Author Topic: Norfolk Broads  (Read 2195 times)

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Norfolk Broads
« on: April 10, 2014, 09:02:57 AM »
David_owens
Username: David_owens

Registered: 04-2010
   
Posted on Saturday, November 05, 2011 - 10:46 pm:      
As I mentioned in another thread, I've successfully towed my Winklebrig from Cardiff to Poole Harbour, and to Milford Haven this year. I thought I'd try the Norfolk Broads in 2012. I know there are a number of people who know the area well. Can anyone recommend where I should start looking to launch and perhaps moor my Winklebrig, so I can explore for a week or two? I guess it would also need to be somewhere I could leave the car and trailer too.
Many thanks.

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 09:03:20 AM »
Martin_cartwright
Username: Martin_cartwright

Registered: 04-2008
   
Posted on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 08:36 am:      
I general, the Broads are split in two halves.The northern broads are north of Great Yarmouth and the southern Broads go from Great Yarmouth down to Beccles. The sailing in the two halves is quite different but equally enjoyable (as long as you avoid school holiday times when the motorboat traffic is unbearable. March/April and October/November is best).
David put me onto Colin Buttifant's boatyard in Ludham which is great for exploring the northern broads. You can launch and park here at a very reasonable rate.I use the Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter for the south which is much more luxurious (being a marina)but you can have to wait for the tide to make the slipway usable.
With two weeks at your disposal you could launch at either and explore the whole wonderful area - but do go when others don't. The only thing that spoils the Broads are all the other people!

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 09:03:38 AM »
David_owens
Username: David_owens

Registered: 04-2010
   
Posted on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 10:19 pm:      
Many thanks Martin - I'll check out Colin Buttifant's and the Waveney River Centre over the winter. Point taken about crowds. In what ways do the north and south differ?

Given my delight about the trailability (!) of the Winklebrig, may even visit Essex one day. I once spent a miserable year there in the University of Essex. Time I put the record straight. A taste of the swatchways should do it. Is that where you sail your much modified Winkle?

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 09:03:58 AM »
Martin_cartwright
Username: Martin_cartwright

Registered: 04-2008
   
Posted on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 08:36 am:      
Others may disagree but I feel the northern Broad area is generally more attractive, the countryside being less flat with smaller rivers linking the broads (this is where most of the actual Broads are) and trees coming down to the waters edge.It is also significantly less tidal.
As you head south past Acle Bridge the countryside flattens out and is more bleak although as a consequence the sailing is usually more exciting. (No trees. More tide). Once past Lowestoft (Oulton Broad) The River Waveney down to Beccles and beyond is very pretty (more like the northern broads rivers). For a first time, I think I would advise starting in the north at Ludham and explore all the nothern area and as you get more adventurous head south.
When coastal/estuary sailing, the Orwell/Walton Backwaters is about as far south as I tend to go. My current favourite is the Deben which is a lovely river I explored in much more detail this year, mooring Winkle at Woodbridge for a month.
In these bleak short days it is nice dreaming about next season isn't it! How about going to the Brest Festival in July? (You only get a chance every four years).

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 09:04:23 AM »
David Cawston
Username: David_cawston

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 08:32 pm:      
Hi David, For a first visit to the broads, I too would recommend the Swallowtail boatyard http://www.swallowtailboats.co.uk/ This year a weeks parking for car and trailer, launch and recovery was 30. We will again (all being well) go to the Broads for the TSA Easter cruise. Although Easter is the busiest time of the year on the Broads, once you get upstream through Potter Heigham bridge (very low so all the gin palaces cannot get through)you are in Winkle Brig heaven and the pubs are good! Hickling Broad and Horsey Mere are great and after Easter Monday, things quieten down and a trip up the Bure and Ant to Barton Broad are well worth it. And there are plenty of little dead end cuts worth exploring, most enjoyable in a WB. And you will be able to put your mast lowering tackle to good use plenty of times.

