Notice Board

The items on the Noticeboard are arranged in reverse order, with those most recently posted at the the top.

Results of NSBA Broads Survey

We have now analysed the results of our recent Broads Survey, and the results are printed below.

Thank you for participating , and the winner of the prize draw of respondents is Graham Baggott.


Number and type the craft for which respondents are Broads Authority tollpayers:

Sail, with cabin ...........75  Sail, no cabin but keel …27      Sailing dinghy …55

Powered, with cabin .157  Powered, no cabin …......44      Other ..................63

Total number of craft....421       Number of respondents 247 (of whom all but 10 are tollpayers)


Days in the last year for which craft made a journey exceeding 100 metres on the Broads navigation (average):

Sail, with cabin …........32    Sail, no cabin but keel …20      Sailing dinghy …11

Powered, with cabin …36    Powered, no cabin …......27      Other …...............11

Average days for all types of craft ....26


Average rating for the availability of free moorings (score 4 = excellent, 3 = good, 2=satisfactory, 1 = poor, 0 = don’t know (not included in scoring)) on:

                                                                                                                        Average scores:

            the Ant and ‘tributaries’ ……........................................................................2.01

            the Bure (and ‘tributaries’ ex Ant) above Thurne Mouth …….....................1.81

            the Bure below Thurne Mouth ………..........................................................1.69

            the Thurne and ‘tributaries’ ………...............................................................1.82

            the Waveney and ‘tributaries’ ………............................................................1.92

            the Yare and ‘tributaries’ (inc Wensum) above Cantley factory ….…..........1.83

            the Yare and ‘tributaries’ (inc New Cut) below Cantley …….......................1.60


Average rating for yacht stations in terms of the availability of moorings, facilities (including condition of them), security and value for money (score 4 = excellent, 3 = good, 2=satisfactory, 1 = poor, 0 = don’t know)

                                                                                                Average scores (not including 0s):

Yacht station




Value for money






Great Yarmouth










Oulton Broad






Average rating for availability of diesel (D), petrol (P), water (W), pump out (PO), chemical toilet disposal (TD) (scoring as above) on:

                                                                                                                                Average scores (not including 0s):







Ant and ‘tributaries’






Bure (and ‘tributaries’ ex Ant) above Thurne M






Bure below Thurne Mouth






Thurne and ‘tributaries’






Waveney and ‘tributaries’






Yare and ‘tributaries’ (inc Wensum) above Cantley






Yare and ‘tributaries’ (inc New Cut) below Cantley







Appendix A: Comments about facilities

Issues raised by more than a few respondents are summarised below. All comments received have been logged and will inform the NSBA in acting for its members.


Riverside facilities in general

26 respondents referred to lack of facilities either generally or more commonly of a specific type. 6 respondents commented on the paucity of outlets selling petrol. 6 respondents commented on the lack of chemical toilet disposal facilities. 5 respondents commented on the reduced availability of yards to provide services, either because of the reduction in the number of yards or because the move to short breaks meant that yard staff were busy with hire boats for more of the week.


Electricity charging points

20 respondents commented on the need for an expansion of electric charging points around the Broads system, particularly at 24-hour moorings. They pointed out that, even where there was such a facility, the number of points was inadequate.


Public toilets

16 respondents complained about the unavailability of public toilets near public moorings. The facilities at Gaye’s Staithe, Hickling, Ranworth, Horning, Ludham Bridge and Womack were noted and held up as good examples, unlike those at Potter Heigham.

6 of the above respondents pleaded for the provision of showers.


Refuse disposal

14 respondents commented on the lack of refuse disposal facilities for boaters, three advocating the provision of re-cycling facilities and one asking for the provision for disposal of dog excrement. The following is worthy of particular note in terms of possibly inadvertent effect:

‘Waste disposal is a real problem in many places, especially where you don’t use the public moorings, eg in Horning, but you moor nearby and have to dispose of domestic-type waste. The notices in the public bins limit use to those using the public staithes only. What am I supposed to do? Bring my rubbish back home with me or, like everyone else, ignore the notices and threats of prosecution?’

The following comment is also worthy of note in terms of a consequence of the lack of refuse disposal facilities:

‘Boats often tie up bags of rubbish then leave them on the back of the boat over night to get knocked/blown in or pulled in by mooring lines. I’d love to see more education on it.’


Free moorings

15 respondents regretted the loss/lack of informal moorings.

6 respondents complained unfavourably on BA 24-hour moorings, citing the inappropriate surface material on refurbished moorings, obstructive ladders, and the fact that stern-on moorings are not practicable for craft which cannot directly moor stern to quay heading (eg long transom-hung rudder).


Yacht stations

8 respondents commented specifically on these.

‘One noisy night at Norwich Yacht Station has put me off visiting again. Norwich and Gt Yarmouth are best left to hire craft.’

‘Free short time moorings in, for example Beccles and Oulton Broad, so that one could go shopping.’

‘The staff are terrific at Gt Yarmouth Yacht Station, but the season is short and the "closure" arrangements in winter are awful, and a discredit to Borough Council / BA together. Its very scruffy with one of two men's showers our of order for a lot of last season, albeit the staff efficiency goes a long way to compensate.’

‘Overnight mooring fees have made it very expensive to stay for more than one night.’

‘I’d like the facility to be available to me in Norwich. I can’t get to it due to the bridge.’

‘Significant lack of security at Norwich Yacht Station, so much so that we won’t moor there overnight any more after being cast adrift in the middle of the night several times in recent years.’

