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Welcome to Martham Boats Founded in 1946 and set in idyllic countryside, Martham Boats is a third generation family run boatyard which is set in the very heart of the Norfolk Broads. We offer a wide range of self-catering accommodation from cosy riverside bungalows to the hire of traditional hand crafted timber motor Cruisers, which compliment the timber and GRP Sailing Yachts. Some of our traditional wooden boats were designed and built here at Martham by our dedicated team of Boat Builders back in the 1940's/50's. Today, we still carry on the tradition of boat building, constructing craft, in a way that harmonises with the romantic views of the Norfolk and the Suffolk Broads and their wildlife. Our hire fleet not only includes cruisers and sailing yachts, there are also a selection of day boats, half decker’s (day sailor’s) and canoes, which are available for hire for those who wish to spend a quiet day exploring our beautiful and safe rivers here on the Norfolk Broads. Canoeing in the Norfolk Broads is a wonderful and safe experience for all the family as it allows you to explore all of our smallest waterways, and view at close hand, all the wonderful wild life that the Broads has to offer. In 2009 we decided to have a go at Stand Up

Paddleboarding, and very soon after became an accredited ASI School with a fully equipped e-commerce site at In 2010 we held the first stand up paddleboard race on the Norfolk Broads which is now known as the Norfolk Classic. The course is approximately nine miles long and held during the middle of July. With a competitor list of over 80 paddlers, some even coming from overseas just to take part, the race seems to be getting bigger and better every year.

Need Assistance If you require any form of assistance during your cruise, please do not hesitate to call the office for advice or reasurance. If you need help with any of the equipment on board, please refer to the operation section of this manual. If you are still unsure please call the office. Most problems can be solved over the phone and this will hopefully save you from missing out on your holiday! Please note that travelling time via road is shorter than by boat, as many places on the broads are accessible by road. However if there is no road access, we cannot get to you without the aid of a boat, which will take more time. If possible please get to somewhere that is accessible by road. When contacting us you should give clear details on the • Boat name • Location • Road accessibility • Nature of the problem Once we have ascertained this information, we can then direct a member of staff to assist you. Office:

01493 740249

Normal Office Hours:

8.00 - 16.30

If you have an emergency outside of normal working hours please telephone: 01493 740065 where your call will be answered by one of our out of hours Engineers. If there is no answer, please leave a message on their voicemail leaving your name and telephone number so that our Engineer can call you back.

Accidents During your stay with us, you are in charge and responsible for the crafts safe navigation of the waterways. No minors may control the craft without supervision of an adult over the age of 18. Accidents do happen; if any damage is caused (either to the boat or somebody else’s property), please inform the yard straight away and take pictures if possible.

Accidents involving another craft, private or hire, please gather the following information: •

The names of all boats involved and registration numbers.

Name and address of the hirer/ owner.

Damage caused to other craft, and your craft.

Date and time of the accident.

Place of accident.

And immediately report the accident to one of the numbers on the ‘Need Assistance’ section. On your return to our boat yard, an Insurance form must be filled out before your departure home. Please note that: Failure to follow the procedure above could result in you being liable for the full cost of the repair for all damage caused.

Silver Jubilee 3 Operation Daily Checks Check weed filter to make sure it is not blocked. This is located near the engine. DO NOT ISOLATE WEED FILTERS WHEN CHECKING.

Check water in coolant tank.

Make sure water is pumping through exhaust pipe.

Engine When starting engine stand at the steering wheel, with the Morse Control (gear lever) to your left, make sure the gear lever is in the upright position. Pull out the little silver button adjacent to the gear lever. Move the gear lever to half throttle (approx. 1 o’clock). Turn the key to 1 o’clock to turn on the ignition, then one red light and one yellow light will illuminate and a buzzer will sound. Then turn and hold the key at 3 o’clock for approx. 20 seconds, another yellow light will illuminate on the dashboard. This indicates you are pre-heating the engine, then turn the key to the right to engage the starter. If the engine fails to start, repeat the above. Once the engine has started, move the gear level to the upright position and push the silver button in. To stop the engine, turn the key off. If the ignition buzzer sounds whilst the engine is running switch off the engine immediately and contact the office. To start engine from hot simply turn the key to the start position.

Gas The two 12kg gas cylinders are located under the seat in the well. One of the cylinders is in use and the other is a full spare. If there is a smell of gas, turn the gas off by turning the regulator switch so it is horizontal (3 o’clock position). Open all the windows and doors and notify the boatyard immediately. Do not attempt to start the engine, do not smoke or moor near other craft. If you are cruising at the time you first notice the smell, moor up, switch off engine and call the office.To remove the gas regulator, check the gas has been switched off and push the regulator switch towards the metal part of the retainer until it clicks. Pull up to fully remove the retainer. To reattach the gas regulator push it onto the gas cylinder, making sure it is securely attached.

Heater The heating dial is located on the left, near the stairs at the front of the boat. Rotate the dial clockwise. The indicator will illuminate and the heater will commence its start-up cycle. If combustion is not established, a second start cycle will be initiated automatically. If combustion is not established following the second start cycle, the heater will automatically enter a shut down cycle. If the heater is still not working repeat the above. Once combustion has been established hot air will be blown into the vessel’s interior. The temperature sensor will determine the correct heat output by matching the temperature it senses, against that requested by the position of the control dial. Once the desired temperature is met the heater fan will slow and get quicker again when more heat is required. Note: The exhaust is fitted on the starboard side. As this generates heat, please make sure when mooring up, that there is at least 12” clearance between your boat and the neighbouring boat, also be aware of wooden quay heading.

Gas Cooker When operating the cooker, and especially the grill, the area must be well ventilated. This can be achieved by opening windows, doors and hatch in roof (subject to weather conditions). Electrical Ignition Ignition by Spark Button: Press the valve of the burner you want to operate and turn the valve in the counter-clockwise direction so that the knob is in maximum position and with your other hand, press the ignition button at the same time. Press the ignition button immediately, because if you wait, a build up of gas may cause the flame to spread. Continue pressing the ignition button until you see a stable flame on the burner. Flame safety device: Hob Burners - Hobs equipped with a flame failure device provide security in case of an accidentally extinguised flame. If such a case occurs, the device will block the burners gas channels and will avoid any accumulation of unburned gas. Wait 90 seconds before re-igniting an extinguished gas burner. Oven/Grill Burners Regardless of the model of your appliance, all oven burners are equipped with a gas safety device. For this reason, during ignition, keep the oven knob pressed until you see stable flames. If the flames cut out after you release the knob, repeat the procedure again. If the oven burner does not ignite after you keep the burner knob pressed for 30 seconds, open the oven door and do not attempt re-ignition for at least 90 seconds. When oven flames go out accidentally, repeat the same procedure.

Gas Cooker continued Control of the Oven Burner After you ignite the oven burner as explained before, you can adjust the temperature inside the oven as you require, using the numbers on the control panel or knob ring: Bigger numbers mean higher temperatures, while smaller numbers mean lower temperatures. Do not operate the appliance between “Off” position and first temperature marker in the counter-clockwise direction. Always use the oven between maximum and minimum numbers on the serigraphy. When turning the oven off, turn the knob in the clockwise direction so that the knob shows “0” position. Control of the grill burner CAUTION: Accessible parts may be hot when grill is in use. Young children should be kept away. Right after you ignite the burner, place the grill heat shield under the control panel. After that, lift the oven door up slowly until it stops at the semi-open (approximately 30 °) position and touches the heat shield. Assembling the grill heat shield Hold the heat shield as the warnings face upwards. There are two small slots on the right and left side of the rear edge of the shield, as shown in the diagram below. There are two screws equipped bushes with the assembly slots so that the shield is stuck between the control panel and the bush. Push the shield towards the appliance until it is firmly in its place.

Fridge Do not turn the dial above the midway point, as this will unnecessarily drain the boat battery.

Water To obtain water from the taps in the galley, shower room and toilet, turn the taps on as it is an automatic system. If the water fails to come through, there is an isolation switch in the galley, which can sometimes be mistaken for a light switch. Filling up with the fresh water is advisable every day. Most boat yards have a hose. There may be a small charge. All Martham craft may fill at the home yard free of charge.

Water Switch If the water pump runs continuously it is because the water tank is empty (turn off to stop the noise). If the water is not pumping through the tap, please make sure the switch marked “Water Pump” is on, which is on the left in the galley. It can be mistaken for a light switch sometimes.

Hot Water To obtain hot water you have to run the engine for approximately 15-20 minutes with the engine in gear. Do not have the engine revs too high without it being in gear.

Shower The shower is located in the toilet area, in the well; if you lift the floorboard you reveal the foot tray. There is one switch on the wall marked “F/bath”, this pumps the water from the tray and out of the boat. Please make sure that you turn the switch off when finished.

Toilet To the right of the toilet, there is a small grey lever and a handle. Move the lever to the left, and use the handle to pump the water to operate the flush. Move the lever to the right and pump to empty. Please do not put sanitary towels, tampons, nappies, wipes or kitchen roll down the toilet, as these can cause the toilet to block. Please do not use harsh chemicals, eg. bleach or strong disinfectant to clean the toilet, as this will cause the seals within the toilet to rot.

Double Dinette Berth Release the catch and lift the table in the galley and lay the metal bar onto the floor. Place this end of the table into the groves and then lift the other end of the table up and fit it into the groves so it is level with the seating. Place the back rests of the seating over the now lowered table to get the double berth. To get back to the table and seating area, do the reverse.

