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LondonRascal

Western Light 1 - The Review

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If you are thinking bout hiring a centre cockpit boat then perhaps Western Light (or similar) from  the range of former Connoisseur Cruisers from Herbert Woods will be idea.
 
They are very spacious internally, with an open, fresh and dare I say modern feel to their accommodation. They also are low enough that they can go under all Broadland bridges (even Potter if you are really lucky) but yet with a raised wheelhouse affording decent views going along.
 
This Boat Review dates back to April, so just a little behind but it has finally made it to the upload queue.
 
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Great review, always liked these but like them even more now, in fact I think it has taken top spot for me over the Pearl 38 as the centre cockpit boat I would buy.

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Made me very nostalgic . My favourite boat as a kid and great for fishing from off the back 

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As you can see, I went on a bit despite feeling awful (I had to stop so often to cough and grab a drink) but yeah, these really were the premium boat of their day, and all these years later continue to shine with their space and useful 'built in' ideas. It is a shame the exterior of these boats is not as looked after as might be. 

I took think they would make an idea purchase, but not perhaps at the prices they are sold for off hire and if you did, let us say get the boat I hired you'd be straight into hands in pocket. That heater, the lagging around the hot water tank was half missing etc etc but you'd at least have a tank of a boat to begin with and confident in the knowledge if anyone bumped into you they would come off worse every time.

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3 minutes ago, LondonRascal said:

As you can see, I went on a bit despite feeling awful (I had to stop so often to cough and grab a drink) but yeah, these really were the premium boat of their day, and all these years later continue to shine with their space and useful 'built in' ideas. It is a shame the exterior of these boats is not as looked after as might be. 

I took think they would make an idea purchase, but not perhaps at the prices they are sold for off hire and if you did, let us say get the boat I hired you'd be straight into hands in pocket. That heater, the lagging around the hot water tank was half missing etc etc but you'd at least have a tank of a boat to begin with and confident in the knowledge if anyone bumped into you they would come off worse every time.

My thoughts are you would be building on an incredibly solid foundation, both literally In terms of build and figuratively in terms of a boat that really is the full package for the Broads. Still like the AF Pearl though, it would be tough for me to choose between the 2. Currently I cant justify spending 50-60k on a boat though, so its all theoretical at the moment!

 

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Interesting review. I rather get the impression that you liked the boat!! 

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I love the Connoisseurs and have hired quite a few of different sizes over the years. There are just two issues that I have with them:

I don't like the entry/exit via those steps, particularly if you have the elderly/ very young/ dogs on board.

I find them very noisy.

 

But apart from that great boats and totally suited for the purpose of Broads cruising.

Thank you for the review Robin.

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They can be noisy certainly, although a new exhaust system would sort that and ideally a new engine with more power, as a lot of them are underpowered and so get run at full throttle a lot.

 

The side steps aren't ideal for older folks, although on those second-generation Connoisseurs the steps are much better than the originals, and you can also use the steps in the cockpit. They're not great when you're drunk, either (so I'm told ).

 

Plus of course the side entrance was how they managed to fit so much into the space.

 

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

 

 

 

 

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I'm looking forward to your review, Robin. I've always liked the saloon and galley areas on the Connoisseur, particularly on the C40/46. The design was new in the early 1990s but was years ahead of its time, just as the original designs were in the late 1970s. My only gripe is with the side entrance, not so much that it's on the side but that the canopy blocks it when you slide it back. Your only exit then is via the steps in the saloon which is less than ideal, particularly on a stern mooring. When we hired Tropic Horizon (old style 37), the saloon steps were well forward, hence to exit on a stern mooring with the canopy open, you had to walk back along the side deck for a few feet with nothing to hold on to. 

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3 minutes ago, Broads01 said:

My only gripe is with the side entrance, not so much that it's on the side but that the canopy blocks it when you slide it back. 

Yeah that's the biggest design issue, I think. Could have been solved I think, given that the door slides out of the way, so perhaps some sort of Pearl-style door in the canopy - Although the threshold would have to be pretty low.

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