‘Real issues of security at Norwich since waterside development – the “half” price is a joke. Won’t stay overnight any more and therefore don’t visit nearly as often (& love Norwich so sad state of affairs)!’

‘Sad yacht stations, eg Great Yarmouth.’



Appendix B: Problems with inadequate dredging


Respondents identified areas where they had experienced inadequate depth of water. The most commonly referred to areas were parts of the following areas: (* = all states of tide), ** = low tide, ***= no state of tide recorded, ****= half tide or less, ***** = most states of tide). All areas reported by respondents have been logged and will inform the NSBA in acting for its members.



Barton Turf to Irstead Shoals inc Barton Broad and Port Hand Channel as far as Neatishead  6 reports: with drafts of 1.25m*** (4 reports), 1.12m***, 0.76m***

Dilham to Paddy’s Lane, Barton Turf  5 reports: with drafts of 1.2m** (3 reports), 0.9m***, 0.79m***



Horning Racing Reach to Thurne Mouth  9 reports: with drafts of 1.5m* (2 reports), 1.25m**, 1.1m* (2 reports), 1m***, 0.9m * (2 reports) & ***

Thurne Mouth to Upton Dyke, including South Oby Dyke  5 reports: with drafts of 1.1m*** (2 reports), 1m*** (2 reports), 0.9m**

Lower Bure  5 reports: with drafts of 1.3m*, 1.25m*, 1.2m*, 1m***, 0.76m***



Above Potter Heigham Old Bridge  8 reports: with drafts of 1.5m***, 1.2m** (2 reports), 1.1m***, 1m***, 0.9m*, 0.85m**, 0.75m***

Heigham Sound/Meadow Dyke/Horsey Mere  33 reports: with drafts of 1.3m*, 1.25m***, 1.2m* & *** (2 reports), 1.1m* (2) & *** (2), 1m*(4) & ** (3) & ***(12), 0.9m* & ***(3), 0.8m*** (all in Heigham Sound except 2 x 1m***)

Hickling Broad/White Slea/Catfield Dyke  14 reports: with drafts of 1.25m***, 1.12m***, 1m* & ***(5) &*****, 0.9m* & ***(3), 0.85m*** (all but 1m* (Catfield Dyke) and 0.85m*** (White Slea) in Hickling Broad)




Oulton Broad and Dyke  8 reports – all but 1 re Broad: with drafts of 1.5m**, 1.3m****, 1.2m** & ****, 1.1m**** (Dyke), 1m** (2), 0.75m**



Rockland Broad and Dykes  6 reports: with drafts of 1.5m***, 1.2m**, 1.0m*** (2), 0.9m**, 0.75m****

Appendix C: Other issues drawn to the NSBA Committee’s attention


Issues raised by more than a few respondents are summarised below. All comments received have been logged and will inform the NSBA in acting for its members.


Tree/weed clearance

19 respondents commented on the need for tree (and other bank growth) or weed clearance or both. Specific comments were made in respect of the upstream section of the Yare past Bramerton Common, Rockland Dyke, Ant Mouth to Wroxham, Dydler’s Mill to Coltishall Common, the Ant above How Hill including the approach to Neatishead, and the Waveney above Beccles (trees), and Hickling Broad, Heigham Sound, Martham Broad to West Somerton, the ‘Neatishead Cut’, the Upper Ant and the Chet (weed).



12 respondents commented on the need for de-masting provision at bridges. Associated with this, one respondent, a dinghy sailor, pleaded for provision to be made at the yellow dolphin at the Breydon/Bure junction of something to enable craft without power to get hold of something – eg vertical ropes – while waiting for the tide to turn.



7 respondents emphasised the problems with low bridges, including swing bridges which do not open, especially at Somerleyton, and the low bridges at Great Yarmouth.


The environment

7 respondents referred to the impairment of the idyllic, peaceful charm of the Broads, This included: boaters running engines early and late (4 reports), river into Norwich a mess and unwelcoming, too many ugly signs for boaters. Other complaints have been logged under the ‘Broads Authority’ heading.


Hireboat helms’ handling skills etc

5 respondents expressed concern about what appeared to be inadequate training by hire yards on boat handling/behaviour/‘rules of the road’.


Broads Authority

18 respondents were concerned about the lack of policing by rangers re drunkenness, speeding, itinerant live-aboards ‘who seem to be above the rules’. One respondent complained about over-zealous rangers.

8 respondents criticised the continuing rise in tolls not matched by improvements or by maintenance of waterway – neither value for money nor fair.

   Item Number: 142
No directly elected members to BA, say Broads boaters
The NSBA reply to a Defra consultation on governance processes of the Broads Authority, Consultation on the Governance Arrangements for the National Parks and the Broads, warns the present membership structure is unbalanced, that the Authority should not be increased in size, and members should not be directly elected.

The full submission can be read here>>>
   Item Number: 154
BBC Norfolk - Somerleyton Bridge Discussion with Wally Webb and Mark Wells.
NSBA has come out fighting against the continuing disruption to river traffic by the closures to Somerleyton Bridge. The latest statement from Network Rail about two ten minute openings a day has angered boat owners. NSBA Chairman Mark Wells discussed the situation with BBC Radio Norfolk reporter Wally Webb on the Monday: Here's what was said:

click here to download and hear the item
   Item Number: 145
The announcement by the Broads Authority (BA) that Network Rail has amended the opening times for the Somerleyton Bridge brought an angry response from Broads boaters who have faced a summer of disruption and hit-and-miss bridge closures.

