Jump to content

Itinerary suggestions please


Recommended Posts

We have just joined this forum as we are complete novices to Broads Cruising :wave

We have hired a 4 berth cruise from Alpha Craft in Brundal (The Rapide) from mid September for four nights and would love to hear from you experienced folk on what to do in this time.

We are OAPs (four of us) but are reasonably fit although one can not walk great distances - also we have ''done'' Norwich on a number of occasions so looking at going the other direction along the Yare.

All ideas gratefully accepted plus any useful tips for us Septuagenarians :Stinky

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Ted,

Welcome to the forum.

If you have not gone to the New Inn at Rockland St Mary it may be worth going there for your first night after you take over the boat, if you wish to go further you could moor at Reeham Ferry or turn off the river just before there and go to Loddon great little village four pubs all serving food and a great cafe just opposite the staithe.

Beccles is a good place to stop and you could stop at Somerleyton for lunch at the Dukes Head just up the path from the moorings.

Beccles yacht station has good facilities the mooring fee is £7.60 if memory serves me correctly you can also ask for an electric hook up and purchase shower tokens from the staff there.

Oulton Broad yacht station offers similar facilities.

Have a good holiday, take it all slow and easy and enjoy.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard Ted.

I've had a couple of 4 day trips out from Alphacraft and found them a very good company to hire from.

I had Spitfire and Hurricane and must admit that I can't remember having actually seen Rapide "in the flesh".

(You might find that my "Holiday Tale" of my trip on Hurricane will give you some ideas as to your itinery

http://www.thenorfolkbroads.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=10391 ) but I didn't get up to Rockland Staithe and have already added the New Inn as a potential stop for the next trip "Down South"

42ft and four berths, wow you won't be short of space.

She does have a bow-thruster which will make live a bit easier for you.

But my biggest worry looking at the photos of her are how easy it will be for you to get around on the deck, especially up onto the bow to handle the bow-line. The rear superstructure looks like it might make this a bit tricky if you are in any way mobility impaired. (Which you can of course ignore if you did the London Marathon this year...)

As for accessable pubs:

Alphscraft's yard is a long way from anywhere..

What I did on my two trips was to tie up at a pub on the last night and "pop in" to the yard early on the final day.

I used the Beauchamps Arms which is a bit down-stream of Brundle but only a short hop to get in by the 9am deadline.

But you could use the newly re-opened Coldham Hall which is almost opposite the dyke up to the boatyard (we had a forum "do" there last year and I see another one is planned for October 5/6/7th this year)

The Beauchamps is a bit more down market than the Coldham Hall and its prices reflect this.

For our little excursion we overnighted at Reedham Ferry, Waveney River Centre, Beccles, Beauchamps Arms.

A few little word of warning though, as you say that you are complete novices to Broads Cruising.

On the southern rivers the tidal currents can be a quite fierce. (Two or three feeet of rise and fall, and running at anything up to four or five knots..)

So always remember to come into a mooring against the tide, even if you have to turn around down-tide of it and come back to it. That gives you maximum control for the lowest forward speed and lets you come in nice and slowly, especially with the help of the bow thruster.

Crew ashore and the boat is tied up. Time to go to the pub.

But what is the current state of the tide and have you left enough slack in the lines to allow for tidal movement.

Remember to read up the concept of "spring lines" in the skipper's manual,

i.e. fitting extra lines to stop the boat moving along the river bank with the tide.

Usually from bow and stern cleats to posts further down the boat.

Great so you are now in and moored up, but what happens in the morning?

Your boat is pointing one way but where is the tide going.

Ok so remember that it is best to leave the mooring up-tide, even if you need to come-out backwards.

Try to leave down-tide and you will probably clout the boat in front of you as the tide will take you down onto her....

If you are going to leave forwards you have the thruster to push the bow out whilst the prop counters the tide,

but how do you kick the stern out to clear the boat behind when going out backwards against the tide?

Remember that bow-spring that you tied on last night..

Well the boat is being pushed forwards by the stream and is held by the Stern-line and the Bow-spring .

and hence the Stern-spring and Bow-line are both not doing anything and can come off.

Rig the Stern-line as a slip (around the post and back to the cleat) so that you can handle it from the boat.

Now do the same with the Bow-spring.

Ready to go? Ok cast off the stern line and she will be pushed forward against the Bow-spring by the tide.

Give her a little bit of forward power as well and the spring will not let the bow go forwards but will make the bow pivot around the end of the line.

And "hey presto" the bow goes in towards the quay and the stern goes out into the river.

Go astern now, and slip the spring as you do so and you are no longer connected to the bank.

Give her a quick burst away from the quay on the bow-thruster as she goes astern and she will actually go sideways out into the river.

There you go and who said that you were novices!

(That manouver known as "springing off".

if you dont have a bow thruster and want to leave forwards then going astern against the Stern-spring will kick the bow out for you. This is especially useful when the tide is pushing you into the bank)

(I did another snazzy little manouver with Spitfire when she was bows into the stream...

Slow ahead to hold her against the tide. Slip both the lines. Rudder hard over to turn the bow into the bank and a give her a quick burst of more throttle and the rudder kicks the stern out and tries to push the bow in. As it does so a quick burst away from the bank with the thruster and hey we are going side-ways! Straighten her up and you are off down the river with a crew looking at you and saying "How the H**l did you do that on your own!")

Have a nice trip!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Ted,

I can understand the ladies in your party not wanting to cook onboard, I tend to be the galley slave if we choose to stop in.

