Wherry Yacht Charter
Caring for the Broads' last wherry fleet
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Latest news

As we combine our restoration and maintenance activities with chartering and public sailings, you'll find the news here.

November 2016 - Ending the season and looking ahead

White Moth with gulls

© K Walters

Our season finished unusually late this year. We took White Moth and Ardea to How Hill for the National Parks conference on Saturday 22nd October, entertaining attendees with a sailing to Barton Broad and back, and offering spaces to the public on our sailings from Wroxham to How Hill and back. Ardea's first public outing was a huge success, with many spaces snapped up by Friends keen to experience our newest acquisition and the biggest of our fleet. The final return sailing, closing our season, was a stunning autumn day with light but favourable winds - something we are very grateful for, as it can so easily be a different story. In fact it was a more pleasant sailing than some of our summer excursions! Even more fortunately Katy, one of our volunteers that day, had a camera, and since she was not exactly taxed with crew duties she was able to take some lovely photos which you can see on Flickr here. Remember, if you see us out and about we always enjoy seeing your pictures - contact us with any you take, including via Twitter and Facebook

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There will be more sailings and special events featuring Ardea in 2017, as it is her 90th anniversary. Watch this space! We are also working on our corporate offering, using Ardea's spacious saloon as a venue for truly stunning locally-themed meals.

Finally, if you were looking for our annual quiz and supper, it is not gone altogether but we have moved it from this rather crowded part of the calendar to be a season opener in the Spring. Save the date of 8th April!

September 2016 - Late season round-up

 Hathor at Pull's Ferry

© Ellen Fernau

September is often a busy month for us and this year was no exception. As well as making a sailing tour to Norwich and back with Hathor, for the Heritage Open Days, we were lucky enough to be offered a late-season open day at the Bishop's House Garden. With every available volunteer pressed into service, we welcomed hundreds of people both onto the wherry and into the garden. Seasonal colour in the borders and the new Jungle Walk were just two of the attractions, and tea and cake on the lawn was a popular choice complete with entertainment from Golden Star Morris and the Harmummies choir. At Pull's Ferry there were times when our visitors were queueing to get on board, and while every single one is welcome we are aware that we cannot talk to people as much as we might like when things are simply so busy. If we visit again we will certainly think about how we can offer the best experience to our many visitors - but it is a very nice problem to have! Our thanks to the Cathedral team, the Bishop and Mrs James, and to the superb gardener Simon who all made us so welcome, and congratulations to the Heritage Open Days team in Norwich for making it one of the most active and successful cities within this national event.

Our Annual Dinner took place at Wroxham Barns, where we once again enjoyed and excellent meal and this time heard a talk from Will Burchnall of the Water, Mills and Marshes landscape partnership for the Broads - this is a fascinating project aiming to conserve not only the natural(ised) landscape but the heritage and cultural aspects within it. They have some interesting work planned and to learn more you can visit their website. Our other happy duty for the night was to draw our raffle winners: Katharine Parsons (draw 2015/3 no. 92), Janet Giles (draw 2016/1, no. 348) and Alan Stephens (draw 2016/2, no. 99). All have now accepted their prizes and we wish them a most enjoyable day charter! If you would like a 1 in 500 chance of winning a day charter, for just £1, buy a ticket at any of our events.

July-August 2016 - How Hill and St Benet's

storm sail

© Ian Bloomfield

The mixed weather continued over July and into August, with sailings in both dead calm and somewhat windy conditions at various times - a few outings for the storm sails (pictured)! Our third wildlife sailing on 10th July was finally (more or less) dry, and that weekend saw all three wherry yachts out sailing as well as Hathor at How Hill. Hathor then sailed to Ranworth to meet Olive ahead of a successful St Benet's service weekend, where once again we transported the Bishop of Norwich and his party to the service and back. Short sailings, a Friends' supper, and afternoon tea on board all contributed to an excellent couple of days despite the very windy conditions at times. We were also pleased to have some trainee skippers along, getting good practice at arrivals and departures on the short sailings. Hathor and Olive returned to base on Monday 8th August, filling the boat shed for the first time since May. Only a brief rest, though, before more charters at the weekend and the next scheduled public sailing on the 15th!