Reacting to the announcement that Network Rail would only open the bridge for two 10-minute periods a day, NSBA chairman Mark Wells said: " Enough is enough; it's time for Network rail to obey the law and maintain the right of navigation and stop putting their own narrow commercial interests first. After a summer of disruption, this is a bridge closure too far.

"Ten minute openings twice-a-day will cause chaos with boats backing up to go through. Even the longer one-hour openings on Sundays are not acceptable, nor for many people is the imposition of a mid-afternoon opening, many of us like to return to our moorings in the late afternoon or early evening.

"We call on the BA to take decisive action, and stand up for boaters statutory rights, not only in forcing Network Rail to meet their legal obligations in relationship to the navigation but in their general attitude to the other workings of the other bridges in the Broads waterways," he added.

NSBA is recommending that skippers who face problems should contact Network Rail direct by calling the national helpline, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: 08457 11 41 41; switchboard: 020 7557 8000. Emails can be sent via the Network Rail website:

In a statement yesterday BA said that Network Rail, the statutory operator and owner of the Somerleyton Bridge, had informed them that the measures put in place to reduce the possibility of a complete failure of the bridge swinging mechanism had been revised. Oil tests showed that mechanism wear rates were too high to sustain three daily openings.

With effect from Monday 20th September 2010 the Somerleyton Bridge will be swung open for river traffic for two 10-minute periods, Monday through Friday inclusive, for two 10-minute periods on Saturdays and for two one-hour periods on Sundays.

The Bridge will therefore be swung upon river traffic request at the following times:
Monday to Friday, 1005 to 1015 and 1530 to 1540,
Saturday, 0930 to 0940 and 1530 to 1540;
and Sunday, 1010 to 1110 and 1610 to 1710.

The Broads Authority says it will continue to negotiate with Network Rail for a long-term solution to this latest bridge failure. Vessels that do not require the bridge to swing are unaffected and can pass under the Bridge without hindrance.
   Item Number: 143


For immediate use


The Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA) has told the Secretary of State for the Environment that the draft Great Yarmouth Harbour Revision Order is defective, vague and needs considerable clarification. The draft Order designates the Great Yarmouth Port Company as the harbour authority  for the port area, which includes Breydon Water and the lower Bure and Waveney, as well as the maritime parts of the port area.

NSBA claims there is no provision to protect the interests of recreational boaters who use the port area. Representation on the Great Yarmouth Port Authority and its Port Stakeholders Consultative Committee currently protects the interests of recreational boaters, but the draft Order does not guarantee continuation of this.

NSBA is concerned that the Port Company’s apparent preoccupation with the Outer Harbour Development is at the expense of the maintenance of Breydon Water and its associated rivers. It is also concerned that the Port Company’s failure to consult with interested parties, including the Stakeholders Consultative Committee, the Broads Authority and NSBA, in advance of the publication of the draft Revision Order, is unacceptable.



“Neither of these things bodes well for the attention which the Port Company is likely to show to the interests of recreational boaters. The NSBA considers it essential that adequate, formal provision is made for stakeholders’ involvement and for consultation mechanisms so as to protect the interests of recreational boaters who have a right of navigation over the waters covered by the draft Order,” it says in its submission.

The Association adds that if the Port Company should cease to exist there’s no provision in the draft Order for the functions and responsibilities transferred under it to be returned to a body with Trust Port. The Port Company is in its early days and many doubt the financial viability of its outer harbour development.

The NSBA considers the draft Order is unclear as to the future functions of the existing Port Authority, which will continue in existence and the operation of the Haven Bridge whose opening is essential for the passage of large or fixed-masted recreational craft to and from the Broads.

The future composition of the Port Authority listed in the draft Order is unacceptably small and does not reflect the range of skills, competencies and interests involved in its ongoing  operations. The NSBA considers it is essential there should be consultation on the Port Authority’s proposed composition with all interested parties.
— END —

Garth Cooper
NSBA Communications Officer,
Tel: 01362 699195
Mob: 078362 530970
Skype: Garthword

Editor’s Notes:

The Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA) represents the interests of, and lobbies on behalf of, private boat owners and toll payers on the Broads. Apart from its growing personal membership, 47 sailing and boating clubs and class associations are affiliated. The Association is itself affiliated to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) the governing body of sailing in the UK, and has two representatives on the RYA East regional committee.

It is the organiser of the Broads’ flagship sailing event, The Ramuz Trophy, and the Broadland Youth Regatta, and is the publisher of The Green Book, the all-encompassing guide to the Broads, clubs and activities.
   Item Number: 128
BSS Safety Alerts

BSS Safety Alert NR 001.10 - Boat owners asked to act early and be vigilant for petrol system problems

BSS Safety Alert NR 002.10 - Take care with portable petrol engines says BSS

   Item Number: 127


Urgent Safety Alert

Potentially Fatal Issue from Belling, Flavel, Leisure, and New World Cookers

An urgent appeal has been lodged for boaters who may be at risk from potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning from Belling, Flavel, Leisure and New World cookers through the Environment Agency.

Manufacturers and Trading Standards have been unable to contact all of the owners of around 12,000 appliances and boat owners are urged to note the risk and take the necessary action. A copy of the content of the notice is shown below. Full details are available on the Boat Safety Scheme website which is available through this link: under the “Belling, Flavel, Leisure and New World” banner.

