10 great places to eat on the Broads

Bites on the Broads

With fabulous local produce, tempting menus and wonderful gourmet delicacies, you’re never far from a delicious meal on the Norfolk Broads.

Enjoy some Tripadvisor favourites on the Broads

Pedro’s, Acle (Norfolk)

If you’re in the Acle area, be sure to take a trip to Pedro’s, a Mexican restaurant right at the mouth of the Broads. Enjoy their very generous tapas platters, good beer and cocktails and friendly staff. As a bonus, you can moor up your boat right outside and dogs are welcome too!

Oakfired at the Royal Oak, Beccles (Suffolk)

Oakfired serve true Neapolitan Pizza cooked on a wood fired oven for that authentic Italian taste. True Neapolitan Pizza is Traditional Speciality Guaranteed product, regulated by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) in Naples. In 2018, Oakfired in Beccles became the third restaurant in the UK to be licensed to make True Neapoitan Pizza! It’s an absolute gem and has 424 Excellent reviews on Tripadvisor at time of writing.

View out onto the Broads at Oulton Broad, near to Broadlands Marina

View out onto the Broads at Oulton Broad, near to Broadlands Marina

Michelin approved Norfolk Broads restaurants

Stoke Mill, Stoke Holy Cross (Norfolk)

Not far from the Broads on the River Tas is Stoke Mill. The Michelin Guide highlights Stoke Mill, a characterful 700-year-old mill spanning the River Tas. The adjoining building is where the Colman family started making mustard in 1814. The legendary guide states the food at Stoke Mill is: “Confidently prepared, classically-based dishes use good ingredients, and flavours are distinct.”

Bure River Cottage, Horning (Norfolk)

Tucked away by the River Bure in the pretty village of Horning is Bure River Cottage Restaurant, a seafood restaurant with local, delicious food sourced in Norfolk and Suffolk. A curated wine menu accompanies simple fish dishes. Pan-fried wild halibut fillet with brown shrimps; roast monkfish tail with thyme and anchovy butter; char-grilled lobster with garlic butter. Great food and wine with a riverside view.

Sunset on the water at Wroxham Broad

Sunset on the water at Wroxham Broad

Gastro pubs on the Broads

The Maltsters, Ranworth (Norfolk)

With a large terrace overlooking Ranworth Broad sits a picturesque pub called The Maltsters. During the summer, you can sit outdoors and enjoy pizza fresh from the wood fired pizza oven. Or in winter, retreat inside for the open fire and a tasty meal.

White Horse, Upton (Norfolk)

The White Horse in Upton is the only pub on the Norfolk Broads that is owned and run by the community. You can expect a warm welcome and a good selection of real ales, wine and pub food. If you need to stock up on supplies, the community shop next door sells locally-sourced goods including vegetables, baked goods, deli items, beer and cider.

Sunset on the Broads at The Commodore, Oulton Broad

Sunset on the Broads at The Commodore, Oulton Broad

The Dukes Head, Somerleyton (Suffolk)

A favourite for locals and tourists alike, The Dukes Head is set in the pretty village of Somerleyton on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. The restaurant is due to open under new management at the end of October 2021 – a highly anticipated return.

The Commodore, Oulton Broad (Suffolk)

Across the broads from our very own Broadlands Marina is The Commodore. It’s one of five gastropubs in the Lowestoft/Suffolk area run by local hospitality legends, Moss & Co. The pub is modern and spacious, with a beautiful large window upstairs and expansive outdoor area that both overlook one of the most beautiful views in Oulton Broad.

Restaurants to visit at our Tingdene Marinas on the Broads

East Hills Cafe Bistro at Brundall Bay Marina on the Broads

East Hills Cafe Bistro at Brundall Bay Marina

East Hills Café Bistro, Brundall Bay Marina

After a long day on the water, why not relax and enjoy a drink and bite to eat whilst watching the sun set over the Marina. East Hills Bistro is a café by day and a seafood restaurant by night. If you can’t wait until dinner, over lunchtime you can still enjoy some fabulous fish dishes alongside the café menu.

Quayside Bar and Restaurant, Broadlands Marina

A friendly atmosphere and a menu full of family favourites. There is nothing not to like about the Quayside Bar and Restaurant. They host regular events and special menus throughout the year, plus a Sunday carvery every week!