Double Berth Lift the bottom of the seating in the front of the boat near the galley and pull it towards you. Lay the back rest of the seating down near the side of the boat. To get back to the seating, remove the back rest section of the bed and push the bottom of the seating towards the side of the boat and replace the back rest.

Charging Point There is a 12v cigarette socket and USB charging point positioned near the fridge.

Well Area Rhond anchors, spare ropes, water key, and a mallet are located in the locker at low level near the steering wheel.

Emergency Rope Ladder Located in orange bag in locker in well area. If required for man overboard situation, remember to cut power to the engines first. Remove from orange bag and attach to a mooring cleat situated at front or back of the boat, by tying securely. Person overboard can climb safely aboard craft, rope ladder can then be untied and stowed away.

Secondary Means of Escape Located forward hatch in ceiling and aft window are the emergency escapes.

Mooring Ropes There is one at front, one at back and two in the lockers.

Mud Weight Kept at front of boat.

Air Vents Please do not block the various ventilation points throughout the craft. (See Landlord certificate)

TV and Aerial Turn off or unplug the TV after use. When leaving the craft, please unplug the aerial from the back of the TV, pull the aerial lead through the window, remove the aerial from the roof and bring it inside.

Bilge Pump The boat has an automatic bilge pump. In cases of emergency, lift the well floor. By the portside steps, there is a switch, this will change the bilge pump to manual and you will hear the bilge pump constantly running.

Pump Out Toilet on the cruisers may need to be pumped out. We advise you to have this done mid-term of your cruise. A charge is made for this. All Martham craft may pump out at the home yard free of charge.

Battery Isolation Switches All isolation switches for the engine, domestics and fridge supply are located under the centre well floorboard.

Fire Extinguisher & Fire Blanket Fire extinguishers are supplied on your craft; please make sure you know where they are and how to use them. One fire extinguisher is located in the galley, along with a fire blanket, another fire extinguisher is situated in the well area and a third is in the rear cabin. Instructions are printed on the extinguishers.

Smoke Detectors These are located on the ceilings in forward and aft cabins.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm Carbon Monoxide Alarms are mounted on bulkheads throughout the boat.

Diesel The diesel filling point is located steering side of the craft and holds 114 litres, and should last you one week. This will be full on arrival. Do not switch off fuel unless you have a leak.

Length: 43ft (13.11m) Beam: 11ft (3.36m) Headroom: 6ft (1.83m) with roof raised. Draft: 3’ 6” (1.07m)

Safety Information

Silver Jubilee 3 Deck Diagram

This motor cruiser is provided with a non-slip walking deck, side deck and cabin roof. Suitable non-slip footwear and personal otation devices must be worn at all times. The crew need to be vigilant in respect of stability and hand holds in particular when either entering or leaving the cockpit. The crew need to be cautious on any varnished woodsurfaces within the well area.

Hand Holds & Emergency Escape Routes

Silver Jubilee 3 Hand Holds & Emergency Escapes Diagram Emergency Escape Route In the event of a fire or any emergency that blocks the entry point to the front of the cruiser and an emergency escape is required, please go to the emergency escape hatch located on the fore cabin roof, above the galley area. If in the rear area of the boat, a secondary escape route is situated in the aft cabin, rear window. Windows should be open, doors open or hatch back to give ventilation when using the cooker. Hand Holds Hand holds are provided to assist you with safe navigation around the external deck of the boat while both stationary or cruising. Personal flotation devices and suitable non-slip footwear should be worn at all times. Hand hold locations are as follows: Hand rails are fitted on the port and starboard sides of the fore and aft cabins roofs. Front window of fore cabin at top. Back window of rear cabin at top. Mudweight fixing in the middle of the fore deck. Doors on port and starboard, entering into well area. Moorings rings. When the well awning is in place, webbing has been stiched to run the length of awning on port and starboard sides.

Martham Boats recommend that life jackets and buoyancy aids should be worn at all times when travelling around the externals of the boat, when sitting in the well area, when untying mooring ropes and stepping onboard or disembarking from the boat in order to moor up. Sensible shoes should be worn at all times.

Navigation of Bridges The bridges on the broads must be treated with caution. Some are low and narrow like Potter Heigham, Wroxham and Ludham bridges. Others, particularly on the Southern Rivers, are affected by more tidal conditions. For example Beccles, Somerleyton Road and the Railway Bridge along with the bridges on the River Bure close to Great Yarmouth’s railway station.

We pilot motor cruisers under Potter Heigham Bridge, all other bridges you can motor yourselves under. PVC roof should be rolled back, front windscreens in cockpit are unbolted and stored inside the boat, and side windows in cockpit area are folded down. If the mop and any other equipment are lying on the roof, please move these items inside the boat. Make sure all people and animals are safely inside the boat or in the cockpit area. This procedure applies to going under all Bridges whilst on holiday. When at Potter Heigham Bridge, moor up, then phone the Office (during normal working hours) on 01493 740249, and let us know your location at Potter Heigham, and one of our Bridge Pilots will be despatched to take you through Potter Heigham Bridge. Whilst waiting for the Bridge Pilot, please have the boat ready for us to take under the Bridge. Check your tide tables to arrive at bridges at low water, the tide will be less of a hazard and you will have maximum clearance under them. Please remember the following at all bridges:

• • • • • •

Make sure the canopy is rolled back. Have front windows unbolted and stored safely. Side windows to be folded down. Mops and other items to be removed from the roof. Crew to be within the confines of the cruiser whilst travelling under the bridges. Mind your head especially with low bridges

If you need one of our Bridge Pilots, who are available from 8am to 4pm, please give us a call on 01493 740249.

Bridge Clearances High Water Normal Tide Central Clearances Bridge Acle

River Bure

Metric 3.66m

Imperial 12’

Wroxham Railway



Wroxham Road



Breydon fixed Span



Breydon Lifting Span



Yarmouth Vauxhall



Potter Heigham Bypass



Potter Heigham Old Road



Ludham Bridge



Wayford Bridge






Postwick Viaduct



Thorpe Railway x2 Bridges



River Thurne

River Ant

River Yare

River Wensum Norwich Trowse Railway Norwich Carrow





Norwich Novi Sad



Norwich Foundry



Beccles Bypass



Beccles Old Road



Oulton Broad Mutford



Oulton Broad Lake Lothing Lowestoft Harbour





Somerleyton St Olaves

2.60m 2.44m

8’6” 8’



River Waveney

Haddiscoe New Cut Haddiscoe Flyover

Tide Table Adjustment Times

Average adjustment to the •me of low water at Yarmouth Yacht Sta•on for •mes of •des at:-

High Water (hours)

Low Water (hours)

Av. Summer Springs Range (metres)




Barton Broad








Burgh Castle























Oulton Broad




Po!er Heigham








St. Olaves




Acle Bridge


Broadland Diaries (Two suggested itineraries for newcomers to the broads; One for Monday to Friday short break and for the week) With compliments from a regular customer

Short Break – Northern Rivers only Day 1 Depart boatyard about 3.00 pm. Down river and seen through bridge. Steady progress down Thurne with brief diversion into and out of Womack Water. Saw the Wherry Albion moored at its base (near the Broads Authority centre). Turned up-river past St Benet’s Abbey (masses of geese – graylags and canadas), – and two herons between Abbey ruins and Ant. Past entry to South Walsham Broad. Up the Ant, under Ludham Bridge and on past many moorings either side. Amazed at how much the Ant twists and turns up to and beyond How Hill. More wildfowl plus coots and a pair of grebes. Through beautiful Irstead and into Barton Broad. Lovely open water at last but somewhat affected by dredging and landscaping and long lines of posted channels keeping the boats away from shallow water. Made for Barton Turf and the first night mooring at the Public stait he.

Day 2 To Stalham. Moored at Richardson’s and took on water. Visited the town and then to the staithe to the Museum of the Broads. A fascinating hands on experience with videos and displays showing the origin and development of boat building and tourism in the area. Worth a visit. Down river again with cockpit top and sides fully down. A long -haul day. Wroxham bound with a trip round Salhouse Broad and a visit to Great Hoveton nature trail. On the wide reach between the Ant and Ranworth Dyke encountered three yachts tacking against us. Great care was taken to “play it by the book” and everything was okay. Reached Wroxham and through the Bridge with great care then mooring up opposite Bridge Road. Via a footpath past the railway station went into Wroxham: sampled the delights of Roy’s! Returned to the boat well laden and settled in for a relatively early night and an early start.

Day 3 Early start and into Wroxham Broad on the way. An exhilarating cruise up and down and around. Encountered more yachts and dinghies tacking and running free and also a couple of moored wherries, in the case of which big really is beautiful. Many geese noisily and messily inhabit the southern tip of the Broad. Into and out of Salhouse Broad but pressed on to Ranworth. Well timed! Two large cruisers just on the way out and we got a mooring (always a touch and go situation in the season). Watered again and round the shop and information centre. Still only mid – morning so had coffee and then visited the Wildlife Centre and Nature Trail. All free! Not too strenuous and totally fascinating to look into the “real Ranworth Broad”. After a late lunch a total contrast. An arranged visit to Ranworth Church for a glimpse into Mediaeval life and also a breathtaking view from the top of the church tower. Our guide and escort was full of enthusiasm and information. This took all afternoon and then, back on board, down the Bure and up the Thurne once more to moor at Potter Bridge. Shopped at Latham’s then walked part of the Weavers’ Way following footpaths and way marks. Arranged with the Boatyard to be seen through the bridge at 9.00 am.