Requests for further information should be directed to the appliance manufacturers.

Mike Rimmer
Waterways Strategy
01603 756052

“An urgent appeal has gone out to boaters from the manufacturers of Belling, Flavel, Leisure and New World cookers - act now to avoid the risk of potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning."

As a result, the Boat Safety Scheme is urging boat owners, including those that rent and hire their craft, to check the brand and model of their cooker as there is a serious risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from some models.

Free modifications by the suppliers' engineers to the cookers are available to prevent the risk of CO if the grill is used accidentally with the door shut. This is a quick and simple operation.

The Boat Safety Scheme advises any boat owners with the following appliances to call the free-phone number 0800 342 3049 to have their appliance modified as soon as they can:

Belling G755 Mk II White
Belling G755 Mk II Anthracite
Belling GT755 White
Belling Countrychef 100G Silver
Belling Countrychef 100G Anthracite
New World Vision 50TWLM Silver LPG
New World Vision 50TWLM White LPG
New World Vision 50WLM Silver LPG
New World Vision 50WLM White LPG
Leisure AL6NDW
Leisure CM10NRK
Leisure CM10NRC
Leisure CM101NRCP
Leisure CM101NRKP
Flavel AP5LDWP
Flavel AP5LDW
Flavel AP5LDSP
Flavel Milano ML5NDS
   Item Number: 121


Urgent Safety Alert

Carbon Monoxide Alarms Recall Alert

The Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) is alerting anyone with a battery powered carbon monoxide alarm supplied by Lloytron (model B822) or PowerPlus (model BWK034C/Ref 6167) that some units are being recalled.

Recent tests have shown that some batches may not detect (and hence may not sound an alarm) in the presence of certain concentrations of carbon monoxide.

The advice is to remove the unit and return it to the place where you bought it for a refund or further advice. The alarms are approximately 11cm in diameter. The Lloytron item is in blue packaging and the PowerPlus item is sold with blue and yellow packaging.

The Boat Safety Scheme believes carbon monoxide alarms made to the international standard EN 50291 and installed according to the manufacturer's guidelines can give boaters reassurance, but they should be used alongside a policy of maintaining and using gas, coal, wood and oil-burning appliances according to instructions.

There is further information on carbon monoxide in the BSS leaflet, 'Avoiding the Silent Threat', available from the BSS Office (01923 201278) and on the BSS website:
   Item Number: 120
Broads Bill gains Royal Assent
   Item Number: 107
River Ant Posts to be removed
Broads private boat owners heaved a sigh of relief this week when the Broads Authority (BA) bowed to pressure from users’ organisations and started removing dangerous steel marker posts it had only recently installed on the River Ant.

Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA), which represents tollpayers, sailing clubs and private boat owners on the Broads, has campaigned to get the posts removed and wrote to BA Chief Executive Dr John Packman stressing the danger to which these posts put boats, and sailing craft in particular, on such a narrow river. Both the River Cruiser Class and the Broads Hire Boat Federation also made strong representations to BA to have the posts removed.

A spokesman for NSBA said: “This is very good news. They are replacing the steel posts, which at two metres above water level were a serious danger to all sorts of craft but most particularly sailing boats, with coloured marker buoys – which is what we asked for in the first place. In the face of strong opposition from all sides BA has seen sense, and that gives us some cause for optimism in the future. We look forward now to similar posts on the River Chet also being removed.”
   Item Number: 104
Broads Authority Bill

The Broads Authority Bill has at last passed through the House of Lords Committee. It is now expected on the Statute Book in the spring. The Bill gives the Broads Authority (BA) increased powers, including full implementation of the boat safety scheme, licensing of hire boats and making third party insurance for all boats compulsory.

In a brief statement Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA) chairman Mark Wells said: “There is considerable relief that this long drawn out process is now almost at an end. Now it’s time to move on. We have many points of difference with the Broads Authority (BA) and, while observing closely how they choose to apply the new legislation, we want to get back to concentrating on sorting out these substantive issues with them.”

NSBA, with support and help from the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and the British Marine Federation (BMF), negotiated significant modifications to the earlier drafts of the Bill, culminating in the agreements reached between the boating organisations and the BA in January 2007.

“Their advice was invaluable to our case,” commented Mark Wells. “We remain convinced that the line we took was both effective – in terms of the amendments achieved – and financially prudent.”

He added the NSBA now looked to the future and was concentrating its efforts on supporting the BA members' scrutiny panel examining the Authority's stewardship of the toll income, encouraging efforts to redeem the backlog of dredging in key areas of the Broads and continuing to represent the interests of all private boaters who use the Broads Navigation.
   Item Number: 97
Nic Asher WOBYC sailor has won the 470 worlds in China
Nic Asher, a member of Waveney and Oulton Broad Yacht Club, and his crew, Elliott Willis, have won the 470 World Championships in China. Detailed reports can be found at .
NSBA congratulate Nic and Elliott on their achievement. A monumental success.
   Item Number: 58

The NSBA committee has become increasingly aware of issues arising from the practice of wakeboarding on the Broads. Wakeboarding has been discussed several times during committee meetings. To help it come to a position, the committee asked representatives of water skiing/wakeboarding, and those opposed to it, to participate in a full debate of the issue at its last meeting.

Following lengthy and wide-ranging discussion, and after taking into account all the arguments for and against and particularly bearing in mind the importance of the safety and the enjoyment of other water users, the committee resolved by a clear majority that:

NSBA would not oppose water skiing but believes that wakeboarding is inappropriate on the Broads.

