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DJB

Boats For Couples

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We have booked Gold Gem from Richardsons for next year.

I chose this style of boat because I want to get past Wroxham and Potter Heigham. I realise the second bridge  may be impossible.

I also chose it because it is single level so no steps once on board. My wife jarred her knee on the last boat so mooring became a real issue as her knee became stiff for a few days. She can't drive to save her life so I depend on her to tie up. I think the front door will help me do the mooring with or without her help. Running from the driving seat down the steps, through the door into the back cabin, through the double doors and up the steps to the back of the boat was a right carry on.

Finally it has a well at the front and that seems perfect for fishing.

Three good reasons to get this boat.

However I am concerned about the cabins on this boat. It's a shame that they don't have the same size boat with a single more comfortable cabin and a larger ensuite. I have a 'healthy appetite' so I think it's all going to be a bit of a squeeze for me. I looked at all the yards and couldn't find anything that was low, single level, had a well and was roomy. Richardsons do have some more modern boats that look less of a squeeze but the price hike is just too much. 

Are there any boats designed just for couples?

 

 

 

 

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Hi DJB and welcome. 

Lots of boats are designed just for couples....but as you have discovered they come at a premium. 

The Swan craft boats that riccos now have are well designed and about the best value for money you can get, albeit they may a touch dear. The problem (for you) is that hire boats are designed with the potential return top of priorities. They just don't consider people with a "healthy appetite" (your words, not mine.) :default_biggrin:

In an ideal world we.. You... Me... Would take a blank and make it ours.... Unlikely though.

So.....we have to comprise.

You  have identified good reasons for chossing the boat you have, beyond that, don't worry too much, just being on the rivers is such a pleasure.

A tiny tip... take the bow rope..... take the stern rope..... lay them alongside.... tie them together.... when you come in to moor and your wife steps off she has both ropes.

Hope you have a lovely holiday. 

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Hi DJB and welcome to the forum.

This is a question that comes up from time to time. I am always on the lookout for good boats for couples. As already mentioned, the ex-Swancraft boats, now hiring from Richardson's, are good quality. And whilst not as cheap as some of Richardson's older boats, they are nonetheless cheaper than many of the other couple's boats such as the new builds from Ferry Marina, which are very much the luxury end of the market.

There are other members here who have hired as couples from Bridgecraft, Herbert Woods and Norfolk Broads Direct so they may be along presently to add to the replies.

There are two things that we always try to find when perusing the different boatyards' websites.

  • Bowthrusters are really helpful for mooring up when there is just the two of you onboard. If you can afford a boat with these then you have that little bit more control.
  • An island bed that you can walk round and hang your feet off the end is essential if you're very tall!
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A good roomy boat in the Richardsons fleet is Classic Gem, hired it a couple of years ago bags of room. I`m eighteen stone and six foot two so it should suit. Good value too with sliding roof, I managed to moor up single handed most of the time, only downside is  its a forty footer

paul

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I'll second that for the ex-Swancraft boats from Richardsons.

We've had Swan Roamer and Swan Radiance, both excellent for a couple but we did prefer Roamer which has a larger saloon with a fixed (lift up) table.  All ex-Swancraft boats have bowthrusters, excellent heating with virtually no draughts and Roamer/Radiance (possibly others) have a walk round bed with plenty of space each side, large bathroom and a very usable airing cupboard.  They're not too expensive either compared to some yards.

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A great many classic Broads boats were designed and built some forty or more years ago, when people were decidedly less healthily fed. That has to be an all time classic oxymoron if ever I read one!

There are, or were, boats designed just for couples. Known by the yards as Honeymooners it was assumed that the hirers would be in close contact! They were small, and very popular back in the 1960's & 70's. Only real problem was that some couples tied up for the week in some quiet backwater and never ran their engines thus yards had to change their batteries Friday evening so that they could get back to the yard for Saturday morning! 

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We hired from NBD who have quite a few boats aimed at couples, but are more expensive than Richardsons. We had Fair Executive which is a sedan cruiser. It would fail your desire to get under certain bridges, but I found it easy to handle. For stern mooring simply walk from the steering position to the stern - easy. For side on mooring, similar to a suggestion above, I laid the ropes along the side deck, so exit the rear doors, pick up stern rope, take a couple of steps along the side deck and pick up front rope. Then step off with both.

A useful option found on most canal boats today is a centre rope, but I suspect most broads boats are a little short for it to be effective.

Fair Executive was very spacious for two and gave great views of the broads in both good and wet weather. NBD looked after us well as first time visitors.

