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Found 10 results

  1. Day 1 – A luxury journey by my standards Day 1 (Monday 5th of June) begins on my Mum’s sofa; I’d travelled to Stevenage (my home town) on Sunday by train as I’d had the offer of a lift to Stalham from my Mum’s partner. The luxury of a comfortable car and lack of train fare could not be refused. I felt like a kid a Christmas I couldn’t believe later that day I’d be back on the broads. This was to be family trip - our group of 5 consisting of My Mum, Mum’s partner (ElTel), My youngest Sister (Meat-Soph) and her Fiancé (Hamez). As a group this was our 2nd trip on the broads. We were on the road at around quarter past 9 after a herculean effort to load the 2 cars with what seemed like enough food for an army. My Mum had insisted on bringing enough provisions for 2 years despite my protests, and reminders of the constraints on storage space on boats. I was especially concerned as I knew I would be kipping in the saloon. That being said this all added to the sense of anticipation there was something of the start to the Home Alone film about the morning as bags and boxes were shifted and humped around the hall before ElTel carefully packed and (I hesitate to use the word) faffed everything into the boot like a game of snack based Tetris all this while 2 crazed Yorkshire Terriers ran amok (they were thankfully to be left behind this time) The journey to Stalham was uneventful enough we stopped for McDonalds at Thetford and shouted answers at the radio during Ken Bruce’s Popmaster quiz. I was impressed with our effort. We soon arrived at Richardson’s yard at around 12:45 after my mum realised she had forgotten to pack the milk and she managed to fill half a trolly in Stalham Tesco. Meat-Soph had booked this holiday and we arrived as she was collecting the life jackets. It was pleasant not to have had to queue in the office and nice to just go with the flow for once – with a larger crew this became a theme and made for a very different holiday compared to my last trip on the broads. I seemed to do so little I’m sure I’ll struggle for blog content. Broadland Breeze 3 was ready after 1430 - fenders counted and paperwork signed we were under way. It was well on the way to 1500 by this point. As we rounded Swan Quay and turned onto the River Ant proper I really felt a rush of excitement – the familiar sights of the boats in the marinas through the trees and the 1st of the classic River Ant wild moorings were like a tonic after the hustle-bustle of the boatyard and life in general especially considering the sometimes tragic national events of the last few weeks I really felt like a could relax. The delicate steering of Broadland Breeze seeming to obey my thoughts as we cruised in little more than tick over. For a June day I was surpised and pleased with how quiet the river was. The weather forecast for the week was pretty dire at that point and Monday was not faring too well it was very chilly with ominous clouds and rain promised for later on. Our 1st port of call was to be Howe Hill. Mum had expressed an interested in visiting the gardens after consulting her guide book. However once we had actually moored up the chilly and the blustery conditions did not make for an appealing stop off. So we fed some geese and moved on. It was valuable mooring practice in strong wind and having a large crew meant that Hamez and ElTel were out with the ropes in no time! No Drama’s from this 1st mooring. Ludham bridge was to be our stop for the night we navigated the last few bends and moored on the Horning Marshes side. After unpacking and generally getting the boat set up for the week I went for a wander round – I’ve not had a decent nose round the bridge area before having only ever made a beeline for the pub. 1 thing did catch my eye was the chained off concrete hump with a bit of metal on it at the sailing boat mooring. I’ll attach a picture I’m sure someone can tell me what it is?! Unpacking complete and a can of grog consumed we made our way to the Dog Inn for some grub. The sky had darkened and I noted that I was the only one that had come out with a waterproof the others said they felt optimistic about the weather. I think it was the beer coats they were wearing. As we wandered along ElTel decided to drop a bombshell. “Oh no I’ve left my wallet in the car” he mumbled. Assuming he meant boat I didn’t worry however when I looked at him I realized he indeed did mean Car. My 1st thought was shall I hire a bicycle and cycle the 30 mins back to Stalham? However it was getting darker and I was Hungry so we decided to leave it for the evening and make the 4 hour round trip back on Tuesday. The news did dampen my mood momentarily and I was irritated as I had vague itinerary worked out for Tuesday and this would probably put pay to it. After some discussions about a suitable punishment a traditional keelhaul was plumped for and I put it my phones calendar for 6am the following morning. This lightened the mood and I idly thought what the point of going on holiday with family is if you can’t all bicker in the middle of the street on the way to the pub?! The meals were not bad in the Dog Inn I had the large fish and chips which for £13 was a bit on the dear side for me. And I think the deep fryer oil was getting due for change. Everyone was satisfied with their meals though and we stopped for a pint or 2 after and watched the rain trickle down the windows. It was brisk wet walk back to the boat where I promptly fell into a comer for the night.
