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Broads01

Royal Velvet 2 And 3

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I'm looking at Royal Velvet for next year and there's a choice of numbers 2 and 3. They're actually different designs though with 2 being an Alpha by the looks and 3 being a 28 foot x 11 - Aquafibre possibly? Number 2 has a bath and house-type sofa and island bed, number 3 has L shape sofa, no bath and side bed. I'd be interested to hear any feedback, particularly if there's any difference in air draft as I'd love to be in with a shout of Potter bridge if conditions allow. 

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Broads 01, may I suggest you give the PHB pilots a call on 01692 670460.  They will advise on the air draft of each boat.

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Hi Simon,

I have hired Royal Velvet 3 on two occasions, once when it was under previous ownership as Yare Twilight 2. She is an Aquafibre Opal 28 I have several holidays on this type of boat (Broom Bolero in two weeks). The actual airdraft is about 6ft 2 although the yards will list them as 6ft 9ish. I have been under Potter on both occasions and they state she needs about 6ft 6. With regard to Royal Velvet 2 she is an Alpha 29 which I believe are around 6ft 4 and need 6ft 8 or 6ft 9 under Potter (the yards list them as anything from 6ft 9 to 7ft 3!). I went under Potter in Evening Light (Alpha 31) at 6ft 9. Basically no. RV 3 is more likely to get you under Potter.

 

Neil

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Velvet 2 for me.  Only hired once from Royalls. Suspect may not be as carefully maintained by BB 

It's shaft drive, I think 3 is hydraulic 

I've seen 2 at Horsey when only day boats getting through. Ex P will know best but a reckon it's maybe 6.5 6.6? Probably as good a chance at Potter as anything. I may have a photo of the helm, I'll look later. Just the sort I'd buy if I win the lottery! Had a nice albeit small island berth too. 

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We had Velvet 2 a few years ago, and went through Potter bridge.  Bit on the small side for us as we had our greyhound then and she took up a lot of floorspace!

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Thanks for the replies. After much more dithering I finally made a decision and booked Velvet 2 today for a week in 12 months time. I'd have been very happy with either boat but I felt Velvet 2 had a marginally nicer interior plus it's Saturday start which I prefer. 

I ended up with a better deal than I was expecting. Not only did I get the £10 online discount I'd forgotten about, I got this year's price less 10% when the website is saying 5%. Whether that's a loyalty bonus I don't know but in any case I'll receive a posh food hamper as a returning customer (I have Brinks Jazz in May for the meet). 

It feels strange to have two trips with Barnes next year as my only previous hire with them was back in 1993. Both trips are likely to be solo so good on Barnes for keeping on allowing solo hirers. 

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Hi Simon

Good choice I think. I've looked for our photos, didn't realise it was so long ago - we hired Velvet 2 the last February Royall's hired which was in 2009 (time flies). It had just had a new engine fitted, we were the first to take it out. Lovely little boat, cosy but made good use of the space. Sadly I can't find any internals although its probably changed a bit now anyway. It used to have a gas fire (as well as warm air heating) which was very useful although this has probably gone. I believe its a Rhapsody which I guess is some Alpha derivative? Very easy to handle, no problem with solo hire. I really can't remember the air draft, I'm sure its very low, I doubt there's many other boats in hire with much less. I distinctly remember it up at Horsey when nothing else was getting through. I often thought that its a boat I would like to buy if I had the money (ha ha).

Do let us know how you get on when the time comes.

Velvet 2.JPG

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Hi Simon, thanks, yes that's pretty much as I remember it. The gas fire used to be where the TV is. We found it very handy but I guess it was down to new gas safety which was a shame. The warm air heating was good in February! The gas oven looks to be a replacement, otherwise much the same which is a testament to Royalls fit out. A very cosy little boat, I'm sure you'll have a great time. Being that bit shorter you can probably nip into spaces other boats wouldn't fit into as well (not that we had a problem in February)!

Enjoy! :default_beerchug:

 

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12 hours ago, NorfolkNog said:

I believe its a Rhapsody which I guess is some Alpha derivative?

There seem to be a few names floating about for those but they are indeed Alphas.

I hadn't realised that class was split between Opals and Alphas, most unusual. I'm not a big fan of Alpha but I think in that instance it may be slightly more spacious than the Opal?

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4 hours ago, oldgregg said:

There seem to be a few names floating about for those but they are indeed Alphas.

I hadn't realised that class was split between Opals and Alphas, most unusual. I'm not a big fan of Alpha but I think in that instance it may be slightly more spacious than the Opal?

Yes the two boats ought to have different names really. The Alpha should be more spacious as its a foot longer and about 6 inches wider I think. I was still tempted by the Opal though having hired Hawaiian Goose 10 years ago and I do like the extra wide double doors to the fore deck. The Opal also has a small forward well unlike the Alpha. 

