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New Member - "hello!"


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Hi everyone,

My name is Chris and I have been messing around in boats, big and small, for most of my life. I first came to the Broads back in the mid 1960s as a lad and loved it, coming back every year until 1971 when my job took me over to Northern Ireland and the Broads dropped off my radar.

Fast forward to the early 1990s and I was back on the Broads as a single dad with my two young children and our dog. The first boat we hired was a 30ft craft from a boatyard in Horning, I have forgotten its name (It's the one next to the New Inn). The boat was a disaster, breaking down several times over the first weekend. On the Monday, we broke down again going up the River Bure, but fortunately we drifted over to the moorings at St Benedict. A passing boat saw our predicament and offered to take me up to the boatyard at Horning. I arrived expecting an argument and a ‘Gallic’ shrug of the shoulders, but what I got was a genuine apology and the offer of another boat, the Monarch, which was out of Herbert Woods’ yard. The crew onboard my lift boat had hung around and offered to take me back down river to St Benedict’s. It was the first of many examples of how people on the Broads help each other.

When the Monarch arrived it was enormous, compared to the the floating wreck we were on. A quick bit of cross decking, and off we went. The kids and I loved every minute of the remaining week and tried to hire the Monarch every year from then on.

Over the following years we had some great holidays, some brilliant holidays and always wonderful family times, but then college and universities come over the horizon, the children became young adults and moved on. We still reminisce about those holidays and the memories are strong.

It was as a result of one of our “do you remember” sessions about 4 years ago that I decided I wanted to go back to the Broads again. I now go solo and I must thank Robin of the “Captain’s Blog” for his excellent videos and how he makes solo cruising look so easy. It was his video blogs that finally persuaded me to go for it, but it wasn’t so easy on my first solo trip; more a disaster looking for somewhere to happen, but once again the other boaters were there to help. I go every year ‘out of season’ and enjoy the solitude and peace. Its magical.

I look forward to picking up all manner of tips and knowledge from this forum.




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Welcome to the forum Chris, great write up! You will find plenty of tips and knowledge kicking about the forum, especially amongst the Old Coot Club...I think they've forgotten more than I ever knew! :default_norty:

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Thank you all for your kind wishes and ‘likes’. I tried to return the compliment, but have apparently run out of ‘Likes’(?).

SwanR asked what kind of boat do I prefer for solo cruising? The honest answer is anything that floats and I can afford! Even if I could afford one of the nice big, all mod cons craft, my preference would be for a more basic ‘boat’, including bathtubs. So long as I can get a telephone signal and wifi, 4G or via the boat’s router, and be able to recharge ‘stuff’, then I am as happy as a pig in mud messing around on the boat.

I always use Richardsons and I have yet to find fault with them; the staff are always very friendly and helpful, the whole process of taking over and returning the boat has been painless every time.  

I started out on rear cockpit craft, such as San Pedro and Crown Gem 3, and whilst it is lovely to be out in the open air, when the weather turns, as it is prone to do at the times I am there, it's a pain getting the hood up on your own, especially in a strong wind. If anyone was up at Potter Heigham last October and saw an idiot on a Crown Gem using the hood as a sail in the reach just upriver of the bypass bridge; that was me. Sorry! I was trying to get the b****y thing down so I could get under the bridge and moor up to find the pilot. Unfortunately, the wind had other ideas and I was blown back up river, much to the annoyance of the yacht crew who had to quickly get out of the way. I only saw them as I sailed past them sideways. I did apologise, but they were suffering from acute PHBS (Post Humour Bypass Syndrome) and ignored me. I ended up on the yacht moorings looking like I had been through a North Sea storm. After that debacle I decided next time to try other layouts. I have not yet hired a centre cockpit boat, but I have hired a couple of front steerers. San Selino and Calypso were great, albeit that they have issues with all round visibility, but they are both warm, dry and reasonably comfortable. Like all in their class, the decks are wide and easy to get on or off. Mooring side on is not a problem but stern on can be as this class of boat can, and often does, have a mind of its own. So overall, I would go for front steer boat on the grounds that it is dry and warm, has nice wide decks to move around on. I can moor up side on easily and because there never are any berths at Ranworth Staithe when I get there! I just have to take everyone’s word that the beer and food are good at the pub there, I have never been in it!

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Hi Chris 

The amount of "likes" available is a quirk of the forum software that only allows a small amount each day until you gain full membership.

once accepted into full membership the likes are unlimited.

50 sensible posts then you will be put forward for proposal and seconding by existing members for full membership.

50 posts really doesn't take that long to build up 

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Ha ha ... I replied to as much as I could as quickly as I could being determined to get to 50 posts as quickly as possible! ;)

I am a fan of the forward steer boats myself although the next one we are hiring is a centre cockpit.

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