  2. Hi folks, Well it's been a month since the missus and I got back from our week afloat, and as is always the case, I'm missing the place already, so I've got stuck into editing the holiday video. Here it is anyway, edited highlights of probably the warmest, sunniest week I've ever experienced on the Broads!
  3. Hi folks! Watching Robin's latest youtube installment reminded me of this site, which I signed up to ages ago but alas never got round to getting very involved with! Just thought I'd share my latest holiday vid/blog/docu-whatever-you-want-to-call-it, featuring myself and my lovely lady onboard a little Hampton Safari for a week last year. I was bitten by the Broads bug at a very young age, and still can't get enough of it now. We're heading back towards the end of next month to do it all over again... John
  4. How do peeps! Hope you're all well. I recently set up a non-commercial Facebook group for fans of the Broadlander Leisure Cruiser from Richardson's boatyard. I'm interested to know of anybody here who has either hired the Broadlander or is interested in it, and would like to join the group and share information on it. Feel free to post pictures, videos, information or anything relevant. I set it up purely for fun and because I just LOVE this boat design and want to get as much info as possible on it. The group can be found over at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Broadlander/
  5. Thought I would do a quick recap of our week on Concerto, with some comments on the boat. We left Kent at around 10am on Friday 22nd April and headed of to Stalham to pick the boat up, traffic was on our side and we did it in under 3 hours We decided to head straight to Richardsons to see what time we could get aboard, low and behold the boat was ready so we could get sorted. We grabbed a quick snack from the food wagon (nice hotdog and chips) grabbed some bits from Tesco and then went for a chat with the handover guys. After running through the basic safety stuff, ropes etc, he double checked that we were happy with boat handling, were experienced and then we completed the handover (we have previously hired similar boats from Richardsons). Concerto 4 initial thoughts. Concerto is a pretty standard RIchardsons bathtub, rear mounted engine, sleeps 2 adults and 2 (small) children. The double bed is a good but odd size (bed sheet didnt fit that well), the children's bunk beds would be cramped for teenagers, but theres just the two of us so the bunks were used for storage. Toilet / shower cubicle is a bit larger than on some other boats, bog is of the straight drop with foot pedal (prefer this to the pump ones). There is a corridor running from the front compartment to the back door, sleeping compartments are not full width of the boat because of this. Main compartment has has full sliding roof and sides, access out front door to the front well. All the onboard kit worked perfectly, cooker cooked, fridge chilled, 240V electrics kept my laptop charged, etc. Like previous hire craft from Richardsons the boat was perfectly clean, all the kit we wanted was in the kitchen and it was all spotless, bedding was clean and ironed, extra blanket to compliment the duvet was also provided. Helm was just about wide enough for two people to sit at, there was also a 3 seater settee, reasonable sized dining table and 4 stools. For our first nights (Friday) mooring we decided to head to Neatishead, either Gayes Staithe or the village moorings. Rather happy to get in at the village moorings, but my attempts to turn the boat on the ropes were defeated by the wind, but that wasnt a big problem. So off to the pub (White Horse) for a few pints and enquire about an evening meal, we got booked in (several didnt). The beer was good, the menu was a bit uninspired, but the food was good just lacked the wow factor. Cider selection was also limited, maybe not many ask for it. Headed back to the boat for an early night, slept very well, found the bed to be hard but that suites my back, more about my back later. Saturday morning, woke up with the sun, read in bed for a bit, got up and made a coffee (freshly ground and made on an aeropress) chilled out for a couple of hours, then head down to How Hill for a shower and coffee. We decided to head to the Lion at Thurne for a meal, some drinks, and some music. Moorings were plentiful at Thurne, we sat onboard and watched some intrepid sailors rigging their boats and heading out in to the windy wilds. We had a great evening in the Lion, the food and beer were very goodm the music provided by One Hand Clapping was excellent. Sunday morning started a bit windy. Most people (including us) were struggling to get off the moorings and turned around, took me a couple of goes to get out. Once back on the river all was well. Decision made to head up to Horning and beyond. It was at this point I realised that all was not bliss and happiness with Claire (my wife), bobble hat, scarf, wool gloves and winter socks had all been donned, she was also huddled under one of the blankets. Enquires concerning her level of warmth also received a decidedly negative response. I think it was around this time it started to hail, big time. And because of the gaps around the sliding roof it was also inside the boat! Bit of work with towels and we were hail free, for now. Horning was busy so we decided to head to Wroxham to look at getting under the bridge and head up to Coltishall.
