Old fashioned and classic sailing boats of the Norfolk Broads, autumn 2010

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On Barton Broad 13 Hunter's Yard sailing cruiser

On Barton Broad 8 Broads sailing cruiser

On Barton Broad 14 19th century Broads sailing cruiser Zoe sails by On Barton Broad 14 19th century Broads sailing cruiser Zoe sails by On Barton Broad 11 RNSA dinghy sails by

On Barton Broad 5 A Hunter's Yard boat sails by On Barton Broad 10 Broads sailing cruiser

Norfolk Broads Wherry Albion Norfolk Broads Wherry Albion How Hill boatshed

Photos of traditional sailing craft of the Norfolk Broads, including everyone’s favourite, the 19th century Broads sailing cruiser Zoe, a Royal Navy Sailing Association dinghy, the Norfolk wherry Albion, and a charmingly dilapidated boat shed. Click on the images for a much larger photo

We’re just back from a short trip to the Norfolk Broads in the Broads sailing  cruiser Camellia, hired from the helpful folks at the Broads Yachting Company, of Horning – and these are some of our snaps. If only we could have stayed longer!

We recently rather enjoyed the book The Norfolk Broads: The Golden Years, which we bought in Norfolk earlier this year. It’s a compendium of photos and descriptions by the charming Broads writer and keen sailor Philippa Miller, and include many shots of familiar scenes from the area going back to early in the 20th century. It’s difficult to get now, but I notice Amazon sellers have a few copies.

Zoe – princess of the Broads hire fleet

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zoe-7 zoe-4 zoe-3

zoe-6 zoe-8

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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