Day 4 Through the bridge and up-stream. Dropped pilot off at the Boatyard then on and up Candle Dyke. A totally different world hardly touched by tourism. A wilderness of reed beds and shallows: duck, geese and swans the only living and moving things apart from ourselves. Guided by posts through Heigham Sound we ignored the branch to Horsey Mere and moored instead at Public moorings just before the narrows open out to Hickling Broad. Close to the spot where Miss Emma Turner (an eccentric Victorian photographer) lived in a houseboat and produced spectacular nature photographs all on her own. It is rumoured that her ghost may be seen there rowing a boat but this will not stop us mooring there for the night. Also realized on landing that we had walked almost this far the night before along the Weavers’ Way. Lunch at the Pleasure Boat Inn. Up Meadow Dyke and brewed up. Sat in the cockpit content to watch the wildlife go by. Enjoyed watching a yacht tacking up Meadow Dyke. Moored at the Heigham Sound Moorings for the night. Another walk along part of the Way. Slept well: no ghost! Tomorrow is handover day.

Day 5 Back to Boatyard: the holiday is over. The boat is cleaned and the car is packed. After goodbyes and “see you next years” have been exchanged we set off for home. The first half mile is terrifying: we seem to be going so fast! But the speedometer tells us we have barely passed thirty and, in any case, we are still on Cess Road. That experience shows better than words, the slow leisurely progress we have become accustomed to during the week. Four miles an hour (even three in congested or narrow places) was the norm, rising to five, or rarely seven, in open river. It looks outrageous on paper but in practice it is easy to adjust to and exceedingly therapeutic. Believe me.

A Full Week – Northern and Southern Rivers Day 1 After a practice run with a boatman left Boatyard about 2.30 pm. Boatman on board to see us (and two other crews) through Potter Bridge. Down the Thurne (crowded with boats all setting off!) to the Bure. Did not go into Womack Water and turned upstream at Thurne Mouth. Journey took longer than expected. Into and out of Ranworth (no moorings!) Moored stern on for the night in Salhouse Broad instead.

Day 2 Woke early. To Wroxham via Wroxham Broad. Good open water with many geese at the southern end and two wherries moored. Several yachts and dinghies (private and hirecraft) already in action in the steady breeze. Beautiful clear sky so we cruised without canopy and with the sides down. Wroxham is Roy’s. We shopped for essentials and unusual things for mementoes and gifts (all good value). Late coffee at Hotel Wroxham. Remembered to use cash machine before leaving, being few and far between in Broadland. Back to the boat – moored at Public Staithe beyond railway bridge – for a “soup and sandwiches” lunch. South again : a long haul, past Thurne Mouth, under Acle Bridge and on to planned mooring at Stracey Arms. Just one mooring left. Walked the footpath shown on the O.S. map up Tunstall Dyke and back, very muddy! Retired early but noise from the pub, later, and traffic on A47 all night made for restless sleep. Checked mooring ropes because of tide changes.

Day 3 We left the moorings at 8.30 were through Yarmouth soon after ten (low water due at 11.00 am) Good clearance through both bridges. Breydon Water spectacular. The marked channel much wider than the map suggests. Mud flats all around and swarming with gulls and waders. Every post, almost, has a resident cormorant which flops off and moves on as the boat passes. Waves quite choppy and a real feeling of being “at sea”. Pressed on past Berney Arms and the Mill – huge and solitary- to get as far upstream as possible. Past marshes to either side, through Reedham and the ferry. Past Cantley sugar beet factory (all steam and activity ) and then saw water-skiers on the long reach before Rockland Broad. More marker posts but otherwise a placid haven for coots, grebes, ducks and swans. Resisted the temptation to enter the channel up to Rockland Staithe and returned to the main river by a different dyke. Into and around and out of Surlingham Broad. Moored at Brundall by the shop-with-the-tree growing through. Took on water, explored shop then set off again on the last leg of a very long day. Soup and sandwiches en route for a late lunch. Tempted to stop at Bramerton but pressed on to Norwich instead. Yacht Station moorings very expensive but safe haven with shore toilets and hot showers welcome. Norwich deserves more than just an evening visit. Ate Chinese on Prince of Wales Road and walked round the Cathedral Close and down Elm Hill. Quite Mediaeval in appearance and magically lit and atmospheric. “A fine city” George Borrow called it and he was right.

Day 4 Another long haul. Norwich down to Reedham then the New Cut and so on, down the Waveney to Oulton Broad Yacht Station. Made a day of it – picked up water again at Brundall – “Peeped” into the Chet but only as far down as the Nature Reserve. Slowly past with binoculars at the ready. Nothing unusual but plenty of ducks, geese and the usual coots and grebes. Wrong time of year probably. The Waveney valley and its marshes look different from the Northern rivers. More water skiing and a cluster of yachts to navigate through. Down Oulton Dyke: a glorious stretch of water – made me wish for a yacht to sail! Yacht Station cosy and crowded. Walked through the Park and about the town. Shopped for food and souvenirs. Bought fish and chips and back to the boat. Shore toilets and showers once more.

Day 5 Decision time. Do we stay here for another day and go into Lowestoft by train then return to the boat for the speedboat racing on Oulton Broad or do we sail back up to Potter bridge and get taken through to have the final day on Horsey and Hickling? Speedboats voted down on this occasion but kept in mind for the future. An interesting cruise down river in the early morning. Much mist, burning off as the sun got up and dazzled us as we went towards Breydon. A peaceful and placid journey down to St Olaves then “new water” for us. The landscape down to Burgh Castle very flat: the only verticals seem to be man made – pylons, mills and similar. The reed beds seemed endless and being watched over by a marsh harrier – still rare but more common nowadays. Burgh Castle looking very romantic and mysterious: must visit by road one day but no suitable moorings just now for a crew in a hurry. Through Breydon (much fuller than last time) and through the bridges with inches to spare. The run up the Bure is not visually stunning especially south of Stracey Arms. We pushed on and got back in good time to be taken through Potter Bridge by one of the Boatyard staff. With several daylight hours still to go we went on up the Thurne, into Candle Dyke and moored at the end of Heigham Sound. Magical, mysterious and very remote in space and time.

Day 6 Woke to a patchy mist. On creaking wings three swans flew past into and out of the mist: like some Celtic legend come to life. A leisurely day is planned to contrast with the long hauling of the past two days. A substantial breakfast to use up food we don’t want to take back (tomorrow is handover day!) followed by a “long look round “ as the sun burned off the mist. Many ducks and Canada Geese with pairs of great crested grebes flaunting themselves, diving and displaying. Also the herons, statuesque in the shallows, motionless until a sudden plunge captures a fish. Cruised off up to Hickling and moored at the Pleasure Boat Inn. A traditional fisherman’s pub, with good food. Were tempted to hire a bicycle to explore the area – but resisted the temptation and returned to the boat. Back through Hickling, into Heigham Sound and up Meadow Dyke to Horsey. A gloriously wandering and remote waterway with wildness and reed beds all around. Saw a Marsh Harrier quartering the reed beds (our second sighting this holiday – they used to be very rare) Horsey is really wild with only the tall Mill across the water to indicate the works of men. Both Mere and Mill are in National Trust keeping. I remember the time when Major Anthony Buxton owned the Horsey Estate and Jim Vincent was the now legendary keeper/naturalist. But that was almost 60 years ago. The mill is worth a visit and simply steering across the Mere and back as slowly as it is possible to make progress is an ideal ending to a week that has required much traveling to cover the bulk of Broadland. Returned to Boatyard and checked in. Thorough cleaning and then a walk up Cess Road to Martham village for fish and chips; having cleaned the oven.

Day 7 Left boatyard at about 9.00 am. Sadness and regrets but promises like “see you next year” sincerely given on both sides. Early departure gives a whole day to tour the Broads by car and do things that were left out during the “grand tour”. Crossed Reedham on the Ferry and visited Beccles than a contrived route by which we managed to cross every road bridge that we had cruised under the past few days. Then home by major trunk roads; already adjusted to the incredible speed after a week of averaging 5mph. Happy Days!

