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Old 06 July 2010, 18:26   #1
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Advice needed for a newbie

Hi alll,

Me and my wife just bought a 2.7m waveline SIB for a bit of fun this summer however I need some advice.

I've got a 4hp mariner engine, am I safe to use this boat just off the coast (Norfolk)? i.e launch from the beach and stay as close as possible to shore, wearing bouyancy aids, carrying phone, pump, gorrila tape etc....

If it is safe can anyone recommend any beaches around Norfolk that don't suffer from unusual or dangerous tides or that have a barrier... I was possibly thinking waxham.. have seen plenty of jetskiers off there.

What do I need in terms of licence, insurance etc... do I need all of these to use the Norfolk Broads. I've found lots of conflicting rules for different rivers jurisdictions?

and lastly what is a boat safety certificate and do I need one for such a small craft??

Thanks in advance for any advice and help.
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Old 06 July 2010, 18:53   #2
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HI SIB 123,
as far as i know and someone will be here to correct me ,the boat safety certificate is for inland waterways only and harbours docks owned usually by british waterways ,,i know of one harbour and to get to sea boats have to cross a canal owned by british waterways so the boats traversing the strech need the certificate and in the main covers gas fittings /instalation cookers /stoves , and engine and fuel pipe/tank instalations in the main for boats with cabins,cruisers/ narrow boats/ barges , and as far as i remember it doesent concern open day boats with portable cooking stoves and portable outboard engines ,
with regards to Norfolk beaches i dont know that area so wouldent like to comment though there will be some one on here that will know ,mart
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Old 07 July 2010, 08:56   #3
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HI SIB 123,
as far as i know and someone will be here to correct me ,the boat safety certificate is for inland waterways only and harbours docks owned usually by british waterways ,,i know of one harbour and to get to sea boats have to cross a canal owned by british waterways so the boats traversing the strech need the certificate and in the main covers gas fittings /instalation cookers /stoves , and engine and fuel pipe/tank instalations in the main for boats with cabins,cruisers/ narrow boats/ barges , and as far as i remember it doesent concern open day boats with portable cooking stoves and portable outboard engines ,
with regards to Norfolk beaches i dont know that area so wouldent like to comment though there will be some one on here that will know ,mart
Thanks for the reply mart much appreciated!! Still not sure if it's safe generally to take an 2.7 out on to the sea, just for up and down the coast?? Have you tried it yourself on any beaches?? I did read in the forums that another user lets his two sons out along the beach in a 2.7ish inflatable with a 4hp motor......Like I say not going out very far couple of hundred yards at the most really.

Maybe I'm worrying to much, but nobody seems to have asked the question....possibly a really obvious answer, I presume it is fine, but I'd like to be safe, not the most amazing swimmer in the world.
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Old 07 July 2010, 18:39   #4
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Hi SIB123,

Welcome to the wonderful world of SIBbing! With regards to the Broads, this looks like the definitive text :-

http://www.norfolkbroads.com/boating...n/tolls#annual

I think you will fall into the 5 m/sq category and hence have the minimal fee. I don't think insurance is optional :-)

Going out on the sea.... well, here's my thoughts...

In terms of personal safety, I have decided not to chance it unless I have :-

(1) Done the RYA Powerboat Level II course
(2) Done the VHF course

Now this is from a chap that wears a lifejacket in Bristol Docks, so you might say I am just a great big wuss, but on the other hand, local telly loves a 'holidaymaker lost at sea' story, and now you have the Seaside Rescue programme as well - not sure I'd risk it.

On a more practical note, my gut tells me that 4HP might not be enough. I think that power level is fine for rivers and canals, but out on the big blue, I'd like to have more grunt there to cope with unexpected conditions.

However, take all this commentary from someone who has not yet been out on the sea with his SIB. Other folks with practical experience might have more, er, experienced thoughts...
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Old 08 July 2010, 04:06   #5
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I think MikeP's comments are reasonable.

Nobody here will tell you that you definitely should take it out on the sea (if you lack confidence this may not be a good idea), and very few people will tell you that you shouldn't. Certainly there are "SIB adventures" on here from people going serious distances in small boats - although most will be a wee bit bigger than yours and with a larger engine.

Most people will agree that some form of training would help you as a beginner. The obvious choice being RYA PB Level 2. For just using off a beach in ideal weather PB Level 1 might cover enough to keep you out of bother or a day with someone who knows what they are doing.

I'd suggest that a Handheld VHF (for about £80 or less) would be on my essential list. If I was on a real budget, I admit that I might procrastinate on the VHF training - unless you can find a local college or sailing club running it cheap. If you do this make sure you know how to use it properly in an emergency though.

If you search the site for Nos4r2's beginners' guide it will tell you a lot of useful stuff, and will suggest other stuff that might be useful or essential kit.

4HP will be fine in good weather / flat conditions but you'll wish for more in a breeze or with a strong current. That will also depend how many people/how much kit you have on board.

Mart's comments about the Boat Safety Scheme are pretty much my understanding too - basically a British Waterways rule to stop you blowing up your boat in the canals. I'm not sure if it applies to the Environment Agency or whoever it is that controls the broads as well? I know BW Scotland have an "exemption" for boats using the canal for less than 1 month (i.e. those passing through) - although as I recall it was an exemption from certification rather than following the rules laid out in the scheme (i.e. you self certify).
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Old 08 July 2010, 12:23   #6
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That engine is a bit small but you would not want to go too fast in a SIB that size anyway! I would start somewhere sheltered like an estuary or river but you should be fine on the sea in very calm conditions, just donít get too far out from the shore. Make sure you have plenty of fuel (although you will use very little with a 4hp engine), a pair of paddles, an anchor with rope and chain (the folding grapnel type would suite you best because they are very compact, something like http://www.theanchorstore.co.uk/prod...yle+Anchor+Kit), warm clothing and always wear life jackets (if you want to go for economy, the foam filled ones are absolutely fine and fairly indestructible, but note that you need life jackets not just buoyancy aids). In my experience not many people with little SIBs have VHF radios, but certainly carry at least a mobile phone in a waterproof bag and check that that you have a signal on the water. You do not need any type of license to use your boat on the sea in the UK.

