Jump to content
  • Announcements

    Welcome! New around here? Take a look at the New Members' Guide for some pointers.

    Not a member yet? Sign up here and you can soon be chatting away with friends old and new..

    Check out our Handy Information section if you're after something quickly!

  • If you would like to support the forum, please consider visiting the forum shop, where you can purchase such items as NBN Burgees, Window Stickers, or even a custom Limited Edition Wooden Throttle Control Knob

    Forum Shop

Svenuk

Decreasing Number Of Hire Boats On Southern Broads

Recommended Posts

14 minutes ago, Polly said:

Fishing, birdwatching, stargazing, playing board games with friends, drinking wine, sharing stories......what indeed?

The best things on the broads are free.

Free wine you say........I'm in :default_biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been on boats,10 times the cost of our boat and they seem to have less space.Sure they have all the bells and whistles.For me the joy of boating is just that,enjoy being on the water,visit our favourite pubs shops .We may not of been back for some time,yet we are known. The smell of bacon returning from the shops,the large skyes,the gentle sound of the water lapping as the boat moves along the river.So what do I want from a boat comfort and space.SW  has that okay she does not have the mod cons ,fair enough if you want/need a floating hotel go for it.We love our boat.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, LondonRascal said:

If you don't want a pub what is left to do at many a mooring spot?

We like to moor close enough to somewhere to get a meal at lunchtime and then move to a much quieter spot for overnight. But so often when I talk about the Broads to anyone who hasn't had a boating holiday, their impression is that it's all about "the riverside pub"! How wrong they are. 

Someone also asked me once "What do you do while hubby is fishing?" The reply? "Nothing ... absolutely nothing but watch everything around me. Do you know how many hours you can spend doing nothing at all?" :)

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, LondonRascal said:

I think they are. The problem is the boats are getting larger and better and costing more - there seems no end to those willing to pay out for this, fuelled by what I term 'Fridgeupmanship'. This is based on the fact people will upgrade their most mundane appliances not based on need but on looks - white went to black went to grey and now it is all about the brushed stainless steel look.Once they have such they will of course share it on Facebook or Instagram and enjoy all the likes and comments.

So when it comes to boats you pay more, you get more bling and can do the whole posting and sharing thing. I may be well far of the mark here, but I do wonder what impact social media has on peoples holidays whatever or wherever they are by trying to go that one better - all good for business though.

What troubles me is with these new people willing to pay top dollar do the places to visit, service and quality of such live up to what a premium holidaymaker expects? Is the choice there? If you don't want a pub what is left to do at many a mooring spot?

Havn`t I read an article about a little boat like that somewhere.

Fred

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SwanR said:

We like to moor close enough to somewhere to get a meal at lunchtime and then move to a much quieter spot for overnight. But so often when I talk about the Broads to anyone who hasn't had a boating holiday, their impression is that it's all about "the riverside pub"! How wrong they are. 

Someone also asked me once "What do you do while hubby is fishing?" The reply? "Nothing ... absolutely nothing but watch everything around me. Do you know how many hours you can spend doing nothing at all?" :)

Okay we mix and match.Next weekend sadly will be our last weekend on board, for the season.Where does time go,we intend to go to Loddon,then Saturday we are booked in at the Ferry house.During our holiday we moored a few times almost on our own.No pubs,restaurants shops or houses.Even in this day and age a feel for the real broads.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the trouble. I think the idea of going pub to pub, eating out is on the decline.

With a lack of mooring near popular area it makes sense to have all mod cons

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most pubs we visit on the broads are full,most pubs on the river you can book moorings .That's what we did for the Ferry house. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But booking moorings means a certain amount of planning ... and that's what we try to avoid these days. Even having the caravan has meant not having to plan our weekends away but being able to arrive whenever we want to. :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We always plan.... And pre book our pubs and moorings weeks before we go to avoid disappointment.... and like this year we extended an extra day at one place so we just phoned up and cancelled our next one... Next year will be the same but with a bigger boat... :default_biggrin:

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, ScrumpyCheddar said:

.. Next year will be the same but with a bigger boat... :default_biggrin:

Is that to take the extra crates of gin?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, part of the joy of boating is not planning. Planning means sticking to a timetable and I have enough of that in my home and work life. I like the freedom to decide on the day, if the weather is nice or not, do we want to do a long or short  cruise etc 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Baitrunner said:

Is that to take the extra crates of gin?

To bloody right mate ha ha ha... Got to fill those 2 extra cabins on that big Broom with the main essentials... :default_biggrin:

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing and varied ideas from various people. I'm been looking at Barnes Brink craft Topliner. This is a boat i use to hire from the now defunct Topcraft fleet in Oulton Broad. Found it comfortable, easy to drive, bow thruster for mooring.Thought they had all gone into private ownership so was pleasantly surprised to see 2 are available.A bed that goes  across the boat not up against the side plus easy access to get off all round the boat.  A nice spacious place to relax and fish off the stern.My wife has difficulty jumping off and getting up the steps on centre cockpit boats. Since there is only 2 of us i would have to let my wife off and then run to the back to get off and grab a rope. At least with a bath tub i can get out of the front quickly.

