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Rambling Rosie's Rambles


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Some of you may have noticed I’ve recently moved from Syndicate ownership to full ownership, sometime in the next few months I’ll be moving on board permanently.  I’m not going into what started this chain of events, it involves divorce and other nasties that I never thought I’d have to deal with, plus you wouldn’t believe me if I told you!

I’ve been mucking around in boats since I was born, I’ve been working on them or in the industry since I was 18, so after recent events I decided now was the time to move onto one.  Not the best time to be buying a boat as anything not half sunk was being snapped up within hours for silly prices.  After a couple of months driving back and forwards along the A14 / A11 I looked at an Alpha 42 CC which had been used as a liveaboard for 3 years.  I was suspicious of the engine as it was nicely warm when I started it but I was planning to replace it anyway, turns out it’s hardly been used for 3 years so after a couple of good runs, filter change and shock dose of Marine 16 it’s now running much better – still going to be changed though!

Like everything else it was slightly overpriced, needed work but as the survey showed she was basically solid, still has Osmosis like virtually every other GRP boat but the surveyor was surprised how little there was.  Managed to knock a reasonable chunk of money off plus the mooring is paid for until October, which will cover some of the work required and she was all mine!  A bit larger than I was planning for but I’m finding the extra space is coming in handy.

I know centre cockpits are not the best for liveaboard due to keeping the canopy draught proof, the previous owners had a method of reducing drafts but I’ve noticed several private CC boats now have custom covers so I’ll be looking into this for the autumn onwards.  They are my preferred choice though, giving a higher all-round viewpoint while still fitting under most bridges, this one also has the split front screen which makes it much easier to handle on my own.

She is still called Rambling Rosie, I’ve no real idea what to call her plus I’ve had enough bad luck recently so changing a boats name is not high on my list of priorities!


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I drove to the Swan in Horning the evening of 2nd March for an overnight stay and collected the keys on 3rd March for a long weekend. No real plans, just give her a bit of a clean, cruise about for a few days to see what needs doing etc.

Home mooring is in Stalham but on the 1st night I only made it as far as Neatishead, spent a couple of hours in the White Horse and thanks to Russell, (The Admiral), I’m now into the Whisky Cask cider!  As usual the food was fantastic and I’m afraid to say made 2 of my other 3 meals out appear mediocre in comparison.  RR has a warm air Eberspacher with a broken thermostat so it’s either on or off, she also has a Webasto hot water system with a 7-day timer feeding the calorifier and 4 radiators.  Plus I was plugged into the electric post so was nice and warm! 

As I went to bed I discovered a problem with the front curtains, they are the usual curtain hooks and rail at the top and bottom tucks into an elastic curtain rope which stretches across the bottom.  All sounds fine except the curtains were barely long enough and slightest touch caused the 2 central ones to untuck themselves and swing out.  It took a few attempts to get into bed and the curtains to stay in place, this is where the evenings cider consumption was not helpful….  I apologise to my neighbours that evening who may have been confused by the twin moons on show ….

The next day was spent cruising to Ranworth, more cleaning, sorting, measuring etc followed by a meal in the Maltsters.  As I was moored stern on I left the curtains to do as they pleased!!

I had a closer look at the transom cut out, it appears the previous owner attacked it with some enthusiasm.  They found an appropriate size lump of key heading which was then jammed into place and smothered with a mixture of white resin mixed with mayonnaise, marzipan and cream cheese - I think another saw will have to be involved in fixing this area!

Wasn’t sure where to head for on Saturday 5th but managed to snag a mooring on Horning Staithe.  I removed the 2 x huge TV aerials and pulled up some floorboards to check out what was lying around, you can see the forward aerial in the first photo.  RR has separate Shoreline fridge and freezers, I’d never tried the freezer until now but it did’nt want to work.  Turns out the cable size is too small and it’s seeing a voltage drop, the fridge seems to be working fine off the same feed but I guess the compressor doesn’t need as much power to cool than to freeze.  Another item to go on the list, hopefully done in time for the NBN meet as somewhere to keep the ice we’ll need for the heatwave that weekend…!

Off to the New Inn this evening which was OK and I will probably try again, don’t think I’ll be back to the Swan for a while though…

I was making lists of jobs to do and money to spend, things like LED lights as some had been replaced and some had not.  A couple of windows leaked so will have to be removed and re-sealed, some of Captain Tollys Creeping Crack Cure seems to have done the trick for now though!

