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vanessan

Edp Article Re Mooring Closures

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To be fair, I do not think that there were many valid points raised at the end of the article by just  a few individuals!!! We have heard them all before and it seems many IMHO have not a clue what they are talking about!! The whole issue does not revolve around any one point but a whole range of problems to which there is not one easy answer. 

My memories of the Broads go back further than one particular individual who clearly is unable to remember the Broads before package holidays and cheap flights took off!!

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Interesting indeed... I'd have to admit, I'm not the greatest fan of the 'stone/wood chip' covered quay headed, 24 hour moorings. I much prefered the 'grassy bank' moorings of yesteryear, so it wouldn't really bother me if the B.A. didn't create any more of them. A selfish point of view, I know.

I think the percieved (real?) lack of moorings problem, goes back a long time,  to the time when the hireboat industry slumped and private marinas were in the ascendency. Before the slump, hireboats always had the option of using other hire yards to moor, this option is now extremely limited. The defunct hire boatyards became private marinas, who were obviously never going to allow hirecraft to use their facilities, which their customers were paying good money for. The result being, that official (and unofficial) moorings had ever increasing usage. Pub moorings have always been a magnet for boaters, in times past, these were always free to patrons. But, that too has changed, you might perhaps be asked to 'cough up a tenner' to moor, a family holidaying on a budget might baulk at paying that, putting more pressure on the free 24 hour moorings.

Yes, the B.A. could build more 24 hour moorings, but these come at a cost. It seems landowners have cottoned on, that their stretch of river bank is a potential nice little earner, for doing nothing and are asking silly money from the B.A.. Add the construction costs and it becomes a huge outlay, this at a time when 'toll payers' are understandably loath to see big increases in their toll charge.

I honestly haven't got a clue what the solution is, I'm just happy that there are still a few 'wild moorings' and little corners of a broad, where you can hide yourself away, in relative peace & quiet. Maybe, this too will change, but that will be the time when sadly, we'll no longer spend our holidays on the (still) beautiful Norfolk & Suffolk Broads...

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I know this is unpopular but I can only see the way forward is to introduce moorings where you need to pay to moor. I don't think however it is fair to ask for money to moor and just get a couple of posts to put your ropes around and some grass, it needs to be to get something in return for the money you are spending - like at a Yacht Station, you can drop off rubbish, get water and even plug in to electric.

It could be something driven forward by the Broads Authority in partnership with other providers and land owners, or it could be individual land owners who decide to implement such. I personally prefer the idea of an auto payment system just like road tolling - everyone hire and private has an RF tag that could easily be integrated into the registration number sticker. You get charged when you moor and billed either at the end of your holiday if a hire boat, or by logging into your account within a 24hr period to pay the fee and avoid a penality.

Why the tech? Well, if you do not do this you have to work on the basis of trust if you had an honesty box - and let's face it not everyone by any stretch of the imagination would use that, or someone has to go around to collect the fees. In that method you will miss some boats that are moored when a roaming revenue collector is not there, and even if you put in a 'Pay & Display' machine, you need someone to enforce the displaying of the tickets. Whatever you do that someone has to be paid for and it is just not workable or cost effective.

Of course the technology would also cost, but I think a small trial even if it was just internally with a the Broads Authority's own launches or a selection of other boats who would sign up to trial the scheme and see how workable it really might be would be a start.

I don't agree it is viable now to continue to pay hefty amounts to lease land, to then make moorings and and maintain them and expect it all to be paid for out of the Toll income. What seems to be happening is a slow but steady increase in boat numbers in hire fleets - even now expansion occurring on the southern rivers, you have hundreds and hundreds of private boats parked up in Marina's and come popular times of the year mooring is now all but impossible at many locations. Even outside of the usual season there are more boats out on the water and pressure is beginning to come on the moorings like Ranworth, Horning Staithe and Wroxham.

Hire boats are getting longer but holiday makers appear quite happy to hire them and also pay the premium prices they attract but what they are not going to stomach is the inability to moor up at places.  Often times people have planned their holidays around visiting locations, only to find they are full and this causes a great deal of unhappy reviews being left online which have nothing to do with the boatyard, their service or the boat but the overall holiday experience caused through not being able to get ashore or visit a a village and so on.

