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johnash

Back After A Long While!

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I first went on a boating holiday on the Broads with my Dad in around 1960. A boat from Geo. Smith of Wroxham. Can't remember the name of the boat but I have our "Blakes Logbook" somewhere. Must try and find it! We've had quite a few Broads trips over the years and the last two were around the mid 90s and we were quite put off because, though "off season", the rivers were awash with boats hired for long weekends with a coupon from a certain popular newspaper. Many only seemed to be interested in rushing between pubs and we could only "get away from it all" by renting bikes from various boatyards.

I am now encouraged to try it again and really want to rent a boat for the two of us for two weeks, early in the season, maybe early April (it would have to be 2021 now as we're booked up for next spring already), having read that there are significantly fewer hire boats on the water. Or is it just as busy given that there are a lot more private boats?

Anyway, can't wait to get back on board, even though we now live in Spain. (I'd thought the best way to get on a boat is to fly to Stanstead then pick up a train to Hoveton?).

It's really good to be back! 

John
PS Can't find that log but I've confirmed that our last visit was in 1997 when we rented GL2 from Connoisseur Cruises. We had that boat on two previous occasions and a lovely boat it was too.
 

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Hi John, and "welcome back!" 

I think around the time you visited last, there would have been significantly more hire boats than now and especially if arriving in April, you should not have to put up with too much "hullabaloo" . However, Easter next year (2020) is in April and though not every hire boat will be out, the numbers will spike over that week. I'm just wondering if that''s why you're having trouble booking for next year? Certainly, if you can avoid Good Friday and Easter Monday, there should still be a good choice of boats available to you for next year.

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Thank you for the welcome! We are unable to make Spring 2020 as we're off to the USA! We don't like Autumn as the anglers are out (we prefer the close season, nothing personal!) plus shorter days. So I'm looking well ahead to Spring 2021. I see Easter is early then so we should get two weeks in before the early May bank holiday. I've dug out all of my old books and logs but sadly not the one from the trip with my Dad. Thinking back, the facilities improved quite rapidly after that trip. No more toilet waste out into the rivers (I remember quite unsavoury moorings at Yarmouth Yacht Station during slack water) and no more of those ice blocks that could be exchanged at other Blakes' boatyards.

As well as fewer boats, there seem to be far fewer publications and guides now (not surprising given the first statement, I suppose!). Our bible used to be "What To Do On The Norfolk Broads" which I don't seem to have any more. However, I do have my copy of Hamilton's Broads Navigation guide and a rather flimsy "Broads Companion".

Yep, can't wait!

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I returned to the  Broads last year after an absence of 31 years, we managed to buy a couple of guides & an OS map, and picked up a copy of Broadcaster from the tourist information office in Wroxham. I did also take my 1981 edition of the  Broads Book, in glorious black & white and hand drawn maps.

what was striking was how much was the same, The Bridge Inn, Acle still serves scampi & chips and the sandwiches at the Rising Sun, Coltishall, we’re so stale they could have been made 31 years previously. 
 

what had changed was the number of hire boats (we managed to moor everywhere we wanted to go). However, in what is true for most of society, we weren’t surprised with the rudeness and stupidity of some holidaymakers, especially all male and female crews...

We’re looking at booking next year, we’re looking at the window between Easter and Springbank.

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Hi John!

Just a thought, Richardson’s are already taking bookings for 2021 with early booking discounts and prices kept at 2019 levels. They don’t get involved in last minute discounting so you won’t get better prices from them. The ex-Swancraft fleet always get very booked up but are great boats for two people. I would check out

Swan Reflection 

Swan Radiance

Swan Renown

Swan Romance

to name a few. We love Swan Reflection. No matter what else we hire, we keep going back to this one!

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Smashing. Thanks Chris and SwanR. I am encouraged even more!

Great to hear of your experiences Chris. There will always be people there to annoy you whether it is on the rivers or the M25!

I have to say, SwanR, I would not have thought of hiring from Richardsons. One year we did hire from their huge Stalham boatyard and our experience was not a great one. But I will certainly check out the Swan fleet right away!

Looking at the calendar for 2021, the two middle weeks in April would avoid Easter and May day bank holiday or mid May would possibly see better weather but would it still be as quiet as mid-April? We have no restrictions on when we can take this trip. Happily retired, we can go when we wish!!

Oh, I managed to find a 2nd hand copy of 'What To Do On The Norfolk Broads' and it's on its way! I will now look for 'The Broads Book', one I'd forgotten!

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Johnash I have just sent you a message with a few thoughts ... it would have been a very long post if I had put it here! 

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Welcome!

We have had very good hiring experiences from Norfolk Broads Direct (aka Faircraft Loynes) and Ferry Marina. Ferry Marina might look more expensive, but once you factor in the ‘add ons’ that other Yards charge we found their price quite competitive compared to similar boats. 
You mentioned there aren’t so many publications available. There’s loads of info online though. I particularly like this site:

https://www.mynorfolkbroadsboating.co.uk/

A lot of the hire yards’ websites have a wealth of info too.

 

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