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Would Brinks Sonnet have been much more money?

Seems to be a better fitted out and specced version of the same hull.

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We had one of the three Sonnets last year. Still a good boat but in need of some tlc internally. Calling it part of their elite fleet felt like stretching things somewhat. I don’t know whether they gave them any kind of attention over the last closed season so if someone has hired one this year then they might have an update.


Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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34 minutes ago, Cal said:

Would Brinks Sonnet have been much more money?

Seems to be a better fitted out and specced version of the same hull.

Wouldn't do for me.  An electric hob and a microwave isn't a replacement for a proper cooker with an oven and grill.  I guess its okay if you intend to eat out a lot, but we also enjoy wild mooring and eating on board and however good a combi microwave is, it lacks the versatility of a conventional cooker (imho, of course).

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On 20/09/2018 at 21:22, NorfolkNog said:

Velvet 2.JPG

 

I recognise the hull of a Wilds Bermuda, circa 1968!

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2 hours ago, Cal said:

Would Brinks Sonnet have been much more money?

Seems to be a better fitted out and specced version of the same hull.

It's a lot more money and having seen Russell Thomson's video I was a bit underwhelmed by it, particularly the drafts he experienced through the gaps next to the sliding roof. It's true it's a much newer boat but not better in my view. 

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Different hulls?  I think Vaughan has it. Velvet was a Royalls fit out so better quality I suspect. 

 

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It's a lot more money and having seen Russell Thomson's video I was a bit underwhelmed by it, particularly the drafts he experienced through the gaps next to the sliding roof. It's true it's a much newer boat but not better in my view. 

The drafts are a definite issue on that boat. Overall it’s fairly similar to Swan Reflection but you all know which one I would choose every time between them! We went back to Barnes last year because we had a voucher to use.


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1 hour ago, NorfolkNog said:

Different hulls?  I think Vaughan has it. Velvet was a Royalls fit out so better quality I suspect. 

 

What I meant was that all of this class of Alpha design were built around the original Wilds hull mould tool. I believe that the original deck mould was also used, with a new "plug" for the cabin superstructure. Almost all of Alpha's boats were built on original Wilds hulls. For instance Sweet Kingfisher, which has the hull of a Wilds "Calypso".

I remember Langford saying to me one day - "They don't owe me a bloody penny, boy!"

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On 23/09/2018 at 08:14, Mouldy said:

Wouldn't do for me.  An electric hob and a microwave isn't a replacement for a proper cooker with an oven and grill.  I guess its okay if you intend to eat out a lot, but we also enjoy wild mooring and eating on board and however good a combi microwave is, it lacks the versatility of a conventional cooker (imho, of course).

Fair enough. 

As for the draughty sliding roof. We had the same from the last boat we hired from Barnes, Brink of Joy which was based on the same hull as Sonnet and Velvet. 

I think that is just an attribute to the design with the sliding roof being over the saloon area. We remedied it with some pipe lagging in the end which worked a treat. 

Interestingly we hired an Alpha 35 centre cockpit last time and as the sliding roof was over the galley and helm we didn't notice any drafts as we were sat in the saloon of an evening even though the sliding roof was gappy. 

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Change of plan - my mum will now be accompanying me on this trip and we needed an extra cabin so I've changed the booking to Benmore 2. It was a toss up between that and Royall Commander but I opted for Benmore partly because I've never hired the design before and partly because I think it has an extra couple of inches of bridge clearance. 

Full marks to Barnes who amended the booking without fuss or charge. 

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On 24/09/2018 at 12:03, Cal said:

Interestingly we hired an Alpha 35 centre cockpit last time and as the sliding roof was over the galley and helm we didn't notice any drafts as we were sat in the saloon of an evening even though the sliding roof was gappy. 

I know this was covered on another thread, but the Alpha 35 superstructure is actually a pretty clever design in a number of ways - The aft saloon does prevent drafts getting in and while the centre cockpit is limited on seating it does position the helm nice and high up while also allowing a cabin to be underneath.

They're spacious boats for the amount of mooring they take up. It would be nice to see a retro design that 'borrows from' some of the ideas and retains the more angular lines that give such interior space yet still look elegant.

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I agree. I've mentioned before that we hired Swan Royale many times. All the advantages as above but a 32 foot version which always seem to squeeze in the smaller gaps. A lot of boat for the length. Getting on a bit now but still my favourite of the boats we've hired. There are some quirks with the canopy but Swancraft set them up well and no problem with draughts. 

Anyway back on topic, have a good one Simon and please report back!  

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I certainly will Howard although you'll have to wait until late September next year. I'm on the river before that though for the meet in May. 

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