The Timber Tradition – Judith 4 By William Woodrow Have you noticed how much alike most boats are nowadays? Years ago boatyards all had distinctive styles that were instantly recognizable from a distance. For a traditionalist like me, it is refreshing to stroll along the bank above Potter Bridge on a changeover day. The reward is to pass along an uninterrupted line of wooden boats, cruisers and yachts like, traditional in name and distinctive in style. The fleet reaches up to their home boatyard where there is also housed the largest collection of half-deckers in the whole of Broadland. This boatyard is an institution; a staunchly individualistic establishment in an industry where change is at a premium and every year sees changes of ownership, merges and absorption into large and impersonal “Leisure Complexes”. This boatyard has been literally on its own for at least three generations. The company does not avail itself of the services of the major letting agencies, but devises its own publicity and negotiates its own terms. In an age when advertising budgets eat into the profits of most companies; when self publicists tend to rule the roost, this isolationist policy might seem to be a false economy. All I can say is: “it works for Martham Boats.” A continuing stream of annually returning customers will testify to that. This success on the waterfront, tends to hide the other side of the company’s enterprise: “Boat Building & Development.” Many people these days do not simply dream about an idyllic retirement and owing a boat, they actively do something about it. They buy a boat and “do it up”. I am quite sure that anybody reading a column like this, will have the idea persistently in mind but, possibly, not much idea of how to do it. Not only do the company have an extensive building and repair service, they have a well-established and professional supervised facility for the DIY enthusiast. Literally everything is available: materials, lifting gear and transport and slipway access. Even masts and spars, sails and covers can be made on site. And, most unusual of all, the chance to upholster bunks and cushions and make matching curtains. The idea of “messing about in boats” is something most of us share with those immortal characters of Wind in the Willows. As if to reinforce the connection, I stood admiring the classic lines of Orange Tip (a half-decker) when a faint plop, distracted me. There, swimming parallel to the bank, was a water vole, the very image of Kenneth Graham’s Ratty. I looked swiftly round to see if there was a mole on the bank. But coincidences are never that good.

SLOW DOWN Don’t Make Waves Speed Limits are in force on the waterways of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Look for the Signs on the rivers and broads that indicate the maximum speed permitted in that area



8 km/h

9.6 km/h

Why should I bother ? Because boat wash is a major cause of bank erosion- the faster a boat goes, the greater its wash and the faster the banks will erode. This greatly increases the risk of land flooding at high tides and threatens the properties close to the river. Also the silt washed from the banks has to be expensively dredged from the river in order to keep navigation open to all vessels.

Think of others By keeping your speed to the limits, you help to protect the widlife whose nest are within the reed beds. Reduce speed when passing other moored craft, canoeist, paddleboards and other water users.

Who must obey the speed limits ? The limits apply to all boats or craft propelled by any form of mechanical power. It applies to all diesel petrol, steam or electric powered craft, including those with outboard motors. The limit does not apply to sailing craft under sail. Yachts with engines running do have to comply to the limit.

What happens if you break the speed limit? Most people on the Broads will understand and observe the speed limits. The Navigation Rangers undertake routine radar speed checks. Even if you are observing the speed limit your boat wash should be less than 300mm (one foot) in height. Don’t forget that anyone who breaks the limits could face a maximum fine of £1000.

Bye-Laws Under Broads Authority Regulations, any person acing in contravention of the following bye-laws will be liable on summary conviction for each and every breach, to pay a penalty. It is forbidden to:


Use any obscene or abusive language to the annoyance of any person


Use ďŹ rearms


Use any musical instrument, television, radio or any other apparatus on any vessel in such a way that it causes nuisance or annoyance to any other person


Set ďŹ re to any vessel whilst it is on the water


Cast of the mooring lines of any vessel (excluding harbour masters). All vessels must be properly and safety secured so as to prevent the risk of avoidable damage to the vessel or place of mooring. Mooring notices to be complies with


All masters of vessels shall navigate such vessels with due care and attention and with reasonable consideration for other persons using the waterway. At a speed and manner which shall not endanger the safety of other vessels, moorings, or cause damage to the banks of the waterway. Reasonable consideration must be shown for persons ďŹ shing from boats or banks of a navigation area.


A minor may take the helm provided that they are under close supervision of an adult over the age of 18. The duty remains on the supervisor to keep a proper navigational watch

Mooring Length of mooring 44 (meters) Aldeby Barton Turf Beccles Marshes Beccles Norfolk Bank Belaugh Staithe Berney Arms Reach Bramerton Brundall Church Fen Burgh Castle Cantley Catfield Staithe Chedgrave Cockshoot Dyke Coltishall Common Commissioners Cut Deep Dyke Deep Go Dyke Dilham Staithe Dutch Tea Gardens, Oulton Broad Dutch Tea Gardens Pontoon Gaye's Staithe Geldeston Great Yarmouth Yacht Station Hardley Cross Herringfleet 78 Horning Marshes Horning Staithe Hoveton St John Hoveton Viaduct How Hill Staithe Irstead Staithe Langley Dyke

A single mooring AA Double mooring 44 41 60 21 22 38 188 40 139 131 36 39 149 231 126 193 112 50


8 4 6 2 2 8 19 8 28 26 3 4 15 46 10 19 11 5




81 64


3 12 6


107 8 14 22 10 20 64 32 4 9

535 89 225 101 87 319 300 40 98

How many boats approx 8

Loddon Staithe Neatishead North Cove Norwich Yacht Station Paddy’s Lane, Barton Perci’s Island Polkeys Mill, River Yare Postwick Wharf Wroxham Broad Island Potter Heigham Martham Bank Potter Heigham Repps Bank Ranworth Reedham Quay Rockland St Mary Staithe Somerleyton St Olaves St Benet’s Stokesby Sutton Staithe Thorpe River Green Wayford Bridge West Somerton White Slea Whitlingham Country Park Womack Dyke Womack Island Woodbastwick Worlingham Staithe Wroxham Broad Island

Potter Heigham Short Stay Moorings Potter Heigham Demasting Demasting Potter Heigham Dinghy Park Demasting Reedham Pontoon Bridge Wait/Demasting Somerleyton Pontoon Bridge Wait/Demasting Ludham Bridge just before bridge Horning bank

82 150 45 507 156 49 72 32 69


7 12 8 50 15 5 7 6 6




145 170 217



81 140 51 300 33 220 223 53 150 25


28 5 60 6 22 22 5 14 2

80 140 34 93 30 69


20 14 3 9 6 6


Mooring 1. 2. 3. 4.

Always wear a life-jacket or buoyancy aid when mooring up or casting off. Always approach the mooring against the tide and current, have your crew lines ready. Know your knots and how to use rhond anchors. Never jump ashore, the ground could be slippery. Don’t use hands or feet to fend off. Use mooring posts and ring where provided. 5. Allow slack mooring ropes for rises and falls in water levels due to tidal effects and check the ropes regularly. 6. Take a torch and spare batteries if you’ll be returning after dark. 7. If mooring stern on, use your mud weight as added security to stop the bow swinging around. 8. When leaving mooring remember to watch out and give way. 9. Don’t trail mooring ropes across footpaths this can be a tripping hazard. 10. Only use barbecues on designated concrete areas, not on wooden quay headings, mooring posts, grassed areas or your boat. 11. Give priority to electric boaters at electric charging points. 12. Don’t block off access to facilities or safety equipment. 13. Don’t run your engine when moored and don’t cause a nuisance with other noise. 14. At water points, put the hose neatly back on the storage rack, don’t let the hose fall into the river or on to the ground. 15. Always use the designated paths when exploring the surrounding area. 16. Please keep moorings clean and tidy as you would hope to find them. Recycle if possible. Never leave rubbish on the bank; it is unsightly and harmful to wildlife and the environment. 17. Fishing - follow local advice on whether you can fish from your mooring, but remember you need an Environment Agency fishing licence. 18. At moorings anglers must give way to boats wishing to moor. 19. If fishing close to boats, be considerate and don’t scatter bait over their decks. Try using a pole cup to place your bait rather than a catapult. 20. Keep the pathway clear of equipment.

Local Amenities Martham East of England Coop with cash machine 1 Mile from yard

Center of village East of England Coop with Post OďŹƒce 1.5 miles

Latham of Potter Heigham general store with ďŹ shing tackle & food hall. 2.5miles

Broadland Sport shop Fishing tackle and out sport shop 1.5 miles (Martham)

M&S Food Acle with a BP petrol station NR13 3BE 5 miles

Tesco Store Caister 7 miles Tesco Store Stalham 7 miles

Barton Hire Yacht Regatta Annually in October

Great Sailing and Social Event. Each Autumn all the yachts in our eet are available to compete in the hire boat sailing regatta on Barton Broad sponsored by Waterways Holidays. Over 30 yachts take part in this event which includes a series of races in the beautiful surroundings of Barton Broad and a programme of social events each evening, culminating in the Regatta dinner and prize-giving. The Charter Yacht Regatta takes place every year and competitors hire their boat for the week covering the regatta period to enjoy a few days practice before the racing plus a little gentle sailing to wind down afterwards. A prize giving dinner is held on the Thursday of the racing week plus there are numerous other fun social events throughout the Regatta week. If you are interested in hiring a yacht for the Barton Regatta, at our special Barton Rates, please contact the office on 01493 740249.


Stand Up Paddleboarding is an invigorating and widely diverse activity, which like many other paddle sports, can form part of a healthy lifestyle and a means to meeting like minded people. Here at Martham Boats we run a SUP school to introduce people to the sport with fully qualiďŹ ed instructors. If you would like more information on our courses or would like to come and have a go, please give us a call at the oďŹƒce on 01493 740249 or send us an email to

Three Rivers Race

Want a Sailing Challenge The Three Rivers Race is, for many, the premier sailing event on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. It is organised by Horning Sailing Club and run usually on the first Saturday in June. All the yachts in our fleet are available to compete in the hire boat class of the Three River Race. To enter the race competitors have to contact Horning Sailing Club (, then they will send an application pack. The sailing yachts will require navigation lights for this event, you can obtain 12v portable set from any good chandlery. How about the Three Rivers in June then the Barton Regatta in October, do both events and get a extra discount off the second event.

