Norfolk Broads Boat Hire Companies

Norfolk Broads boat hire provides the biggest source of income in Norfolk’s tourism trade and with the peace and tranquillity, the wildlife watching opportunities, the bird watching opportunities and the fishing opportunities the Norfolk Broads provides it is easy to see why Norfolk Broads boat hire is so popular.

All around the Broads there are numerous Norfolk Broads boat hire companies so you will always have an opportunity to hire a boat and take to the water. There are boat yards in Wroxham, Potter Heigham, Stalham, Ludham, Norwich and Horning to name but a few locations. In fact the majority of villages and towns on the Norfolk Broads will hold at least one boat yard that hires out boats to the public.

With so many Norfolk Broads boat hire companies, all of which provide the same thing, you would d think they are all the same, however this is not the case and some Norfolk Broads boat hire companies are far better than others.

If you are hiring a day boat to take a short trip on the Norfolk Broads it really doesn’t matter what the hire boat is like. It doesn’t really matter if is a bit old and tired, a bit dirty or a bit rough around the edges as your trip is only a short one. As long as the boat goes and carries on working throughout the duration of the trip that is all that matters. But what if you were on the boat for a couple of days or a week? What if you were on the boat for two weeks? When staying overnight on the Norfolk Broads the type and the condition of the hire boat do make a huge difference and the boat you get can ‘make or break’ your trip.

So, when you are booking a long stay boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads what are the best Norfolk Broads boat hire companies and what are the ones to avoid? Living around the Norfolk Broads all my life, and spending many holidays boating around the Norfolk Broads network I have used several different Norfolk Broads boat hire companies. Over the years, I have come to the realisation there are great boat yards that provide modern, clean, fully working and comfortable boats. There are also other boat yards with hire boats that are totally the opposite.

Many tourists believe the more they spend on the hire boat the more modern and comfortable it will be, however this is not always the case. In fact, it is many of the more expensive Norfolk Broad boat hire yards where you get the worst hire boats. Do these boat yards know that people are
under the misconception if the boat is more expensive it must mean it is going to be better boat? Do these boat yards simply charge more because it is a family business that has provided hire boats to the tourist industry for many generations? Whatever the reason, these boat yards are making some serious money out of the tourists and offering substandard boats. When the tourists arrive at the boat yard there is no going back and the boat the boatyard provides is what the tourists will be living on for the duration of their holiday. Norfolk Broad Boat hire is not like staying in a hotel and you can’t simply keep requesting alternative boats until you get one you like. Because of this, it is important that you do some proper research, read some forums and take advice on what Norfolk Broad boat hire companies you should use and what ones should be avoided.

A low roofed Norfolk Broads boat from one of the Norfolk Broads boat hire companies. Not the prettiest of boats on the Norfolk Broads but with the low roof it is very useful as this boat can go under all the low bridges dotted all along the Norfolk Broads.

A typical Norfolk Broads Boat

So, which Norfolk Broad boat hire companies should be avoided? This is not a name and shame article however there are some Norfolk Broad boat hire companies who supply hire boats that are not up to standard. Boating on the Norfolk Broads is expensive and these hire boats do not represent value for money or provide much comfort. These boats do work and they will get you around during your trip, but they are old, tired and there are far better boats you could be on when navigating around the Norfolk Broads.

The main boat yard to avoid is Richardson’s Boat yard based in Stalham. The Richardson’s group, formerly known as New Horizon Holidays are a family owned business that has been trading for over 50 years. The hire boats in the Richardson’s fleet are not that great and the customer service from the yard leaves a lot to be desired. The boats from Richardson’s are old, tired and look very dated. These are not boats you are going to be photographing to amaze your friends and family when you get home, in fact these are boats you will want to forget as soon as your holiday is over.

Arguably, the best boat yard on the Norfolk Broads has to be Barnes Brinkcraft, based in Wroxham. The hire boats from Barnes Brinkcraft are modern, comfortable, sleek and really look the business. These boats are the sort of boat where you want to take several photographs to show your family and friends what you navigated the Norfolk Broads in when you get back home. The customer service offered by Barnes Brinkcraft is the best on the Broads and second to none. All the staff are helpful, knowledgeable and only too willing to ensure your Norfolk Broads holiday goes as smoothly as possible.

So before you go and book your Norfolk Broads holiday stop and think a while. The Norfolk Broads are beautiful and tranquil and offer a great holiday. The hire boat you have during your trip around the Norfolk Broads plays a large part of a Norfolk Broads experience, therefore you need to ensure you have a great boat to get the most from your time on the Norfolk Broads.

Before you book a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads make sure you do a lot of research on the different Norfolk Broad boat hire companies to ensure you are getting the sort of hire boat you are expecting.