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Today I became a grandmother.  OK, that's not exactly earth-shattering news, (certainly not to anyone else, although I'm ridiculously pleased and proud) but it has made me take stock and I've decided that it's high time I brushed up on my boat handling skills.  You see. although this year's holiday will be our 12th time on the Broads (we've also been on the Caledonian and the Italian waterways), it's always been my husband (hereinafter referred to as the Ancient Mariner or AM for short ) who has done what he is pleased to call the 'hard work' of manoeuvering the boat, whilst all I have to do is 'step off and tie the boat up'.  I'll give him his due, when put like that it does sound easy, doesn't it?  All I can say is - you try 'just stepping off' a boat  when the water is lapping over the quay, there's a Force 8 wind blowing and your legs are so short that you could easily make a skirt (albeit a mini) out of the material you have to cut off the bottom of every pair of trousers you buy.


Now, I'm not saying the AM doesn't allow me to steer now and again. He's even left me alone at the helm on a long 'easy' stretch of the river in order to have a shower, although I can only suppose he did so with the window, wide open, so quickly did he shout instructions should any other craft come within about 50 feet of us. (My profound apologies to anyone who, out for a pleasant day's cruising, has been left traumatised by the sight of a wet, naked man on a passing boat leaping about, shouting and gesticulating wildly). However, I've never, ever brought a boat in to moor and I would really love to master both side and stern on mooring. Could anyone suggest somewhere quiet where I would be able to practise in private without the risk of all the world and his wife suddenly appearing from nowhere and posting gloating videos on Youtube?  We will be visiting both the Northern and Southern Broads.


My new grandson will be taking his first Broads holiday with his parents in September. Given the rapid way children absorb knowledge, I am confident that in a couple of years time he will know everything there is to know about handling a boat, (if only in theory) and if I am to retain any self-respect I really need to acquire these skills as soon as possible.

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If you are "down south" then I would suggest Bramerton Common might be a good spot during the day. Nice wide river and, usually, a couple of lengthy stretches of boat free moorings.There is also quite a bit of space at Cantley although you will start to feel the effect of the tides here.


There are also stretches of moorings on the Waveney such as Somerleyton but, again, tides will be pushing you around some.

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Morning.  First of all congratulations on the new arrival.


I relate to this very well.  We have been coming to the broads since the mid 80's and although I do steer regularly rarely do the mooring.


Bramerton is a good wide area and the common is a good place to use for side on mooring practice as there is a good range of tidal flow on the river. It is getting more popular now that there are more electric points.


On the north, something to consider would be Ranworth Island which is stern on and is normally fairly quiet.







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Hello Kadensa,
I agree with Trevor that your best bet would be on the Southern Broads, Bramerton Common is ideal for side on mooring practice, the same can be said for Commissioners Cut, if this is empty you can practice stern, port & starboard mooring.
Loddon is ideal for stern mooring at the staithe and the journey down whilst narrow is good practice and is among my favourite places on the Broads. Side mooring can be practiced at Somerleyton as Trevor suggests.
You could go on the River Waveney, there are a number of 24 hour moorings (North Cave, Worlingham Staithe & Aldeby Hall Staithe) going towards Beccles to practice those side moorings and you can go into the Beccles Yacht Station for the stern mooring.
Have a look at this site for all the 24 hour mooring locations:-


I tend to do all the mooring manoeuvres, but we both step off the boat to moor up, Tan usually is on the back and I step off of the side down the mooring ladders.

At all other times; unless it is raining or there are unruly yachts (only happens occasionally) or we are going under the bridges at Yarmouth, Tan has the helm. 


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Alan with regardsto the River Chet, I have to say apart from two bends, the river is much wider now since all the dredging has been done, off topic anno. For learning to moor stern on I would deffo try Ranworth Island for that one and side on also if its quiet. No tides to contend with maybe some wind though. We all had to learn at some point, so go on try it there.


cheers Iain.

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Thank you everyone for your good wishes and for the excellent advice.  Sorry I haven't replied sooner, but it's been a busy time this past week.  I remembered that when we went cruising in Italy, Leboat sent us a dvd showing manouvering techniques, so I will look that out (I've already taken a quick look at the clips on Richardsons' website).  I won't have any trouble with the steering going astern, not only as I am reliably informed that boats don't steer then anyway, but also because I can never remember offhand which way to turn the wheel on a car  when going backwards . (Believe it or not I passed the advanced motoring test with flying colours; my husband still insists I must have 'offered my favours' to the examiner).


Anyway, I expect the AM will video my efforts, the best of which (if indeed there are any good ones) will be posted on Youtube, with links on the forum, of course, just to inflate my ego.

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Hi Kadensa,


There are quite a few quiet places on the northern side where you get some practice.


River Ant :- Ludham bridge, How Hill, Irstead, Gay;s staithe, and Barton Turf all come to mind.


River Bure :-  on the main river by both Salhouse and Wroxham Broads, in Salhouse broad itself, by St. Benets, public moorings next to the mouth of the Thurne.


River Thurne :- Womack staithe, round te back of Womack Island, public moorings just before that bridge.


Hope this gives you plenty to choose from depending on river traffic.

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Kadensa, don't let the worry of practising spoil your holiday.

It sounds as if you have the determination and willpower, so you are halfway there.

Take it slow, and if you do anything wrong you won't cause any damage.

Have a good holiday and let us know how you got on.

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Hi Kadensa


The worst damage you can cause is to your ego, trust me, been there, done that and worn the tshirt.


You could make sure that the AMs camera accidentally goes overboard, if my family posted on Youtube some of the things I have done I would die of shame Lol


10B is so right, you seem to have the determination to be a damn good helms woman, I wish you all the best of luck and if you want to send me a video of your mooring attempts that's fine, I won't show anyone I promise  :naughty:



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