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Broads Boats Decks flat all the way along, or dropping down towards the back


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Having hired for a number of years before buying into Moonlight Shadow, most of the boats we hired were the same as Star Gem (which we hired twice) with the walk arounds level all the way around.  I saw a few with the deck that went lower towards the back of the boat, but not too many.


Now we are in MS which has the lowered back I can see the benefits as depending on the tides etc you can generally find an area to disembark that does not involve too much of a 'jump' up or down.


So now I am wondering, why were more boats not made like MS and Absolute Freedom?  Was it thought to be a safety thing or just that the 'flat' ones were easier to build.


On a totally different thought.  What happens to all the moulds that have been used to make boats over the years?  Is there a big 'mould in the sky storage yard' like you see in America for all the old aircraft?





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Its all about styles and good ideas! we have cut the transoms out of quite a few older boats in recent years to make access easier,

The old moulds generally get cut up when they are out of production as they look tatty and take up space, you can buy old moulds for the cost of the transport as they are a liability due to the cost of breaking them up, the main reason for old moulds still being about is if the owner has nothing to do with the land and wont pay to have them removed!

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Is it not also, that on sea going hulls the higher the bow of the boat allows for less changes of water coming over the decks. I "think" (thinking of the silver classic here) that broads builders copied this design because it looked good (and still does in my opinion) therefore the boat had greater chances to be hired because people wanted "sealooking" boats then. 


I also think that the broads hulls where all designed to ideally have an air draft of under 6.6. for potter and wroxham hence to get more space in at the stern then had to lower the decks down (the under water profile didn't really matter - although they still have to be careful because potter bridge is actually round), (The bow height never really mattered as you would never have a 6.6 flair (although some appear to had got close!).   Obviously the styling of the bathtubs was different and they went for an all round view with no "stepped up bow" and i guess its far quicker to mold and make up a flat square superstructure.

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My thoughts are that the very gentle slope towards the stern was originally a safety aspect.


if you were unfortunate enough to get caught in a downpour water ran off the stern and did not collect in puddles along the length of the boat. This kept the decks clear and in the days of all wooden boats did not cause any unrequired swelling and possible warping in the superstructure.


I remember back in the 60's after overnighting next to the bridge at Reedham on a Caribbean, I noticed puddles on the deck when we opened the curtains in the morning. Realising that this should not be we investigated and found that during the night with the fall then rise of the tide the rubber rub-rail had caught under the buttress of the bridge. When we finally managed to release it (with help from several other boaters and a long plank of wood) it seemed that several gallons of water were added to the river behind the boat.

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