It’s safe to say that you won’t go hungry when visiting the Broads. With so many incredible pubs and restaurants to choose from and with an incredible array of local produce, it really is gastronomy heaven.


Life on the water – the fastest way to slow down

Slap on the sunblock (yes, even in autumn!), grab a lifejacket and get out on the water. Exploring by boat is an exciting way to view Britain’s amazing coastlines, wonderful waterways and beautiful countryside.

Perhaps it’s time to discover a new passion on the water and go on an adventure!

Enjoy the British boating boom

River cruising and narrow-boating holidays are more popular than every before. There has been a 150% surge in canal boat bookings as Britons seek an alternative to camping, caravanning or seaside hotels. Canal boats offer the chance to live in luxury whilst traversing some of the UK’s most scenic destinations. There’s also the option of creating a flotilla of two or more boats which can be particularly appealing to families who have been separated during lockdown.

Row along the River Thames or take a canal boat through The Fens. Explore Coniston by canoe or go barging on the Broads. Set sail in Sicily, cruise on the Ouse, or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, enjoy watersports at Go-Paddle. The possibilities are endless!


Day boat hire at Broadlands Marina - perfect for families

Day boat hire at Broadlands Marina – perfect for families


Family fun – all aboard!

Being on the water is the perfect canvas for adventure and relaxation. Time to reflect, space to explore and a magical opportunity to enjoy a fabulous break.

Family boating is a great way to create lifelong memories. You can bond over shared fun and the teamwork needed when it comes to things like navigating locks, docking, anchoring and watersports. It’s also a great way to develop skills that easily transfer to all areas of life. Skills such as decision-making, craftsmanship, mechanical skills, nautical terminology, and water safety.


Relax and unwind – enjoy the peace and quiet of boating

Boats offer complete freedom on where to go and which route to take. There’s no timetable, no pressure and no traffic jams or queues. Quaint villages and nature reserves, coupled with delightful pubs serving tempting home-made dishes just about everywhere. Just moor up and see where the day takes you!

With narrowboat speed limits of 4mph and 2,000 miles of calming canals to cruise along, stress levels are reduced. A whole new, much steadier and tranquil pace of life takes over. Plus, a boating holiday is estimated to be around 20 times better for the planet than spending two hours flying for a holiday overseas. Did you know, a boat uses just a third of the fuel of a car and emits a sixth of the pollution? What a way to save the planet!

Boating also has major health benefits, so get unplugged and swap the computer screen for sunscreen. Enjoying the great outdoors and interacting with the physical environment is a major boost for health and wellbeing. Proximity to ‘blue space’ – sea and coastline, rivers, lakes, canals – is associated with many positive benefits such as less polluted air and more vitamin D boosting sunlight.


Cranchi Z35 boat interior

Cranchi Z35 boat interior, available now with Tingdene Boat Sales


Lap up the luxury while boating

Modern canal boats and river cruisers are the epitome in luxurious travel and the demand for high-end designs and mod-cons now means boats can be fully equipped with all the home-from-home essentials. Central heating, hot water, TVs, DVD players, showers and flushing toilets, barbeques and, of course, Wi-Fi!

Barbeques on board, picnics on the river’s edge and wonderful pubs, cafes and restaurants are aplenty along the way. Boating and exploring can be a haven for foodies. In fact, there’s always a charming pub serving hearty fayre just around the bend. Britain’s waterways are littered with a myriad of superb places to eat and drink. Getting to explore them is just another brilliant bonus of river and canal cruising. There is nothing more satisfying and relaxing than finishing a long day of bobbing around on the water with a nice pint in a sunny canal-side beer garden.


Cruiser on the water on the Broads National Park

Cruiser on the water on the Broads National Park


History and heritage of British waters

The waterways of the UK have changed over time, both naturally and due to human intervention. The Industrial Revolution changed the shape of our nation completely. This was largely due to the remarkable canal network that was carved into our landscape in the mid 18th century to link pre-existing natural waterways. Two hundred years of peat digging and rising sea levels brought us the largest navigable waters in the UK, The Broads. Among others, these waters offered the most economic and reliable way to transport goods and commodities in large quantities and enabled Britain to become the world’s first industrial power.

Today, our waterways are brimming with history. From gorgeous national heritage sites and stately homes, to awe-inspiring feats of architecture. Thousands of historic structures spread throughout Britain’s canal and river system. World Heritage Sites such as Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the three-mile long Standedge Tunnel are just two that are well worth a visit. Over the years, they have become a magnet to a huge variety of wildlife. There is always something to seen, be it in the heart of a city or drifting through quiet countryside.