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i have Marthams Jayne booked for next may, so after I will be able to report on suitability from a tall wide persons perspective, she is a front steer, 2/3 berth type, and is able to get above potter bridge (well if you cannot get through you are the right side of the bridge anyway

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I'm another Swancraft fan having hired Roamer this year. They're good value compared to the competition but significantly more expensive than Richardsons budget boats. The interiors are a class above, however. 

Symphony has been mentioned and that's a great shout for a cheaper option. 

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2 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

There are, or were, boats designed just for couples. Known by the yards as Honeymooners it was assumed that the hirers would be in close contact!

I can think of Bondon's "Petit Barsac" and going even further back, the Percivals "Peter Pan"!

Going back to the Gold Gem, you have hired a very good boat. They are quite old now, built in 1975 but maintained in top class condition by Richardsons. They were built in the days when the more people you could get on board a hire boat, the more you could charge for hiring it, so I admit the cabins are a little "economic". You may find the pull-out double in the saloon to be the most comfortable.

In all other respects they are an excellent design of Broads boat and will give you a good holiday. Very stable, wide side decks, handrails all round, single level inside, and big "picture" windows all round.You can also moor the boat bow on, instead of stern on, if you prefer. I can personally assure you that these are among the easiest boats to handle of all. They don't look it, but they are!

I have hired an Ultimate Gem in May next year and they are even easier to handle than yours! Big long boats are easier to handle, usually, than small ones. They hold a straight line in the river and they don't blow around in the wind so much.

Have a good holiday! 

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2 hours ago, grendel said:

i have Marthams Jayne booked for next may, so after I will be able to report on suitability from a tall wide persons perspective, she is a front steer, 2/3 berth type, and is able to get above potter bridge (well if you cannot get through you are the right side of the bridge anyway

You should be fine, might need a smear of lubrication  on the toilet door posts in order for you to get in and a bottle jack to get you out though:default_biggrin::default_icon_e_biggrin:.  Really lovely boats. 

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Peter Pan!! Now thats a blast from the past!! Stop doing that Vaughan!!

Most bow thrusters are more powerful than the engine in those!!

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16 hours ago, SwanR said:

An island bed that you can walk round and hang your feet off the end is essential if you're very tall!

Im very tall and just stick my feet out through the window instead :default_smiley-angelic002:

So my recommendation would be, look for suitabley openable windows near the end of the bed :default_biggrin:

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2 hours ago, Jayfire said:

Im very tall and just stick my feet out through the window instead :default_smiley-angelic002:

So my recommendation would be, look for suitabley openable windows near the end of the bed :default_biggrin:

Grace you'd better have your thermals with you if Jay's going to make you freeze at night ... *other ways to keep warm are available* :default_icon_luvlove:

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4 minutes ago, SwanR said:

Grace you'd better have your thermals with you if Jay's going to make you freeze at night ... *other ways to keep warm are available* :default_icon_luvlove:

Darn tootin there are. Grace forget the ruddy thermals, I have you covered. Literally :default_norty:

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2 hours ago, Jayfire said:

Darn tootin there are. Grace forget the ruddy thermals, I have you covered. Literally :default_norty:

Wait until you are in your eighties! 

 

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5 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Wait until you are in your eighties! 

Why? Will I get into even more kinky stuff then???:default_norty:

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2 minutes ago, Jayfire said:

Why? Will I get into even more kinky stuff then???:default_norty:

Everything goes South, you'll be glad of kinky!!

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10 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Everything goes South, you'll be glad of kinky!!

I've already gone South Sir. I'm currently working on bringing her up North :default_smiley-angelic002:

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We had Amber Gem this year, wife disabled they gsve me two longer stern ropes that came along the deck to front cockpit it was easy to put the bow on and go ashore with both ropes. Also had San Remo which I found easier but obviously that won't go under Wroxham or PH bridges but we had a double bed each.

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I have to agree with the majority of folk on here , if they are available the 'Swans' are ideal.     Totally agree about the walk round bed and in this instance with the 'Swans' they do have a walk round bed.   Unlike Brooms Captain that purports to have a walk round bed which is anything but.   Only the fittest should apply to try the bed out on them.   A few days training on The Matterhorn might be a good idea.     Longer ropes that is another plus and has been said you can pull them both to the bow or stern , which ever is your preference and get off holding both and Bobs your Uncle and Fanny's your Aunt.   (am I allowed to say that)    :default_eusa_naughty:         Over the years I have taken over the helm once we had come along side , and then I sat at the helm while hubby always did the ropes.    If you are wondering , have you ever seen me tie a rope?

 

 

 

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