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Whats new for 2012..


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Whatho Everyone,

As the new season appears after another long & painful winter I thought it might be good to see what's new for 2012.... I was thinking hireboats & holiday companies of course, but I suppose the idea could be extended!

Saw the new "Fair Prince" at Wroxham in January, and good to know that Brinks, Swancraft & Ferry all have their versions of the same design to catch up with too...


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Richardsons have Broadsman 3 new for 2012, and also Carousel nearing completion with another later in the year, plus the Far Horizon for Acle.

The hull stripings that have been disappearing over the last year or two on some of their older classes have also been joined by some crisper colour schemes, and there seems less yellow and more white. They look more modern and fresh to my mind, though the orange (the colour scheme that I am personally alergic to!) lives on a bit longer I think :lol:

Herbert Woods have been making noise about a new livery, so I look forward to seeing that - I'm hoping it's not the same one they made noise about last season? :naughty:

Does anyone know of more changes that we can look forward to seeing this year?! cheersbar







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i like the broadsman compared to that faircraft build ....

i hear HB are brining a double decker tour boat to there base selling the old single level one which i found rather nice up for sale on waterside


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i like the broadsman compared to that faircraft build Jonny


I thought Clive said the newer Broadman boats wouldn't have the dome aerial, but Broadman 3 seems to still have it.


I thinkthat Faircraft build is actually a fitting out of Alphacraft's "mini Vulcan" mouldings.

Hull is the same as their Barracuda, superstructure is a mix of bits of the Vulcan and other boats in their range.

I saw a couple of them down in Brundall at Easter last year when I took the Hurricane out.



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This is Swan Renown under construction in December. Superb fit out as you would expect from Swancraft. Looks a cracking boat, I’d love to hire it but priced as a 4 berth a bit out of my league sadly!


Do the yards price boats by the number of berths?

Does a 36 or 44 foot boat with two large cabins come cheaper than the same hull with three smaller ones?

Is it that people with larger crews are prepared to pay more if the price per person stays the same?

Some folks might, but there is usually only one or two wage-earners picking up the bill, and those with larger families will already be counting the cost of that extra child..


There seem to be quite a lot of new boats coming into the fleets now and some old timers being retired.

Unfortunately the new ones will probably all be high-spec boats rather than "budget" versions.

They are nice but their pricing reflects this, so I reckon I will be still going for the older ones whilst they are still around.

But then as Clive's threads have shown in the past you can take an older boat and refit it to look almost like new without breaking the bank and Dan's photos above show that quite a lot of "cosmetic" changes have happened over the winter.

Out on Fair Freedom at the end of the month, built in 1972 I believe, and still going strong after a significant refit two years ago.

There are some yards that are moving their older hulls up-market a bit, e.g. bow-thrusters are probably going to become more and more standard soon.

(Freedom please note, Fair would be a lot easier to handle in tight spaces if she had one...)

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  • 4 weeks later...

hi. just seen some pics of the new royal light from h.w. i really like the look of the upgraded sun deck and new seating area. does anyone know if this was done by h.w or is this a mod to the design by alpha ??. looks a much better social ares now, dont like all that garden furiture on the roof. lol.

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Saw Brinks Quartet out on the river yesterday - looked a nice looking boat, look forward to seeing the Swancraft version too.

Just looked at Royale Light's page now ..those branded sun lounger type cushions etc on the deck make it look a bit pretencious to my mind but the boat does look to be a good quality fitout and its good to see them building such good boats.... a definate quality level up from what they were building say four or five years back.

The large windows look distinctive too

http://www.herbertwoods.co.uk/hirecruis ... hp?vid=110


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Martin, Fair Freedom would definitely be easier to handle with a bowthruster, unfortunately the Bounty 44 hull and interior layout doesn't provide very much space to fit one, and finding one that will work with a tunnel as long as would be required can be a bit tricky. There's also the issue that the engine and batteries are at the stern, so very thick electrical cables or hydraulic pipework would need to be run all the way to the front of the boat, at least 35 feet.