 

 

 

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Well put Robin. You and I are fortunate enough to be in the position of having enough Broads experience to know where the hot spots for moorings are. On the North Broads in high season, we're in the situation now where if you want to cruise until well in to the afternoon (as I always do, mooring for the night by lunch time has always been a no no for me) you have to know where to go and even then be prepared for your first choice mooring not being available. For an overnight mooring, I don't bother with Ranworth, Womack, Fleet Dyke, How Hill, Sutton, Horning, Wroxham below the bridge - I could go on. I'm kind of OK with that (ish) because I love the bustle of the North Broads in Summer anyway. However, for a newbie I can well imagine how incredibly frustrating and offputting the situation is. 

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Firstly to Marshman, I agree. I can find little or no merit to either the article or the replies to it.

To all in general... It is my opinion that there is significantly less traffic on the broads these days than there was in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

There are many more private craft than there used to be, but as you know, they don't go out that often. I have been boating on the broads since the early 60s and well remember having to get to certain moorings early if you wanted to tie there, namely Horning, Ranworth and Sutton staithe. Many boats were big 40' plus jobbies. The main difference was the number of souls on board, eight being quite normal. These days many of the private craft are 25' or shorter.

In the period I have owned a boat on the broads (since the mid 90s) it has only been a very few occasions I've not been able to find a mooring for the night. There are times I have had to wait at places like Ranworth, but 'twas ever thus..

To Robin I have to say, sorry matey, but I disagree with pretty much your whole post. I doubt there are many who want to see pay & display machines, and fewer still who want to HAVE to have a computer on board to pay their mooring fees.

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I'm afraid Robin's idea, sounds like some sort of urban 'congestion charge'. With all due respect, we're talking about the Norfolk Broads, a rural holiday destination, where we go to relax and enjoy the landscape and nature...

To have A.N.P.R.'s strewn around the rivers & broads, sounds like my idea of hell, not heaven, why not go the whole hog and stick A.N.P.R.'s at every river confluence. Want to cruise the River Ant, log in and pay, want to cruise the River Waveney, tap in your card details now...

To be honest, I'd be more than happy just to have 'a couple of posts to put my ropes around and some grass' that's what the broads is to me, a rural idyll, that's why I've been visiting since 1968. The thought of paved quay headings, with A.N.P.R.'s, electric hook up's, rubbish skips etc. scattered around the river banks fills me with dread.

I'd be very surprised, if on any given summer day, there are any more boats out on the rivers now, than there were in 1972, I'd even venture to say there are probably less. I'm going to annoy a few people, when I say, the problem started when the defunct boatyards became private marinas. Most of the privately owned boats only move occasionally and when they do, the space they leave cannot be used by anyone else, as they used to be, when they were hire yards. Thus, we have a huge shortfall in mooring spaces. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with anyone owning a boat, but the sheer number of them has come with a consequence.

I know some of you will say, "it's fine 'nit picking' someone elses ideas, so what is your solution?" and the answer is... I haven't got a clue!... I'd just hate to see, what sounds like the creeping 'urbanisation' of the Norfolk Broads. Hopefully, before that happens, I'll have curled up my toes and departed for my mooring in the sky (or wherever else, I'm bound for)... :default_smiley-angelic002:

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6 hours ago, kingfisher666 said:

To be honest, I'd be more than happy just to have 'a couple of posts to put my ropes around and some grass' that's what the broads is to me, a rural idyll, that's why I've been visiting since 1968. The thought of paved quay headings, with A.N.P.R.'s, electric hook up's, rubbish skips etc. scattered around the river banks fills me with dread.

Well said, this summarises exactly how I feel!

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the other problem is there are few enough yards, they allow other hirers to moor except on changeover days, but, and heres a big but, as they build up their fleets they are fitting the new boats into the same moorings, so available space for visitors becomes less, if all of the yards are overcrowded with boats when theirs are all there, then the same number of boats out on hire means there are fewer corresponding free spaces, as yards will moor their boats a tighter formation so the rearmost boats are not accessible, visiting hire boats cannot be stacked up in the same way, so visitor moorings are less than the home fleet in the same area, thus if every yard is doing this, there are more boats out on the rivers to use the Authority and pub moorings due to less spaces available in the hire yards.

