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Hi, im stuart, pleased to meet you all! :wave

If you are interested, here is a few( quite a few) words for you to read about our holiday on the broads, if you are not interested, please skip down to the section that is headed 'questions', as you may be able to help. thanks.


So, about a year ago, a friend of mine suggested we went on a boating holiday on the broads, to which i laughed the idea out of the window, you see, im used to cheap all inclusive spanish type holidays. but near the end of the year he had worn me down, so despite my concerns that i would not enjoy it, and the weather would be rubbish, and it was quite expensive for only a few days, i agreed to give it a try.

We scoured the tinterweb finally deciding to hire the Siesta(2) from richardsons for the begining of nov. very late in the year but cheap!lol

the choice was made purely because we liked the exterior shape of the boat and the raised cockpit made us feel more captain like.

After making the booking, between us we spent many hours researching how it should be done, where we can go, when we can go etc.

So the plan was made, and i did start to get quite exited about going, arrghh! :pirate

We had her for four nights, and aparently we were richardsons last hirers for the year! hey, im always the last one.

When we arrived, the Siesta was waiting for us, we loaded up our luggage, and beer, of course then spoke to some people who were walking around the yard, all were very friendly. we told them what our plan was, and they seemed at first a bit dubious, but i think on the driving trial, they guy must have warmed to our competence and intricate planning as he then told us where some nice places were for us to moor on the route we wanted to travel. oh and he also gave us his broads map! a nice touch.

So, bearing in mind we had not done this before, but we had an underlining idea of how it was going to go..i like playing simulation games and have played ship sim many times, which although not massivley accurate gives an idea as to how a boat would handle, and we are both quite technical about stuff, so we do things by the book in the correct manner, so we assumed that we would be able to fullfill our plan to the minute.


DAY ONE( imagine the guy from big brother saying this, it adds to the atmosphere lol)

we left stalham at 2:30, cruised to acle and parked up at the bridge inn for the night, the hours of daylight are quite lacking at this time of the year of course, and it was almost dusk when we reached there. had a lovely meal at the bridge followed by a few werry's, i love that beer! cheersbar , then headed back to our ship for a few more in house(or should that be boat) beers, before a relativley early night zedding.


very early start, well, for a holiday anyways, up at 5am, several cups of tea were brewed and drunk, a couple of ciggarettes were smoked, which is where the first strange thing happened. As we got off the boat to have a tab, we both started to feel nauseas, while on land, we returned sharply to our vessel only to feel better , land sickness.... already???. As soon as we had enough light to see where we were going, we set sail, into the absoloutly gorgeous misty morning scene with no other boats to contend with, unfortunatly, the windscreen had a sparing coating of dew, on the inside, so freezing and shivering, i had my head out of the open sunroof to navigate in the mist, which is quite tricky to see corners in, but with caution, went well. We had to be at vauxhall bridge by about 7am ish to catch the low tides needed to get our rather tall cruiser under the two low bridges, passed them with no problems, then followed the instructional videos, past the banana pole into breydon, we were warned by the guy at richardsons that there may not be any other boats or many authority people about as it was so near the end of the season, and this was so true, as we had not met another boat for the entire journey so far, and this continued, through breydon to berney arms, which was closed, but we decided to practice mooring here so we could look good when we got into more populated areas. It turns out this wasnt the easiest place to do this, but thats hinesite for you. The flow of the river kept pushing us towards the side, so we hit the side with a bit more sidways motion than we were anticipating, and leaving the corner, with only rear prop power was just as dificult, but we did eventually leave here unscathed.

we cruised on, bypassing all the scenery and tempting pubs along the way, as per our plan, straight through to the limit of navigation in norwich by about 3pm.

A superbly manouvered turn later and we were moored just near the red lion. we were a bit uneasy as there were no other boats parked here at all.

KFC was the menu for tonight, so was a few beers and a play on the games machine in the red lion before hitting the sack.


This was to be a relaxing day, after yesterdays mammoth voyage from acle to norwich, our plan gave us the whole day to journey only as far as Reedham. So off we trotted, stopping near carrow bridge for a short stay while supplies were purchased from the close morrisons supermarket.

