Gentle introduction to sailing on the Norfolk Broads?
I want to introduce my family gently to sailing and thought the Norfolk Broads might be a good place to start. I have a wife, a 13 year old son, a 15 year old daughter and a dog. We have a 17' day boat with outboard but no oars. It will have to be launched on a slip using the car. We can only sleep 2 under canvas and so will need to take 1 or 2 two-man tents with us.
I'm thinking of a few days later this month or next, staying at campsites and include some routes that would be suitable for dog walking by the river so we can sail and walk parts of a route. I understand the north Broads have more gentle tides so I might centre our trip about Hinkling Broad.
Has anyone any advice for such a venture or know of any good books that have boating routes with campsites along the way?
Last year I took a Hunters Yard Halfdecker Yacht for a week, I think it cost about £300. It is described, (I think rightly), as a yacht because it is heavily ballasted, with the boat unladen I was able to stand on the gunwale, hold onto the shroud and lean out with out getting wet. A totally different experience from sailing my Mirror! The ballast makes the boat very stable and gives good momentum which carries the boat past wind obstacles, (Is there a technical term for that?).
The shallow ballast keel/skeg makes the boat perfectly suited for the broads and they are located at Ludham in the northern broads.
A fellow DCA member, Simon, who I bumped into by chance, demonstrated that the balanced lug rig could be single handed under Potter Heigham Bridge. I believe this took some skill single handed, but might be easier with a crew.
The only downside is that, although the halfdecker comes with oars, they are not designed for rowing, there is no thwart, I pilled up three of the 1/2 length mattresses they lent us and made a makeshift seat, but wouldn't plan longer trips unless the wind blows. However even in light airs the big sail and ballast momentum keep the boat moving.
I camped very comfortably with my wife in the 18' er there is a 20'er with the same rig called Brown Bess. I intend to take the larger boat this year, my sister and her young family will stay nearby and join us for jaunts, and possible sleepovers on the boat.
Even if you use your own boat, I would recommend looking in on Hunters Yard at Ludham, I believe they are struggling to keep the traditional yard and these excellent historic boats going but for the moment they are ship shape and ready to go.
There aren't always riverside paths but that doesn't matter, during the day the rivers become very congested with boats and people, but if you walk a little way from the water you will find a pleasant countryside, and be largely undisturbed. On a couple of days my wife and I did our sailing at dawn or dusk and abandoned the boat during the day for very pleasant jaunts ashore.
I am sure you will make a great holiday of this regardless,