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Showing posts from June, 2015

Princess - The Review

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Princess is sedan style boat sailing from Richardson's Stalham boatyard - boat details and booking - and there are two in the class (I hired No. 2).
She is very similar to Executive which is of the same design, just the interior and layout being slightly different.
At 7ft 9" she is not too tall so will pass under Ludham unless a very bad day at all states of tide, and there should not be much cause of concern for Yarmouth as long as you don't passage outside the usual time/tidal window.
A partial re-fit makes the inside a very comfortable place, with light wood effect and real wood finishes, a large full size cooker and a very light and airy saloon not to mention well proportioned cabins and two heads (one of which is ensuite). 
Frankly a giveaway price being able to be hired from Thursday to Tuesday (5 nights) for the same price as a Friday to Monday (3 night) break.  £418.00 for almost a week including fuel and waivers in May means this is a very affordable boat for …

Belmore TC - The Review

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Brinks Belmore TC - Based on a Princess 30 hull, is a lovely smart cruiser I hired from Barnes Brinkcraft of Wroxham.

She certainly has a striking look – a lovely outside space being a sedan style boat which is also very safe being completely enclosed and with a locking stern door.

You need to be careful with bridges because of the high air draft this boat has – the plaque says 8ft 10” and the freeboards are high but that is a result of the fact she was designed for sea not river use predominantly.

Three berths that can be left made up is a bonus in a boat of this size, a good thermostatically controlled heater and large hot water tank make things comfy in the evenings the heads are very compact particularly the shower tray but the ‘set and forget’ thermostatically control shower is a boon so no more guessing how much cold to add to the hot water to get the right temperature.

Not the newest of boats but being kept well both externally and internally with improves over time…

Brinks Belmore TC - Day Ten

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I began early leaving Barnes Brinkcraft's yard before they opened up for business where I had overnighted.  Today would be an easy day where I would go somewhere quiet, pack all my things away and do the Boat Review.  This usually takes about 3 hours to complete going from cabin to cabin and getting the right shots in the bag so to speak.
Wroxham Island moorings seemed ideal.  It was about midday by the time I had completed the review and everything was packed and sorted for my last night with just the essentials left out, it was about this time I thought with the lovely day why not go on a bit of a 'cruise about' going here and there without any real aim.
First stop was Ranworth Staithe where I would be able to drop my rubbish off and go for a walk - I took a stroll down to St. Margaret's church where there was a great deal of Lotto funded works going on to repair the roof amongst other things and I am sure will look lovely when complete - it was such a n…

Brinks Belmore TC - Day Nine

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I woke up super early just before sunrise as I wanted to capture the boat in the fresh soft light as the sun rose - then capture the wonderful warming tones of the sun as it came above the horizon - only it was dull and cloudy and not at all nice for capturing such - and so it was, back to bed. 
For me when you are moored on a 'wild mooring' there seems something a little different, no other boats behind or in front of me and on the side the boat was against the bank of course nobody to walk past the boat and peer in - couple that with the gentle sound of the Reeds rustling in the wind and the boat moving slowly on the ropes and it equals somewhat of a challenge to stop keep looking out at the distant marshes and water and actually get ready and plan where you are going for the day.
I had breakfast and decided Wroxham would be a good place - grabbed the camera did a bit to it then changed my mind - Ranworth would be a better bet for there I could dispose of my ru…

Brinks Belmore TC - Day Eight

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After a fine evening of wine, good food and company aboard  River Song today brought forth the sort of weather you might stay in your cabin for - dull and grey.  It certainly was a lot different to the fine warm weather of yesterday.
I took time to get ready and then wondered where would I be headed today?  The wind was gusting (and pushing the boat onto the bank) so anywhere I went would make for an interesting mooring should the wind not be in my favour.   Now you see when one is alone you've got to do things a little differently than when you have one or two others with you to lend a hand.   The first thing to do would be to leave the mooring - not a walk in the park because I had to my front Bronze Gem and to my rear River Song with about 4 or 5 feel separation.  I had nobody to hold the bow line as I would clearly have to depart the mooring astern so it would all have to be done using a little skill and thrust.
I got off the boat and untied - I much prefer it wh…

Brinks Belmore TC - Day Seven

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It did not feel like I was now beginning my seventh morning aboard Belmore TC - the beginning of the week, getting to the moorings at Stracey Arms and then heading down to the southern rivers the following day felt so recent and yet at the same time so much seemed to have happened and been seen so what I wondered might today bring?
It was time to take a trip to Potter Heigham - was the pub open still, how were those chips these days from the chip shop and what bargains could I find in Lathams? 
It was not esepcialyl early neither late when I left the moorings outside the Ferry Inn in Horning but already those who had been moored there the evening before had all departed - it was a Friday, they must have been on a Friday to Friday week break or a Monday to Friday short break and were now back at their respective yards - yet I had 4 more days to enjoy on the water.
Of course reader and likely boater on the Broads, you may leave the likes of Horning knowing you are going to …