June 2016 - How Hill residence

Despite mixed weather over the bank holiday weekend, we had a successful time there with Hathor on view, after a windy sailing (or rather quanting) from Wroxham on the Friday. She will be in residence there until the St Benet's weekend in early August, although sadly not open for viewing as often as we might like due to a current shortage of volunteers. If you can see yourself as a viewing guide, welcoming visitors and answering questions, then please contact us to find out how you could join our team. Our confirmed date for the next viewing is Sunday 24th July, but the skipper will open the boat at other times when possible.

May 2016 - Training, sailings and maintenance

Two skipper and two crew training days were held at the end of April and beginning of May. Some of our trainee skippers are now almost ready to be signed off and take charters, and some started their training with us. We are always interested to hear from people who are interested in learning to skipper - taking responsibility for a wherry is no easy task, and so there is plenty of training to be done, but increasing skipper numbers is a strong priority for us at the moment and we welcome all enquiries.

Our first sailing of the year went out on 18th May, a Wherries and Wildlife trip including a guided walk at Hoveton Great Broad. Our passengers enjoyed a smooth trip and it feels good to get the season properly underway! Our next task is taking Hathor to How Hill for bank holiday viewings. Later sailings are selling well, indeed both of our Breydon crossings are fully booked, as is How Hill on 11 June, and some others have only 2 or 3 spaces left. If you are thinking of booking, do it sooner rather than later!

Norada has gone back into the water following some hull work and general maintenance. Our thanks to the Tuesday volunteers who assisted with her safe departure from the slipway!

April 2016 - Maintenance day

A number of volunteers joined us in April to work on various tasks around the boatsheds, including applying linseed oil to White Moth's decking and preparing her coach roof, and preparing Norada's hull for painting. We hope to establish a semi-regular schedule of these days, and look forward to numbers growing over time. Thank you to the volunteers of all ages who came along!

March 2016 - Sailing programme released

Sail with us in 2016! Our programme has just been released. One highlight is a late-season opportunity to sail on Ardea. Not usually available for public sailings, she'll be making her way to and from How Hill for a private event and those journeys are available to book. Our largest and youngest wherry, and with quite a history, Ardea is truly a sight to behold! This is of course in addition to the old favourites of wildlife sailings to Hoveton Great Broad, afternoon tea and the St Benet's service, short sailings at Ranworth, two Breydon crossings as part of our tour to Norwich and back, and many other half- and full day sailings.

We welcome enquiries about booking the whole boat for any particular sailing; while our Friends have enjoyed early booking for a few weeks, there are still several trips with all 12 spaces free. Contact us to make enquiries for individual or group bookings. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

March 2016 - Join us for volunteer training

The current scale of our operations needs more volunteers in a variety of areas including crew and skippers, viewing guides and events volunteers, maintenance team, and administration. Our early-season training sessions and a boat and base work party weekend are all open to non-members who are interested in a taster of what we do. While we hope those who come along will decide to return more regularly, there is no commitment at this stage and no experience is needed for any role - just enthusiasm! We positively welcome interested young people, but anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Dates are: boat and base work party on Sat 9 and Sun 10 April (feel free to attend either or both days), viewing and general volunteer training on Sat 23 April, and crew training on Sat 30 April, Tue 3 May, Sun 8 May, Mon 9 May (a choice of days, each offering the same content). More details are on our volunteering page.

March 2016 - maintenance update

Our volunteers have been hard at work over the winter, with all boats now back in the water and being worked on to prepare for the season. Varnishing has been delayed by the cold and damp weather, but Ardea's mast and a new gaff for Olive are two particular highlights. We'll share more updates in the weeks to come.

For older news as far back as 2010, please visit the archive.

Wherry Yacht Charter is a registered charity (as Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust), number 1096073

WYC is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, RDPE, Geoffrey Watling Trust, Town Close Estate Charity and others.

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