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mbalding1050

Passes Under All Bridges At Suitable Tides?

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Having rediscovered the Broads a few years back with my son after holidays some years back, the hire craft we’ve selected have all come with the advice “passes under all bridges at suitable tides”. Whilst I understand this needs to be a low water and not after prolonged rainfall etc, but how realistic with this guidance is it getting under Potter Heigham and back at the next low water with a pilot?

It would be nice to explore the area, but with our chosen craft Brinks Serenade in April would anyone know if a serenade has gone under an come back! I raised the same question with Barnes Brinkcraft but no response.  

Thanks

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the only hire company that can pretty much guarantee you getting under potter bridge is martham boats, and then if you are stuck because of water levels the yard is that side of the bridge anyway.

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last year they got me through in Janet 3 with 5'11" on the hickling side marker, with a good 1/2" to spare

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Thank you. Probably unlikely then which is very much what i thought. A short weekend later in the year on something smaller and more traditional i think.

Mark 

Sandhurst Kent   

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There was a period of abnormally low water last year when there were a few boats passing through but that was very much the exception. No boats pass under "all" bridges now effectively, more like "all except one". 

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I'm not surprised Barnes haven't replied!

looking at Serenade I would guess its air draft would be around 7 feet but as usual I could be wrong, I usually am!

Water levels are not usually good in April, its more to do with wind direction in the North Sea rather than rainfall. I really think your chances would be virtually nil. Sorry! You are lucky to get six and a half feet under Potter Heigham these days. Why not hire a day boat and do it that way? we've done that several times and its a good way to explore the peace and quiet above the Bridge. As Grendel says Martham boats would fit under but probably a bit academic now as you've already booked! I'm sure you'll have a great time though :default_biggrin:

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rather than waste your money on a dayboat from Potter heigham, which are very expensive enjoy the rest that the broads has to offer and then when the chance arrives perhaps look at a short break above the bridge exploring heigham and Hickling and West Somerton. 

If there are only two of you then Whispering Reeds have a little short break boat called Bittern 

http://www.whisperingreeds.net/bittern/

If there are more then look at Martham Boats

https://www.marthamboats.com/hire/motor-cruisers

When we were up last summer we asked about a picnic boat from Herbert Woods for the day, £240. I would like to tell you what I said to them but fear I would get modded! For not much more than that you can take Bittern out for a whole weekend. 

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Well fair point although a standard dayboat would be more like 100 quid, maybe even cheaper from Phoenix fleet or even Maycraft. Just depends how desperate folk are to go through the Bridge. I once did a very good deal by paying cash but I'm not saying who with. :default_norty:

Agreed a picnic boat would be a waste for 2 but say if 8 of you shared the cost it would be a good way to spend a day. Also HW are running some brand new picnic boats based on the their new moulds :default_stinky:

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Sadly for us a standard dayboat is not really an option. Our eldest has a kidney condition which means we need a toilet close to hand. 

 

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That's fair enough. It was just a general observation not knowing the OP's circumstances. Perhaps the Martham or Bittern route would be the way to go if getting above the Bridge is a must. 

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11 hours ago, NorfolkNog said:

I'm not surprised Barnes haven't replied!

looking at Serenade I would guess its air draft would be around 7 feet but as usual I could be wrong, I usually am!

Water levels are not usually good in April, its more to do with wind direction in the North Sea rather than rainfall. I really think your chances would be virtually nil. Sorry! You are lucky to get six and a half feet under Potter Heigham these days. 

Being familiar with a boat which is very similar to Serenade, I think you have pretty much no chance at that time of year and will struggle to guarantee getting through and back during the rest of the season as well.

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27 minutes ago, Paul said:

Sadly for us a standard dayboat is not really an option. Our eldest has a kidney condition which means we need a toilet close to hand. 

I have also been told that HW don't allow their picnic boats under the bridge?

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12 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

I have also been told that HW don't allow their picnic boats under the bridge?

I can confirm that.

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1 hour ago, NorfolkNog said:

That's fair enough. It was just a general observation not knowing the OP's circumstances. Perhaps the Martham or Bittern route would be the way to go if getting above the Bridge is a must. 

Perhaps it's just me being tight Howard (nothing new there is the cry!), but I dislike paying for another boat when I've already paid for one. The short break route gives you extra time on the river, always a bonus in my book. 

