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Boat recommendation


Guest nitrochicken

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Hi,

I'm hoping to hire a boat on the broads for the first time this year for one week from 25/7. I know this is the busiest time but I have no choice on dates.

There will be 5 adults going, 2 couples and a single.

I was ideally hoping to spend under £1000 all in but was looking for a boat that has 3 seperate cabins so the living space is kept clear from bedding etc.

I know from previous experience in caravans that making/unmaking beds every night from the settees can be annoying, especially if everyone doesn't go to bed at the same time.

I've found one boat that looks perfect but its costs £1250 for the week I need. The boat is Sovereign from Richardsons.

Does anyone know of any other options for me that would be a bit cheaper? I suppose the main thhing I would like is to still have seating available once all the beds are made up.

I was also wondering about the various bridges that certain boats will not go under. Will I be missing a lot if I cant cet under the bridges?

Thanks

Dale

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Someone more knowledgable on the different hire boats will probably be able to give you more information on particular boats.... in terms of bridges though.... there's 2 that may cause you problems: Wroxham bridge and Potter Heigham bridge. Beyond Wroxham bridge is a picturesque stretch of water that leads to the village of Coltishall. Beyond Potter Heigham bridge is horsey mere and hickling broads, two remote and wild areas of the broads. Try googling, or searching the forum for these places to find out some more about them.

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Thanks for the replies,

I'll give Richardsons a call tomorrow or in the week.

I've found another boat the may be ok and comes in at about £1000, its called Clear Horizon.

Hopefully this one goes under the bridges as it doesn't say otherwise on the richardsons site.

Thanks

Dale

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Just to add that there are two bridges on the southern broads that need care and passage at low water, these are the ones at Beccles just past the Marina on the way upto Geldleston Locks and a quaint little broadland pub up their where time stood still, The locks Inn cheers

The second ones come as a pair, and are situated at either end of the Green at Thorpe St. Andrew , on the upper reaches of the Yare, there is a few shops and a pub and restaurants in aproximately half a mile of river up there, but its possible to avoid this area by staying on the main river (which is actually a man made diversion away from these bridges, although its hard to tell) and carry on to cruise upto Norwich :dance

Some of the taller boats still wont pass these bridges at low tide, but this is normally stated in the brochures :)

Weyford Bridge at the top of the river Ant is another low one, but is right at the end of navigation for larger boats, so it shouldnt be a problem to you, and most people explore the upper reaches by canoe or rowing dingy which can be hired from the yard opposite the small public staithe, which has free moorings for about four boats :clap

During High season, a ferry operates up to The Locks Inn from Beccles marina, i believe the fare is around a tenner per person return, this is a pretty area, and well worth the fare if you like old historic pubs cheers

Julz :wave

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"Sovereign" is the same as "Royall Commander" which we have had a few times now. More often than not, will go under Wroxham and Beccles bridges if you get the timings right. Will only go under Potter when the levels are low. A great boat with a good layout and plenty of room but, as you have noticed, not cheap.

"Clear Horizon" will offer as much chance as most other boats of getting under all the bridges. Both boats are from a good yard and you will get great service.

My only caution would be to suggest that you spend the extra for the extra space as you have already mentioned, space restrictions and making up beds can be irritating!

Trevor

www.normanboats.co.uk

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Hi Dale

A couple of others spring to mind that might allow all fixed berths whilst keeping to your initial budget.. Bahama & Bahama Major, and Crystal Gem which is the same layout as Clear Horizon. Emerald Gem (Fri ir Mon start only though) should also be not too far off brief I think. The Bahama's & Major's only have a sliding sunroof instead of full sliding canopy... which might be a nice bonus if it's sunny (it's bound to be ;) )

All are still from the Richardsons group.

I guess if you can live with stretching the budget then Sovereign does get you a slightly newer/more modern boat for your money, and if sharing the cost out I guess then there is benefits in spending more! The raise saloon also gives you slightly better views than the single level design you are also now considering. Whilst on the subject of budgeting, worth checking rhe price you are looking at includes all the 'standard extras' such as fuel, damage waiver etc that you have to pay.

Have a great holiday whatever you decide

Dan

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Hi Dale

I've just booked our boat for the same crew numbers, and its surprisingly difficult on a budget, although going at the end of September makes it easier. Watch out for the toilets being ensuite, that caught us out last year with a last minute addition to the crew.

To some extent it depends where you start from, where you want to go, those you can largely control, and the weather, which you can't.

After a lot, in fact weeks, of research we decided that that Potter Heigham bridge looks increasingly difficult to get through and we did Wroxham to Coltishall last year, and we could hire a day boat for those sections anyway. We'll be going south for some of the time and then extra height becomes quite important as there are miles of tall reeds on some sections. I'm not a lover of centre cockpit craft as they can be a bit difficult to see out of while to top is up and can be a bit draughty, and with the top down you just watch maps, papers etc blowing away.

So to cut a long story short we went for Contessa from Richardsons. It has three separate cabins, OK one has bunks, nice forward facing seats near the helm, deep side windows so you can see out when moored, two toilets, and another helm position and seating area outside on top to give you the extra height, provided the weather is kind. Pacific Princess is quite similar and is another worth looking at, one en suite toilet, one not, nice people at the yard too, we hired from them last year..

At the end of the day it's down to personal preference, and budget, and I don't think there's a boat that's all things to all men.

Regards

Geoff Pethick

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Thanks for the help everyone. I've finally decided on Crystal Gem/Clear Horizon. I haven't booked yet as I'm unsure which yard is best to go from. I thought Stalham looks best from looking at the map(no logical reason for me thinking that!) but what does everyone else think?

Thanks

Dale

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Hi Dale

It doesn't massively matter as both fleets run to similar standards, though Horizon is a smaller site but both teams seem to take pride in their work & standard of boat turn-out. Both locations are in attractive parts of the Broads and whichever you pick you're likely to cruise the same places, but just in a different order.

If both craft are available then maybe the only thing between them is Crystal Gem is white & orange & Clear Horizon is grey and blue.... some if you have a colour aversion to any of them maybe that'll sort it!! :naughty:

All this is making me want to book a holiday too!

Dan

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Thanks for that Dan,

I've now booked Crystal Gem from Stalham. Boat colour doesn't really matter to me. I'm really excited now, even though its months away!

I was thinking of taking the push bikes away with us, is there many nice rides along the broads?

Thanks

Dale

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