The key factors that influenced the committee were the effect of wake on passing craft, particularly inexperienced hire boats and boats engaged in towing, and general safety and disturbance issues which it believes to be incapable of mitigation by closer management. The Committee was also concerned about some of the wording in a guidance leaflet distributed to skiers and wakeboarders.
   Item Number: 56
Latest Boat Safety Scheme Schedule from the Broads Authority

The details of the introduction of the Boat Safety Scheme are now in place. NSBA advice is that you should not wait until the last minute to make sure that your craft comply. The scheme examiners and boatyards on the Broads have a finite capacity for carrying out the work that will be needed and, if everyone waits till the last minute, they will not be able to cope.

Here is the information we have obtained from the Broads Authority to help you understand what is involved and what you need to do to comply:

Boat Safety Scheme on the Broads

The Broads Authority is confident that the necessary powers to implement the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) in the Broads will soon be obtained. This follows on from re-launch of the revised Boat Safety Scheme standards for private craft at the London Boat Show in January after months of consultation with boating, marine trade and technical groups.

These revised requirements only apply to privately owned, privately managed craft. Others will have to comply with the current requirements. This is because a separate and different review of safety standards for these vessels is underway by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The new requirements allow a greater degree of flexibility in complying with the safety regulations.

The three-year scheme, which was due to have begun last April for the largest hire and private motor craft, will now be introduced in April 2007. The Scheme, for Craft that are required to comply, will be introduced into the Broads according to the following schedule:

Introductory date Type and size or craft (Block Area)
1st April 2007 Hire craft >30sqm Private motor craft =>21sqm
1st April 2008 All remaining hire craft Private motor craft =>11sqm
1st April 2009 Remaining Private motor craft All private sailing Craft.

The scheme applies to all boats with engines and/or cooking, heating, lighting, refrigerating and other domestic appliances, which will need to pass an examination before they can be permitted to navigate the Broads. The scheme will not apply to open boats propelled solely by outboard motors and not fitted with any of the above appliances.

Boat owners will have to pay authorised independent examiners to check the craft and issue certificates. Their fees vary, so it is worth finding an examiner you are happy to use. There are around 25 that cover the Broads and most are willing to give advice about essential work, as is the BSS Office.  Lists of examiners are available from the Broads Authority office on 01603 610734, the BSS office on 01923 201278, and the BSS website,  Craft must be maintained to the standard of the scheme throughout the life of the certificate. If something is found not to meet the expected compliance option and yet you or your examiner have good evidence that it still meets the goal-setting requirement there is a fast-track appeals process starting with the BSS Office.

As no further changes are expected to be made to the requirements for private boats, it is recommended that owners get their boats certificated as soon as possible.  Those boats that do not have a valid BSS Certificate by their introductory date will not be permitted to navigate on the Broads, with many potentially getting caught out in the last minute rush.

BSS examinations will continue to include other safety checks, such as fire escape provision, flues for toxic fume spillage and power connections for potential for electrocution, etc. For a boat that fails any of these checks, the owner will be formally notified and advice will be offered.

The second edition of the Boat Safety Scheme Essential Guide has now been launched. The guide takes you step by step through the BSS, identifying hazards, approaches to risk reduction techniques, the legal requirements of the navigation authorities and the best practice standards to keep you and your crew safe when aboard or close to your boat. The Essential Guide is available from the BSS website : , or a hard copy designed to fit in the folder of the red, grey first edition is available by post from the BSS office, and costs £5.50 plus post and packaging. Tel 01923 201278. 

For further clarification please contact the Broads Authority on 01603 610734

   Item Number: 52

Following a number of complaints about wakeboarding activities on the Broads, the Broads Authority has issued the following Press release.

If you have views on wakeboarding, including positive or negative experiences, please let us know via the NSBA Forum pages.

"Wake boarders asked to limit boat wash

The Broads Authority is to write to wake boarders reminding them not to jump on the water or create a sustained wash following a series of complaints from other Broads users.

The management of water skiing agreed between the Broads Authority and water skiers two years ago has been very successful. But following complaints over the last few months the Broads Authority called an urgent meeting with British Waterski and the Eastern Rivers Ski Club to address the question of wake boarding.

Wakeboarding is a form of water skiing which involves a specialist board, and the skier, towed on a rope, rides the wake generated by the ski boat, often performing acrobatic tricks, which is considered to be in breach of Broads Authority byelaws. It is one of the fastest growing water sports requiring a high level of skill but is also suitable for novice skiers and to get children started in the world of water skiing.

The present byelaws, adopted in 1992, which preceded the development of wakeboarding, prohibit the skier from leaving the water or creating a sustained wake against the bank of more than a foot.

The Broads Authority and Eastern Rivers Ski Club, the only water ski club on the Broads, are now writing to all skiers reiterating the byelaws, and extra patrols on the rivers will support their enforcement.

Dr John Packman, Chief Executive of the Broads Authority, said:

“The Broads Authority is concerned that a number of complaints have been received from other river users that specifically mention the excessive wake, making it difficult to navigate and maintain a course due to rolling. The Authority will be informing its navigation rangers to be more vigilant and further patrols will be undertaken to ensure that the byelaws are being followed."

"The Broads Authority is keen to encourage a wide variety of appropriate activities on the Broads. However, it must also endeavour to ensure the safety of all its users. The Authority hopes that those participating in this sport will take the appropriate action and help us to ensure the safety of other river users and the future of water skiing on the Broads.”