Brinks Belmore TC - Day Six

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Last night I spent a lovely time aboard Braveheart with good conversation, laughter and a mixture of different drinkies not to mention good food, but now I has woken to a gray, foggy scene at Ludham Bridge so was in no rush to depart, bedsides I was not on the northern rivers and it was time to take things easier and spend less time cruising (yeah, like that was ever going to happen).
As the time past so the sun struggled to show itself and burn off the mist - it was now viable to leave the mooring and head under Ludham Bridge my new nemesis.  I waited, then waited some more and finally I got to depart when there were no other boats coming as I wanted to stop under the bridge and get my head out the roof to see just how much clearance there was so I would have a fair idea how much leeway I may have with regard to the height gauge. 
I find it truly appalling that these vital indicators are left to degrade to the point that they are unreadable at low tides.  I understand t…

Brinks Belmore TC - Day Five

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There really is such a change of pace and scenery as you go up the Bure and once at Acle you certainly feel like the northern rivers have arrived.  Everything is much more sedate, the speed limits are lower, the currents weaker and rise and fall of tides far far less and everything is much more compact feeling.
Leaving Horizoncraft’s yard I had a clear plan and destination – Wroxham.  I needed to some basic things, something to eat, some toilet roll and some booze. It is always wise I have found to have some drinks for oneself and a bottle of wine or two ready for the spontaneous meetings one tends to have along the rivers and where away from the rivers you might exchange pleasantries and a chat, it is customary to take things far more sedately on the Broads and a conversation leads to an invitation onboard a boat and the wine bottle is opened and before one knows it the sun is setting and calls are being made for more drinks to be brought forth.
The rivers seemed so muc…

Brinks Belmore TC - Day Four

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I found it a little harder to get out of my berth this morning, maybe it was as a result of the beer last night or just the very still and quiet mooring Bremerton Common offers.  It was strange waking up to a boat where I was the only occupant - but once up and got ready it was time for some cereal and coffee and a sit down to figure out where I may be going after all - I could not work it out.  Every idea I had seemed just 'ok' but not a winner. 
I thought the best bet was at least to get underway and head in the direction where I had come from - go to Reedham I thought there I could top up with water and make a back track to the likes of Loddon, or head off down the New Cut to the likes of Oulton Broad or even head down to Beccles.
I left the mooring at Bramerton and before long was back in to the swing of 'solo boating' having all my bits and pieces I needed within reach not to mention the fact I was not talking far more to the camera.  Now I had betwe…

Brinks Belmore TC - Day Three

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I was up pretty early and getting ready - occasionally peering out of the window and noting that the weather had taken a real turn for the worse - gone were the cloudless skies and in their place a real chill had arrived and outside was gloomy, low grey cloud and looking like it could rain at a moments notice.
We had overnighted at the Ferry House, Surlingham and after I had made do with a shave in luke warm water left from the previous evenings engine running I was none the less pleased I had not disturbed anyone - then around half seven our neighbours engine coughed into life and the peace was shattered.  I have to say that Belmore TC like several other boats I had hired from Barnes Brinkcraft benefit from a double waterlock silencer a larger device close to the exhaust outlet on the engine and then a smaller one just before the water and exhaust gases are ejected from the boat. The result outside is a very muffled note of the engine and just the splash of the ejected …

Brinks Belmore TC - Day Two

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Usually when people take over a boat they go for a short cruise somewhere, moor up and unwind taking their time to unpack things - however we had had to go on to the moorings at Stracey Arms from Wroxham if we stood chance to get through Yarmouth the following morning.
I was up at 5:00am, got the kettle on for a coffee to get my head awake and then the unenviable task of taking off the outside vinyl screen cover - fortunately there was no dew so I managed to fold the cover and stay dry. 
I could tell there was no mist - all that mattered now was when it would be light enough to leave the mooring and head to Yarmouth.  Low water was at 5:23am still very much dark - slack water at 6:23am would be ideal alas we were about an hour and half away from Yarmouth so I knew whatever happened we would be arriving as the flood tide came in but how much of the precious space under the bridges would have been lost by the time we arrived was anybody's guess.
I waited, and waited and…

Brinks Belmore TC - Day One

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It had felt like forever since 2014 and my last visit to the Broads - I was itching to get on the water after what felt a long grey winter, however it was almost all scuppered due to me falling ill a couple of weeks beforehand.  I had wanted to join Griff and others lending a hand with Broad Ambition's bi-annual maintenance week - but found myself instead spending several days in hospital - after I was discharged there was just a week before Easter, things were very much looking booked up and going seemingly day by day - Richardson's had a selection either too large, or not the type I wanted to spend 10 nights on - forward steer boats and Shiela wanted a 'proper looking boat' a call to Barnes Brinkcraft found they too pretty booked up but with just a few boats available we picked Belmore TC - A twin cabin variant of Belmore and Regal Star.
We arrived at the yard along with just about everyone else keen to take over their boat or book into their shore base…