Confident in control of your boat

It’s easy to master driving a boat and navigating the waterways. A hire company or sales agent will explain how everything works and offer demonstrations, ensuring a safe, controlled and confident captain is at the helm. From day cruisers and bass anglers to wave riders and white-water rafters. The armada of different types of boats on offer are divided into four categories:

    Narrowboats, day cruisers, yachts and bow riders all fall into this category. Cruisers are geared to those looking to spend time relaxing or entertaining on the water. Some offer room and features sufficient for a day cruise; others feature cabins and amenities for overnight stays.
    Open cockpits in the stern allow for more bow deck space to make it easier to fish. While smaller vessels don’t have much room for seating, larger craft may include cabins for overnight trips.
    These boats have towing capabilities and offer a faster, more thrilling ride. They are specifically designed to accommodate water skiers and wake boarders.
    Modest crafts such as sail boats, kayaks, canoes, wakeboards and dinghies are ideal for exploring lakes, rivers and oceans. They are perfect for getting out on the water quickly. Power and propulsion are provided by wind and some good old-fashioned elbow grease.


Canal boats on the water at Pyrford Marina

Canal boats on the water at Pyrford Marina


Finding the perfect spot for your boat

There are an increasing number of marinas dotted around the country on inland waterways or beside the sea. This means there are many more opportunities to have a permanent mooring. That can be a full-time abode or a lock-up-and-leave holiday home. Many marinas offer boat owners benefits from security, tuition and assistance. Sometimes alongside shops to stock up on gear, clothes and food for their sailing adventures.

There are hundreds of boating holiday operators across the country that have different types of crafts for hire on a day, weekend, weekly or longer-term basis. Hitting the waterways in a hire craft is the perfect way to dip your toes into the water and to find out if messing about on the river really is for you.

Tingdene Marinas offer berthing at 9 different, stunning locations across the canals, rivers and Broads of the UK. We’ve also got dayboat hire at Broadlands Marina, Upton Marina and Hartford Marina, plus partnerships with watersports providers across the country.


This article features in Issue 3 of Tingdene Life – check it out here.

Norfolk Broads from Brundall Bay Marina

Water way to go – enjoy the Norfolk Broads by boat

Water lapping quietly against the side of your boat. Birdsong in the air and a mesmerising view stretching in all directions. The Broads National Park in Norfolk has it all for a trip filled with nature that will nurture your soul.

The Norfolk Broads is a place like no other

A massive wetland landscape teeming with rare and beautiful wildlife. With wonderful towns, villages and Norwich – a stunning cathedral city. It offers the opportunity for the most idyllic holidays. With cruises on the beautiful waterways by all manner of craft – even your own stylish motor cruiser (if you get bitten by the Broads bug!)

This compelling patchwork of rivers and lakes is in fact not a natural landscape. It is a result of intensive digging of peat in the Middle Ages to provide fuel. The empty pits were soon filled by rising water levels and now form a network of over 125 miles or 240km of navigable waterways. Check out Tingdene Lifestyle’s blog on the history of the Norfolk Broads.

The Norfolk Broads landscape is one of beauty and peace, of water, marsh, woodland and wide skies – with views of church towers and windmills. There is abundant wildlife including many rare butterflies and dragonflies. Some of the nature reserves can only be visited by boat, providing a marvellous experience of some of our most elusive wildlife.

The Venice of the East

In fact, the Norfolk Broads has more miles of waterway than the Italian city. Likewise, it has more canals than Amsterdam! The Broads National Park offers visitors an experience unlike any other. Both on its rivers and lakes and, alongside them, on peaceful paths and cycle ways.

Without a doubt, the best way to discover the Broads is by boat. So much of the Broads can’t be reached by road that days – and nights – afloat become a real adventure. There are hidden places, perfect fishing spots and close encounters with wildlife at every turn. There are plenty of places along the meandering waterways for you to moor up and hop out to explore pretty villages and market towns, or to stop at a welcoming pub. The famous Broads motor cruisers have been holiday favourites since the 1930s, and today’s boats have all the comforts of home on board, so even if you prefer to visit during the quieter, cooler months, you’ll have a cosy base for your explorations.