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Robin I am afraid you keep making the same mistake as many of todays younger generations in thinking that having done something for a short period of time you know better than people who have done and seen things for decades and in some cases a lifetime, there are far fewer boats out on the water now than there ever has been and finding a mooring for the night no harder and at times a lot easier, yes there are fewer 24hr moorings available now and that is a shame but there are also paid for moorings that are never fully utilised and often empty so I don't see where you are coming from with that idea.

While I understand the modern trend for technology and that those who have grown up with it know nothing else it is not the answer to everything and for many of us boating and the broads are a welcome relief from the excesses we experience at home in towns and cities with charges for everything with a cctv generated penalty charge around the corner for the slightest laps, you are free to use all the technology you like but please don't impose it on the rest of us.

Fred

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As most have intimated, Robins idea (this one! ) is way off the mark - has he forgotten this is Norfolk??? In anything other than  the very busiest of times they would just go bust!! And I agree totally with MM - all this squit about busy rivers is only valid to someone who has a relatively short memory.

It is disappointing that so many "wild" moorings have disappeared, but I see this as a symptom of "less" busy rivers - more boats down south will soon open a few more wild moorings!! They used to be down south all over the place but not now - it needs more people just jumping ashore with ropes to moor up casually.

The same applies up north too - many will recall with pleasure the casual moorings up the top of Fleet Dyke - its taken all these years since it was graded for two small ones to open, but with a brush cutter, I could soon make a few more!! Real pressure on moorings would soon help that although I do accept the growing proliferation of "PRIVATE" notices everywhere really gets my back up!!!

Private boats in marinas don't help as many go "home" to their base to overnight and neither do yards having turnround days most days.

So its not just one issue but many interlinked - real pressure by boats  will help but the BA's hands are tied a little because of the landowners and the fact that they are very expensive to procure  and maintain and the impact this could have on toll income when you realise for large parts of the years the moorings are empty and it is only at really busy times they are full - do councils provide more parking all year because of the queues at Christmas?

 

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I’m going to open a different tack on this.... double mooring. 

I don’t think I have ever seen a hire boat double moored. On the one occasion I asked a hirer if I could moor alongside them they declined!! Bramerton common is a good point in question.

and before anyone asks yes I have invited hire and private craft the option of tying alongside us. Even a couple of canoeists at Berney Arms who were never getting out safely used our swim platform and tied their canoes off to us while they stretched their legs. 

Other than with a boat you know, has anyone had many good experiences of rafting up?

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I suspect there is a reluctance due to inexperience rather than inhospitality. The "question" that springs to mind, because I heard it once, is what happens if they want to leave before we do and we're away from the boat? (or us before them depending where you are placed in the raft) 

I look to moor in quiet places anyway but would be open to double mooring for a shopping or pub stop. 

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Rafting up seems to be an absolute anathema to some privateers, as does keeping fore and aft gaps between boats to a minimum. Some people are just mind bogglingly selfish or just plain thoughtless when it comes to hogging mooring spaces. If you are first in line so to speak at a mooring then treat it as a queue, start the queue at the end, not the middle of the mooring. At least if folk start at the end then they will only have neighbours on one side!!

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1 hour ago, marshman said:

It is disappointing that so many "wild" moorings have disappeared, but I see this as a symptom of "less" busy rivers - more boats down south will soon open a few more wild moorings!! They used to be down south all over the place but not now - it needs more people just jumping ashore with ropes to moor up casually.

I agree that wild moorings and peace and quiet are definitely the best, but obviously, since they did all this re-profiling we have reeds rather than grass (so what ) you can still land with care, difficult part is when you're single-handed not so easy but with crew and a bit of forethought not too difficult, look at what the sailing boat do when wanting to hoist or drop sail they will come into the wind and the riverbank to drop or hoist sail, the fact that they made the bank into a step will help  other than just running into reeds, anyway this season I'm going to give it a go, might need one of those petrol Whirly things is to clear the reeds a bit :1_grinning:

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I rather feel that, if Robin’s ideas were taken up, landowners would see yet another excuse to try and increase lease prices. I’m sure they wouldn’t want to see the BA raking in mooring fees without getting their share! 

 

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55 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Rafting up seems to be an absolute anathema to some privateers, as does keeping fore and aft gaps between boats to a minimum. Some people are just mind bogglingly selfish or just plain thoughtless when it comes to hogging mooring spaces. If you are first in line so to speak at a mooring then treat it as a queue, start the queue at the end, not the middle of the mooring. At least if folk start at the end then they will only have neighbours on one side!!

