Find your holiday on the Norfolk Broads

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Boating Holidays Holiday Cottages
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How to choose your perfect boat

Oh goodness, this is a subject and a half!
Have a think about who’s coming on holiday with you as it really makes a difference to which boat you choose.
Hire Boat Options
We’ve done some of the work for you by selecting boats that suit families, pets, a little boating luxury, fishing, those on a budget, etc.
If you have a few more questions please keep reading
A few dodgy Joints
If one of your party has a dodgy hip they might prefer to choose a boat that’s on a single level once you are onboard. You can search for those boats here. You could also choose a boat with an electric winch for lifting the mud weight (anchor)
Number of Berths
Then it comes down to the sleeping arrangements. We describe our boats as 2+2 or 4+2. The first number shows how many people can sleep on the boat in cabins (bedrooms). The second number shows the number of people that can sleep in the saloon (lounge). The saloon bed will need to be made up every evening.  We would go for more space each time.  Especially if you are bringing pets with you.
Study the layout – has the boat got enough double/single beds / Showers, etc. for your needs.

Dual Steering

You can choose a boat with dual steering. It means people mostly steer from “up top” providing great visibility over the reed beds. And, should the great British weather prove to be less than welcoming, you can drive in warmth below. These boats will generally reach 85% of the navigable waterways. but they won’t fit under Wroxham or Potter Heigham bridges.

They sometimes have more headroom in the cabins below.    You can choose a dual steering boat in the filter options

Sliding Canopy

Or, choose a boat with a sliding roof. Slide the roof back and allow the outside in. Even better, go for one with a split sliding roof, so you can keep the sun in and have a windbreak at the same time.  The smallest of these boats will get you under Potter Heigham bridge at the right time. From there you can access Hickling Broad,  the beautiful Nature Reserve and Horsey Wind Pump.

Best hire boats for beginners

All our boats are pretty easy to use. And as your absolute top speed is 6 mph there is usually plenty of time to slow down and try again
but a little thing called a bow thruster can make life just that little bit calmer. It’s like a mini engine at the front of the boat that can point the bow left or right.  You can find these boats here 
Onboard Hire Boat Luxuries
One of my favourite luxuries is a split shower and loo – no need to hide the loo roll when you take a shower
If you like a bit of privacy our newest boats have tinted windows, this also keeps the boat cool on a hot day
Brinks Tempo even has wireless phone charging points
The Best Luxury of All on board a Norfolk Broads Hire Boat
Superior battery management – yes, we know, it doesn’t sound very exciting. But choose a boat with a really excellent battery pack and the Broads National Park is your oyster
Provided you keep the engine going for around 4 hours each day you will have enough power in the batteries to
  • run the heating
  • heat the hot water
  • cook a meal (possibly not 3 courses)
  • turn the lights on
That means you have the luxury of mooring almost anywhere in silence. Drop your mud weight (anchor) in the middle of a broad. Wild moor alongside a reed bed or dock alongside the nature reserve. You’ll be able to hear the bittern boom and see that big beautiful Norfolk sky at sundown
Additional watersports
How about hiring (or bring your own) rowing boats, paddleboards or sailing dinghies. Choose a boat with a bathing platform and they can be easier to get on and off too.
Top Tips for choosing a hire boat on the Norfolk Broads
Our top tip, choose more space rather than less!
But, as long as you can fit your family and friends on board any boat choice is a good one for messing about on the water.
"Great service at Barnes Brinkcraft, Wroxham, great staff and a great Boat, will use this boat holiday company again"
- Alastair Fletcher
"Wonderful long weekend exploring the broads. The staff were so helpful and the boat was perfect for our needs."
- Michaela Wright
"Had a fantastic 7 days on phantom boat maybe an old boat but had everything we needed"
- Tina Stonestreet
"Just return from a lovely 2 weeks in Brinks Encore Plus 4. The boat was very clean and had all the mod cons, bedding and towels provided. This is a great little boat for 2 easy to handle and great to explore those hidden gems as it will pass under all bridges at suitable tide. Been boating in the Broads for many years first time just the two of us and the dog. Thank you Barnes feeling very relaxed already planning our next trip."
- Fiona McRae
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