Don't need to rush to get a mooring  at a pub. Too flipping noisy with selfish drunk people coming back  after closing time and tripping over ropes.  Peace and quiet and a fridge full of food plus a few bottles are all we need. 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Svenuk said:

Amazing and varied ideas from various people. I'm been looking at Barnes Brink craft Topliner. This is a boat i use to hire from the now defunct Topcraft fleet in Oulton Broad. Found it comfortable, easy to drive, bow thruster for mooring.Thought they had all gone into private ownership so was pleasantly surprised to see 2 are available.A bed that goes  across the boat not up against the side plus easy access to get off all round the boat.  A nice spacious place to relax and fish off the stern.My wife has difficulty jumping off and getting up the steps on centre cockpit boats. Since there is only 2 of us i would have to let my wife off and then run to the back to get off and grab a rope. At least with a bath tub i can get out of the front quickly.

Don't need to rush to get a mooring  at a pub. Too flipping noisy with selfish drunk people coming back  after closing time and tripping over ropes.  Peace and quiet and a fridge full of food plus a few bottles are all we need. 

 

Welcome to the forum Svenuk from a Topliner owner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mark.

Hired from Topline quite a few times through Blakes i think it was and  then direct from the boatyard for a better deal. Found it to be an excellent boat for our needs. It had a camera at the rear with a small screen in the cockpit as rear view a bit obscured. Seen a couple of private ones on my travels so was very surprised to see a couple still available. 

regards

David 

DSCF37NB.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Svenuk said:

Hi Mark.

Hired from Topline quite a few times through Blakes i think it was and  then direct from the boatyard for a better deal. Found it to be an excellent boat for our needs. It had a camera at the rear with a small screen in the cockpit as rear view a bit obscured. Seen a couple of private ones on my travels so was very surprised to see a couple still available. 

regards

David 

DSCF37NB.JPG

 

 

 

That one is Silverwing,  privately owned on the southern broads,

I have Swiftwing now renamed and also down south.

The third one Fleetwing left the broads 3 years ago and headed to Bristol.

Barnes have two of the Royale class and the third Royale is privately owned on the broads.

Interesting looking boats but very usable.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Svenuk

Nice to see a photo of my boat looking pristine in her hire fleet days. Thanks for posting it.

The two Topliner Royale class that BB now own and still regularly hire out shows that the design concept was a winner and a credit to their builders. The Royalles benefit particularly from the patio stern area.

The two remaining Corniche class that Mark (psychic) and I own have the large stateroom forward and comfortable sleeping cabins, whilst both classes have the practical access and dog/child friendly side alleyways and the large topdeck for bronzy use and fitting of solar panels.

Glad to hear they have suited your needs. Not asthetically appealing boats to all perhaps but definitely purpose built for their home waters and i feel lucky in having acquired quite a rare marque.

 

I like the addition of the telescope to the inventory in your picture. Could see it being useful  -

        See any ships, Mister Mate ?

         Aye Capt, small dayboat off the port bow.

         What colours ,Mister Mate ?

         Looks like a Jolly Roger , Capt.

         Avast ! Fire up the Perkins , Mister,  and  give me ramming speed.

         Aye, Aye Capt.

All in good fun on the Broads of course, in a Swallows and Amazons way.

Enjoy your future cruises and adventures Svenuk

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 20/10/2018 at 09:07, Cheesey69 said:

I think also the "as standard" fittings are a growing consideration.

Modern, economic engines, bow thruster, higher capacity batteries better 240 inverter and indeed, a 240volt hook up are becoming expected.

A fridge that runs all night, higher security windows and doors and better modern cookers.

These are just some of the considerations most expect for what is an expensive holiday.

As I'm now a blue water sailor, I know the cost of these and probably why the smaller yards can't compete.

Shame really but progress is forward.

Who remembers gas mantels in woods boats?

If I can comment on some of this.

Firstly, a modern diesel engine compared to an old-tech BMC 1.5 is barely any more economical if at all. We have just had a customer back after 6 days on the Southern Broads and they have been pretty-much everywhere. They used about 26 litres of fuel and must have covered about 120 miles. This is on a BMC 1.5 which is known to be a very reliable engine and is used in thousands of Broads boats still. We have modern engines and these too are capable of very low fuel consumption in a similar way to the BMC; the rule is simple, beat the engine and it will beat your wallet. 

At Freedom, we have invested heavily into improvements across the fleet.

All boats have:

  • USB charging points
  • TV & DVD systems
  • Heating
  • Electric Fridges (many full-size under counter units)
  • Uprated charging systems
  • 240v Mains system (except Tranquil which has a plug-in inverter)

Current upgrades programmes include:

  • LED lighting across the fleet (most boats have already had this for years)
  • Shore power (including battery charging)
  • Hot water immersion systems on some

In the main, these upgrades do not mean that our boats cost more; we are keeping up with advances in technology and customer need and we do this to keep our vessels attractive and competitive. I am unaware that any other fleet has installed USB charging points across all its boats but stand to be corrected. 

