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Good Morning

Just joined your excellent forum. I am planning my first ever Broads Cruiser Hire for the first two weeks of this September. Seems to still be plenty of availability. I have a few questions but will take a longer look through the forum before asking them as I expect a lot of answers will already be within the forum. There will just be two of us holidaying - me and my mother (I'm 36 and she's a youthful 66) so we'll need a boat with two separate cabins. BFN - Bye for now.

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Welcome aboard..

A few simple points come to mind, before you do go delving through the wealth of information on this forum

1) Please remember that with only two of you someone will need to get off and tie the boat up,

and usually the other one will be at the helm (driving)...

So if your youthful mother is agile then by all means let her do the jumping off and tieing up

(if the driver puts the boat in the correct position then mooring is easy)...

The alternative is to get her to do the driving when coming in to moor and free you up for the jumping.

(Make sure that she drives during the handover from the boat yard and that it is enough for her to be confident when mooring)

It is a common sight on the Broads for the "skipper" to do the driving, and expect the other half to struggle with lines etc,

when a simple bit of role reversal would make things a lot easier. I normally go sailing with a younger crew, but he has a hip problem, so when we are mooring he drives and I jump.

The last time I took my parents out on the Broads I swore an oath that :

"From now on I will always have at least two people under 70 on the boat",

at 90 and 85 they weren't too good at the driving or the jumping!

(Dad did comment that the last time anyone let him steer a boat was June 5th 1944!)

You can do everything single-handed but it is not that easy,

if in doubt you can always invite a friend to come with you

(after all the hire price is for the whole boat)

2) Small boats tend to be cheaper, but space can be nice to have.

With two of you, you could get by with a 2+1 or 2+2

(1 double or twin cabin and one or two convertible berths in the saloon)

but I would say that you would be better to avoid having to use the saloon if possible

(the bedding has to be stowed in the other cabin during the day and it is drag continually setting it up again)

so you are probably going to be looking at a boat that has 4 - 6 berths

in order to get each of you your own space.

3) If you are unsure of anything before you go ASK, and someone here will be glad to explain it.

If you are unsure of anything when going through the handover, ASK,

as it is too late once they have jumped off and waved you away.

If you are unsure of anything after leaving the yard, ASK,

the other boaters around you will all have been novices themselves once.

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Many thanks for the useful info, especially re. Mooring. My mother will be able to handle mooring although I think she may enjoy taking the helm too so it will probably be good for her to receive instruction during the handover.

I think we would prefer two separate cabins. Budget wise we can stretch to something like a 38 foot Richardson's (open to using any yard - just using this as an illustration) Blue Horizon, Highland Gem, Antigua etc etc which all have suitable cabins - they all have slightly different configurations which is where it gets a little complicated choice wise!

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Hello DM,

Welcome to the forum.

As well as the boat cabin arrangements you need to determine what style of boat you wish to hire, location Northern or Southern Rivers and Broads.

I suggest that you stick to the northern broads if youhave not been on tidal rivers before. On the northern side there is not as much variation in tidal levels until you get below Stokesby going towards Yarmouth.

With regards to the style of boat, if you pick a higher boat so you can see over the reeds then you more than likely will get caught by the wind and are unable to get under Wroxham, Potter Heigham bridges. So one of the things to check is the air draft of the boat you hire. Here are the average high tide heights of the bridges you may encounter:-

Ludham 8 ft 7 inches (note one side of the bridge the marker is 3 inches in difference)

Potter Heigham 7 foot

Wroxham 7 foot 3 inches

The hire company you choose will tell you if you have to use the pilots at Potter Heigham and Wroxham, most hire companies insist that you use the pilot and the pilot will say if you can go through the bridge and also get back.

If you can not get under these bridges you can always hire a dayboat.

Have a safe and happy visit to the Broads.



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