Vintage boats on the Broads

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"There is nothing-absolutely nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" the words of Kenneth Grahame’s river-side character Ratty have never been so apt as when applied to the Broads National Park. So if reclining back to the rustle of the wind in the willows is your idea of fun then you’ll love our top five vintage boats to sail in the Broads. Let us transport you back to a time of teak oil and straw boaters…

Allen on his boat © Kevin Millican
Allen on his boat © Kevin Millican (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Martham Boats

Martham Boats offers an array of vintage options for a holiday worthy of wicker picnic hampers and ginger beer. Choose from a selection of vanished motor cruisers dating from the 50s and 60s or a traditional white sailed sailing yacht. There is an array of vintage vessels which will suite the most capable yacht-master to the most haphazard landlubber. So roll up the sleeves of that cable knit jumper and take the helm!

Little Ships

Little Ships, based in Horning Marina, have two gorgeous luxury vintage vessels to give you a taste of Broads glamour. The first is the stately Lady Christina from 1938 and the other the quirky Water Rail from 1933. Lady Christina was used by Timothy and Prunella Scales for the television series Great Canal Journeys. Both boats are awash with shiny vanished wood and an old school luxury. They are planning to extend their fleet of vintage cruisers soon remember to check their website for updates!

Dreamtime © Olivers sailing
Dreamtime is a striking yet traditional sailing yacht

Oliver’s Sailing Holidays

Oliver’s Sailing Holidays boat hire providers are so popular that 50% of their clients in 2016 came back in 2017! You can choose from the 5-berth racing yacht ‘Bright Spark’ or the traditional 6-berth ‘Dreamtime’ and see the Broads from an entirely new perspective, whether tacking at speed or ghosting through the reeds. They are based at Martham Ferry Boatyard on the River Thurne.

Eastwood Whelpton

Eastwood Whelpton know their stuff when it comes to sailing, they've been in the business since the 1950's. They have an array of vintage sailing yachts to choose from, from their oldest vessel built in 1923 to more up to date vanished wooden vessels, East Whelpton offers a fleet of many boats meaning that there really is something for everybody.

Spark of light
Vintage cruiser Spark of Light by Herbert Woods

Herbert Woods

Spark of Light is a traditional Herbert Woods cruiser which is back in the hands of Herbert Woods! She is available for a day trip complete with skipper, for a taste of life when she was first built… 1927. With a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and all the vintage charm you could possibly ask for, the Spark of Light could be just the taste of old school opulence you’ve been waiting for.