Well said JM. :default_winko:

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If i were a landowner I would probably accept there isnt a queue of people wanting to lease my riverside land and be pleased I was getting “something” for it rather than greedily try to capitalise on it and then probably end up with nothing.  Maybe they are happier without the moorings? If they are frightened a pound or to might be made from it then set up a mooring themselves?  Its all very short sighted. 

I dont think Robins idea is the way forward, this is exactly the sort of thing the Broads needs to stay away from, make it to easy to charge and charge they will.  Once tourists and boat owners come to feel they are being capitalised on (its already the case!) and eventually realise they are just being milked things can only go one way.  An industry that killed itself through its own greed.....

Reading through the rest of the comments Im a firm believer that being older wont always make you wiser and just because something has “always” been done a certain way doesn't necessarily mean there hasnt been a better way of doing it all along!

 

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We often double moor or raft and I have no issues with it. In fact it’s often a bonus making new friends. Stern mooring results in double mooring too and most are ok at accepting that. 

We once had the pleasure of six ladies next door to us using ‘B.A’s shower, hair dryer etc, it was a pleasure to be of assistance. (Not sure MrsG saw it that way)

As for the old chestnut of being stuck inboard if you want to sail first, well you ain’t stuck at all.

There’s a simple evolution for getting out, the wind / tide in normal circumstances are your friends to be utilised, with a well briefed crew it’s a breeze even if no one is onboard the outside vessel. Yes, somewhat more difficult if solo crewing  - then use bankside and other boaters help

Griff

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I do think double mooring is much less common than it used to be, and that's a big part of the problem. There are plenty of places where the river is wide enough to accommodate it, yet you rarely see it.

I have seen double (even triple) mooring within the last year during school holidays, but it's definitely not the norm.

Long have I said that there's a perfect place on the North for another WRC-style facility but I can't see it ever getting built.

 

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I remember the days when Gt. Yarmouth yacht station, would have a long line of double moored boats. The staff there were very adept at moving the boats around, overnighters on the inside, day stayers on the outside. We often saw them lifting kids (and even elderly grannies) onto the quay, from boat decks, when the tide was low. I'm not sure, but I think in those days (early/mid seventies) that the borough council ran the yacht station (or was it the old marina, near the 'Smiths Crisps' factory) and everything worked well.

These days Gt. Yarmouth doesn't seem to have the appeal it once had and I doubt the yacht station has the number of staff it once had. We usually carried on across Breydon and moored at Burgh Castle. If a trip into Gt. Yarmouth was on the cards, we walked up to Butt Lane and caught the bus into town. I don't think Burgh even has a bus service these days, or if there is it's a very sporadic one, just another sign of the changing world we live in, I suppose...

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If anyone is interested, over in ‘t’other place’ JP has responded to some of the comments made following the EDP article. 

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Nothing much new there but at least he has taken time to explain a few of the issues - as always it probably does not tell the whole tale but he has to be the public face of the BA and whilst there will be times he could say more, he has to sit on the fence a bit and be a more diplomatic than others might be.

The big issue, IMHO, remains the attitude of some of the adjacent landowners where you could have moorings, but as someone has spotted, any moorings provides an opportunity to squeeze out more rent and I think the BA are between a rock and a hard place here . They presumably have to pay what their advisers say its worth, for transparency purposes, but equally do not want to be held over a barrel and recently there has been some evidence that this is been tried at a couple of sites on the Bure - this not just redundant land alongside a river but an asset they can use to good purpose when someone else wants it!!

The other problem is that it is all long term stuff and they can get nowhere quickly - remember how long it took to reopen the footpath that went through the boatyard at Ludham Bridge? My recollection it was about 7 years by the time all the various solicitors and landowners had had their slice of the cake and their say  -  says it all really!!!! 

 

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3 hours ago, BroadAmbition said:

 

We once had the pleasure of six ladies next door to us using ‘B.A’s shower, hair dryer etc, it was a pleasure to be of assistance. (Not sure MrsG saw it that way)

 

Griff

Are you fond of hospital food I wonder!!!.       You are brave that is all I can say.         What was wrong with their own shower and their own hairdryer.     You have a very very understanding wife.

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