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JamesLV

Brinks Serenade

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We’re thinking of hiring this next year after two years on Omega. We love Omega and will no doubt hire it again, but we fancy trying a centre cockpit, and something a little bit ‘flash’. We’re also planning on having guests so the extra space will be useful.

Obviously I’ve watched Robin’s videos, but I was wondering if anyone else had any experience of the boat they’d like to share?

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Hi James

Used to love this design as in Gardenia Girl from Summercraft, double helm seat, easy to exit the boat from the helm seat via the canopy on the port side.

Barnes redesigned the style by adding 3ft to the length, mounting the engine aft and lowering the stern, however, they originally put in a single helm seat on a very tall pillar and added a "lounging seat with cushion" to port of the helm meaning that to exit the boat from the helm you need to stand on it.  They also put the bed in the aft cabin thwart ships but your feet are under the side deck and there is no facility for a bedside locker at the headboard end.  The helm seat was changed to a hydraulically operated double helm seat but we saw No 4 in September this year and I am sure they had reverted to a single seat on a pillar (can't be 100% sure so I stand to be corrected).  When the engine was in the saloon under the helm seat we never found it to be that noisy and it warmed the forward shower room up which dried towels nicely since the towel rail was on the engine bulkhead.  The bed thwart ships seems to be a thing with some boats and I personally can't stand it, with some it also means that the space at the side of the bed is minimal, hired two like this (Royall Satin and Brinks Encore).  Swancraft had the better idea with the bedhead on the outside of the boat and plenty of room down the sides of the bed.

The above is only my opinion of course.

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I haven't hired Serenade, but have hired Gardenia Girl in the past.  It was comfortable and convenient, but I personally found the visibility through the windscreen to be restricted with the roof closed and preferred to helm with one side of the roof open and my head sticking out. This was okay when the weather was clement,  but not ideal when it was raining.  Purely my opinion, of course. 

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It's not easy to directly compare the older Diamond 35's with this new design, as the helm seat moulding has been removed (I don't know if Barnes were ever actually given that moulding, as I know the plant for the 43ft version is missing in action) so they are quite different in the saloon.

On the older boats, you have space to stand up beside the helm with the roof back and drive as visibility through the windscreens is poor, and that moulding also gives easy access up to the helm area from the left and out onto the side deck. The Barnes version has a different treatment to allow more space in the saloon, and does away with the steps out onto the side decks.

Horses for courses, but personally I prefer a 'proper' centre cockpit to either of them. If there's just two of you, maybe Swan Renown or the equivalent from Barnes?

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I’m quite loyal to Barnes as they’ve really looked after us in the past, and as I say, we will be having guests.

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1 hour ago, oldgregg said:

On the older boats, you have space to stand up beside the helm with the roof back and drive as visibility through the windscreens is poor, and that moulding also gives easy access up to the helm area from the left and out onto the side deck.

Totally agree about the visibility to the sides with the canopy closed but superb with it open.

12 minutes ago, JamesLV said:

we will be having guests

Depending on how many guests and for how long, the forward cabin is fairly tight but a reasonable size shower.

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27 minutes ago, BryanW said:

Totally agree about the visibility to the sides with the canopy closed but superb with it open.

Yeah it is pretty decent with the roof back and steering with your head out. The Serenades don't really allow for that though because the helm station is completely different.

You either have this 

serenade_seat_05.jpg

or this - depending when (and by whom) it was built

Serinade.jpg.e8d6fce6058fedeb062ecce2f58232bf.jpg

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Hi,

Just as an aside I believe 4 out of the 6 Serenades were built by Brooms (according to Broom's staff).

A very nice boat however I personally don't like view when the roof is closed. Your rear/side view is worse than a bathtub without the benefit of the forward view of a bathtub particularly for the crew.

Neil

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4 minutes ago, Captain said:

Just as an aside I believe 4 out of the 6 Serenades were built by Brooms (according to Broom's staff).

I've seen pictures of them being built, so yeah Broom definitely built some of this type for Barnes.

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1 hour ago, oldgregg said:

Yeah it is pretty decent with the roof back and steering with your head out. The Serenades don't really allow for that though because the helm station is completely different.

You either have this 

serenade_seat_05.jpg

or this - depending when (and by whom) it was built

Serinade.jpg.e8d6fce6058fedeb062ecce2f58232bf.jpg

So, I guess my eyes weren't deceiving me.  I know Barnes built the first 2 but I am guessing that Brooms built the other 4 and reverted to the single helm seat, am I correct?  How do you get on and off that seat?  and no foot rest.  All this was discussed about 2 years ago when Barnes announced these boats.

41 minutes ago, Captain said:

Your rear/side view is worse than a bathtub without the benefit of the forward view of a bathtub particularly for the crew

With the Diamonds and the canopy back you had a good view back over the rear of the boat.

I have to admit that I wouldn't now consider hiring the Serenades at all, I think they spolt the original design.

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1 hour ago, BryanW said:

 I know Barnes built the first 2 but I am guessing that Brooms built the other 4 and reverted to the single helm seat, am I correct?  

I think that's probably the case, yeah.

You lose the steps but get more space in the saloon.. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

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We definitely want one with the twin seat, it’s one of our reasons for choosing the boat

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I have Benmore booked for next year and with the comments on this thread I'm starting to worry about visibility, especially in bad weather. However I chose it to gain a couple of inches lower air draft between it and a standard centre cockpit which could make the difference between getting under Wroxham Bridge and not. 

