22 Boating Basics Top 10 Boating Tips...

Stay safe – follow the advice from the Broads rangers, who work on the Broads all year round. Maxine Willoughby (left) is part of our Bure and Thurne rivers team of rangers, who look after a large part of the northern Broads.

1 Before you go...

Read your skipper's manual – if you’re on a holiday cruiser, your boatyard should supply one on board.

• Our new ‘essential guide’ boating videos have lots of practical boat handling and navigation advice for all ( boating-essentials). The videos cover Preparing for Your Holiday, Staying Safe on the Broads, Mooring, Mooring in Tidal Water, Ropes and Knots, Man Overboard, Navigating Bridges, Crossing Breydon and Paddlesports. The boating section of our website also has all you need to know about boating, including tide tables.

• Navigation maps (published by Heron Maps) and Broads tide tables are on sale at our information centres and yacht stations.

• You can get boating advice from your boatyard, yacht stations (see page 21) or by calling the Broads Authority’s Broads Control, staffed daily 9am-5pm (6pm from April to October), on 01603 756056. The rangers, who you’ll see out and about, are always happy to help too.

Boating • - Broads boating app - app to help the emergency services find you

2 Wear it

Always wear your life jacket when you are on deck, getting on and off or tying up your boat – even if you can swim. Step ashore, never jump, and wear shoes with a good grip.

• Children should wear life jackets even when your boat is moored.

• A life jacket will help you float. Try to relax and float on your back before trying to get out.

• Don’t forget to put a life jacket on your dog, too. Dogs are just as susceptible to cold water and other hazards as people. You can buy dog life jackets from boating suppliers and some hire boatyards provide or rent them for customers’ pets. Never enter the water to rescue a pet – you are putting your own life at risk. See page 44 for more about visiting with your dog.

3 Plan ahead Plan your journey before setting out.

• Keep a note of the important points for your journey. Water is always moving and your boat may be affected by wind and tides. Check the weather, the day’s tides for where you’re going, and sunrise and sunset times – that’s what we do. Hire boats are not allowed to navigate before sunrise or after sunset as they have no navigation lights.

• Always keep track of where you are on the waterways and make sure others on board know where you are too. They also need to know what to do in case of an emergency.

• Keep a phone charged. 4 Be vigilant

Keep an eye on everyone on board at all times (especially small children).

• Don't let children sit on the front of a boat, or play at the back or on the roof unsupervised, especially when a boat is under way.

• Never allow anyone to travel in any kind of boat or inflatable that your boat is towing.

• Drive on the right-hand side, about 2m or 6’ away from the bank.

• Hold on to your boat when moving around it.

• Look out for paddle craft, rowing boats and swimmers in organised events. Reduce speed and allow them plenty of space.

• Keep out of the way of sailing boats – slow down and if you need to, pass behind, never in front.

• Keep away from maintenance boats and other large vessels.

• Keep out of the way of water skiers and other fast boats on the rivers Waveney and Yare and on Breydon Water.

5 Mooring must-dos

Always have your ropes ready and drive into the flow of the water when mooring.

• Don't jump – always step aboard and ashore carefully. Beware of hazards on the quay such as ropes, posts and wet or other slippery surfaces. Everyone involved should always keep a good handhold during casting off and mooring, and don’t use arms or legs to stop your boat hitting the quay or another boat. Make sure ropes are ready and that everyone knows what to do. Everyone not involved should stay off deck.

• Always approach a mooring against the tide or flow of the river, with a careful hand on the throttle. You’ll then be able to hold the boat stationary heading into the tide and approach the mooring sideways under control. If necessary, go past the mooring and turn the boat around so you can approach against the flow. If you approach the mooring with the tide or flow of the river you will have little or no control at low speeds.

• The fittest adult should step ashore once the boat has stopped. Tie the front rope first. We recommend that you moor at signed moorings only. Other areas are not maintained and there may be no posts. Never moor under bridges. Make sure that your boat is securely tied up. Take a torch and spare batteries if you will be returning to your boat after dark.

2021 Broadcaster


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