Interested Call 01493 740249 today to Book a Boat

Medical & Emergencies Numbers Emergency Police Fire & Ambulance


UK and European Emergency Contact Number for Ambulance (will relay GPS position to emergency services)


For health advice and information call NHS Direct


HM Coastguard


Hospitals Norfolk & Norwich Hospital Colney Lane Norwich Norfolk NR4 7UY 01603 286286

James Paget Hospital Lowestoft Road Gorleston on Sea Great Yarmouth Norfolk NR31 6LA 01493 452452

Doctors & Medical Centers Martham Medical Centre Hemsby Road Martham Great Yarmouth Norfolk NR29 4QG 01493 748833

Stalham Staithe Surgery Lower Staithe Road Stalham Norfolk NR12 9BU 01692 582000

Stalham Green Surgery Yarmouth Road Stalham Norfolk NR12 9PS 01692 580880

Ludham Surgery Staithe Road Ludham Norfolk NR29 5AB 01692 678611

Wildlife Water Bird Rescue Services RSPCA

01603 782626 0300 1234999


John G Plummer & Associates Dental Surgeons Caister Gorleston Great Yarmouth Hemsby Lowestoft Oulton Village Thorpe St Andrew

West Road, NR30 5AQ 30 Sussex Road, NR31 6PF Greyfriars Chambers, 8 Queen Street, NR30 2QP King’s Court, NR29 4EW 1 Corton Road, NR32 4PH Meadow Road, NR32 3AZ Mary Chapman Close, NR7 0UD

01493 728351 01493 604666 01493 842559 01493 732433 01502 567519 01502 582294 01603 700990

For any of the above, ring at 8.30 am to arrange an emergency appointment between 12 Noon –1 pm.

Pharmacies Acle Beccles Brundall Coltishall Gorleston Great Yarmouth

Hemsby Hoveton Lodden Martham Norwich

Ormesby St Marga ret Stalham 580329 Thorpe St Andrew

Co-op, The Street, NR13 3DY George Westwood Way, NR34 9QH Co-op, 118-120 The Street, NR13 5LP 30 High St, NR12 7AA Superdrug, 138 High St, NR31 6QX 171 King Street, NR30 2PA Asda, Acle New Rd, NR30 1SF Tesco, Pasteur Rd, NR31 0DW Boots, 3 Market Gates, NR30 2AX Boots, Gapton Retail Park, NR31 0LZ 3 Kingsway, NR29 4JT Roys Pharmacy, NR12 8UR Boots, 4 High St, NR14 6AH Medical Centre, Hemsby Rd, NR29 4QG Boots, Riverside Retail Park, NR1 1WR Morrisons, Albion Way, NR1 1WU Boots, Chapelfield Shopping Centre, NR2 1SH Asda, Drayton High Road, NR6 5DT Tesco, Blue Boar Ln, NR7 8AB 2 Cromer Road, NR29 3RH Boots, 68 High St, NR12 9AS

01493 750502 0345 677 9870 01603 713120 01692 736784 01493 657477 01493 856970 01493 330272 0345 677 9757 01493 859484 01493 663314 01493 731697 01603 777032 01508 520246 01493 740388 01603 662894 01603 663999 01603 629208 01603 787384 0345 677 9503 01493 384000 01692

T & C Hunt, Williams Loke, NR7 0AJ

01603 439239

Veterinary Acle Stalham Wroxham Great Yarmouth

Anchorage NR13 3QX Broadland House NR12 9AH Bridge Vets NR12 8RX Haven Veterinary Surgery NR31 0LE

01493 750255 01692 580171 01692 783920 01493 416700

Boat Safety CertiďŹ cate

Gas Regulator Information

To Who

Slips, trips All on board & Falls

Hazards to Health & Safety

Drowning Death

Fractures Breakages Hpothermia Intanglement in Prop

Head injury Shock

Cuts, Bruises, Sprains.

Potential Risk



Risk L/M/H

No running around the craft. Use hand rails and hand holds while moving around the deck. If cover attached to boat, use webbing or handrails accessible through cover. Life rings in ready to use condition at all times. Keep Children supervised. Stow mooring ropes in a tidy ready to use condition. Do not jump o boat whilst moving or mooring. Use torch at night when walking along towpath and mooring areas. Caution on disembark and embarking. Know location of mooring rings (can be a trip hazard).

Life Jacket to be worn when out of cabins. Always wear suitable non slip foot wear on all outside areas of boat and well area.

Precautions to Reduce Risk

Silver Jubilee / Juliette / Judith / Janet / Jayne / Tumblehome

RISK ASSESSMENT - CRUISER HIRE Martham Boat Building & Dev Co Ltd

Moorings Rings

Mudweight Awning Roof Hatches Floorboards Ropes Windows

Manual Handling

Hazards to Health & Safety

All on board

To Who



Shock Fracture Inflamation Entanglement Cuts

Sprains and Strains Rope Burns Squashed fingers(cuts) Blistering

Potential Risk




Risk L/M/H

Care to be taken when folding roof awning back.

Wear life jacket or buoyancy aid . When lifting bend knees, keep back straight. Keep fingers clear of ropes etc. Do not wrap rope around any body parts. Children to be supervised at all times. Care to be taken when unbolting or folding windows. Keep all fingers out from under or between items. Be aware of glass/perspex windows. Wear gloves to avoid rope burns. Keep all persons in well area or inside when going under bridges. Keep mooring ropes tidy for use when mooring.

Precautions to Reduce Risk

Silver Jubilee / Juliette / Judith / Janet / Jayne / Tumblehome

Martham Boat Building & Dev Co Ltd


All on board

All on board

Second Means of Escape

To Who


Hazards to Health & Safety



Amputation Decapitation Drowning, Death

Drowning, Death



Risk L/M/H



Falling Overboard Scraps and grazes

Potential Risk

Crew made aware of second means of escape. Crew made aware of locations of cutting equipment.

Wear Life Jacket or Buoyancy Aid Keep arms and legs within the cruiser well or inside boat. Keep head low in boat on approach to bridge and going through. Crew to stay in conďŹ nes of well area or inside boat. Check heights for navigation

Precautions to Reduce Risk

Silver Jubilee / Juliette / Judith / Janet / Jayne / Tumblehome

Martham Boat Building & Dev Co Ltd




Hazards to Health & Safety

All on board

To Who


Pollution Fumes Nausea Headaches Equipment failure

Skin irritation

Potential Risk




Risk L/M/H

Know where your fire extinguishers and fire blankets are. Know where your escape routes within confines of craft. Know where your escape routes within confines of craft. Cover diesel spilled in water with absorbant pad.

Contact yard immediately if fuel leak found. Engine checked prior to each hire by yard.

Precautions to Reduce Risk

Silver Jubilee / Juliette / Judith / Janet / Jayne / Tumblehome

Martham Boat Building & Dev Co Ltd




Hazards to Health & Safety

All on board

To Who



Nausea Headaches Equipment failure

Death Fire and explosion

Risk L/M/H


Potential Risk

Know where your escape routes are within confines of craft If you smell gas, evacuate craft and contact yard immediately. Know where your escape routes within confines of craft. Know where your fire extinguishers and fire blankets are. Flame safety devices are fitted as standard to equipment. Smoke alarms fitted to boat in case of smoke or fire. Carbon monoxide alarms fitted to boat in case of CO poisoning

Precautions to Reduce Risk

Silver Jubilee / Juliette / Judith / Janet / Jayne / Tumblehome

Martham Boat Building & Dev Co Ltd



Weils Disease

Hazards to Health & Safety

All on board

To Who

Infection caused by exposure to rates, rat or cattle urine in slow owing rivers.

Potential Risk


Risk L/M/H

Wear protective clothing ie gloves Cuts to be covered with waterproof plasters. Do not swim in the river.

Precautions to Reduce Risk

Silver Jubilee / Juliette / Judith / Janet / Jayne / Tumblehome

Martham Boat Building & Dev Co Ltd


A Brief History The bridge at Potter Heigham is possibly the most notable landmark in the whole of Broadland. To some it is an obstacle beyond which, in many modern boats, the traveller cannot go, even at the lowest tides. To others it is the gateway to a magical world of water and wilderness in which memories linger from childhood and mingle with the stuff of books. Childhood heroes such as Jim Vincent and Anthony Buxton are remembered from bygone ages of Broadland. To those must be added Maurice Davey, Jimmy and Phyllis Brown and the others who are known best by their Christian names alone: Gordon, Patrick and Ian, to name but a few. These are the names associated with that enduring of Broadland institutions; a genuine family boatyard. I am writing about Martham Boatbuilding & Development Company of course; or Martham Boats as they are affectionately known to the many holidaymakers who return year after year. Right at the start it was more of a community boatyard than a family one. Maurice Davey was an apprentice to the yard of Herbert Woods. It was there that he laid the foundations of his craft. In common with other apprentices he longed to have a boatyard of his own. This wishful thinking took place before the war. The war itself provided a further development of his skills. At a naval base in Shetland, Maurice Davey was responsible for the repair and renovation of all kinds of naval craft. It was a wonderful opportunity and on his return home, in 1946, he set about putting his long held dreams into practice And so, in the company of James (or Jimmy) Brown, Frank Skoyles and Derwent Wright, Martham Boatbuilding & Development Company was born. Jimmy Brown was the Managing Director (the “brains of the enterprise” as Maurice Davey put it). Maurice, himself, was the chief designer. The early years saw mainly cruising yachts and the “June” series of launches. From out of this relatively modest start there grew the now familiar “J” fleet “Janets”, the “Janes”, “Janices ”, “Judiths” and “Juliettes”. At the top of the range there still remain the “Silver Jubilees”. In addition to the “J”s there are the half deckers and riverside bungalows. The 1950’s were the growth years; the 60’s and 70’s were the Golden Age. The success, thoroughly deserved, was mainly due to a clear-sighted vision of what was wanted, an appetite for hard work, and that quality of Norfolkness, which may be called “mucking in”. Everyone, employees, directors and director’s wives all rolled up their sleeves and worked together running the yard, carrying out the maintenance and cleaning the boats at turnround. Not least were the frantic hours of washing and drying and ironing the linen every weekend during the season. Because of the growing success of the company, Jimmy Brown was able to accomplish what most lovers of the Broads can only dream about, owning a wherry. Hathor was bought in and for many years had pride of place at the moorings at the yard. And there she did service as a houseboat and sailing trips.

