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OldBerkshireBoy

Which Boat Best For Me?.

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Hi,

Need help from experianced members selecting my first boat for use on the broads which is a lot harder than choosing one for a canal or a new car :default_icon_mrgreen: 

Thinking around 32 - 36ft for broads use only, no intention of sea use at this stage with budget of around 40k, generally one person but neeeds to sleep 4 from time to time. Aim to spend large portion of the year onboard so more live onboard than weekend visits, holding tank/ pumpout rather than camping toilet with inboard rather than outboard engine. Something where I can see more than the reeds (taken from another thread so feel free to put me right on this topic) but with an airdraft low enough for most bridges.

So far I have considered Alpha, Aquafibre, Broom, Hampton, DC30, Bounty, Caribbean, Connoisseur, Viking, and a Storebro 34 Royal. I haven`t discounted any but the more I look the more I go into a tailspin :default_icon_eek:

All help gratefully received. 

Edited by Pumpmedic
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Alphacraft 35 centre cockpit with rear saloon.

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The first thing to consider when buying a boat for use on The Broads is " where do I want to go?" If the answer is everywhere  then you will have to set a maximum airdraft and that will effect your choice.

The second is how will I use it? Are you local? Or will you have to travel? So in effect your boat will be a second home. We deliberately bought a new small boat as we lived 20 mins from our mooring for two reasons, it could go everywhere and we had no intention of sleeping on it in inclement weather.

We would typically spend 80 to 120 days afloat per annum but not spend more than 15 to 20 nights on board at the very most.

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Agree totally with Cal , meets most of your wishes.

Most of the year with pass under Wroxham Bridge (top down) and Ludham (top up or down) 

Sadly Potter Bridge not but then very very few do neither will Wayford be possible .

often see them being helmed single handedly and all round vision from the centre position is excellent .

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50 minutes ago, CambridgeCabby said:

Agree totally with Cal , meets most of your wishes.

Most of the year with pass under Wroxham Bridge (top down) and Ludham (top up or down) 

Sadly Potter Bridge not but then very very few do neither will Wayford be possible .

often see them being helmed single handedly and all round vision from the centre position is excellent .

Not sure if the tides were particularly low when we hired the Alpha last year but it got under Wayford with room to spare.

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13 minutes ago, Cal said:

Not sure if the tides were particularly low when we hired the Alpha last year but it got under Wayford with room to spare.

In which case I stand corrected , I thought Wayford was about 7ft clearance but am often wrong when relying on my memory 

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34 minutes ago, CambridgeCabby said:

In which case I stand corrected , I thought Wayford was about 7ft clearance but am often wrong when relying on my memory 

When we went through on our boat this year it was reading about 7'3" which again  could have been low tides we don't know.

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5 hours ago, psychicsurveyor said:

I know a nice Calypso 28 for sale :default_smiley-angelic002: for less than half your budget,  and it gets under Potter bridge more often than a lot of boats.

Thanks for replying, that is the sort of boat I first started looking at, then I read a thread somewhere about seeing nowt but the reeds and missing out on the beauty of the broads so started looking at other styles - Did I misread the point about the view?

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53 minutes ago, Pumpmedic said:

Did I misread the point about the view?

Hi Pumpmedic,

I think it isn't just about the view, it depends what you want from the boat as well. I've hired different kinds of cruisers and they all have their pros and cons. Whilst you don't see over the reeds so much on a forward steer cruiser it can suit some people better to have a boat that is all on one level.

A centre cockpit boat is great for the views while you're cruising but I don't think that the windows give as good visibility once you're moored up. And you have to keep going up and down the steps when moving around inside. Plus they tend to have a higher freeboard ... if you or your crew are vertically challenged (i.e not very tall!) then getting on and off when side-on moored with high tides can be difficult.

Maybe if you're able to try boats of different kinds you'll get a feel for what is going to suit you best.

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48 minutes ago, Pumpmedic said:

Thanks for replying, that is the sort of boat I first started looking at, then I read a thread somewhere about seeing nowt but the reeds and missing out on the beauty of the broads so started looking at other styles - Did I misread the point about the view?

I guess the answer is,  you can see over the reeds but not go under some bridges.

Never seen over the reeds in any boat I have owned or hired,  probably just more reeds :default_biggrin:.

A consideration for some Southern rivers but not an issue up north.

If you are planning to use all year,  think about how drafty the sliding roof or canopy is.

Have fun looking.

 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, SwanR said:

Hi Pumpmedic,

I think it isn't just about the view, it depends what you want from the boat as well. I've hired different kinds of cruisers and they all have their pros and cons. Whilst you don't see over the reeds so much on a forward steer cruiser it can suit some people better to have a boat that is all on one level.

A centre cockpit boat is great for the views while you're cruising but I don't think that the windows give as good visibility once you're moored up. And you have to keep going up and down the steps when moving around inside. Plus they tend to have a higher freeboard ... if you or your crew are vertically challenged (i.e not very tall!) then getting on and off when side-on moored with high tides can be difficult.

Maybe if you're able to try boats of different kinds you'll get a feel for what is going to suit you best.

Thanks for the pros & cons type of response, much appreciated. 

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12 hours ago, psychicsurveyor said:

I guess the answer is,  you can see over the reeds but not go under some bridges.

Never seen over the reeds in any boat I have owned or hired,  probably just more reeds :default_biggrin:.

A consideration for some Southern rivers but not an issue up north.

If you are planning to use all year,  think about how drafty the sliding roof or canopy is.

Have fun looking.

Thanks for the reply, everything noted from all response`s. Won`t be using all year round more like most of it but point taken.

 

 

 

 

 

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Had an Alpha 35 centre cockpit for 23 years now, excellent all round broads boat. Roof lowered 6ft 6" headroom roof up 8ft 6" headroom no probs under any bridges except Potter which used to be possible but very rarely now as time & tides have changed

Boycee

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3 minutes ago, boycee said:

Had an Alpha 35 centre cockpit for 23 years now, excellent all round broads boat. Roof lowered 6ft 6" headroom roof up 8ft 6" headroom no probs under any bridges except Potter which used to be possible but very rarely now as time & tides have changed

Boycee

Thanks for replying,  there seems to be a lot of Alpha 35 centre cockpit owners singing their praise here. 

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Alpha 35's are very spacious for 35 feet, especially the older ones. That sounds daft, but the later ones have a much more rounded superstructure which looks sleeker but wastes loads of space.

There was a thread about them recently, although I can't immediately seem to find it...

Watch out for the very cheap ones as there are a few 'Friday boats' around which have had major osmosis problems, and it's probably best to avoid the ones built by Sabena Marine.

Craig's Database will help you identify the history of a boat.

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You wont believe it but I think I`ve just read that thread, older ones being angular rather than rounded giving more space, was it pre 1990`s?

(Gonna have to come back another day to add a thanks, apparently I`ve run out for the day! Haha).

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Yeah that's the one.

The new model appeared some time after 2000, with the original being launched in the early eighties.

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Hi,

The Alpha 32 centre cockpit first appeared in 1982, the 34/35 in 1984, I am not sure when they stopped building however the last hire one joined Barnes in 1999. The new Alphas are quite rare and as far as I know didn't appear until 2011/12 so unlikely to be on the second hand market, I believe only 6 on hire (Swan Renown, Brinks Quartetx4 and Amber Emblem).

Neil

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