As far as new builds being towards the luxury end of the market, that's because the cost difference between one with a high-end spec and one with a basic spec is probably only around 10%, but both will cost the same to toll, licence, berth, and maintain. The higher specification boat will probably also let better, and for significantly more money. I know that's a problem for people who want to go boating on a budget, but as putting new builds into a fleet is a major investment by any yard, it's understandable that they're going to go with the boats that generate the best returns for their business.

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That's interesting Clive, if you don't mind me asking, where is the bowthruster fitted, and is it hydraulic or electric?

Unfortunately, I was never involved in the rebuild of Fair Freedom, although I was working at Freedom at the time I was always keeping things ticking over on the yard while Pete and the others were busy in one of your sheds.

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  • 1 month later...

Just got back from an enjoyable few days pootling round the Northern Broads.

Good to see some more of the new craft and changes for 2012, along with some other things that are "new" as in a change of ownership or similar. Some of these things I've commented on before but I thought I'd add a few pictures about it that I took.

Horizon Craft: Good to see their new Far Horizon on the water. Looked superb, though too tall for everyones taste's I suppose. Best for a few days perhaps chugging round the favorite places. I wonder if some more new boats might find their way to Acle over the next few years. Also good to see one of the Mystic Horizon's out, looking immaclate that has joined them for 2012 (previously one of the Siesta class from Richardsons)

Ferry Marina: Saw their new Amber Emblem out. Thought the windows looked quite smart, and nice to have little differences like that between the fleets running the same designs. Would be interested to see inside, as the layout looks a bit unusal on paper. Also liked the understated colour scheme.... just a single blue stripe to the hull rather than being accompanied with their usual additional thick blue band.

Their Bright Emblem has joined from Topcraft (was their Princess Royal), looked unsual for not being in their full livery but I expect that will change, maybe over the winter? Think they have done some internal works such as new teak/holly type flooring that has become so popular and does look smart.

Their Ivory Emblem has also joined from Topcraft (was their Blue Kestrel) and looked good.

Barnes Brinkcraft: They have two ex Topcraft Topliner Royale classes running as Brinks Topliner class. Good to see some of these unusual boats continue in hire. Saw another of their new 35ft 'Quartet class.

Le Boat: They have opened up their Somerleyton base for hiring for 2012 and brought back some craft from Europe to base here. I called in and had a look. Good to see another southern base option, I hope it lets well and continues. Interesting to see some additional styles of boat opened up in the process in the form of Corvette, Continentale & Countess classes, with some also running from Horning.

Richardsons: A good number of their boats seem to have taken the light blue colour scheme over the winter, replacing some brighter colours. I much prefer this, and on good looking boats such as Soprano especially I think I would be more likely to hire them now. Good to see the broadsman class continuing to grow, and Carousel, the 4/6 berth looks like the new flagship of the fleet to me - great layout and interior. Good to see they now have 4 Opal Gem's and 4 Astral Gem's, though sad to see they have sold a Broadland Saturn!

Herbert Woods: They're Royale Light looked good, though personally I think the centre window is spoilt in looks by being just that bit oversized. Would be interesting to see if this has made the internal saloon dramatically different/lighter though.

Here's a few snaps of the things I spotted...



















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has clive brought a job lot of blue paint dan... they do look so much better in the white and blue. the new rickos boats are stunning imho and its a big step up in standard for them,and its great to see. cant help thinking that the reception at le boat, somerleyton looks like the one they had at wroxham.. how did they get that over that blasted bridge ?? love the new hw alpha mould the re working of the sun deck is great.

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has clive brought a job lot of blue paint dan... they do look so much better in the white and blue. the new rickos boats are stunning imho and its a big step up in standard for them,and its great to see. cant help thinking that the reception at le boat, somerleyton looks like the one they had at wroxham.. how did they get that over that blasted bridge ?? love the new hw alpha mould the re working of the sun deck is great.

Perhaps Andy, perhaps! :grin:

Here's a couple more that have changed colourings for 2012.

The reception does have a similar look to it, but was there already I think. If not they did well to strap that to the roof of a Countess and still get under the Yarmouth bridges!

Take care,




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Here's Little Gem when we hired her in 2005

Looks better now.

Makes a good before and after Bill!

Nice boats those Silverline 40s.... when you think the design has been around for 25 years... the design has stood up well!


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