I really take issue with the phrase "better modern cookers". Sadly, many common modern cookers on boats are far from "better" than a solidly build older one. Increasingly, these are made of nasty thin stainless steel (inside the cooking cavities and out), are poorly put together and often badly designed. The hob burners are truly nasty and we have a few "modern" units that I would truly love to rip out and replace because of the lack of resilience these remarkably expensive things offer. They look nice, but often, looks are only skin deep. 

One of the absolute key points of a Freedom Boating Holiday is the freedom to start and end your holiday on any day. This is unique on the Broads and allows our business to work around the very busy lifestyles that people lead these days. 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 20/10/2018 at 10:45, Paul said:

And remember many of the older designs offer much better space on board. The modern trend is to "use space cleverly" which I have decided means wedge as much into each square foot as possible, plus each extra cabin adds to the sleeping capacity which allows the boatyard to increase the hire charge. Some of the new designs will sleep 8 - 10 but can seat no more then four or five to eat, and you are having to step around each other every time you move. Have a look at Pacific Princess or Dawn and compare.

The current trend for new boats is to provide fewer berths and more living space and there has always been a need to use space cleverly. In something that is just 12ft wide by, on average, 35ft long, getting everything in that a few humans need to live comfortably together is always a challenge and trade-offs exist everywhere. 

There hasn't been a 10 berth boat built in years, and whilst it is true there are a few 8-9 berths, the trend is more to produce walk-around beds which seriously impact the amount of space available for other berths. It's slightly cynical to suggest that boatyards put in more berths so that the charge can be increased; demand creates supply and, a large boat with fewer berths but more space will still demand a high hire price anyway. 

It is also fair to say that in a 44ft x 12ft space, getting 10 people all sleeping and then eating around the same table at the same time is a utopia that few vessels have EVER pulled off. 

Large capacity boats have been produced for donkeys years though nobody has built a new one that will take over 10 people in at least a decade.

It is inaccurate to suggest that older boats have more space than newer boats. Different boat layouts with different designs produced by different people have different amounts of space available.

I am currently refitting a 33ft cruiser which was originally a 4 plus 2 berth with two shower/toilet compartments. With a rejig of the saloon/galley area, I can increase the galley space, improve cupboard storage, add new appliances AND put in an additional sofa which doubles as a berth making her a 4 plus three. All this modification is achievable without encroaching on the original floor space of the boat.  

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once upon a time! But seriously once the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway is a reality the Southern Rivers will be a day out or a long weekend for so many more. I can see Norfolk being "Rammed" great for many, good for business, but the face of Norfolk will change for evermore. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, ChrisB said:

Once upon a time! But seriously once the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway is a reality the Southern Rivers will be a day out or a long weekend for so many more. I can see Norfolk being "Rammed" great for many, good for business, but the face of Norfolk will change for evermore. 

There is a forthcoming Broads Authority workshop on the question of access to the Broads. Inevitable, I suppose, but there is a very serious risk that by increasing access there becomes a very real threat to what it is that people come here to enjoy. Mind you, whilst Horning is already rammed people still flock there, and in ever increasing numbers,  and they do that in preference to visiting more out of the way destinations.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JennyMorgan said:

and they do that in preference to visiting more out of the way destinations

Perhaps they don’t know how to get to the more out of the way destinations........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Earlier in this thread I posed the question:

Quote

What troubles me is with these new people willing to pay top dollar do the places to visit, service and quality of such live up to what a premium holidaymaker expects? Is the choice there? If you don't want a pub what is left to do at many a mooring spot?

And it has been interesting to read what others have said, but there are a lot of people out there that want more opportunities shore side - away from the boat than currently exist. I also think the Broads lacks diversity in those who holiday on them and I have a feeling a lot of that is down to what they may actually be able to do and what is on offer for different types of visitor.

One of the most astonishing things is having got to know a few 'locals' in the Norwich area that while they know kind of what the Broads are, that a river runs through Norwich and so on they have absolutely no idea about boat hire and holidays that go on literally on their doorsteps. Also the number of taxi drivers who have come to the likes of Richardson's and asked me a bunch of questions about it, how they can find out more, how much it might cost and so on. Boatyards might be well placed to go hunting for new customers just a few miles away.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a lot in what Robin says. Mrs Nog and I do a lot of interacting (particularly in the pubs) and we have found some of that reaction too. Not sure why. Mind you we were in one taxi where the driver actually worked for Richardsons. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To a certain extent I think that's true of anywhere. People go away for holidays, they don't tend to stay in their own area in locations that can be reached as a day trip. And then there's all the folk who think that you have to go abroad and they would never choose to book a holiday in this country at all.

We drive from Essex to Lowestoft quite frequently, and then we visit places in the area and around the Broads. By so doing we miss out most of Suffolk as we never visit places that are on our route.

The question is if we lived in Norfolk, especially if we lived somewhere by the Broads, would we still hire a boat or would we then become the people who holiday in other places?

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • NBN Mobile App

    Want to use NBN when you're out and about?

    Get our mobile app for Android and iOS!

    Get it on Google Play

×

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.