On the Sunday I just headed back to Stalham and then straight home as I had a list of things to order.

Not sure when the next instalment will be as have boring domestic / work stuff to sort out, plus I’m in Sweden all next week, this was made worse due to BA cancelling a flight so not returning until Saturday morning on a bank holiday!



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I am terribly sorry to hear of your troubles in these recent times NeilB, however in much happier news you have purchased what looks to be a wonderful boat so very well done to you

Thank you for sharing your new adventures with lovely pictures, I look forward to reading more about your future travels and works on your beautiful boat

All the very best of luck to you :default_smile:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Next trip started Friday 11th for a 50th Birthday party at the Bridge inn, thought it would rude not to arrive by boat….Finished work at 4pm and cast off by about 4:15 heading for Ludham Bridge, didn’t have long due to lack of day light and nav lights, (on the list!).  The wind had picked up by now and the only gaps had the wind blowing offshore, it took 2 attempts to judge the wind speed and get alongside long enough to secure a rope.  Luckily RR has centre cleats otherwise this would have been even more challenging.

I was at Acle by mid-morning so spent some time fitting a few LED lights and a twin USB charging socket to the helm.  Had a great evening in the Bridge and managed to chat to Robin, Malcolm, (Mouldy) & Debbie, Jim & Vicky Davies and a few others whom I’m afraid their names have been erased by a few drinks.

Had a blown 10A fuse, struggled to find any at first but eBay came up trumps in the end.


Obligatory Acle sunset.


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I’d booked Friday 25th March off work so popped into Sutton Staithe boatyard in the morning to chat about a lift out and some work that will need doing and then as it was a beautiful, calm day decided to mudweight on Barton for the rest of the day and evening.

Sunset over Barton.


Fairly cold overnight tonight and the timer did not start the heating as planned, but I was just about up in time for the sun rise.  Checked the batteries and yes they were low, they had been 100% when I’d left Sutton.  Managed to find a date of March 2017 scratched onto one of them so I think some new ones are in order.

Sunrise over Barton


Headed to Neatishead by mid-morning and plugged into the electric, nice and toasty the next morning!  Spent the day scrubbing the canopy roof to remove all the spots in the non-slip, it doesn’t show much in the photos but it made a great improvement.


I had my electric polisher on me but I’d put the extension lead in a “safe place”, despite turning the boat upside down I could not find it anywhere.  I was forced to drown my sorrows in the White Horse instead, as usual the food and drink was excellent.

Next day was up to Dilham and yet more scrubbing followed by another great sunset.  I can recommend The Smallburgh Crown, it’s a bit further to walk than the Cross Keys but it was worth it – take a torch at night-time though!



The next day was back to the Marina and home.

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Tried something different for the Easter weekend, left home around 4-45am on the Wednesday, lovely quiet journey and was unpacked and online working away by 8am.  Once finished it was a quick trip down to Barton Broad where I stayed overnight and spent the next day working,  As soon as the work malarkey was finished I yanked the mudweight up and headed off with no real destination in mind, eventually ended up on Salhouse spit which was surprisingly quiet. 


Set off around 9ish to find a wild mooring somewhere but as passing through Horning there was a huge gap at the Staithe so I dived in there and was done cruising for the day.  However, I was not done scrubbing for the day as it was the turn of the port side decks.  These are proving to be much harder than the cabin top as there is some yellowing, going to have to try a few more brutal options than just a scrubbing brush!

During all this the local Vicar turned up and carried out a service on the Green, they then started handing out hot cross buns to everyone in sight – very nice they were too!!


I’d had enough by mid afternoon and as the sun had made an appearance I settled down to watch the world go by with a glass of wine.


The next morning I tool a leisurely cruise towards the Thurne, I’ve paid a couple of visits to the White Horse in Neatishead but was overdue a visit to the Lion.  I just relaxed today and did pretty much nothing!

The Lion was very good, I had the gammon steak which was an actual gammon steak and not something resembling the sole of a shoe that most places serve up!  I’ve trying to prepare more food on board but there are a couple of establishments I just need to visit!!

Back to the boat to finish off the bottle of wine from yesterday which watching the sun go down, it was a bit chilly though.


There was a fantastic moon rising but my iPhone could not do it justice…


It was now Easter Sunday and even Latham’s was closed which was a good thing as I was so close and the temptation was great!  Turned around and headed back towards the Ant, I was hoping for a wild mooring.  Again, my luck was in and one of the better moorings just below Irstead was available.