  6. Finally nearly time for our spring escape! We are hiring Concerto from Richardsons, pickup is Friday and we have a loose itinerary Friday White Horse Neatishead (moor at the village staithe) Saturday St Bennetts for the day, then head to the Lion at Thurne for an evenings music Sunday either Coltishall (Recruiting Sgt, not been there yet), or overnight at St Bennetts Monday probably Wroxham and get the train to Norwich to meet up with friends. Tuesday - Friday, havent a clue!! Couple of questions, The other half would really like to see an otter, any pointers of where to head that might have a better than average chance. I have seen them from the board walk on Barton Broad. I have read that the stretch of river up to Horstead Mill has been dredged, I have canoed it but have not taken a boat up there, good idea or bad idea? We would like to overnight up there if possible. Jon
  7. White Champagne is a large boat ideal for a group of friends or two families whose priority is space. At 45ft long the boat might be the same length as Broadsman, Commodore etc but because has a higher air draft and narrower side decks appears to be much larger inside. Whether you are talking about the shower, outside space, or saloon you never feel cramped and there are drawers and cupboards everywhere to store away a crews belongings. Sure this class of boat (Acapulco, Challenger and Pink Champagne are all the same type) are more known for large groups of men on stag do cruises, this label I feel is wrongly associated with them and upon take over the boat was spotlessly clean. Our request for extra items for the galley and bedding was dealt with in a friendly manner and 'nothing is too much trouble' way. While I had hired the boat it was for my mums birthday celebrations and we wanted somewhere people new to the broads would find comfortable and spacious at a keen price as ever Richardson's proved the most efficient and keenly priced. The boat features 240v power, a microwave, a decent four speaker stereo system, DVD player and TV. For chilly evenings and mornings the boat is equipped with two separate heaters - these did need some attention, and one was replaced credit again goes to the service provided by the engineer and in all fairness I doubt the heater system had been used to date because of the fact we are only just coming out of the more mild weather. I was also pleased to see the batteries, though only 3 for 12v and Inverter were strong and had no issues throughout the weekend. All berths were very comfortable, the shower was very nice and the water system is served through a pressurised accumulator tank so the pump need not run as often and flow is more akin to your home than pumped water. They may get a fair amount of abuse these boats, but we could not fault the on board items from good guilty knives, cutlery and glassware to a non-stick saucepan and larger than usual kettle. My only complaint is not about the boat but Richardson's switch to 'plastic' pillows. While these may easy to care for, keep hygienically clean and so on, they offer no support when you sleep and have an annoying crackle as you move them. Herbert Woods use these too but one does not have these in hotels and I would suggest if a nice pillow means a good nights sleep to you, you might wish to consider bringing your own. A very practical, good boat at a fair price backed up with good service - what more can you ask for.
  8. Watch the Boats Review Princess is sedan style boat sailing from Richardson's Stalham boatyard - boat details and booking - and there are two in the class (I hired No. 2). She is very similar to Executive which is of the same design, just the interior and layout being slightly different. At 7ft 9" she is not too tall so will pass under Ludham unless a very bad day at all states of tide, and there should not be much cause of concern for Yarmouth as long as you don't passage outside the usual time/tidal window. A partial re-fit makes the inside a very comfortable place, with light wood effect and real wood finishes, a large full size cooker and a very light and airy saloon not to mention well proportioned cabins and two heads (one of which is ensuite). Frankly a giveaway price being able to be hired from Thursday to Tuesday (5 nights) for the same price as a Friday to Monday (3 night) break. £418.00 for almost a week including fuel and waivers in May means this is a very affordable boat for parties up to 6 in size. Of course there are some cons, the fact the engine (an old hot running BMC) is on hydraulic drive - so you get that whine of these systems when underway coupled with vibrations of an older engine design. The hot water tank is not lagged so don't expect warm water to last through the night and the view from the helm is rather limited. That said, very comfortable to live on, sleep on, cook on and that attractive price makes it hard to pull too many holes in this very practical cruiser.
  9. andyhesford

    free map

    just wondering if the map they are giving away is any good .
  10. booked for aug 14 anybody hired it can u tell me if any good
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