Delicious bacon sandwiches followed for a hearty breakfast as we set off again planning to go off piste at a few small broads in and around the brundall area which we bypassed the day before. We decided also, while we were there to make a fuel stop, as someone said, the hire companies charge a lot for their fuel, so we took a punt and done another perfect moor at the petrol station near the broom boat yard. yes, our boat had gone home!! As the boat took on fuel, we emptied ours(ahem) in the handy on shore toilets. We continued on, deciding on a whim to stop at the beachamp arms for a break and a beer(of course). Not the poshest of establishments, but it did have cold beer, pool tables and a dart board which kept us entertained for an hour or so. Back to the Siesta for more cruising, this time, non stop to reedham.

As per the rest of our holiday, there were not a lack of available mooring places when we arrived, so we parked, just passed the nelson, and de-boarded the boat once again, heading for the nelson for another frothy bevy. we walked in, then it hit us, the dog smell, eugh!! Im not a dog owner my self, but some of my frinds are, and i have never smelt that before! so we swiftly orderd our drinks, then set off outside in the cold, to watch no boats go past..brrrr.

So, not being a big fan of the famous nelson we headed to the ship inn, and found this to be much more nasal friendly and they had a games machine!!yipee.

Fish and chips from the reedham chippy was dinner, and was lovely, by the way. An early start was planned for the next day in order to navigate yarmouth's low bridges again, so a quiet night aboard the siesta was had.


The weather was awfull that night, wind, rain, all thrown our way, The morning was much less windy, but the rain continued and compared to the previous days of cold, but sunny with light variable winds, it was a much less enjoyable experiance. Again, we had steamed up windows to contend with, and the rain prevented us from utalising the sunroof, so one of us was on kitchen roll window patrol for the next few hours. We passed breydon and yarmouth with little problem, The current by breydon bridge was a bit unnerving, but caused little problem for us now seasoned proffesionals.

We headed down the rather boring strech of river between yarmouth and stokesby. Our on board supplies, were rather lacking by this point so we stopped at the 'last shop before yarmouth' the big sign told us it was open, so we moored here and went to the.... closed shop! :evil:

Stomachs making thundery sounds, we headed off again in search of the next shop we could find, and it happened to be opposite the bridge inn at acle, we bought some supplies here then bobbed off towards potter heigham.

We knew our trusty home on the water couldnt go under potter heigham bridge, but it was such a beautifull approach, was well worth the visit. we moored just before the bridge, turning in the area before the bridge that says no turning. :norty: To be fair, i didnt notice this till we had disembarked the boat, so sorry if it upset all the other (total count zero) boats at the time of the incident.we went into the local store, quite big, and discounted. purchased a few more supplies, before not being able to find our way out of the shop....surely we are not the only idiots that got lost in there??? are we???? is the exit that obvious??? we didnt think so.

The burger trailer across the road produced our lunch, we ate this while perusing the boats at Herbert woods boat yard.

We whizzed off again towards the thurne mouth not yet knowing which way we would go... horning or back to acle??? We eventually turned right, heading for horning.

This wasnt in our plan, but by now, we had gotten a good idea of exactly how far we could go in a set time, but we decided to do some mooring practice in anticipation of taking the boat back the next day to the boat yard( we wanted the staff there to be impressed). Then turned around and headed back to acle, as we enjoyed it there the first night, we knew it would be a safe bet, and we wouldnt have so far to travel the next morning. So bridge inn for dinner and beers, we also noted this time the arcade, which had a games machine!! Was a bit dodgy though, only accepted one in every two quids we put in it, so ended up being quite expensive, but entertaining none the less.

i didnt get anything out of the grabby machines either, but then i never have done before, so nothing new there then.


After another earlyish night, we had an earlyish start to get back to stalham by the designated time, luckily for us, the nice lady at richardsons told us that as we were the last hirers, it wouldnt matter if we were a touch late, so we made a slow cruise in the drizzle arriving at the yard at about 10am(ish). this is where the practice came in, they appeared to have made an obstacle course for us to navigate, before leaving us the smallest space to rest up our now very familliar vessel. Taking it easy, we passed the long sticking out boats with only a few inches clearence on each side, then pulled off the best mooring of the holiday reversing into the tightest of spaces without touching any other boat. Perfect, unfortunatly, only the cctv saw this as there was no-one about! Boo, all that tallent wasted. Anyways, we had tidyed up the boat on route, and done the finishing touches when we arrived, it looked truly ship shaped, when we disembarked for the final time, and yes it was a sad moment.

