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Showing posts from September, 2014

Brinks Royale - The Review

Brinks Royale is not the most practical of boats, but it does not pretend to be - it is a 'sporty boat' idea for a couple but will sleep up to four people. 
It has a great social space which on sunny days with the canopy stowed is lovely to sit out in the cockpit, a table is included for alfresco dining too.  A high boat affording good views but that height means bridge passages can be tricky at times and the boat is easily caught by the wind - not helped by the planning hull which lacks the keel of a displacement boat to keep things more on the straight than the wiggly.
Overall though I found Royale to be a very nice comfortable boat but I think having hired her I'll stick to the less sporty and more practical with things like more drawers and height and proper cabins.

Brinks Royale - Day Seven

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The last full day (for me at least) is the wind down day, because you have to be close to the boatyard for the morning return - or like me moor in it - it is not a day where you might want to do as much as previously and so it was for me.
I left the moorings a Paddy's Lane after 10:00am and though very much less windy than the day before it was certainly not calm.  I headed off to Neatishead just to go back up their via Lyme Kiln Dyke  which is beautiful, in fact I would go as far to say  that in summer when you have all the foliage on the trees and the birds are in song it is the most pretty stretch of water on the Broads.  It just feels like the most back water of backwaters so quiet and special.
After turning it was back to Barton Broad then down the River Ant - funny how the weather can change things for we had not had much in the way of rain but the wind direction and pressure had caused the tide to do strange things - it was incredibly tight under Ludham Bridge …

Brinks Royale - Day Six

Today began with a plan of being a short day as far as cruising, and doing rather little - however it evolved into a very full day with an awful lot including a visit to  the White Horse in Neatishead but it all started off around 6:00am in Horning.
After yesterday's long cruise back north from Reedham, I had spent a nice evening in the Ferry Inn with some good priced, nice food and drink and I had come back to the boat and feeling worn out had an early night.  I woke up in the morning and despite being only around 5:15am I could not sleep more and was restless, a cup of coffee later and I was all set wanting to do something - so I got ready and thought I would leave at 6:00am and go to Wroxham, shower have breakfast pop into Roy's and then have a nice slow day and more up somewhere around mid afternoon and call it a day.  How plans change. It was lovely going past the chalet's all quiet without fishermen outside and needing to stay clear of their lines, the l…

Brinks Royale - Day Five

It does not matter how I put this, today was not the most interesting of days on the Broads because it was what some might say is the 'long drag' when you leave the southern rivers behind and head north, knowing that there will be a long and winding mud and reed lined passage up the Bure towards Acle ahead.
I did not need to be up too early today because having moored overnight at Reedham I was well positioned to catch the last of the outgoing tide to help me towards Breydon.  What surprised me was the amount of boats who had left or were leaving and whom I knew were heading back north and who would enjoy a rapid transit to hand over Breydon before hitting a brick wall of tide heading against them as they turned at the yellow post onto the Bure.
I waited but there was an air of impatience wanting to get going and knowing one has a long way to cover - I departed calculating that I would hit the tide ebbing still out of the Bure but it would not be too great and I …

Brinks Royale - Day Four

Having spent the night at Pacific Cruisers boatyard (free for hire boats £5.00 for private craft) it was a very different day to that of yesterday, sunny, warm and a real feeling of summer.  It was lovely.  I had neglected to consult my tide tables the previous night and wished now I had since my destination for today would be Norwich and it did not take Einstein to figure out half way there the tide would begin to ebb and I’d be going against it – had I left earlier I would have arrived at slack water and left with the ebbing current.  Hindsight eh?
The Chet was beautiful – most of the boats at the Staithe had already left which meant by the time I was heading down river I had it to myself.  While some charm has been lost with the recent bank works I welcome the wider more open feel to the river so you feel more confident should you meet a boat coming the other way.  It is only a short river and before too long the mouth was approaching the tell tale metal ‘navigation’ …

Brinks Royale - Day Three

This day may as well be known as 'the rainy one' for it began rather warmly and humid, but there was little in the way of sunshine.  The rain had come and gone, but it was never very heavy when it fell, the odd spot here and there.
I had not woken as early as I might usually because the previous evening my sleep had been disturbed by this constant beeping noise.  Anything that beeps on a boat is not a good sign but initially I could not discover where it was coming from - you see it would only last about a minute and then go silent for about 10 minutes before it would come back.  The reason I could not tell initially its source was perhaps because it was so close to where the bed was - the LCD Battery Monitors were on the bulkhead to the left of the berth, and sure enough the 24v bank was showing just over 21v - every time the fridge's compressor tried to start so the voltage would sink, the inverter cut out and the low battery warning beeping begin.
I could …

Brinks Royale - Day Two

I had thought about heading to the Southern Broads since I was up for a week before I had taken the boat over, but the previous evening I had made firm plans checking the tide times for Yarmouth and had decided a good place to go would be Beccles.
As those regular boaters will know Womack To Beccles is not a short cruise by any means, and it would mean an early start - and so it was that today began at 5:45am.  It had rained a lot through the night and the usually quiet dyke leading to Womack Water  had been stirred up a bit by the wind meaning the planning hull of Royale caught the small wavelets and meant a noisy night of 'bow slap' come morning I was not as well rested as I would have liked and the dull cooler conditions were so completely different to that of when I picked the boat up the previous day.
Perhaps it was this sudden change in weather from blazing sunshine and hot to cool and wet, or perhaps just a reaction with some kind of plant or Norfolk itsel…

Brinks Royale - Day One

Having got a slightly later train than usual, I arrived in Wroxham on what had been the hottest day of the year so far.  There was not a cloud in the sky and I walked from the station to the Broads Information Centre and got myself the official time table that the Broads Authority produce for £1.00 - it comes in a rather garish neon orange this year.
Then off to Barnes Brinkcraft where I suspected because almost all their fleet would be being prepared for going out today and tomorrow my boat would not yet be ready, and so it was the case.  I left my luggage in reception and went off to Roy's DIY centre to pick up some micro fibre cloths and the usual £1.99 windscreen wiper (which came in very handy as is often the case with hire boats).  Then up to Norfolk Marine to look at everything from fridge's, toilets and helm seats mentally making notes and seeing how things looked in reality compared to images one sees online and yet remaining puzzled at the cost of such i…