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 09:04:37 AM »
David_owens
Username: David_owens

Registered: 04-2010
   
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2011 - 10:26 pm:      
Many thanks - if both of you are recommending Swallowtails, it must be the place to start. Will spend these long, wet winter nights planning. I've never been to the Broads. Exciting. Hope to see you both next year - we are thinking of an event in Cardiff Bay with the Old Gaffers Association - maybe we can tempt you down ... You too Roger Parish! And a welcome to any and all Winklebriggers :-)

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 09:04:52 AM »
David_owens
Username: David_owens

Registered: 04-2010
   
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2011 - 10:33 pm:      
ps I've looked at the Brest Festival, Martin. Some event! Surely a high peaked, gaff rigged Winklebrig sloop would get lost in there, not like your glorious yawl, with mizzens, top sails and all :-)

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 09:05:07 AM »

Martin_cartwright
Username: Martin_cartwright

Registered: 04-2008
   
Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 11:24 am:      
Too kind- But I think you are being hard on the 'standard' Winklebrig which is a lovely looking boat and the Bretons love it.Drascombes go regularly and I think the Winklebrig is a better looking boat. I went to the Morbihan regatta a couple of years ago - before some of Winkle's' more extreme modifications - and had a great time and the locals loved her - I even had two offers to buy!. I am sure you and any others would be very welcome. The only thing to remember is that a Breton's 'country' is Brittany, not France!
I am definitely going to Brest next year (although I have to say I haven't found any registration details online in English yet!).

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2014, 09:05:23 AM »
Martin_cartwright
Username: Martin_cartwright

Registered: 04-2008
   
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 04:52 pm:      
David C. How did you get on with the sailing on the Broads at the weekend? I am sorry to say that neither my boat nor my body were up to it this year, although I was with you in spirit. Any photos?

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 09:05:38 AM »
David Cawston
Username: David_cawston

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 10:07 pm:      
Inspite of the pretty lousy weather, freezing cold Saturday night and howling gale Monday night, we had some cracking good sailing, especially on Barton Broad. And the wind played ball and allowed us some excellent sailing on the Bure, Thurne and Hickling. So overall, apart from a lack of warmth and sunshine, it was worth the long trek down from Northumberland. Photos to follow.

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2014, 09:07:32 AM »

Roger Parish
Username: Roger_parish

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 03:24 pm:      
.....and here are photos of Markie on River Ant and Barton Broad taken from the support vessel!

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2014, 09:07:54 AM »
Martin_cartwright
Username: Martin_cartwright

Registered: 04-2008
   
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 - 02:31 pm:      
Delighted it was a success. You (both) put fair weather sailers like me to shame! I am afraid it will be at least a month before Winkle takes to the water.

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2014, 09:08:15 AM »
Roger Parish
Username: Roger_parish

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 - 03:48 pm:      
Martin, I omitted to say that the "support boat" was a plastic Broads cruiser with heating etc,etc!

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Re: Norfolk Broads
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2017, 12:29:53 PM »
WB25 "Rogue" SHAKEDOWN TRIP TO NORFOLK BROADS September 2017

This was the first time I've put my pride and joy in the water (in fact, the first time I've put any boat in the water off a trailer) so I chose the Norfolk Broads for its large bodies of non-tidal fresh water. Slipways with adjacent trailer parking are few and far between on the NBs so I based myself at Whispering Reeds boatyard on Hickling Water. There is a public staithe and slipway with parking only 100 m round the corner but this is for dinghies only and charges apply.

The charges at Whispering Reeds were:
Use of the slipway, 10 each way.
Trailer parking for one week, 15.
Car parking for one week, 15.
There was also a one week Broads Authority visitors license which I bought through them at about 25.

CONS
* Plenty of low overhead wires (see photo) means that you have to put the mast up immediately before entering the water and put it down again immediately after leaving the water. Fortunately the boatyard was, in mid-September, fairly quiet so this wasn't a bit problem.
* The boatyard is open from 8:30am till 5pm. There is no access to the slipway outside these times. However the parking area and pedestrian access to the private staithe is available at all hours.
* There's a very tight angle to get onto the slipway (about 70 degrees) (see photo). I didn't find it a problem with the front tow hitch fitted to my Land Rover Defender but another guy launching there took several shuffles in his brand new Land Rover Discovery to get it right.

PROS
* I don't have much experience but the prices seemed reasonable to me.
* The boatyard is very laid-back, it's quiet, and there's plenty of room to faff about getting sorted out. This results in low stress levels.
* 100 m from the boatyard and you're on the largest broad. There's a marked channel but I sailed all over the broad with both boards down and never ran aground.

Most important of all, I got in two launches and two recoveries with some good sailing in between.

Yes, it was a wet and windy week and I'd have liked to have done more sailing. But the boat is safely tucked up for the winter now and I can get on with a few minor jobs knowing that next season I'm all "good to go".