The New Inn is well worth a visit we were impressed when we called there for the first time in June, it also gets praise on a number of Broads forums. The staithe at Rockland St Mary has moorings for around 8 to 10 boats some with powerhook ups and there is a water point.

We always try and moor at the Ferry Inn at Reedham Ferry, the food we find is always very good and the added bonus is that even out of hours the pub allows boats moored to use their toilets & showers (very clean) by access through the side door, yes there is a mooring fee at night but well worth the small charge.

I can spend hours just watching the ferry go forwards and backwards across the river.

As I said Loddon is well worth a visit, the 3 miles or soon the River Chet is narrow in places but safe for two boats to pass. The two pubs we have been to are the Kings Head, turn left out of the staithe car park the pub is less than 100 yards on the left. The Restaurant in the back of the pub does a good range of home cooked meals but leave some room for the dessert. If you turn right out of the car park about 400 yards and turn left is The White Horse Inn we had a very good meal there also in June. The other pubs in Loddon are the Swann and The Angel, the fish and chip is Chinese but is excellent, likewise the cafe opposite the car park.

The Dukes Head at Somerleyton is good but is more expensive but not by much, if the weather is good there is plenty of tables outside.

Beccles town is a tidy walk from the yacht station but when you get there, there is plenty of shops, pubs and cafes, my advice would be to do your shopping and then stop there for a meal.

Oulton Broad yacht station is a good place to moor and by all accounts the recently reopened Wherry Hotel carvery is worth a visit. There are a number of pubs also offering meals and I have been recommended a restaurant just behind the Wherry Hotel.

I hope you enjoy it all.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

We really are grateful for all the comments and suggestions although I must say that I am surprised to hear about all the ''worries'' concerning tides! Living on the Thames (in an apartment to the side actually) we are fully aware of the power of the tide - here it rises and falls 4.5 metres and the currents are ferocious! BUT only being passengers on board the Thames Clippers (river bus) we haven't actually had to ''deal'' with it, although a couple of years back we saw a small sailing dingy smashed to pieces when it hit a moored barge and the sailor had to be airlifted to hospital after the lifeboat rescued him.

Boat size? do I gather from some comments that the Rapide is perhaps a bit on the large size at 42' by 12' ? I guess I will soon find out! We wanted a boat that would give two couples separate cabins with on suite facilities plus a good size sitting and dining area for evening chats - perhaps I have concentrated too much on the ''living'' side and not enough on the ''boating'' side :oops: Too late now as we have paid in full.

Perhaps I should have stuck to ''rides'' on the tall ships currently moored outside our living room window. cheersbar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr Goodal_M1... could you explain 'up tide' and 'down tide' please? is Up tide with the current 'coming at you'?

Yes, it is.

Just look at the current and always leave into it, whether in reverse or forward gear.

Similarly mooring... moor into the current (which gives you slower speed over the ground).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We really are grateful for all the comments and suggestions although I must say that I am surprised to hear about all the ''worries'' concerning tides!

Boat size? do I gather from some comments that the Rapide is perhaps a bit on the large size at 42' by 12' ? I guess I will soon find out!

Perhaps I should have stuck to ''rides'' on the tall ships currently moored outside our living room window. cheersbar

Now those are real boats, but a lot of work is required to sail them.

Sorry if I went on too much for you about tides, but they are one of the things that novice cruisers fall foul of frequently, and I wanted to get the message across. Fore-warned is fore-armed. The way that the tide rips through the London bridges, especially those with several arches always amazes me, but my only time on the Thames has been upstream where things are quieter.

Don't worry about the size of Rapide, if you wanted space you have really got that, and from the interior shots on Alphacraft's web-site she looks as if she is well fitted out (and I wouldn't expect anything else from Alphacraft)

Personally I have found myself at times even considering their Brabazon, the largest hire-cruiser on the Broads at 60' x 12' (the maximum size for new builds is 45' x 12', but she pre-dated that restriction), as we normally have three or four adults and 5 kids aboard a 44' boat and find it cramped for space especially in the saloon area.

Rapide''s saloon looks massive!

Have a good trip.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Martin - those tall ships also have mooring problems !! BUT they have the advantage of having a couple of small tenders/tugs to help them and they need them when the tide is in full flow :Stinky .

BTW there are 15 of them and they are running two hours trips from here ( The Royal Arsenal at Woolwich) to Greenwich by the Cutty Sark and back.

Oh and just to add I (we) are really grateful for all the comments, tips and suggestions - please keep them coming :teddy:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

for a good cup of tea and or a fried all day breakfast a trip up the Chet to Loddon is worth the effort.

Stop off at Rosie Lees tea room, I recently stopped in there after some good feedback and can confirm

how good it is. You will get a warm welcome and the tea is superb with free hot water top ups there

is no scrimping.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

4.5 metre tides? lightweights! Try the wash...

Ignore the reedham ferry as it's damn expensive, go to the ship at reedham and get a superb meal and a very friendly pub, moor at the quay as the ships moorings are not that good(too close to the bridge), rosie lee's at loddon is superb for breakfast, caroline is a lovely lady that just can't do enough for you.

Highly reccomended are the ferry house @ surlingham and the reedcutters @ cantley, avoid the lord nelson @ reedham unless you like the smell of dogs and all they produce...(and crap beer)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Sponsors

    Norfolk Broads Network is run by volunteers - You can help us run it by making a donation

  • Create New...

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.