Zoe – princess of the Broads hire fleet

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Zoe sails by

A few of the Norfolk Broads boats available for hire are celebrities in their own right, and one of my favourites is the 1897-built 27-footer Zoe, which is available from the Broads Yachting Company at Horning.

Originally named Jubilee because she was built for hire in the year of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, Zoe’s amazing working life has spanned six English monarchs. I’d guess that she’s almost certainly the oldest yacht in the hire fleet, and I understand she’s the only one with a counter stern.

I’m told she’s quite small inside – even though she’s 27ft long, she only has berths for two – but she’s nevertheless in great demand. One of the staff at the yard told me that she’s almost always in hire, even at times when the other boats are less busy. I guess the reasons are partly her age and cute looks – but also that she has an optional topsail and is advertised as being suitable only for experienced sailors.

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One thought on “Zoe – princess of the Broads hire fleet”

  1. Thank You for this. Zoe was built my my ancestors Robert Harrison at Womack Waters in Ludham. I have been hoping to find out where she is. As an aside the Harrisons married with and apprenticed the Cossey and Lake families. One line of Harrisons emmigrated to Toledo OH and set up shop building boats there. The Cosseys and Lakes went to Canada and built wooden speed boats that competed with the best of their time. Some of the Cosseys went on to work for Bearcraft Hacker, and also built top secret tugs for the Canadian Navy. The Lakes eventually moved to Vancouver island where their crafts were sailed.

    So, the Zoe has spun out 3 families, in 3 countries, on 2 continents for close to 200 years.

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