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vanessan

Anyone For Hickling?

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Kingfisher66:- All it needs is a boatbuilder to once again build the boats, which will go under the low bridges. But, while the latest 'must haves' mean only 'high & mighty' designs are being built, then the areas above the low bridges will remain quiet and under used. I realise that the river levels appear, for whatever reason, to be a little higher than they once were. But historically, broads boatbuilders have adapted their designs, to utilise all the available navigation. 

Good theory but there is historical evidence that knocks the 'All it needs is a boatbuilder to once again build the boats, which will go under the low bridges' into a cocked hat.  'B.A' with everything down is 6ft 4"  she was designed / built in 1966 to enable her to pass under all Broads bridges.  PHB nowadays is a rarity even for her - Why? - See my other post on the BA's failure to dredge the lower Bure

Griff

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Copying the lifting cabin of river cruisers could provide an answer. There is no reason why a River Launch based on a sailer could not be developed. Cornish Crabbers do it with their "Clam Series".

Another way would be to provide full standing headroom to just a narrow section on the centre line utilising the deepest part of the hull.

Or if you are young fit and flexible give up standing headroom.

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the Martham boats all fit through, yes headroom when you are 6 foot plus starts to get an issue in the rear cabin.

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8 hours ago, BroadAmbition said:

 

Good theory but there is historical evidence that knocks the 'All it needs is a boatbuilder to once again build the boats, which will go under the low bridges' into a cocked hat.  'B.A' with everything down is 6ft 4"  she was designed / built in 1966 to enable her to pass under all Broads bridges.  PHB nowadays is a rarity even for her - Why? - See my other post on the BA's failure to dredge the lower Bure

Griff

I didn't actually suggest that Norfolk Broads boatbuilders RETURN to building boats as they did in the 1960's. What I suggested was ''historically, Broads boatbuilders had adapted their designs to utilise all the available navigation". Though many might like the idea, that we could go back to the timber built craft of yesteryear, that's never going to happen, for a number of reasons.

But, designing moulds for new craft, using today's materials and manufacturing methods, which are able to pass through the low bridges, as they are NOW, isn't beyond the capabilities of modern boatbuilders, if that's what people want. I also said, "our need for 'creature comforts' may mean, only wide beam, high air draft boats, are going to be the only ones built". I hope not, but at the moment, the 'bigger is better' ethos, rules the roost...

I won't go into the "B.A.s failure to dredge the lower Bure" idea, I  know there are different views on that one too. But, I'll leave that to the hydrographers amongst us.

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Richardson’s have in recent years built Broadway and Broadlander, I don’t know how many of each class they have but they don’t seem to have caught on like the Broadsman did. Having said that, every now and again I take a look at the Brokers’ websites to see what’s hot and what’s not and it does seem that the likes of the old Bountys, Horizons, Hamptons, DC30s etc don’t hang around for very long. They are usually competitively priced anyway and clearly still have plenty of appeal. 

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Used to love the little 'Hamptons' (no pun intended :11_blush:) perfect for two and would go anywhere. Unfortunately, like many of the other little 'go anywhere' boats, there are very few available for hire nowadays.

Makes me wonder, if someone built an updated 'Hampton' today, would people still want to hire them?. I certainly would, but my 'two weeks a year' wouldn't keep a boatyard going. Perhaps a 'stretched Hampton' for small families too!...

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18 minutes ago, kingfisher666 said:

Used to love the little 'Hamptons' (no pun intended :11_blush:) perfect for two and would go anywhere. Unfortunately, like many of the other little 'go anywhere' boats, there are very few available for hire nowadays.

Makes me wonder, if someone built an updated 'Hampton' today, would people still want to hire them?. I certainly would, but my 'two weeks a year' wouldn't keep a boatyard going. Perhaps a 'stretched Hampton' for small families too!...

I think the fact that the existing hire yards have or are disposing of the old style boats and looking at the new builds answers that, like any business they are customer driven and have to provide what the market requires.

