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Day Boat Time


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Friday we treated ourselves and some family to a few hours out on the river. Given it was a special occasion we treated ourselves to one of NBD's new electric day boats. It was a great experience ... even if the weather had forgotten it's July. 

Firstly a big thumbs up to NBD for the handover. This was the third yard we've ever hired a day boat from and it was a much better experience than we've had before. They made sure we all put our buoyancy aids on before we got on board and the controls were explained to us. Not much to know with one of these boats ... you put the "key" into the slot, press the button and hold it down, the display lights up and you're ready to go. The usual control for forward and reverse ... but be mindful that it steers in reverse. I would definitely need some practice to get used to that given my years of helming holiday cruisers which most definitely don't do this.

The young man gave us advice and ran over the rules of the river, asked whether we had a route in mind - there is a map in the boat. As expected they asked us not to go into Hoveton Little Broad because of the weed. We were reminded about which side of the river to be on, to make sure our ropes didn't fall over the back, and how to pass or otherwise negotiate other craft. He had a checklist on a handheld device of some sort which we had to sign before we left. Compared to what we've had before, and what I've witnessed at one other day boat place, I thought this was very good.

The boat was clean, there was a toilet under the bow had we needed it, and it all worked really well. It's definitely a strange experience when you put the boat into neutral ... and there's complete silence. You think you've switched it off for a moment, but you haven't.

We headed to Ranworth via a little pootle around Salhouse Broad. Arriving there about 11.15ish we got moored on the end of the side, a nice little spot. We had considered the dayboat dyke but I'm not sure that we wouldn't have been larger than the dayboats they want in there. The ranger didn't ask us to move so we must have been fine where we were.

I immediately spied that we were next to Norfolk Lady so had a lovely chat with Malcolm and Debbie. It was great to meet up having corresponded via the forum and Facebook for a long time now. Malcolm I hope the weather picks up and you have a great time afloat.

Talking of the weather, we had a lovely picnic lunch before setting back off towards Wroxham, mindful that we needed to be back by 3. We passed lots of dayboats still coming down from that direction but had no traffic behind us all the way back. My guests both expertly negotiated sailing boats who were tacking with very little wind at the time. They were both very patient and I was able to sit back and relax while they happily took the helm ... even with the rain which was getting heavier. There's plenty of covers on the boat and a small windscreen wiper, so we were fine. It was shame that the rain and wind were then set in for the rest of the day. But we had booked pizzas to pick up from the Monzu van a little later, which all went down a treat.

A really enjoyable day and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these boats and the service we received.


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19 minutes ago, SwanR said:

The usual control for forward and reverse ... but be mindful that it steers in reverse. I would definitely need some practice to get used to that given my years of helming holiday cruisers which most definitely don't do this.

Out of interest does anyone know what the drive set up is?  Wondering if they have just plonked a Torqeedo outboard in the back hence the steering in reverse.  

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It didn’t make much noise at all. Much quieter than a traditional diesel powered boat. We were probably going with the tide on our way out as I noticed we needed a bit more oomph on the way back. But the boat handled it perfectly well and was fun to take out. I think if we ever want to take a day boat again we will definitely be looking for electric.

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I enjoyed our experience on an electric boat from Whispering Reeds a few years ago, so quiet in comparison to the normal engines. The only downside was that it the smaller day boats are quite 'snug' at the helm. Quite a squeeze, but I imagine that's the case on all the day boats that size, whether electric or not.

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