Visit bustling Broadland and you can enjoy many activities including the aforesaid boating holidays, as well as sailingcanoeingkayaking, windsurfing, walking, fishing and cycling. The Norfolk Broads has many lovely hotels, B&B, country cottages, parks and camping sites in which you can stay. There’s also the fantastic Tingdene Marina at Broadlands if you want to own a boat and have wonderful adventures in this magical place, and many more across the UK.

Norfolk Broads from Brundall Bay Marina

Norfolk is a great British wonder

According to The Daily Telegraph, the Broads National Park is one of the 20 Great British Wonders that – scandalously – aren’t World Heritage Sites. It highlights the Upper Thurne Area for its wonderful beaches with hundreds of grey seal pups in the dunes in winter. Plus, lots of other rare wildlife around Hickling and Horsey, including the UK’s largest butterfly, the British Swallowtail, in June.

The big skies and sparkling landscape of Norfolk’s marshland fields are a big draw. It’s a perfect canvas for adventure and relaxation – time to reflect, space to explore, a magical opportunity to enjoy a fabulous break.


Broadland Marina is a place like no other

Perfectly situated facing onto Oulton Broad, between the beautiful Suffolk coastline and the world-famous Broads National Park is Broadland Marina. It has easy access to the sea via Mutford Lock and direct access to the Norfolk Broads. You can even head to Tingdene’s Brundall Bay Marina on the many cruising routes of the Broads. Close to Lowestoft seafront, sea-going craft can take a coastal trip to Southwold, Aldeburgh, and further afield. Travelling up the coast to Great Yarmouth offers a circular trip back to Broadlands Marina via the Yare and Waveney rivers.


Master of the grill

It’s been a rainy year so far! We have spotted the sun a few times and there’s still time to start up the barbecue and cook all your summer favourites – aboard your boat! Steel or aluminium, free standing or mounted, gas or charcoal; there’s a variety of options to suit your BBQ preferences that are approved for marine use. Be sure to maintain your grill well to keep it (and your boat) lasting until next Summer!



£279 at foxschandlery.com

Magma have been creating marine friendly grills and accessories since 1976, with this Marine Kettle Gas Grill coming highly recommended by many. Easy to install and disassemble for cleaning, its classic looking round lid acts as an effective windshield whilst keeping grease and spatter contained. The radiant heat plate distributes heat for even cooking and increased fuel efficiency, whilst the “Stay Cool” handle is durable and heat resistant. Mounting brackets are not included, but Magma have lots of options to choose from to suit your boats needs.



£119.95 at cobb-bbq.co.uk

The Cobb has been developed into its present form from an electricity-free cooking system for rural areas in Africa, getting its namesake from the dry corn-cobs that were used as its fuel source. Now using coals, briquettes or their own ‘cobblestone’, food is isolated from the coals so there are no flare-ups or smoke. It contains a metal basket for the coals, sitting inside a stainless steel bowl, where the firelighters sit beneath, all encased within the outer shell that stays cool when in use. There’s a range of accessories you can buy for different types of cooking too.



£39.95 at marinesuperstore.com

This no-frills, stainless steel rail-mount barbecue is designed to contain a regular disposable barbecue, as a safe and very affordable option. The lid acts as a windbreak and protective cover – a step up from the original lidless version it is based on. With an instant barbecue included in the price, you’re ready to get it clamped onto your boat rail and lit straight away!



£259.95 at marinesuperstore.com

Available as a charcoal grill too, the Kuuma Stow N’ Go 160 Gas Grill is designed for high pressure gas canisters and can be mounted to any Kuuma rail, rod or pedestal mount aboard your boat. It’s ready to go out of the box and easy to set up. It’s rust resistant and easy to clean due to the hardy stainless steel design. You can get plenty of food on this large but lightweight barbecue and it performs well in windy weather. Handy when you’re out on the water.


9 fantastic locations to start up the barbeque

You’ve got the boat, you’ve chosen the grill. Now you need the perfect location to moor up and cook up. Tingdene Marinas has nine premium destinations across the UK for you to choose from, with fantastic facilities, Cruising Clubs and even discounts at our other marinas.

Join us at the Crick Boat Show

Britain’s Biggest Inland Waterways Festival

Come along and enjoy all of the activities and entertainment that make Crick Boat Show such a great day out. Taking place from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 August 2021, the Crick Boat Show is open from 10am – 6pm Friday and Saturday and from 10am – 5pm on Monday.