I have an ex hire boat that used to go under all bridges regularly, I now have difficulty with Wroxham Bridge let alone PH which is a no go as any extremely rare window of opportunity to get through doesn't guarantee getting back.

Fred

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Will Herbert Wood's new picnic boats not go under at Potter? They appear to be an update on the little Hampton principle of small is useful.

 

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7 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Will Herbert Wood's new picnic boats not go under at Potter? They appear to be an update on the little Hampton principle of small is useful.

 

Nice for a day out, but unfortunately, I don't think they're fitted out for a week or two cruising at the moment, but that could easily be done, if there was the demand. Perhaps, as has been suggested, people just don't want 'basic small, go anywhere' boats these days.

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40 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Will Herbert Wood's new picnic boats not go under at Potter? They appear to be an update on the little Hampton principle of small is useful.

 

I've not personally seen any yet (our boat is at Hickling).  I regularly see their dayboats but not these fellows.  I'm pretty sure they can right now with this weather.  We're 6' 8" draft and we can get under a few times a year.

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It has been said here before that in bygone days when most of us were kids, it was often possible often to through the small arches of PH bridge in a small dinghy, which is I believe they were boarded up.

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49 minutes ago, kingfisher666 said:

Nice for a day out, but unfortunately, I don't think they're fitted out for a week or two cruising at the moment, but that could easily be done, if there was the demand. Perhaps, as has been suggested, people just don't want 'basic small, go anywhere' boats these days.

Herbert Woods also have a smallish cruiser called Adventuring Light which is a little bigger than the day cruisers. It looks a good boat for a couple and it wouldn’t surprise me if it could transit PH bridge. I have seen it/them about quite a bit so I reckon they are gaining in popularity. 

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2 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Will Herbert Wood's new picnic boats not go under at Potter? They appear to be an update on the little Hampton principle of small is useful.

 

No they don't allow them through the Bridge, only their day boats.

 

1 hour ago, vanessan said:

Herbert Woods also have a smallish cruiser called Adventuring Light which is a little bigger than the day cruisers. It looks a good boat for a couple and it wouldn’t surprise me if it could transit PH bridge. I have seen it/them about quite a bit so I reckon they are gaining in popularity. 

Saw this up at Hickling,  looks really smart.

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Yes HW bucked the current trend by building Adventuring Light with small, almost Hampton-like dimensions. Unfortunately though they cost about the same to hire as much larger 2 berths, so I'm not sure I'd choose it. 

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When you want to build a boat, you have to make a mould tool, from a plug. You have to run about 17 to 20 boats off that tool before you make a profit, (according to Aquafibre). The size, at this stage, doesn't make a great deal of difference.

The boat will then need an engine, stern gear, dashboard, 2 sets of batteries, fuel water and toilet tanks, a cooker, a fridge and several other standard items. These are all fixed costs, which are the same no matter how big or small the boat. So if you can divide its hire charge between 6 or 8 people instead of just 2, it becomes an affordable price to hire per person and can make a profit for the boatyard.

So they never have made many 2 berth boats. Except for Alec Hampton, whose design "broke the mould" and became an icon.

2 hours ago, Hylander said:
5 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Will Herbert Wood's new picnic boats not go under at Potter? They appear to be an update on the little Hampton principle of small is useful.

 

No they don't allow them through the Bridge, only their day boats.

This surprises me as it would be the reason I would want to hire one. But that is their business decision, I suppose.

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Would think that there could be a demand for HW picnic boats from locals, when they are sold off.

 

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We were shown one of the new boats in February. Very smart. However Mrs Nog says she would still prefer Freedom of Light next year. 

Vaughan makes a good point about yards building bigger boats. The downside is, I belive, they are more difficult to sell on into private hands as the demand tends to be for smaller  boats which seem to command a premium and sell quickly. Swancraft were one of the few yards that built smaller boats. 

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18 hours ago, Broads01 said:

Yes HW bucked the current trend by building Adventuring Light with small, almost Hampton-like dimensions. Unfortunately though they cost about the same to hire as much larger 2 berths, so I'm not sure I'd choose it. 