Because Hathor was built for the Colman family, founders of the mustard firm, no expense was spared and Hathor was sumptuously appointed and furnished with Egyptian symbols and motifs. The name “Hathor” is Egyptian and she is the goddess of love in their mythology. Hathor, the wherry, was named after an Egyptian sailing boat that was used by Alan Colman when he travelled down the Nile as a convalescent in 1886. The story so far has mainly been about Maurice Davey. We must not forget that, despite the designing skills and the practical talents of Mr Davey, the yard was widely known as Brown’s yard. Although many individuals contributed to the setting up of the yard, either financially or by bringing their skills and talents to work, it was Jimmy Brown and his wife Phyllis who were at the heart of things right from the start. Jimmy’s particular talent was building. He had the skill to translate the designs of Maurice Davey into the realities of the riverbank. Those same craft, with the unpretentious but appropriate girl’s names, endure to this day. Some are still in the fleet. Others have been bought out and given a make-over, which puts them into the luxury class on a par with similar wooden craft by Brooms. Their intrinsic beauty resides in line and proportion coupled with quality materials and loving construction right from the outset. And from the outset, too, it was the staff’s mutual affection, and respect for each other’s contribution, that made Martham Boats, at one time, the third largest in Broadland. For 35 years, from its inception in 1946, Jimmy Brown remained at the helm until terminal illness forced him to retire. However, he was fortunate enough to see the business pass into hands of his son-in-law Gordon Curtis who is still in charge along with his sons Patrick and Ian. In order to remain viable, changes had to be made. This meant the selling off, of several boats, including the Wherry, Hathor, and diversifying and developing parallel aspects such as DIY facilities for would-be boat builders or renovators, and a complete range of chandlery. In recent years there have been many changes down by the riverside. These have included building a new Riverside Office in 2007, and the demolition of the old office block. The main riverside bank, where the majority of moorings are, has been raised, re-grassed and the old quay heading has been replaced with new. We have also raised the large area of the riverside car park, which now has a firmer surface for parking on with below surface drainage, and the road from the middle wall has been levelled and tarmacked. At the same time, our main dyke beside the pumps has also been widened and re-quayed, which allows some of our yachts to moor here awaiting customers! Also, in 2009, Ian became interested in SUP, Stand Up Paddleboarding, and he had the idea of bringing it to the Norfolk Broads! Windsurfing without the sails as he called it! Early in 2010 Ian and our Engineer, Alan Cox, undertook training and became fully qualified ASI Level 1 Instructors. A few months after their training, Martham Boats became an accredited ASI SUP School teaching Flat Water and Rescue Skills, with a fully equipped e-commerce website at In August the same year, we held the first ever Norfolk Classic SUP Race from Wayford Bridge to Martham with a shorter course from Thurne for inexperience the paddlers.

The Classic is an annual event held in July, and has got bigger and better as it has grown. The experienced Paddlers race now starts from How Hill Staithe but Thurne is still the start for the novices, with the finish line for both races at our Riverside Office. The Norfolk Classic has become a part of a national circuit of paddleboard races around the country and in 2015 we had a competitor list of over 80 paddlers, some even coming from overseas to take part. After being approached by the Norfolk Broads Yachting Company in November 2011, Martham Boats became the proud owners of 12 additional yachts to their hire fleet, including Zoe, built in 1897, along with America, Lapwing and Palace which are based on small wherries. In November 2012 we welcomed Clipper I back into the Martham fleet, after having been in private hands for many years. Over the years, Martham found that if all our boats were hired out, we were short of a tug boat! So in 2013 Gudveig was built, and she made her grand entrance at the Barton Regatta! Happy Days and Quiet Hours’ sites have been re-quay headed and both bungalows have over the last few years, gradually been upgraded and modernised. The wet dock was demolished and this is now an improved mooring site for the fleet. In February 2015, a small Broads cruiser called ‘Tumblehome’, with her distinct red canopy, joined the fleet and has proved very popular with customers. The Company were very saddened by the passing of Phyllis Brown on 8th August 2015, at the grand age of 101. Phyllis had always been a stalwart member of the Company, from the time when she had supported her husband, Jimmy Brown, in running the Company in the 1940’s, to assisting with cleaning the boats, running the Guesthouse and bringing up her own family. Even at the turn of the Millennium, Phyllis still took an active interest in the Company. Her great grandson’s, Arlen and Jai Curtis are now involved with Martham Boats, and have been working part time for the Company. Arlen has been showing out canoes and maintaining the bungalow sites. Jai is an instructor for Stand Up Paddleboarding and has been helping in the sail loft. During the rest of 2015 the work on the facilities continued, with the Kendal site having her bank raised and new quay heading. In the summer months, the staff and directors were very busy, and with paintbrushes in hand, gave the Workshops/Office along Cess Road a ‘face lift’, along with painting the inside of these sheds and making some new windows! The DIY Shed is now resplendent with two new roller shutter doors, and the general office and engineer’s workshop, not to be outdone, have now got new entry doors too. November 2015, saw the second part of the roadway, up to the junction at Goose Farm, being levelled and tarmacked. And what of the future, I hear you say! The Company are in the process of building a new yacht, to join our existing fleet. Ian is keeping abreast of new technology and updating the website constantly, and as our sailmaker, he has made sure all the fleet have new covers and sails. Patrick is keeping up to date with the new Boat Safety information and applying it to the fleet as required, and Gordon is keeping an eye on everything and offering advice when required!

Company Directors Passed Jimmy & Phyllis Brown Earlier this century the Norfolk Broads spawned many boats. Several became very well known: Herbert Woods of Potter Heigham, John Loynes of Wroxham, Jack Powles International of Wroxham, Brooms of Brundall, Richardsons of Stalham and Landamores of Wroxham come immediately to mind, their contributions to the boating industry have been well documented. I wanted to discover the trials, tribulations and satisfactions in setting up and running a lesser – known boat yard, and so elected one I had sailed past many times in Wanderbug, but had never visited. At one time Martham Boat Building and Development Co. was reputed to be the third largest boat yard in Broadland. It was widely known as “Browns yard”. On a wet, grey winter day Mrs Phyllis Brown welcomed me into her cosy retirement bungalow on the outskirts of Martham. She told me how her husband, a boat builder, started at the yard in 1946, and remained Managing Director of the yard for thirty five years. Originally the Chairman of the firm was the late Mr Pritchard who had a shed and three sailing cruisers, which was his contribution to the yards finances. Jimmy’s contribution was as a boat builder who operated day launches from the river frontage. Very quickly, the yard was organized: Mr Davey, Mr Wright and Mr Skoyles became directors and the company was set up. Phyllis Brown, always interested in people, ran a guest house from their home at Conyard Villa, Martham. She enjoyed life “working up the yard”. “There was something about the yard,” she said and her face reflected the happy times of those early years. She also had “Nan” her mother in law, to care for. She lived into her hundred – and – third year. The JUDITH motor cruisers, a fleet of eight, were named after a neighbour who lived to be one hundred and five. They were identical to their predecessors, the JANET class, which grew into a fleet of ten cruisers. When Nan died, Mrs Brown decided to run a grocery shop for the yard. “We stocked everything, down to hairpins, as well as groceries for the boats”. The development of the yard was rapid; in its heyday, the 1960’s and 70’s, the four directors had a fleet of one hundred boats for hire. Customers came on holiday by train. There was a rail link from the Midlands, and coach and car transported them to the boats moored up on the river, nearly opposite Candle Dyke. In 1959, the local Midland and Great Northern railway line serving the area closed down; a less convenient but frequent bus and coach service was substituted, and run by the Eastern Counties Omnibus Company. For those customers whose rail terminus was Norwich, the journey could be completed by car, whilst customers from the Manchester and Rochdale areas could travel to Norfolk on an overnight coach and be picked up by a free car service to Martham, from either Potter Heigham Bridge, Acle Station or Rollesby. Cars also became much more widely used by private individuals.

