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Total Newbie To The Broads , Going Round In Circles Looking To Hire For A Taster.


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Hi , looking at  hiring for a family  of 6,  4 adults  2 teenagers,  3 days to see  how we like it, in November! I know  it may well be  cool,

are all the restaurants  cafes etc still  open in November?

Don't want to be  cramped on the boat maybe  8 berth any aera a good  co to hire from,  if it is  as enjoyable as we hope maybe looking  to  buy a boat?

 

Any advice will be welcome,

 

 

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We'll be around the first half of November too on our syndicate boat, Moonlight Shadow. We are based on the southern rivers, but might sneak up north either the beginning of the first week or the latter part of the second week, as otherwise the low tides are too early/late. 

Normally, the majority of pubs and cafes are still open, as far as I can recall the only cafes that have previously closed over winter are the Dunes Acle Bridge Café and the Granary Stores in Ranworth. I think they close at the end of October and don't open again until around Easter time.

Pubs are mostly open, but you may have seen a few posts here about some pubs having to shut or reduce their opening times/food availability due to staff shortages.

Welcome to the forum, by the way.

Helen

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Not sure which pubs or restaurants will still be open and serving food by then. It’s a bit hit and miss at the moment anyway due to staff availability. Plus long dark evenings would not be for everyone. 

Not sure either which yards are hiring in November. Possibly Ferry Marina and Norfolk Broads Direct both of whom I’ve hired from and been happy with. Herbert Woods may also still be hiring but I’ve never used them. 

Personally I would wait and see what the weather is like. A spring visit is more likely to sell it to you in my view. March is cold but there’s more daylight hours. April and May are lovely. 

But each to their own and I hope you find what you’re looking for. 

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Obviously budget constraints will determine which yard(s) to hire from , also I’m not certain all yards are hiring in November .

At the lower end of the budget for a larger boat you have the Jewells from Herbert Woods which some members  are in this week for their annual “lads” week .

Higher end are the newer offerings from NBD and Richardson’s and top of the tree would be the NYA large boats (but these are restricted as to where they can cruise due to their size).

We used to hire regularly from NBD and found them very good but can be pricey , many members are regular hirers from Richardson’s .

Most inns and facilities remain open throughout the year, if you choose a boat with shore power you can bring an oil fired radiator to keep the chill at bay overnight when on shore power , much more peaceful than the diesel heating but make sure you purchase some electric cards .

The Broads are stunning in the winter months , but do remember you have vastly reduced cruising hour’s as you’re not permitted to cruise after sunset .

edited to add 

yes Granary stores and coffee rooms will be closing for the winter at the end of October , I believe Ludham bridge stores are erratic to say the least over the winter too

 

 

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Hi and welcome to the forum.  All good advice given so far.  I know Herbert Woods on the northern broads do a limited hire during November and February but don't know what boats will be available.  You won't do much cruising in November due to the short days (hire boats are forbidden to cruise before sunrise and after sunset).  It might be better for you to have 3 days on the northern broads (subject to boat availability) as you have more chance of visiting different places as opposed to being on the southern broads where pubs etc are a little further distance to cruise to.  I'm assuming this will be your first time on the Broads?  If so then the calmer rivers (tidal wise!) up around Wroxham, Potter Heigham, Ludham etc might suit you better (if you already have experience on tidal water please ignore my last!).  There's plenty of good Broads authority videos on You Tube to give you a heads up cruising on the Broads and very good advice also here on this forum.  Keep the questions coming - we're a friendly bunch :default_biggrin:

Chris

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November is good if dry and bright, if wet and windy it is likely to put you off as boats are very damp places in that sort of weather.

For a taster summer is a much better option as it will be when you would use your own boat the most.

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Thanks,  we are happy to risk the weather ,

Also  probably  wont cook the  evening meal on board so we are

Inrested in pub food stops or restaurants,  and with the advice so far probably in the north.

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November isn't always the best time to experience the Broads for the first time.

The rivers are much quieter and you'll have little trouble getting a mooring every night, but it can be cold overnight as you are basically sleeping a couple of feet above water level in an uninsulated plastic box.

If it's your first time and you're hiring on the North then it's likely that you won't be cruising huge distances each day and for that reason you'll either need to have a boat with shore power (and moor somewhere with enough electric posts) or run the engine on your mooring for enough hours each day.

You'll need electrical power to run the diesel heating otherwise it'll shut down if the batteries aren't sufficiently charged (it will have a fuel pump and a fan for blowing the hot air around the boat, and requires even more power at startup) so keeping the batteries charged one way or another is very important.

As others have said, if you go for a boat with shore power then you'll be able to bring an oil radiator. Assuming the boat has an immersion heater and a battery charger (this is pretty standard) then it leaves you with around 2KW for your own appliances as the boat will only have a 16 amp supply. Compare this with the 100 amp supply that most of us have at home and you'll see the need to not plug too much in.

 

 

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Another option for a very brief taster during November would be to hire a day-boat. Being winter, you can then retire to a hotel to warm up for the evening.

We got a boat from Wroxham (on the Northern rivers) in February 2019, and whilst is was 'fresh' to say the least, we wrapped up well and had a lovely day. The river was quiet, and the scenery spectacular.