Made a start scrubbing the aft cabin roof today, by the time I get this lot finished it’ll be time to start again!  Easter Monday was just a boat clean through and then I headed for home.


My list of jobs is still increasing faster than I’m ticking them off but I’ll just keep chipping away! 

I’ve caught up with all the trips since I’ve had Rambling Rosie, currently sitting at the end of Fleet Dyke close to St. Benet’s on my latest visit but I’ll post this in a couple of days.


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Interesting to hear of your travels. We did have some lovely weather Easter weekend as I recall. The moon was spectacular but from my home I just didn't have a good enough view to photograph it properly. It was amazing.

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Yet more wonderful pictures of your travels NeilB thank you. It is lovely to enjoy reading of your travels and the works you are employing on your new boat, please keep us updated and I hope it is helping you to keep well after the personal troubles you referred to :default_smile:

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After this post I'll be up to date on my rambles so far..

Sat 30th April

I’d noticed when away from shore power the batteries were struggling a little so thought I’d move these up my list a little bit, when removed they were marked with a date of May 2017 so were getting a tad old.  She has the usual 1 x engine start with another 3 x 110Ah domestic batteries, these are used to power all 12V and 240V equipment of which there is quite a lot - 1 x larder fridge, 1 x larder freezer which appears to be kaput but requires further investigation, 2 x domestic water pumps, 2 x shower drain pumps, 1 x toilet water pump, 1 x bilge pump, 1 x smart TV, 1 x Eberspacher air heater and 1 x Webasto hot water heater.

I managed to find some 135Ah batteries that were the exact same dimensions as the existing ones, plus there was just enough room to add an extra battery so I now have 540Ah for domestic, an increase of 210Ah.  I do have room under some seating for more but I’ll see how this goes.  They are only charged by a single 60A alternator, (plans are afoot here as well !), but she’s plugged in on her home mooring.  I also have quite a large aft cabin area so there’s also the option of solar panels, especially if the price of diesel and electricity keep rising!

So, with a new starter battery I had 5 large batteries spread about the car along with my usual small bag for clothes, duvet, pillows, tools, etc plus my other suitcase I set off for Heathrow at stupid o’clock on Tuesday 26th to catch the 9am flight to Gothenburg.  Before playing around on my own boat I had to earn some money by err, playing around on my employer’s boats for 3 days at our marine test centre – no photos from here I’m afraid !

Another early start on Saturday 30th returning to Heathrow and straight up to Norfolk, unloaded car, popped to Tesco’s for a few things and set off.  No particular destination in mind although I fancied an evening walk around St Benet’s, being a bank holiday the moorings were full so found a spot in Fleet Dyke for the evening.


Had a good Wi-Fi signal so settled down to watch a James Bond film on Amazon Prime, if anyone’s not aware they can all be streamed free for Prime members, including the latest one.
After a leisurely breakfast of fruit, porridge and 2 cups of coffee I started on replacing the batteries, I’d had a couple of cables pre made for the extra battery so it didn’t take long.  The plywood top covering the terminals still just about fits so I just had to fit longer straps to hold them all down.  A lot will be coming out again in a few months as the wiring is a bit messy with odd inline fuses in random locations etc.
Old batteries coming out

Had another coffee and was heading to Potter Heigham by 10am, so far I’ve avoided Lathams but I needed a bin and a new scrubbing brush!  Pulled into Herbert Woods shortly after Mouldy on Moonlight Shadow so we walked up together for safety in numbers – you never know when some tat may jump into your basket without warning!  Managed to focus on the required items although I did also acquire a small folding step, which could 2nd as a small drinks table when sitting on the bank, a cheese & onion pasty and a Belgium Bun, (without cream!).  Think I escaped lightly!


I still fancied a walk at St Benet’s but there was still no space, the wild mooring near the end of Fleet Dyke was available so I slipped in there and had a walk down the Bure to opposite Thurne Mouth and back again.

Settled down to another nice sunset and another Bond.



Couple of squatters overnight!


Managed to get underweigh by 9am to get past Ludham Bridge before it became too busy, I try and avoid peak times here as everyone bunches up too close and then cannot hold station.  There were a few boats about but keeping sensible gaps so all was ok. 