Mrs Brown did all the boat laundry in her home, as did the other directors’ wives in their homes. They also sewed all the boat curtains and covers. At the end of the season, the four directors’ wives shared out the blankets, seven hundred; all had to be washed, dried and aired. Mrs Brown only stopped the blanket wash this year. “I missed it” she said. In the early days, the yard had no telephone on site. The Brown’s daughter earned her pocket money by cycling from their home in the village down to the yard – 3d per trip. There was no water on the site, and all boats had to be supplied with drinking water, so a water lorry with a large tank transported water from the Browns’ home to fill the boats every Friday evening. There were no petrol pumps at the yard, so fuel was taken in cans. Broads visitors who preferred to stay ashore and day-sail were catered for at the Browns’ home, in Conyard Villa. They paid seven pounds a week, which included two cooked meals as well as a packed lunch daily. Fresh fruit and vegetables were supplied from nearby farms and smallholding. Fishing parties were also well catered for, as their catalogue illustrates. During the season, Mrs Brown with her two helpers, provided full board for an average of twenty guests each week. Coarse fishing extended the season. Then the war came and all these activities stopped. In fact, when war broke out, the last boat to be built still had to be paid for, and there were no hirings to bring in the money. All cash flow stopped. By careful budgeting, and frugal living, the debts were gradually settled, and the wood for the boat and its engine were paid for. During the year of the Second World War, Jimmy Brown went to work at Woods’ and Neaves’ yard. After the war, development of the yard continued apace. The building of reception room, ballroom and chalets progressed. Greenhouses and a smallholding helped to provide fresh vegetables to sell in the shop and customers in passing boats. Then the directors wanted to buy a redundant aircraft hanger so that the work on the boats could be done in sheltered conditions, but they could not afford the price. However, during the war years, unbeknown to her husband, Mrs Brown had been buying National Savings Certificates. The sum of one hundred and five pounds had accrued. Mrs Brown produced the savings and the hangar was bought. The directors worked all night erecting it. “What did your husband say when you produced the savings?” I asked. “Nothing”, she replied, with a happy smile. “You know what men are, but I saw his chin tremble”. So full production after the war resulted in twenty woman boat cleaners and thirty boat maintenance staff being employed. The greenhouses, smallholding and flower beds along the river frontage always caught my eye when I sailed pass that stretch of the river. I was always curious that somebody had the time and love of the place to grow such beautiful roses in beds by the riverside. It had taken me thirty years to learn the answer (and I confess to going ashore one lovely night to pick a rose for my dinghy.) As I made supper and erected my boat tent, the rose smelt sweetly as I curled up in my sleeping bag content after just another day in Wanderbug. At the yard the days of boat hire of the 50s to the 70s were creative and active. Often Mr Brown would go home after a long day at the yard, and say to his wife, “Do you feel like sleeping afloat tonight?” or he would return home at the start of the season saying “We’ve launched a boat today, do you want to sleep in her?”

So food, blankets and a hot water bottle were collected, the cat provided with fresh milk, and the night would be spent on the river, even if it was a frosty night in February, with ice on the insides of the windows. “The other directors thought us mad” said Mrs Brown, “but we’d had a lovely night – it’s another world on the Broads”. Jimmy’s dream to own a wherry materialized in the 1950’s when HATHOR was bought. Bramble was also bought for the yard. They were refitted and restored in 1958. Moored in the dyke, HATHOR and Bramble were rented out as Houseboats. Often the Browns and ancient Nan lived for days at a time aboard the Wherry. “We just liked being afloat” said Phyllis. HATHOR, bought from the Hamilton family, was used by the partners. They took the workmen out for a days sailing. The men would take a packed lunch, but a hot evening meal was enjoyed at a riverside pub where HATHOR was moored overnight. Sometimes, trying to get under Potter Heigham Bridge, members of the public, who always lined the bridge to watch the proceedings, would be taken aboard the wherry, to act as human ballast. If the wherry was weighted down sufficiently, it was easier to pass through the tiny medieval arch. “We once sailed HATHOR to Acle and across Breydon in a thunderstorm”, recalled Mrs Brown. By the late 1970s the Broads holiday trade had started to decline. Caravan holidays, cheap flights abroad and a desire to have luxuries in the boats, such as T.V. heating and hot water, made the business of running a boat yard uneconomic. Wages escalated, luxury boats cost more to build and service, and the older boats were more difficult to rent out. Mr Brown retired in 1975, due to ill health. He died of cancer two years later, and when Phyllis Brown, who had been honorary chairman, decided to retire aged seventy. Maurice Davey and Mr Stoyles also retired. Gordon Curtis came to the boat yard at Martham in 1952 as a boat builder. He married Jimmy and Phyllis Brown’s daughter and took over the running of the business in the 1980s. He and his two sons, Ian and Patrick, now run the yard at a time of great change and competition. Having sold off some of the wooden boats, Gordon concentrated on running a hire fleet with the remainder. Recently, quite by chance, traveling home after a day’s sailing with a friend in that area we drove past Conyard Villa and saw a field full of wooden boats, greenhouses, sheds and trailers beside the roadway. Instantly I remembered all that Mrs Brown had told me about the building up of the Company. In great excitement I went into the main shed and explained my interest in the site and its present occupation. Although I was a complete stranger to him, Gordon welcomed me and showed me round the yard. His enthusiasm was infectious, and as we walked over the sawdust floor of the large hangar, old, historic, wooden boats, chocked up in orderly aisles, were shown to me. Craftsmen were sitting in some boats, intent on their repairs, whilst others sat beneath a pall of dust, awaiting their turn. Years rolled by as I recognized names of yachts I had sailed past more than twenty years ago. It was like meeting up with old friends.

Interestingly, boat owners from far away were now allowed to rent off part of the sheds to carry out their own renovation work on their private yachts and cruisers. “There are not many places on the Norfolk Broads where you can do this” commented a man from Birmingham who was working on his own yacht and traveled down many weekends to enjoy his hobby. Another interesting line Gordon and his sons developed was boat trading with Holland, buying and selling boats for private owners. Indeed, only a few days prior to my meeting with Gordon I had sailed past the riverside at Martham and noticed a new, beautifully – built yacht of Dutch design. I was told it was being sailed by her owners towards the south coast at the end of the month. “We can’t stand another bad season”, commented a member of Gordon’s staff, and I knew that a line of well-maintained yachts and cruisers lay off the quay heading at Martham awaiting customers. Everybody was hoping for a good season. Gordon generously lent me his collection of photographs, and they swept away the years and memories of Maurice Davey’s designs, Janet, Janice & Japonica came back to life. Walking away from the boatyard where all the men seemed to enjoy their work and to radiate enthusiasm, I saw one or two boats that lay in the field, timbers blackened with age, and seams opened by adverse weather. They had had their time and now, like old men, could only dream of the past.

Picture show Mr Frank Skoyles , Mr Jimmy Brown and a customer invited on to Hathor

Maurice Davey was born in Oby Mill in 1914. The family had lived and attended to the mill for the past one hundred years. Its first engine ran on steam, and then in due course a diesel engine followed. Maurice’s father was a marshman, a carpenter and a small-holder, keeping cows and chickens and running a dairy. Wiseman’s farm was also under his supervision. There were three children, two boys and a girl. Maurice and his brother Herbert learnt how to row on the river when very young. In a very old boat they would row to the end of the dyke and then walk to the village school at Upton. When their boat was smashed in 1926, they built themselves another one. While they were building their replacement Herbert Woods lent the boys a sailing dinghy, so they taught themselves to sail. Herbert built a model yacht which so impressed the professionals that he was taken on by Herbert Woods. Two years later Maurice followed on to serve his apprenticeship. He was just fourteen years old. One of his fellow apprentices was Jimmy Turner. As young boys working at Wood’s yard by the river, they learnt by looking; they watched the wherry traders and the pleasure wherries sail by and they absorbed their design features and sailing qualities. Once Maurice was by the river bank at Oby Mill on a Sunday morning and remembers hearing the church bells ringing from five church towers: Upton, Ranworth, Horning, Martham and Thurne. In 1929 he was involved in cruiser building on the west side of Potter Heigham Bridge, on the east bank. The apprentices worked under the watchful eye of the foreman, Ben Balls. Sometimes the work was done in the open and some times simple sheds were used. Also in this year some marshes were bought at Potter Heigham and dug out by hand by about a dozen unemployed marshmen who earned 28s a week for their labours. The result was the beginning of “Broads Haven”. The digging of this basin was completed in 1930 and Maurice and his brother helped dig out smaller basins and watched the water pour into them as the entrance to the river was excavated by the Horbough’s dredger. (This was not achieved without mishap, for the dredger’s driver damaged his hand when the chain broke.) Workshops, storage sheds, office block and water tanks went up in quick succession and so, from 1935 onwards, the men and their boys had some degrees of comfort. Already the yard had a fine reputation for building the “Lady” class boats and also the “Light” motor cruisers. In the 1930’s forty per cent of all the Broads yachts were for hire with skippers and attendants as part of the deal, so the hiring trade was a good provider of employment for local men. In his first job at the yard Maurice was involved with Norfolk’s dinghies. They were gunter rig, with bamboo masts and spars. Hulls were of clinker construction. This dinghy was designed by Herbert Woods in response to the demand for a cheaper boat than the fourteen foot “International” class then costing around £400 or so. “Norfolk” dinghies were costed out at about £65. Two or three were built annually from 1931 onwards and a fleet of around 80 “Norfolk’s” was established eventually. The last one, No. 86, was completed in 1968. “It took two weeks to build a ‘Norfolk,’ recalled Maurice, ‘I worked on one side and Jimmy Turner worked on the other; Walter Wood varnished them as they were completed”. Maurice’s wage at that time was 8s. weekly, - ‘Four bob for me and four for my mother”.