The Eastern Rivers Ski Club, supported by British Water Ski, has undertaken to continue to encourage its members to act responsibly and within the byelaws. However, they are keen to clarify the clause in the byelaw relating to being on the water that was written in 1978 before wakeboarding had developed.

Since March the Broads Authority has received complaints from boat owners and birdwatchers who believe there has been a big increase in wakeboarding this year, that a number of ski boats have been modified for wakeboarding and that byelaws are being contravened.

However since the Broads Authority and the Ski Clubs drew up a management plan two years ago the number of ski boats has fallen dramatically from the agreed ceiling of 166 to 64 this year.

Julian Barnwell, Chairman of Eastern Rivers Ski Club, who is also a member of the Yare Users Association and the Broads Authority’s Broads Forum, said:

“The reality is that there has been a dramatic drop in the number of ski boats in the last two or three years. We have eliminated the cowboy element and we are left with an extremely responsible hard core of enthusiastic and dedicated people who are keen to work with the Broads Authority and not conflict with other broads users.”

As a result of the management plan all water skiers and wakeboarders on the Broads have to be members of the ERSC, which is affiliated to British Water Ski, providing public indemnity,

All boat drivers have to pass the British Waterski Ski Boat Driver Award, which is recognised by the Royal Yachting Association, and have the option of taking the International Certificate of Competence,

Unlike other boat owners ski boat owners must take out boat insurance,

All members of ERSC pay a £25 fixed charge to help with the administration of managing water skiing on the Broads,

Water skiing is limited to 3% of the Broads area with restricted time zones

A presentation on wakeboarding will be made to the Broads Forum, a Broads Authority advisory committee comprising a wide range of broads users, so that issues involved can be properly explored.


   Item Number: 50
River Tolls - Broads Authority statement on work of Independent Working Party.

(Below is the full text of the Broads Authority Press Release on the report of the independent working party set up to advise on River Tolls.)

An independent Working Group has recommended that the Broads tolls structure should be modified to support the hire fleet at a time of economic decline in the industry, while also easing charges for small non-powered craft and increasing discounts for electric boats.

The Tolls Working Group, which is representative of key groups with boating interests concluded that the present tolls system, which is structured around the total area (length times beam) of a craft, is robust, simple to understand and easy to measure. It has focussed its efforts on addressing a number of anomalies and revising certain policies taking into account current trends.

Daniel Thwaites, a member of the Working Group who is Chairman of the Broads Tourism Forum and runs a boat hire business, commented: “ We’ve tried hard to ensure the revised structure is designed to charge users in accordance with their level of use and impact on the waterways, while also ensuring that charges for small, non-powered craft are low enough to attract young and economically disadvantaged people to take to the water.”

The Working Group’s recommendations were welcomed and approved by the Broads Management Committee today. ( Thursday March 24 2005).Tollpayers and other stakeholders will have a chance to comment on the new structure in April and May and, importantly, indicate to the Authority priority areas for raising additional income from tolls.

A decision on a level of charges to be made from April 2006 will be made by the Broads Authority in July, following this consultation.

The Working Group’s recommendations include:

Reducing the multiplier for hire cruisers and sailing boats from three times those of an equivalent private craft to 2.7 over three years. This should then be reviewed.
Charging commercial plant on the same basis as other commercial craft.
Reducing the flat rate for small non-powered craft (sailboards, row boats, punts and canoes) from £24.70 to £20 from 2006/2007. Then applying annual increases in line with other vessels.
Maintaining existing incentives by raising the discount for electric boats from 25% to 30%. (Currently the toll for a powered craft of 10 sq. m and above is double that of an equivalent sized non-powered craft.)
Introducing a three-month licence for January 1st to March 31st at 50% discount for newly registered boats.
Extending the arrangement whereby voluntary youth groups can licence up to ten canoes for the price of one to include sailing dinghies.

The Group also considered the extent to which income from tolls can be maximised to demonstrate to the government that toll payers are contributing their fair share to the management of the waterways. Tolls will have to increase annually by an estimated 5.23% in order to maintain the present level of income and accommodate the impacts of inflation, the continuing decline in hire cruisers and a proposed reduction in tolls for hire cruisers. In comparison with other waterways, Broads tolls remain lower for most classes and sizes of boat, with the exception of small boats and the largest hire boats.

The Group emphasises that any increase over and above maintaining the existing income base will need to be earmarked for specific initiatives and be fully accountable by the Authority. It also recommends that the Authority should explore other sources of income from those who use the Broads for their business or enjoyment.

The Tolls Working Group includes boat hirers, and representatives from the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, Royal Yachting Association, British Marine Federation, Norfolk and Suffolk Boatbuilders Association, Broads Hire Boat Federation, British Canoe Union, Amateur Rowing Association, Broads Angling Strategy Group and the British Water Ski Federation, as well as the National Trust, RSPB and Wildlife Trusts.

Dr John Packman, Chief Executive of the Broads Authority, paid tribute to the members of the group for their “excellent report and hard work.”

“This is a major consultative exercise that reflects much consensus and some necessary compromise along the way,” he said.
   Item Number: 48
Grants for Quieter Cruising

The owners of noisy boats are being offered grants to quieten their engines from today (Feb 14th).The Broads Authority's Boating Holidays Project has secured £20,000 from the Rivers and Broads LEADER+ fund (European, local authority and government money) to pay for the scheme.