As others have said an RYA powerboat course, or an experienced friend, is advisable. If you are not going to do a course the RYA Start Powerboating and Powerboat Handbook are worth reading to gain some understanding of boating basics http://www.rya.org.uk/Shop/Pages/default.aspx

The following are also worth a look at:

http://www.rnli.org.uk/what_we_do/se...ty/sea_safety/
http://www.rnli.org.uk/upload/comple..._up_safety.htm

Be sensible but have fun! And be aware that if youíre bitten by the boating bug, youíre life and wallet will never be the same again (many of those with bigger RIBs started out with craft like yours)!
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Old 08 July 2010, 13:49   #7
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always wear life jackets (if you want to go for economy, the foam filled ones are absolutely fine and fairly indestructible, but note that you need life jackets not just buoyancy aids).
I'd disagree with that. For the sort of trip that's sensible to do in 2.7m boat with a 4HP engine I think a buoyancy aid would be fine. They are suggested for "use in sheltered waters when help is close at hand. They are not guaranteed to turn a person from a face-down position in the water."

I'd suggest that most sea kayakers would be wearing buoyancy aids and are probably more likely to end up in the water. Likewise with dinghy sailors, although those cruising longer distances might opt for lifejackets, many do not, even when not sailing with rescue cover around. Similarly PWCs - tend to wear buoyancy aids rather than lifejackets.

To need a lifejacket rather than a buoyancy aid suggests that you are anticipating being unconscious in the water. There's not a lot of hard stuff to knock you out exiting a sib (compared to e.g. the console, hull, a-frame on a rib). Probably the most likely reason to end up unconscious then is hypothermia. For that to happen you need to flip a SIB or possibly fall out when singlehanded (if you fall out with crew in a SIB in the sort of weather you'd take a 2.7m with 4HP out then I'd expect them to get back to you). That's pretty unlikely with only 4HP, in good conditions close to the shore - unless perhaps you are playing in surf or something (when you are pretty close to shore). Then you need to be hanging around in the water for a while without being rescued. And quite frankly if it gets to the point you end up unconscious your chances of survival are minimal. Most foam lifejackets don't come with crotch straps which are generally agreed to be important for prolonged use/survival. In reality a foam lifejacket may not turn a clothed casualty over anyway (the are tested with a "naked" dummy in an indoor pool with no waves or wind.

So I'm not convinced a foam lifejacket will really be that much better than a buoyancy aid in most situations that a person might find themselves in on a 2.7m sib with 4HP engine. However I do think that in this circumstance permanent foam is potentially preferable to auto inflation due to the likelihood of it getting wet. I'd probably be tempted by somesort of kayakers jacket with a pocket on the front to keep stuff.

Now I should point out that the MAIB disagree with me. However they came to that conclusion based on a RIB accident in which the lifejacket wearer drowned and the buoyancy aid wearer survived () - however on paper the survivor was wearing the wrong type.

Finally - just as important as your lifejacket is the kill cord. And make sure there is a spare on boat (or you both have one on your l/jackets) so that if you take a swim your other half can restart the engine and come and get you.
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Old 08 July 2010, 14:04   #8
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Lots of good advice already.

As far as the Broads go, you don't need a boat safety certificate for a small open boat.

I would recommend the Broads as a great place to learn and practice your boating and particularly boat handling skills (just watch out for the clueless hire boaters!). Then when you have more experience, look further afield. The only limitation of the Broads for me is the speed limits (but maybe that is just me )

BoatLaunch lists slipways all around the coast:

http://www.boatlaunch.co.uk/

In the North Broads I can recommend Wroxham broad slip:

http://www.boatlaunch.co.uk/default....redfilterid=10

Easy slip to use, lets you explore around Wroxham Broad, Ranworth Broad, Coltishall and Horning.

and also Thurne:

http://www.boatlaunch.co.uk/default....redfilterid=10

gives you access up to Potter Heigham, Horsey Mere, and Hickling Broad.

If there is a reasonable breeze you can get a bit of a chop on the bigger broads (which you will feel in a little 2.7m SIB) - not much, but again good experience to get used to before venturing further afield.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 08 July 2010, 15:11   #9
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even using a sib 3 .5 meters long at the coast your going to get your arses wet at some stage ,problem with keeping close in shore and in shallow water is that the waves are more likley to be breaking unless its a very flat day and its quite easy to ship a wave over the side not that you are going to sink but it will be a wet day then on ,
one member of our club uses his 3 meter sib with a 4 hp engine going perhaps 1 mile out to sea though in faverble conditions ,,,having said that dont forget that even though the engine maybe rated at 4 hp depending on the make it can have a big diffence speed wise ,
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Old 08 July 2010, 15:15   #10
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On the subject of gas inflation lifejackets mentioned earlier in the thread there seems to an awfull lot of failures of them recently for one reason or another ,,either way a bit late when your in the water and your life is hopefully going to be dangling from a webbing strap. and if you dont have a crutch strap fitted or one is not readily availeble for some reason at least make or tie one out of an old piece of rope or something .
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