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Drop canopy (if applicable), line up with bridge, full throttle ahead and you'll get through any bridge......eventually :default_smiley-angelic002:

Dont forget to sound your horn :default_wink:

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51 minutes ago, Wussername said:

I can confirm that.

That's interesting, never knew that :default_biggrin:

 

7 minutes ago, Paul said:

Perhaps it's just me being tight Howard (nothing new there is the cry!), but I dislike paying for another boat when I've already paid for one. The short break route gives you extra time on the river, always a bonus in my book. 

That's quite understandable, I've had a hire boat parked in HW yard for 8 hours while we went through the Bridge. Not good economics, I suppose it just depends how keen you are to visit the 'other side' We didn't do it last year and probably won't bother this year. I begin to wonder if the harder it is to get through the more folk are desperate to do it! 

I think the hire yards are a bit naughty, there is very little that stands a remote chance of getting through these days and statements like suitable tides would be better qualified by twice a year if you are very lucky! 

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HW are missing a trick there. They could offer a "dayboat discount" to hire craft, and a double discount to their own hirers.

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16 hours ago, mbalding1050 said:

Having rediscovered the Broads a few years back with my son after holidays some years back, the hire craft we’ve selected have all come with the advice “passes under all bridges at suitable tides”. Whilst I understand this needs to be a low water and not after prolonged rainfall etc, but how realistic with this guidance is it getting under Potter Heigham and back at the next low water with a pilot?

It would be nice to explore the area, but with our chosen craft Brinks Serenade in April would anyone know if a serenade has gone under an come back! I raised the same question with Barnes Brinkcraft but no response.  

Thanks

Hi Mark,

Nothing to do with your post, but, your name with 1050, anything to do with Triumph motorcycles by any chance?.

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51 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

HW are missing a trick there. They could offer a "dayboat discount" to hire craft, and a double discount to their own hirers.

I think the reverse is true, they know hireboats rarely get under, most will never get under but holiday makers don't want to miss out. That's got to be worth an extra few quid.....

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I agree with Paul, very few boats will ever get through but if people are willing HW will gratefully accept the money. The lowest I've seen in past years is 6' 7". We went through in 1977 with Caravelle and Constellation, got the photos to prove it. Never had a boat that would go under since then

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we took Royal Tudor through at 6'8" (and only just got through)that was with none of the screens or any other topside fitting fitted yet, though with everything in place she may well ride an inch lower.

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Just to point out we gained 8 inches of airdraft when we had new planking and assorted bits. What happened was a re-balancing forward from aft so the stern went up and the bow went down. Leaving the highest point at the air vents on the dropped canopy roof. Before mods pulpit rail was 7 ft 2 after it’s 6ft 6. 

Also  the pilot took fair Empress 2,through for us in 2009 the year before we bought Malanka. We spent two days in Hickling and horsey before returning. Fair Empress 2 is nowhere near 6ft 6 by the way.  Kind of shoots the pooch about PH bridge a tad eh??

 

M

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Thank you for all your replies, it is very much what I thought although I like the suggestion from Jayfire to use full throttle. Poor Seranade…

So I guess the plan will be to go South for a few days instead and use it as an excuse, but who needs an excuse, to return later in the year. The Martham Boats are how I remember them from my childhood, so it could be good for my son to see a proper boat rather than the luxury of Seranade.

Anyway, what a friendly bunch you all are. And as for Speedtripple asking if the 1050 in my email referred to a Triumph the answer is no, but in fact an aircraft a Jodel 1050. Sadly sold two weeks ago after 25 years together!

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I hired Bittern from Whispering Reeds for 4 hours in 2016, absolutely brilliant. 

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I concur, Bittern is a great little boat for a couple or a small group for a day. I have hired here 2/3 times for short breaks. Visited Catfield for the first time in her. Whispering Reed's is a good family operated yard and Bittern needs 6ft or less for Potter and is very good value especially compared with Woods day cruisers which are restricted to the other side of the Bridge. I hired Janet 3 from Martham boats last year which I can also recommend, most of Martham s fleet need 6ft or less for Potter. Bittern is a little cosy and Martham boats are relatively basic however you have to accept a little compromise to see this beautiful area

Neil

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