It's sufficient to quieten 150 of the noisiest boats (private or hire) by paying for 40% of the work, up to £160 a boat.

Invitations to apply are being sent to private owners with their toll renewals and to boat yards. Owners have to fill out an application form, and, once given the go ahead, provide receipts for work done. The work is expected to involve, most typically, re-routing straight exhausts. Applications will be dealt with "first come, first served."
   Item Number: 47

This was a workshop to discuss issues concerning waterway standards required by boat users and others, on the Broads. It discussed priorities, constraints and opportunities, particularly in relation to dredging.

The meeting first attempted to identify shallow places and to compare anecdotal evidence with the latest hydrological survey (HS) data. Four maps (Yare, Waveney, Bure, Ant/Thurne) had already been annotated with comments from the public consultation, (including those posted through the NSBA’s online survey for the Broads Authority.) Others were added during the meeting.

Not many of those responding to the survey had attempted to examine minimum widths in detail but virtually all had specified a minimum depth - from 1.5m to 2m. The rationale for 2m was based on several deep-keeled boats, the need for greater depth under keel when initially heeling and space for less disturbance of sediment.

Discrepancies between anecdotal evidence and the HS data emerged. For example, sailors reported the Waveney upstream of Burgh Castle as shallow, yet the HS showed deep water. By contrast, the HS shows the Bure just above Thurne Mouth to be shallow, yet sailors could not recall problems there. (This shoal, if it exists, might have some impact upon standing tides.)

The view that the lower Bure's shallowness is a cause of high water at Horning/Wroxham and the consequent call for dredging, was countered by concern about salt-water incursion if dredging went ahead. It was suggested that deep dredging of the lower Bure could be accomplished with minimal incursion if a Bure Loop washland was also created. A fear was expressed that significant dredging of the Lower Bure might cause higher tides above Potter.

There was general discussion about channel width. It was argued that sailors need good depth, bank to bank. The current proposal to return to "natural" banks raises a number of navigation problems, including difficulty in identifying shoal water unless it is made obvious (perhaps by a reed fringe) or marked. A consequence of removing piling will be that, on bends, the channel will move to the outside, while sediment collects on the inside. Navigators would like to see confirmation that channels would, nevertheless, be maintained at 2m depth and never be less than the current width. It was agreed (by conservationists and navigators) that overhanging trees are a problem: cutting back to 5m-10m from the water’s edge was proposed.

On prioritisation, the NSBA suggested and it was generally agreed that high priority areas should be addressed first. The remaining work would need further examination.

Constraints are legion – including sustainability, conservation, spoil removal, sediment contaminants (nitrates, mercury etc.), funds, timing, fish spawning areas, the hydrological impact on adjoining areas.

Opportunities were identified – for example, extra depth below boat props might cause less disturbance of sediment and encourage plant growth. It was argued that spoil could be used in the Flood Alleviation project. It was pointed out that research is needed to see if sediment stripping is feasible i.e., reduce the flow of sediment at the earliest point.

The workshop was well run and allowed full, clear and open presentation of the views of all concerned, particularly sailors. If individual river users have comments on the issues discussed, or useful local knowledge about the problem areas, any such information posted in the NSBA forum will be passed back to the Broads Authority for further consideration.

(Report: Richard Baguley.)
   Item Number: 46
Government Stumps up extra funds to pay for Broads Navigation and Conservation
Broads Authority claims it is a victory for its lobbying campaign.

The Broads Authority says years of lobbying Government to get a fair deal for the Broads have finally paid off. The Broads Authority Chairman, Professor Kerry Turner, announced at the London boat Show (Jan 14th) that the Government is giving the Broads Authority an additional £500,000 a year over the next three years to tackle the backlog of maintenance and the costs of restoration.

Professor Turner said: "I am delighted by the announcement. Alun Michael, the Minister for Rural Affairs, has clearly listened to our case and the Government is prepared to share the task of maintaining the waterways. This is excellent news but now there is a clear expectation that an increase in the navigation tolls should reflect the Government's new commitment to integrated waterways management."

Currently the Broads Authority receives £2.9 million a year in National Park Grant from the Government and £1.7 million is paid by boat owners in tolls to maintain the waterways. Unlike other national parks the Authority carries the heavy responsibility of maintaining the waterways, which have become increasingly expensive in recent years, as well as the high costs of sustainably managing an internationally important wetland. The decline of the hire fleet, which pays three times the tolls of private owners, has also contributed to the Broads Authority's financial plight.

Chief Executive Dr John Packman said: "This is wonderful news! The Broads Authority has been criticised for not doing enough for navigation, but quietly, over the last three years, we have been putting forward the arguments for extra money and it has now paid off. Clearly, the Government has shown that it understands that the Broads is a special case. By targeting the money on practical works this extra funding will enable us to make a really big difference to the maintenance of the Broads."

The extra funds will be spent across the Authority's remit and it is good news for those interested in conservation as well as those who boat on the rivers and Broads. It is planned that a significant sum will be spent bringing life back into a further eight broads.

The Broads Authority will decide how the money is spent on 11th February but high on the list of the Authority's priorities are increased resources for dredging, the improvement of water quality and the repair of Mutford Lock at Oulton Broad.

The questions which will concern Broads navigators now inevitably will be: Is it enough? How much will actually be spent on the Navigation? And what happens when the three years are up?
   Item Number: 45
Could the cost of keeping a boat on the Broads double in the near future?

