spring on the riverside

Welcome, Ahoy

Heather is a traditional yet quirky houseboat, laying on the Broads Waterways of Norfolk and Suffolk. Maintained by two friends, she has been home to artists, holiday visitors and mariners for generations.

See on board the houseboat, visit the touring shop and relax on the riverside.


Christopher, Andrew

Christopher, Andrew

Public Staithes

Public Staithes

19 October 2013

Trial and errors of towing


Work has been abandoned on the jolly boat project, after we realised it wouldn't be suitable. Instead, we have adapted ANNA, a sea worthy half decked yacht with fine lines. The boat was designed by the renowned yacht designer, John Laurent Giles. Built of glass reinforced plastic, she is classical, yet at the same time modern and practical. Work has initially been done to repair the deck and new floor boards have been replaced in the well. These were then painted in a workmanlike, grey non slip coating. Power is provided by a classic seagull outboard~inboard motor engine, maintained by Waterman, Timothy Hallam. The boat can be also be rowed or quanted by a long flexible pole. During trails, we found she produces very little wash (waves made from hull) when underway.

Anna will be used for towing, transporting provisions and other ferrying duties. It could be said that this type of service boat is a descendant of the Tudor wherry ~ a commercial row or sail vessel which plied local rivers.

Before now, we have often relied on the goodwill of friends to help tow the houseboat. As with most things associated with Heather, it is an experimental process. Several types of boat have been used, pulling, pushing and towing alongside, with varying degrees of success. Nigel Royall has aptly said that 'military operations have taken less organisation'.

People have often suggested fitting an outboard motor and bracket, with steering cables onto the after end of Heather. This would make navigating easier in some respects. Ultimately, it would turn her into a motor vessel. Some of the peaceful character of the boat would be lost, along with the challenge of using an independent 'tug boat'.

Timothy, Andrew

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