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Driving a Norfolk Broads Boat

Wondering about driving a Norfolk Broads Boat? Everyone who comes on a boating holiday with Richardson’s is given a “trial run”. This is a demonstration on how to drive the boat and use the controls, providing you with all the information you need to make the most of your holiday. Driving a boat really is simpler than you may think. There are no locks to navigate on the Norfolk Broads which also makes things much easier.

The TRIAL RUN videos here shows you a snapshot of a trial run.


Some useful terms:

Bow – This is the front end of the boat.

Stern – The back of the boat.

Port – Left hand side of the boat.

Starboard – Right hand side of the boat.

Casting off – Carry the rond anchor (L-shaped anchor for mooring into soft banks) with you as you go aboard rather than throwing it. When you untie the ropes make sure they are safely coiled on deck so they don’t trail in the water.

Steering – A boat does steer like a car but a boat is also influenced by wind and tide so you may need to make slight adjustments for this. To slow down you simply move the throttle back and if needs be put it into neutral. The water acts as a brake as the boat slows down.


Mooring – Always take your time, approach the mooring slowly and watch what the tide and wind are doing. Where you moor could be a gap between boats or alongside them (double mooring). You should check if you are cruising against the tide and if you aren’t turn around so that you are. As you enter the mooring space you need to go into neutral and glide in. As you come alongside you need to move the gear lever into reverse and give a few short bursts on the throttle to being the boat to a standstill. A crew member can then step ashore with the bow mooring rope. This rope should be tied loosely to start with. Then you can tie the stern rope firmly and then re ties the bow rope tightly. Keep the engine running until you have safely moored.

If you are mooring stern on you will need to stop with the bow opposite the point at which you are looking to moor and put the rudder hard over and give the throttle a few busts to swing the stern in line with the space. As you approach the quay you can use a quick throttle burst to bring you to a standstill. A crew member can then step ashore and tie both stern ropes.

If a river is wide you may moor against a another boat (double mooring). Please always speak to the people on board the other boat before doing so and approach carefully against the tide and have a crew member ready with the ropes. Put the short lines to the other boat first and then use the long lines to also tie your boat to the shore.