Once back at Stalham Richardson’s kindly let me borrow one of their rowing boats so I could try and clean the waterline scum from the hull, I suspect this has not been touched since she was on hire over 3 ½ years ago.  The muck was so ground in a combination of Jif and a scouring pad made virtually no difference so it will have to wait until the lift out and re-paint, the Herbert Woods blue stripe is going as well.

Next job was investigating why the rear shower pump had stopped working, luckily it was only some corroded terminals so I did’nt have to dislocate my elbows to remove the actual pump!

I had an early night and pre-packed the car before bed, left for work around 4:45 am on the Tuesday so missed most of the traffic.

Next visit will start Wednesday 11th May as I have a customer visit which is about halfway to the boat, seems rude not to work from the boat Thurs / Fri and have a good start to the weekend!  Not long to the meet at Salhouse which I’m really looking forward to.

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1 hour ago, andyg said:

Hi Neil, is Rose one of the old king line fleet that woods brought ?? I know there's still one moored at the cottages in Horning. 

Yes, was originally Malibu 1.  Number 2 is still at Woods as Queen of light 3 but has a slightly different layout and smaller saloon.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I seemed to have lapsed behind again!  The past few weeks have been busy with work and boat life, June is even busier!

Managed to capture a nice sunrise at Ranworth on the day of the meet while awakening for an old man pee!  

Arrived on board around 6:30 last night, (28th), for 8 or 9 days.  Decided to walk up to the Swan for a couple of beers and some food.  I’ve heard good things from various members and I can only agree with them. 

Currently lying in bed while the immersion heats up for a shower.  Plans for the 1st few days are to complete wiring the navigation lights and replace my front toilet headlining.FB0AC9D1-8F97-47C6-8852-668E99F74D2A.thumb.jpeg.cd03d493d5ddefb0b39b6e7967933533.jpeg

Clive suggested a couple of fabricators for a mast so I’ll have a chat with them.

I’m also working from on board so probably won’t go anywhere until late Wednesday.  Depending on tides I’ll be heading above Wroxham bridge for a day or 2.

Air draft is believed to be around 6ft 9 so we’ll see!  I may opt for a very early passage so no dayboats buzzing around and distracting me as I’ve not taken a cruiser through for about 30 years!




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I was down by Wroxham bridge yesterday and there were a lot of day boats out and about. It’s interesting if you sit having coffee while watching the minimal instruction given before they race away with too much throttle and too much wash!

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Popped up to Stalham Staithe in reverse, we’ll it’s only a couple me hundred yards so no point turning around twice!  Had a chat to Smart covers for some window covers and a winter cover for the wheelhouse.  Nice guy and his work is recommended by several of my neighbours.  He’s going to measure up next week but he has about 2 months work lined up if anyone else is thinking of having some work done.

Finished work at 4 and thought I’d try my luck at Neatishead, back up plan was to just chuck the mud weight over!  At first glance it looked full except for a gap right at the end which looked big enough!  Luckily it was and all secure just as the heavens opened.


Being close to the White Horse was too tempting, I could see the rain was about to stop so set off before the rest of the Staithe had the same idea.

No photos of the food but I had fried Brie and chutney which was definitely home made plus the portion was very generous.  Followed up by the beef of the day with mash and veg.  I also had some fruit which had been distilled down to cider!


I stayed at Neatishead until noon and in my lunch break moved onto Barton and mud weight.

The plan was to head to the Wroxham area to get under the bridge the following day.  It was a beautiful afternoon in the sun and by 7:30 was approaching the bridge, there was space at Barnes but as the height was showing 6ft 9 I thought let’s give it a go!!

I had to wait about 5 mins for a boat hovering by the Staithe and blocking the bridge, was just about to approach them when his wife appeared with their take away !!  Probably took my mind off taking a big boat under the bridge for the first time in probably 30 years!!

I had a feeling it would go well as there was no crowd!!  Reckon she will fit under at a stated 6ft 6, but I’ll set my limit to 6ft 9 until I’ve had more practice.

just celebrating with a pint in the Kings Head watching the sunset.


Need a shopping top up as Roy’s is open in the morning and then off to Coltishall


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We moored in virtually the same spot last week Neil, first time I've been able to get a space at Neatishead. The white horse is definitely my new favourite pub on the broads. We had a wonderful meal in there. The wife was very impressed by their gin offerings. If I'm not mistaken that's golden bridge on the left in your photo. 

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