protection from the elements. I got soaked several times. There is not even a small windscreen to protect you. The need to add water and pump-out regularly was a nuisance. We did our best to preserve water, but after a day or maybe 1.5 a refill was required. I found finding berths and the required maneuvering very difficult as a novice, especially reverse parking in a tight marina. The boat felt very big at times. Although I did do some pre-broads research, I really felt that we had jumped in at the deep end. The guy gave us a short demo how to drive the boat, but I could have done with a day course including maneuvering etc. I thought that the free map was very poor – just a collection of lines. It gave me no insight into what to expect at places, the geography/proper location of berths etc. I needed a large-scale map. Though the boards signage was small and difficult to see (in time) but I appreciate motorway style signage would not be appropriate. Berths seem very scarce everywhere (and I was pre-half term). I was following a sailing boat which was zig-zagging in front of me, as they do. I had to slow to a few mph, for a while, until the yachtsman indicated I could pass, which I did. (I thought that was the right procedure?) However, I had a line of boats behind me, some sounding their horns at me. I berthed at Herbert Wood’s Potter, on a Thursday evening. Planned to spend the day there on a Friday, but got a knock on the door on Friday at 9.00am telling us to leave ASAP as it was turn-around day. A tip-off the previous evening would have been nice. Latham’s was a little disappointing and appears to sell the same goods as my local QD! I liked Roy’s at Wroxham, but the McDonald’s inside surprised me. I though the whole experience was very expensive. Ferry marina call it “all inclusive” but they don’t even give you a pint of milk, but they do give you one toilet roll (what an insult), a miniature washing up liquid (a few mls) and a few travel toiletries (shampoo etc.) They don't even provide towels. However, the broads are lovely!
  13. Thanks Ray. What's a " haggard"?
  14. I have a photo of my Mum and Dad on a boat, on the broads in the 1950's. The boat is "Broadland Teal" Ripplecraft - Summerlayton (W411) Doing a bit of research, I believe this was built in Christopher Cockerels boatyard. Would they have picked up the boat from his boatyard? Can we tell where it was hired from? Is there still a boatyard there?
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