By Norfolk Broads.Org
An excellent site that includes a tide table relevant to your holiday dates. Enter your holiday start date, and number of days then click on calculate.
A minor collision and another of 2 boats going through Wroxham bridge. One gets it right but the other does not.
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I am not a qualified Skipper or Health & Safety officer therefore Life Jacket usage and Health & Safety advice/information must be obtained from a Boat Yard Official or the Skippers Manual or other equivalent literature provided with the hire craft.
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With a forward steering boat that has an opening roof I sometimes place my stern/back ropes along the side of the boat towards the bow/front. Depending on the length of the boat and the length of your rope it may be possible for it to reach all the way. Once I have the bow/front of the boat in and my wife has the bow/front rope on shore I simply step through the gap of the open roof straight onto the bank with with the stern/back rope. Remember to ensure that the boat is out of gear and in neutral before getting off but Keep the engine running until your ropes are safely secured.
Take extreme care stepping on wooden banks as on a wet day as these can be incredibly slippery.
Optional 3rd rope
close to the bank. If a post is available you could add the 3rd rope to keep closer to the
forward and backward or stick out far into the water depending on the current and wind
If the boat has a bow thruster you can use this to help guide the boat and nudge the bow/front as required to assist keeping the boat travelling in a straight line. If there is enough room you could pull in side on to bank, secure one stern/back rope and bring the boat round using bow thruster and pulling on the remaining back/stern rope.
This method of tying ropes is for stern on moorings. Some places specify stern on mooring
only. It’s normal, especially in strong winds or currents to lower the mud weight.
Make sure your legs/body are not liable to get tangled when you lower the mud weight.
It is far safer to lower the weight than to drop/throw. Once mud weight is down take up
the slack rope by tying round the cleat. It’s a good idea to write a note reminding you to
take up the mud weight and leave on the dash board.
Handling a boat single handed
If you are boating alone you will need to check with the boat hire company to see if they accept solo boat hirers.
I always chose a boat that has an opening roof above the helm allowing easy access to the side for stepping onto the river bank. A boat with bow thrusters is preferable by far. The thrusters are an extremely useful aid when arriving at or leaving moorings.
The type of boat is personal choice but I prefer the single level bath tub/Caribbean type which I find easier to get on and off when approaching or leaving a mooring. These boats normally have a door at the front and the rear allowing access both ends. They usually have ropes both sides at the bow/front and back/stern. Some other type boats often have 1 each side at the back/stern but only a single rope to the centre of the bow/front.
The helm/steering is located toward the front which I find more convenient for stepping off with the bow/front rope when mooring up. In addition I find it easier when leaving a mooring as I often pull the bow/front toward the bank making the back/stern go out, board the boat from the front and reverse out. This saves me from having to walk the length or part length of the boat to reach the helm.
I normally run the stern/back ropes along the sides of the boat so that they can be reached from the helm. I do the same with the port/left side bow/front rope. So that I don’t mix the ropes up I leave a small gap between the back/stern rope. If the ropes aren't long enough maybe the boatyard staff will provide longer ones.
I aim to moor with the helm/steering next to the bank. On approach If applicable I open the roof and when nicely alongside and stationary grab the bow/front rope and if necessary I cover and use the seat as a step to board the side of the boat and then step onto the bank with the rope. I quickly tie the bow/front rope and then grab the stern/rear rope and tie. After that I make any necessary rope adjustments and tie securely.
I try to plan my destination for arrival near slack water or against the current. That's if the moorings are on the left and in the direction of travel.
If the moorings are on the right I try to plan my destination for arrival near slack water or having the current with me. I then go beyond the moorings and turn the boat round so I'm against the current.
Currents tend not to be as much of an issue on The Northern Broads although there can be strong currents from Acle and towards Yarmouth.
If I am on the river bank and the stern/back of the boat is sticking out away from the bank I put the steering on full lock away from the riverbank and use very short bursts of forward and reverse until the boat is parallel to the bank If you have a bow thruster this is useful for nudging the bow/front of the boat towards the bank.
Another method I use for bringing the stern/back to shore -
I turn the steering full lock away from the riverbank, step ashore and tie the bow/front rope to a post toward the stern/back of the boat. I then step back onboard, put in forward gear and gently throttle until back/stern swings alongside. If the boat is not coming in I give a bit more slack on the rope. I then take the boat out of gear. Step ashore and temporary tie the stern/back rope. Lastly I make any necessary rope adjustments and tie securely. (Please see the diagram below)
When leaving a mooring current and weather permitting I check the steering is on full lock away from the bank, pull the bow/front toward me ensuring that the fender is protecting the hull. When the back/stern is well away from the bank step onboard and reverse a little until clear of the riverbank and other boats. I then select forward gear, open up the throttle and adjust the steering as necessary taking care to insure that the stern/back does not swing in to the the bank or another boat.
As I have mentioned many times I am no expert and have had no specialist training whatsoever. I am just providing tips based on my own experience which I hope you will find useful.
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