The thought of going back to work dawned on me as i remeniced on the holiday that had gone by so quickely, and yes, i absoloutly loved it. i am now a fully paid up member of the boatists!

We have booked to go again in march. Only this time we have opted to try out emperorB(C45) from Leboat.

Before going this time, I have a few questions, some technical for you guys to hopefully answer.....


1) We experienced steamed up windows, and the front birth was dripping with damp in the mornings, is this normal? the weather was definitly partly to blame, as the mist showed a very moist air was present, but the lack of window demisters was a big oversite in my mind, do any boats have demisters? or are the windows not normally prone to misting up??

2) The siesta had warm air heating, now i appreciate that this was run off the batteries, and didnt last long with the engine shut down, but the smell of fumes when it was on was awfull, is this normal, or did we have a faulty heater? really, it was the engine fume equivelent of the nelsons doggy smell, we all stank of it by the end of the trip!

3)The Leboat Emporer B(C45), has anyone hired this boat before? whats it like to handle.... not as crisp as the siesta i assume, is it quiet? what engine/power does it have? is it as nice inside as the pictures suggest? anyone have any videos of it?


Thanks for reading, if you are still awake that is, just thought i would share this story for others who may want to do the same as we did for the first time.

if you have any comments or questions, i would be only to happy to answer them for you.

and yes, i would definatly reccomend a boating holiday, try it, go on, you WILL like it!!

Stuart :wave

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OK, I’ve woken up now so can make some attempt at an answer, demisters are not all that common on older private boats let alone hire craft and misty screens can be an issue, a micro fibre cloth and ventilation is the answer.

As for the heating, I would sincerely hope that it was not fumes actual but rather a musty smell caused by damp soft furnishings and carpets becoming warm by your description of a wet dog smell.

However on that note, never continue to occupy a space if you suspect that the warm air heater is bringing fumes into the cabin, though not as bad as petrol fumes (higher C0) the C02 and other gasses are not exactly designed for breathing. :naughty:

Welcome to the forum BTW and have a great time in March.

I'm certain Dan will have some meaningful answers re specific hire boats.

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hi antares, i must have fallen asleep myself, as what i meant was, the fumes smell on the boat was as potent as the dog smell was in the nelson, wasnt musty, was definatly fumes, but, fortunatly, we are still alive after, but it was quite a stink. i was thinking maybe a pipe had popped of? and was inducting engine air???( not sure what the setup of the heater is).


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Hi Stoo

Welcome to the forum.

As I think you have realised yourself a strong smell of fumes in the cabin is not normal - you might expect or not worry at a slight wiff of fumes at startup perhaps but no more. If you have even a concern then the thing to do is, naturally, ring the boatyard, they'll come out and fix it.... chances are whatever has gone wrong is something they'll be used to and many problems would be swiftly sorted.

I've always liked the Le Boat Emperors (or C45's as they used to be known). They were built around 1993-1996 - so not the absolute height of luxury or newness today, but good solid boats built to a good standard with a good layout and use of space and a nice sociable saloon/galley. I think the nature of promotional pictures sell the product concerned in the best light possible of course so will it look as nice as the brochure, well possibly not quite, but if you are looking for a mid-range or just above, decent boat then I doubt you'd be disappointed. The engines are mounted aft so they are relatively quiet and to me they are good Broads boats - with the added benefit of low air draft to help your chances of getting under the bridges, which could be a nice plus point as there's some nice places that exist under bridges such as Wroxham that you couldn't get to with a Siesta and are worth cruising. The Emperors will handle well for their size and you have a good vantage point from steering in the centre(ish).

We find a very tiny amount of shampoo on a cloth for wiping the windows helps slow down or stop then re-misting over cheers

Enjoy your holiday


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