Maurice’s mother grew tired of the hardships of living in the mill. It was a constant battle to keep the family dry and fed in such basic conditions. There was nowhere to dry wet clothes, and bread had to be baked three times a week in a wall oven. The two boys slept in a room in the rafters, reached by a ladder which was withdrawn once they were in bed. ‘So once we were up there, we had to stay,’ said Maurice. At last the family renovated a bungalow and moved away from the mill. Maurice left Woods once his apprenticeship was completed. ‘They couldn’t pay a man’s wage.’ So he went to Eastex of Acle in 1937 and helped to build Royal Oak, a famous Cruiser. Maurice married in 1939 and he and his wife lived in a tied cottage in Potter Heigham where their son was born. When their landlord wanted his cottage he told the young couple that there were plenty of huts on the airfield at Ludham where they could live. Fortunately a new home was offered by Stalham Council and life became easier for them. After the outbreak of war in 1939, Maurice returned to Wood’s yard to help with building naval boats whilst awaiting his posting in the Navy. In 1943 he was drafted to Lerwick. Lying in bed in a Nissen hut feeling the walls move in the 100 miles per hour winds that raged outside was a new experience for the raw recruits. Despite having a wife and young son in Norfolk, Maurice enjoyed his time in the Shetlands and made friends with the locals. His work involved general repair to all the boats used in the war effort. “That could mean anything from a submarine to a motor torpedo boat, and the Norwegians sent their craft to Lerwick for repairs too”. Once he was called upon to take the responsibility of doing a complete survey of a vessel. “One hundred men’s lives were at stake as a result of that survey”. He said. Maurice served his country in the Shetlands for over two years before returning to Norfolk where he was de-mobbed in 1946. Way back in the days when he had been working at Woods’ yard. Maurice and some of his friends had talked and dreamed endlessly about having their own business. So in 1946 the dream became a reality. “Martham Boat Building & Development Co Ltd “ was set up comprising James Brown, Frank Skoyles, Derwent Wright and Maurice Davey. They moved to a yard at Martham owned by J C Pritchard whilst Jimmy Brown owned a site with sheds close by in Martham. Jimmy was the managing director – “He was the brains of the enterprise”, said Maurice – whilst Wright, Skoyles and Davey were directors. So began a remarkable increase in the “June” launch fleet. “Jimmy was a great asset; he raked in the contracts, and we all worked all hours”. Maurice was the main boat-designer. “I seemed to know what was required; maneuverability and the ability to pass through Potter Heigham bridge were my main concerns. My first designs were scout boats of 12 to 16 feet. Then came 30 foot sailing cruisers, next the “Janet” class, followed by “Janes”, “Janices”. “Judiths” and “Juliettes”. We also had five houseboats and bought in some Woods half-deckers”. Maurice gave full credit to the directors’ wives, the ladies who cleaned the boats and the men who built and repaired them, also to the men who guided the customers through Potter bridge to give them a good start to their holidays.

In 1947 a large hangar was purchased from Swanton Morley Airfield and all four directors worked all night to erect it. From then on work could be done in greater comfort. Maurice’s whole family was involved in building up the operation. His wife washed and aired three hundred sheets a week. Cyril, her son, collected the linen off the bats and helped his mother wash and iron them. They were all completed by Sunday night and returned to the boats. The 1950s were years of rapid growth for all at the boat yard and the fleet grew to over one hundred, but one of Jimmy Brown’s dreams was to own a wherry. And so HATHOR was bought. HATHOR had been built in 1905 by Daniel Hall of Reedham for Helen & Ethel Colman, daughters of J Colman, the founder of the Colman’s mustard firm. Their younger brother, Alan, was a frail boy and in 1896 he traveled to Egypt to convalesce. It was hoped that the dry Egyptian air would improve his “delicacy of the lungs”. It proved a vain hope for he died in Luxor the following year, having enjoyed a trip down the Nile on an Egyptian sailing boat HATHOR (meaning “Goddess of love and joy”). Seven years later, the Colman sisters decided to name their new wherry HATHOR in memory of their brother. The interior design was based on Egyptian mythology and hieroglyphics; lotus flower motifs were inlaid into sycamore to beautify the cabin, whilst Egyptian animals and symbols decorated the doors. HATHOR was launched in 1905. Later Claud Hamilton bought her, then, some years on, the wherry was bought for Martham Development Co. They used her as a houseboat as well as for sailing trips. “That was the only time I skived off work”, said Cyril, Maurice’s younger son. “We took the HATHOR to Coltishall for a week before the season began. Each day different men from the yard were taken for a day’s sail”. “The Coltishall Anchor kept open all that week” said his father, his eyes twinkling at the memory. “There was a lot of beer consumed”. Maurice had never sailed a wherry before HATHOR came to Martham, but the information he had gained as a boy, watching the wherries pass Woods’ yard as he worked, was sufficient to enable him to take the 56 foot wherry, with a draught of 4 feet and a beam of 14 foot 2 inches, sail area 1175 square feet, along the river without mishap. Asked what training he had taken to enable him to design boats, Maurice replied, “I had an eye for design; it’s something you have or you don’t have”. After forty years successful trading and considerable expansion of the Martham site, Jimmy learnt that he had cancer. He was pushed to his last directors’ meeting in a wheelchair. Soon after his death the business started on a downward path due mainly to the rapid growth of glass- fibre boats. Luckily Cyril’s interest in photography, nurtured at school, enabled him to capture with a simple box camera ( a Kodak 66) many unique pictures of his father’s designs and of the Broadland scene of his childhood.

The boatyard was handed over to Jimmy and Phyllis Brown’s son in law, Gordon Curtis and his two sons, Patrick and Ian Curtis. Gordon sold off some of the firm’s boats and they can still be seen on many rivers, including the Thames. “Sadly some are rotting in the field now”, said Maurice, his face clouding at the memory, “but I suppose that is progress”. His son said gently, “You, Dad, had the best days, you saw the end of the traditional Broads wooden boats”. Looking round their comfortable, beautifully – kept bungalow, full of photographs of the past, and seeing the care Cyril took of his father, I stepped outside, back into the late 1990s with real regret.

One of Maurices drawings

Martham Boat Waste Disposal GREEN BIN 1.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9.

Paper - newspapers, magazines, catalogues, leaflets and telephone directories Cardboard Food and Drink Cans - rinse and don’t crush Plastic Bottles - all plastic bottles, any colour, including lids. Rinse Aerosol Cans - empty Plastic pots, tubs and trays - in cluding yoghurt pots, ice cream and margarine tubs, microwave food trays Shredded Paper, Wrapping Paper and Greeting Cards Food and Beverage Cartons Clean Foil and foil food containers


General refuse


Pet waste


Plastic bags




Light bulbs, but not fluorescent bulbs


Glassware such as Pyrex and mirrors


Sanitary products




Glass Bottles and Jars

Please Recycle were possible DO NOT throw rubbish in the River as this harms the wildlife and degrades the area. If the premises are shut, please DO NOT leave it outside of the shed, take it home with you instead. Thank you for your help.

Shower Facilities on the Broads Beccles

Yacht Station, The Quay, Fen Lane

Tel (01502) 712225


Broom Boats, Riverside Estate

Tel (01603) 712334

Burgh St Peter

Waveney River Center

Tel (01502) 677343

Great Yarmouth

Yacht Station, Great Yarmouth

Tel (01493) 842794


Whispering Reeds

Tel (01692) 598314


National Trust – Token Operated


Barnes Brinkcraft, Riverside Road


Gale Cruisers, Riverside Carvan Park Chedgrave (purchase tokens from reception) Tel (01508) 520300


Norfolk Heritage Fleet, Womack

Tel (01692) 678263


Martham Boat Building

Tel (01493) 740249


Yacht Station, Riverside Road

Tel (01603) 622024

Oulton Broad

Yacht Station

Tel (01502) 574946

Potter Heigham

Herbert Woods

Tel (01692) 670711


Reedham Ferry Inn

Tel (01493) 700429


Richardsons Boatyard

Tel (01692) 581081


Lion Inn

Tel (01692) 670796

Tel (01603) 782625


Polite Notice

Could you please ensure that this craft is left clean and tidy with roof raised. Reefs out of the mainsail and the cover is on prior to leaving THANK YOU

Be Safe and Aware Always wear a life jacket when out on deck or at moorings. Always be aware of other boats around you. Use handrails when moving about on deck and wear suitable non-slip footwear with tread. Do not jump of boat when mooring. Do not fend off other craft with your feet or hands Don’t drive the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs Don’t ride in dinghies being towed Keep an eye on everyone especially children and avoid sitting on the back of the boat Sailing boats have right of way under sail

Navigation Hazards Broads craft must not be taken out to sea, below Haven Bridge at Great Yarmouth or through the lock at Oulton Broad. Marked Channels Do not go outside the channels marked by posts because you are likely to go aground. Keep to the Right Auxiliary yachts with engines running (and motor cruisers) going in opposite direction should normally pass each other port side (left) keeping to the right hand side of the river. Auxiliary yachts with engine running, whether using sails or not and motor cruisers should give way to yachts under sail only. Always pass astern of a yacht sailing, never across the bows. Always Avoid Trouble It is everyone’s duty to prevent collision and avoid trouble, even if another boat breaks the rules.

Profile for Ian Curtis

Silver Jubilee 3  

Boat Manual

Silver Jubilee 3  

Boat Manual