Norfolk Broads Moorings.
Norfolk Broads moorings can come in many different forms. In this article, we are going to demonstrate and explain the different types. In addition photographs of actual moorings on the Norfolk Broads are used to demonstrate the functioning reality of mooring a vessel within these waterways.
There is more (excuse the pun) to this mooring subject than one might expect but we will start with listing the basic fundamental types.
1. Private mooring.
2. Broads Authority mooring.
3. Parish mooring.
4. Wild mooring.
5. Mud weight mooring.
Mooring information is relevant to all boaters and this includes private, hire and commercial boaters.
There are two additional subjects that are relevant to the subject of Norfolk Broads moorings and this is listed below.
1. The right to navigate tidal water.
2. Riparian law (LAW – relating to or situated on the banks of a river).
It is important to cover these subjects as many will wonder why people can be charged to moor a vessel when they have a right to navigate freely on tidal waters.
However, first, we will explain about mooring a boat on the Norfolk Broads.
These come in more than one guise. Firstly, you have the option to rent a mooring from a boatyard usually annually but many offer quarterly, etc. Some are better than others and I don’t refer to the classic axiom of getting what you pay for either. What I refer to is some moorings have a minimum footage charge. What this means is if you own a 20-foot boat, the company may start charging at 32 feet. It is not unheard of on these waters. Some will have water and power and some won’t. It really is a large variable.
Now there are private moorings available per night too, such as at Wayford Bridge and Horning and many boatyards have to have visitor moorings which they too can charge for.
There is also the possibility to buy a mooring and they do not come cheap. At the time of writing, this article private moorings at Wayford and Dilham were selling between 30 & 50 thousand pounds. So approximately £1000 per foot.
Broads Authority Moorings.
These are run, maintained and moderated by the Broads Authority. They generally lease them off landowners and councils. However, some are owned by the Broads Authority such as Ranworth Staithe. These are 24-hour moorings and are far fewer now in 2019 than they were in 2014. Only a few have water and electric. In the high season, you would really want to grab a spot by 10/11 am otherwise you may miss out. They can get crowded, engines running and bumps and bangs are unfortunately all too common.
These are quite covert and elusive as they are often little staithes tucked away and sometimes unmarked. Generally, they are supposed to be 24 hours but this is more a gentleman’s code than an enforceable by-law.
The Poor’s Trust is responsible for some of these historical staithes and also many are parish moorings so the council would or should be responsible for them. Quite often these are abused moorings and many vessels are abandoned or overstay for extended periods.
These are by far the most private and peaceful. The basic concept is you find a suitable riverbank and either tie your mooring ropes to a tree or bang a couple of rhond anchors into the ground. It is not advisable to do this absolutely everywhere because if you do it on private land then you are effectively trespassing. It is best to pick a reasonable spot and not one that is likely to raise the concerns of landowners.
The most important point to note here is riparian law. You may well be floating in a boat possibly in tidal waters but the moment your mooring ropes touch the riverbank then you are in effect trespassing on private land
Mud Weight Mooring.
This shares similarity with wild mooring and the riparian law associated with this. Allow me to explain. If you are to take a Norfolk Broad such as Wroxham Broad or Salbouse Broad, these are privately owned lakes. However, as they contain tidal waters then you have the right to navigate them by boat and someone obstructing you is committing an offence
The moment you drop your mud weight or anchor, you are making contact with the landowner’s property. This is how such landowners can charge boaters on the Norfolk Broads for mud weighting overnight.
The best way to gain any perspective on this is to imagine the water gone and the land being private.
The fact that there is tidal water between a boat and the riverbed is the only reason boaters can be there in the first place
There exists an ancient right for people to navigate on tidal waters and that includes rivers.
It’s a little like flying over someone’s land in an airship and dropping an anchor in a field. If you could anchor without touching the ground then you could stay as long as you like as the right to be there is all yours.
It’s a strange system but this is how it works and breaks down. It is riparian law and worth taking the time to get to grips with it.
The reality of the situation is that when you navigate around tidal waters on the Norfolk Broads, you will see many signs saying, Private Keep Out!
If it is on tidal water then anyone obstructing navigation is in effect not playing the game and imposing pseudo restrictions.
One final note regarding moorings is that on the Northern Norfolk Broads, the tidal range in most areas is approximately 4-6 inches. On the Southern Broads, it can be up to 2 metres. Quite a disparity and one you should be aware of with regards to securing mooring ropes.
If you are looking for a mooring on the Norfolk Broads? Then you can post a FREE advertisement here on the Norfolk Broads Forum Classifieds.