While the River Toll increase for 2005/6 looks like being set at 6.5%, the Broads Authority has set up a working party to consider the long-term future of the tolls regime from 2006 onwards.

There is a large shortfall between the income the BA receives from River Tolls and the amount it regards as essential to maintain and enhance navigation on the Broads and rivers. The working party - with members from conservation interests, as well as various private navigators, boat-building and commercial operators - has been set up to advise on the overall level of tolls and their application to various categories of river user and their different vessels.

The working party will review arrangements which give discounts to some river users. Hire boat operators currently pay three times as much as private owners. That ratio will come under scrutiny, as will the fact that some people who navigate entirely on the area's private waterways, currently pay nothing at all.

In the past, all the money spent on the navigation has come from tolls. The Broads Authority is optimistic that it can persuade the government that toll payers are no longer able to foot the whole bill and that in any case, others who benefit from the maintenance of the Broads should also contribute through government funding. But it is unlikely the government will meet the shortfall while, by some interpretations, Broads tolls remain lower than those for other UK waterways.

In general terms, navigation account income is now approaching £2m (2004/5 - £1.82m, 2005/6 - £1.88m) every year. That is enough to pay for work on the navigation at the current level. However, the Broads Authority has identified some £11 million pounds worth of extra work, required over the next five or six years. If that money were to come entirely from tolls, they would have to be roughly double the level they are now.

The NSBA is actively seeking the views of its membership, clubs and individuals, on these issues. There will be a public consultation in the course of the NSBA AGM, on December 6th, when Mark Wells (a member of the NSBA Committee and the tolls Working Party) will report on discussions so far. The Broads Authority Chief Executive, Dr. John Packman, will also be there to answer questions.

The NSBA committee hopes there will be a large attendance at the meeting, to arrive at an accurate picture of members' views across the Broads. In the meantime, visitors to this web site are urged to post their comments on the issue in the 'Forum' section. The NSBA needs to know your views to be able to represent them!

NSBA Annual General Meeting: Monday December 6th 2004 - Music Room, The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR2 1RQ, at 7.30 pm.
   Item Number: 43
New requirement for Skippers to report "all incidents" does not apply on Broads

The RYA is taking legal action to obtain a declaration from the High Court that the introduction of a new regulation requiring skippers to report "all incidents" is unlawful. The measure, included in the Shipping (Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Reporting) Regulations, could apply to anything from dinghy capsizes to recalcitrant outboard engines, although the Broads Authority has been advised the new regulation will not apply in the Broads Navigation area.

The new Regulations make it a criminal offence, punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to £5,000, if skippers do not comply with strict reporting requirements when a craft is involved in an incident or accident.

The definitions of ‘accident’ and ‘incident’ are very broad; examples include hitting a buoy during a race, a dinghy capsize, a flat battery, a faulty VHF radio, a crack in a transom, a torn sail or a berthing manoeuvre involving two craft touching. According to the new law, all have to be reported or criminalisation risked.

However, the Explanatory Note to the Regulations states that the Regulations define the limits of the zone beyond the territorial sea around the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man in which jurisdiction is exercisable in order to prevent pollution by discharges from ships. This seems to make it clear that "controlled waters" in the 2004 Regulations will not include any areas of water within the Broads navigation area.
   Item Number: 42
River Tolls: NSBA presses for lower increase, 2005-6

River Users should have a degree of respite from steeply increasing annual river tolls if recommendations from the Broads Authority’s Navigation Committee are adopted.

The committee recently debated (Oct. 14th 2004) proposals for a 9% increase (itemised as a 6.5% increase, plus inflation), equivalent to the annual increases in place for the past five years. Over that period, it resulted in a total toll increase of some 57%.

But the navigation committee heard the five-year automatic increase had been introduced to raise a specific sum, primarily to address an urgent backlog of dredging, needed across the waterways. Some of that dredging has been carried out, while some has been delayed through the difficulty in finding locations to dump the spoil. As a result, Navigation Account financial reserves currently top £380,000.

Urged on by NSBA representatives, and others representing boating interests, the committee decided to recommend that the inflation component of this year’s increase should be covered by the reserves: the result will be a total increase of around 6.5% for the year 2005-6.

At the same time, the navigation committee decided the programme of dredging and general river maintenance should be accelerated, and a further £50,000 taken from the reserves for that purpose.

Both recommendations have now to be approved by the strategy and resources committee, before going before the full Broads Authority for final approval.

In the meantime, a special working party is meeting to decide a longer term strategy for toll levels from 2006. It is quite possible the allocation of who pays what will change – but with an ever increasing need for urgent river maintenance, it is likely that the general direction of tolls, for some time ahead, will be upwards.
   Item Number: 40
Wear your lifejacket!
A new Boating Safety Management Group has been set up by the Broads Authority to assess safety in the Broads. The group has been formed to fulfil the requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code, a government initiative aimed at formalising the duties and responsibilities for safety and environmental protection within UK ports, including the Broads. The group’s duties are to consider the recommendations of a Formal Safety Assessment by independent consultants, which highlighted potential hazards, and to develop a Safety Management System. The FSA confirmed that the Broads was well-managed with “a generally high level of navigational safety. Considering the large number of novice boaters using the Broads every year, the incident level is low,” it said. The Broads Authority strongly encourages everyone to wear lifejackets on board at all times and has taken the initiative by making it compulsory for all its staff and volunteers to wear lifejackets while on or near the water. Each boat should carry sufficient lifejackets for all its crew.
   Item Number: 39


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