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9 hours ago, Broads01 said:

I have Benmore booked for next year and with the comments on this thread I'm starting to worry about visibility, especially in bad weather. However I chose it to gain a couple of inches lower air draft between it and a standard centre cockpit which could make the difference between getting under Wroxham Bridge and not. 

It think it’s probably all relative, compared to a bathtub or a fly bridge cruiser then yes visibility will be compromised, but when compared to a sedan cruiser, other than rearward visibility, it really shouldn’t be that different. Given you only really use rearward visibility for the occasional check what’s behind you, or stern on mooring, which you do at very slow speed, I’m not too fussed. We chose Serenade for the same reasons you chose Benmore, I’ve tried to get under Ludham bridge for the last 3 years in a boat that should easily go under at low tide, but been thwarted by high river levels where the bridge was showing 8’2” even at low water. Next year we will be taking full advantage and spending 3 nights on the Ant

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15 hours ago, JamesLV said:

We definitely want one with the twin seat

Just double check with Barnes when you book.

10 hours ago, Broads01 said:

I have Benmore booked for next year and with the comments on this thread I'm starting to worry about visibility

It isn't really too much of a problem, you may have to duck down to see to the left and right but the canopy should slide easily so you can always pull it back for a short while for a better look.

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11 hours ago, Broads01 said:

I have Benmore booked for next year and with the comments on this thread I'm starting to worry about visibility, especially in bad weather. However I chose it to gain a couple of inches lower air draft between it and a standard centre cockpit which could make the difference between getting under Wroxham Bridge and not. 

Yeah that is the benefit of a Diamond - They have about 6'9" air draft and the roof is very much shaped for the bridges, even by Broads cruiser standards. It's not immediately obvious from looking at them, but they probably have another 6 inches of clearance over a Pearl 38 for instance.

The older-style interior does give you a good platform for two to three people to stand on and it's quite easy to see all around from there.

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I've just spoken with Barnes, and apparently all the Serenades have dual helm seats, the photo's of single seats were in the early build phases, somewhat conflicting information, but I'd trust they know what is on their boats.

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Interesting. Yeah I do recall that the first one was changed during build...

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Yeah that is the benefit of a Diamond - They have about 6'9" air draft and the roof is very much shaped for the bridges, even by Broads cruiser standards. It's not immediately obvious from looking at them, but they probably have another 6 inches of clearance over a Pearl 38 for instance.
The older-style interior does give you a good platform for two to three people to stand on and it's quite easy to see all around from there.


Do you reckon the difference between the 2 is six inches?

I used to take Evening Shadow through Wroxham bridge regularly, in fact our first ever time we used her we came out of Barnes and went straight through!

I seem to recall she was marked at 6ft 10 inch on the dash. But I find taking Thunder through far more of a challenge!

It’s possible it’s the benefit of the centre cockpit on ES it even the nav lights on Thunder.


Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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2 minutes ago, Matt said:

Do you reckon the difference between the 2 is six inches?

I used to take Evening Shadow through Wroxham bridge regularly, in fact our first ever time we used her we came out of Barnes and went straight through!

I seem to recall she was marked at 6ft 10 inch on the dash. But I find taking Thunder through far more of a challenge!

It’s possible it’s the benefit of the centre cockpit on ES it even the nav lights on Thunder.

I don't think Thunder is 6'9 any more with those nav lights on top.. With the mast folded it's a good three inches so the margin is less than one in hire spec. Dare I say that the mast could have been designed a bit better...

It all massively depends on the shape of the boat and bridge really, with most boat designs it's not the height at the middle but the cross-section that is often the problem (ie will the handrails make it through).

Where the Diamonds do well I think is how the roof slopes away towards the decks. It does restrict headroom a bit but means that she's the right shape for the old tonnage bridges. At Ludham etc of course it makes no difference.

The Pearls in hire generally claim around 7'3 air draft, which will be based on what they need at Wroxham, I suspect. I think they would be easier to take through being a centre cockpit, yes.

With a Diamond 43 you're either at the front and not really able to see what the rear is doing once you enter the bridge, or squatting on the flybridge not able to see a great deal other than through the downstairs screens / roof (if open). I'm happy to pay the pilot!

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5 hours ago, BryanW said:

Just double check with Barnes when you book.

It isn't really too much of a problem, you may have to duck down to see to the left and right but the canopy should slide easily so you can always pull it back for a short while for a better look.

Thanks Bryan. Yes the easy sliding canopies was another aspect of the design that appealed. I only normally cruise with the roof shut when it's raining so for me a showery day demands an easy sliding roof which you always have on a forward steer but a traditional centre cockpit can be a major manual operation to raise and lower.

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23 minutes ago, Broads01 said:

Thanks Bryan. Yes the easy sliding canopies was another aspect of the design that appealed. I only normally cruise with the roof shut when it's raining so for me a showery day demands an easy sliding roof which you always have on a forward steer but a traditional centre cockpit can be a major manual operation to raise and lower.

Ditto

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On serenade you don't need to do anything to move the canopies other than press a button:1335_ok_hand_tone1:

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Thunder is  6ft 10 with the nav lights... although it is of course arguable what she would be if it measured with an empty water tank and low fuel :-)

  

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