Not quite the full experience of sleeping and cooking aboard, but it will give you a feel for the river and some broads, the pace of life, mooring etc.

You could even take a day-boat on different days from different boatyards, to see a variety of areas.

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Welcome to the forum. Ferry Marina in Horning are open throughout November. Have a look at their 6 - 8 Berth range. Royale Emblem was completely refurbished this year. It also is equipped for shore power. I agree with a number of the previous posts, you will be much better off hiring on the Northern Broads. There will be more pubs and restaurants to choose from on the Nothern Broads and also  the rise and fall of the tide is considerably less than on the southern Broads.

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We hired Royale Emblem back in early May 2017, before it was refurbished. There’s a tale that you can find in the Holiday Tales thread if you are interested. It was only our second hire of a motor cruiser so I was very much a newbie on the helm for that holiday. I thought she was a dream to handle and the huge aft lounge was great for family socialising. We found the boat really comfy for 5 people and a dog. We also managed to explore the Broads pretty extensively in just one week, down to the southern Broads as far as Norwich and Loddon, back up to Coltishall, up the Ant to Neatishead and Ludham.

That’s a point to note…the shorter days in November will limit your cruising time. On the other hand, I love how quiet the rivers are in November.

 

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The coldest I have ever been was in March 2018 on board Thunder...

It was a couple of weeks after the beast from the east and we had shore power plugged in with oil radiators in the cabins.

I was fully clothed (and layered up) in a sleeping bag with a couple of duvets on top. And it was still absolutely freezing.

For that reason, I tend to avoid the colder months. You can have stunning weather or you can have awful weather. May-September is a fairly safe bet.

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For anyone else contemplating a November cruise I tend to agree with staying North as I doubt any of the remaining South yards will still be open & Norwich & Great Yarmouth Quays Yacht Stations will closed & Reedham will have no Quay Attendant - Electric points will either be off or prone to tripping out with high tides. 

That said the various eating establishments will still appreciate visitors to help get them through the winter as well as retaining skilled staff however some will be closed for example on Mondays and indeed Tuesdays as well so always check before travelling as hours too may be curtailed. 

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We have done a daytime stop at Norwich Yacht station in the winter. you have to climb over the rails to get anywhere, and the electric posts are boxed over, so unavailable. We haven't yet checked out whether the same is the case at Reedham. I've read here that water has been available at Reedham in previous winters if you have your own hose. i.e. the hoses have been removed but the water not turned off.

We have been able to use electric over winter at St Olaves, Somerlayton, Oulton Broad and Beccles Yacht Stations, Loddon, Hardley Mill, Rockland St Mary, Surlingham Ferry Inn and Bramerton. There used to be Whitlingham too, but there aren't any BA moorings there any longer, so unless posts have tripped due to high tides, that's quite a selection. 

Does anyone know what's happened about those Whitlingham moorings? Are there still there, but under the ownership of the charitable trust that looks after the park, or have they been closed completely?

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17 minutes ago, YnysMon said:

We have done a daytime stop at Norwich Yacht station in the winter. you have to climb over the rails to get anywhere, and the electric posts are boxed over, so unavailable. We haven't yet checked out whether the same is the case at Reedham. I've read here that water has been available at Reedham in previous winters if you have your own hose. i.e. the hoses have been removed but the water not turned off.

We have been able to use electric over winter at St Olaves, Somerlayton, Oulton Broad and Beccles Yacht Stations, Loddon, Hardley Mill, Rockland St Mary, Surlingham Ferry Inn and Bramerton. There used to be Whitlingham too, but there aren't any BA moorings there any longer, so unless posts have tripped due to high tides, that's quite a selection. 

Does anyone know what's happened about those Whitlingham moorings? Are there still there, but under the ownership of the charitable trust that looks after the park, or have they been closed completely?

Hello Helen if you moor at the upper section of the Yacht station moorings during the winter close down period you do not have climb over anything it is only down by the yacht station buildings that gates are locked. At the upper reaches it is a short walk to the bridge and over the river to the Red Lion and then a walk up to the Cathedral.

Regards

Alan

 

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Thanks for the hint Alan.

I thought I'd double check that the Oulton Broad and Beccles Yacht Stations will be open next month. They are, at least the Beccles web page doesn't say anything about closing for winter. Interestingly the Oulton Broad has opening times of 08:00 to 12:00 between November and March, so I guess if we want electric we'd have to arrive between those times. 

Does anyone here know whether the electric posts at Reedham are available over winter?

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6 hours ago, ranworthbreeze said:

Hello Helen if you moor at the upper section of the Yacht station moorings during the winter close down period you do not have climb over anything it is only down by the yacht station buildings that gates are locked. At the upper reaches it is a short walk to the bridge and over the river to the Red Lion and then a walk up to the Cathedral.

Regards

Alan

 

Reedham Quay is fully accessible all winter but the Sandersons end ( who are now closed) is prone to overtopping on Springs - One Electric post is awaiting repair & they tend to trip so often left "off" in winter The taps are left  on but the thread size is bigger than standard for Hoselock type fittings so a suitable rubber connector is probably best. The Ship is the best option for 7 day service but best check direct. 

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