Yes may be tiny on the scale of some but it really is a smart little number and knocks spots off others we have seen.  HW must be doing something right as you want to see the boats pouring out of there on Friday/Saturday off on their holidays.    As for the day boats , luxury or basic they go like hot cakes in this weather.

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Just watched Carousel go through the bridge.   

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Have seen Hamptons, Bounty 30s, 37s and Fair Countess go under on the HW webcam

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Saw A  couple of newish, larger boats go past our bungalow today.  One was a Richardsons' RC45.  If the other was Fair Countess - and it may have been - it would make a mockery of Faircraft Loynes' website that announces when describing Fair Countess' details, and I quote, 'Please note will not pass under Potter Heigham bridge.'

On Friday morning, as a stand-in pilot, I returned to my old job (after a twenty year break) and, with a maximum low tide of 6' 8", I was putting Bounty 30s up.  Apparently, it's a bit like riding a bike.  It's a skill you don't forget.  My first customers were 'well impressed' by the fact that their boat was the first hire boat I had piloted through THAT bridge for twenty years!

In the old days, a typical day at this time of the year would have seen us putting up nearly a hundred boats a day.  We will never see the likes of anywhere near that ever again, unless the tide levels are artificially managed.

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First off - Well done for successfully being a PHB Pilot after a break of 20 years and doing it like you do - Respect :default_beerchug:

unless the tide levels are artificially managed.

Does dredging the lower Bure regularly as in the days of GYA Port Commissionaire s before the 'B.A' came into being count?

Griff

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Expilot. There are people who walk the walk. There are people who talk the talk. There are a few people who walk the walk and talk the talk. Without any question of doubt in my mind that you are perhaps one  the few people who fall into the latter category with regard to the Bridge.

May I ask your personal take with regard to the issues and subsequent solutions.

Perhaps the latter is unknown. I do not know and I suspect that I am not alone.

However I would welcome your thoughts.

Andrew

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Hi Andrew

I am not qualified to explain either what is happening, nor what sort of solutions could be put forward to restore historic water levels at Potter.

That said, having accurately measured and recorded tide levels over a ten year period during the nineties, I can tell you that in the last thirty years empirical evidence suggests that water levels have risen by at least four inches on the Thurne.  We purchased our riverside bungalow in 1989 and two Winters later the winter flood levels were within a whisker of the floorboards.   I have lifted thirty-two of our riverside bungalows to ensure that they do not flood - at least not from the river.

My better half collects postcards and old photographs of the Thurne bungalows and of THAT bridge.  Granted that most of the photographs will have been taken in the summer months, but many of them show an air draft demonstrably greater than any I have ever seen.

At this point, I have to emphasise that THAT bridge has not sunk.  It is monitored by NCC appointed surveyors using sophisticated GPS equipment and they tell me that the bridge hasn't moved a millimetre.

The temptation, of course, is to assume that a common sense solution is the correct solution.  Dredging is one such animal.  I suspect that often the very opposite may be true.  It may be than any solution, if such exists, may be entirely counter-intuitive. 

In my seven decades' lifetime, the marshes that border the River Thurne, flooded every year and made excellent skating rinks in the Winter.  In the sixties, concrete flood defence walls were installed and the riverside marshes now never flood.  Indeed, the Internal Drainage Board's pumps ensure that the marshes do not flood - even in winter.

I, of course, at this point have to declare a personal conflict of interest!  Some day very soon, I hope to get Broadland Swift back in the water.  With a bit of luck, she will be running (silently!) up and down to Hickling, Horsey and West Somerton with onlookers wondering, perhaps, how she got under THAT bridge.  My worry, of course, is that I may soon be restricted to only being able to navigate the Upper Thurne because the water levels prevent me going downriver beyond the bridge with Swift.  I've already lowered her as much as practically I am able.

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Moon Discovery has just gone through loads of room.  4Hrs before low tide.  Moon Voyager just going as well.  Be standing room only up there soon.

 

.

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