You can drop by to see us at Stand LB at any time, but to secure an appointment or obtain further details, please email [email protected] or call 01933 551662.


Tingdene Boat Sales showcasing a brand new Viking Canal Boat

Across the three days, our Boat Sales Team will also be showcasing a Viking 60′ x 12′ 06″ widebeam and will have full details of new and pre-owned narrowboats, widebeams and Dutch barges available.

Time on a narrowboat is without doubt time to be treasured. Leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind and explore the great British countryside from a totally different perspective. Discover the hidden treasures that our waterside villages, towns and cities have to offer.

You can use your narrowboat as a weekend retreat, for family fun, or as alternative accommodation. Having a safe place to moor with access to necessary facilities and services is key to maximising your life afloat.

Here at Tingdene Marinas we’ve made it our business to give you exactly that. We offer annual moorings at great locations with excellent onsite facilities. We give you the opportunity to socialise with fellow boaters in calm and tranquil settings. Life can indeed be stress-free!


Thames and Kennet marina is the perfect location for your narrowboat

Thames and Kennet Marina is unique on the Thames, as it features the only purpose built narrowboat marina that can accommodate boats in excess of 70ft. The marina layout is specifically designed to allow ease of access to berths and the service pontoon. Plus, all berths are on floating pontoons with access 24hrs a day, 365 days a year. Just a short distance away is the historic boating town of Henley-on-Thames. Or visit the bustling town of Reading, which offers high speed transport links to Heathrow Airport and Central London.

The marina offers direct access onto the River Thames and is located adjacent to the Kennet and Avon canal and on to the historic cities of Bath and Bristol. Alternatively, the Oxford canal is approximately 2 days cruising upstream, offering access to the full canal network. 3 days downstream you reach the Grand Union Canal, which leads to the Paddington Arm and Regents Canal with all the sights of central London.

Top 5 things to do by the water this Summer

Summer, the prime time to be outside and on the water (when the British weather is behaving itself.) Sometimes we can take advantage of the world around us and forget about the importance of fresh air and vitamin D.

Here’s 5 fantastic activities you can try this Summer, on or near to your boat or marina. Why not try something new and get  reconnected with nature?


An ancient way to get around the waters that potentially dates back to 3000 BC, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) was introduced as its modern form from Hawaii in the 1900’s. SUP has had a significant uprising in recent years – you can hire paddleboards from most seafronts, rivers & bodies of water across the UK these days. Hire a paddleboard (or kayak) from Go-Paddle at our very own Hartford Marina, or the Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre next to Broadlands Marina.

Don’t fancy paddleboarding? There’s plenty of other watersports to try like the previously mentioned kayaking, canoeing, surfing. You could even track down an inflatable aqua park!


From rooftop gardening on a narrowboat, to growing greens on a cruiser; there’s plenty of options to keep plants healthy and stable aboard your boat.

Try pots on non-skid mats, or cords/ropes to secure your planters. Keep to plastic to avoid the risk of glass or ceramic breaking onboard. Your plants will be more subject to the elements so keep an eye on water levels – the rain might be doing too much, or not enough. Marine water should be fine for your flowers, but keep it away from any vegetable/edible plants to prevent parasites. Give the leaves a rinse if they’re subject to sea spray, as the salt levels may disrupt your plants.


What better time of year is there to start (or reignite) a passion for photography.

Birds, butterflies, bees and flowers. Landscapes, waterscapes, sunrise and sunset. Take advantage of those long daylight hours and get snapping. There’s plenty of affordable camera options, if you don’t already have a fantastic camera on a high tech smartphone. Check online for lots of tips, tricks and photography blogs, or find inspiration on Pinterest, Flickr or plenty of websites and magazines dedicated to capturing the world around us.


A fun activity for children and adults alike, give pond dipping a go this summer. Take a look under the water and see what you can find.

Buy or make some nets, get a tray (ideally white) for assessing your finds, a spoon or pot to look a bit closer and a guide to know what you’re looking for. Be sure to be careful and safely return everything you’ve found. The RSPB, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, NHBS and Woodland Trust all have great resources of how to go about connecting with nature and finding creatures to observe.


The UK has its fair share of native and visiting wildlife during the summer months and there’s a variety of ways in which you can track which wildlife you see on your travels.

  • Swifts are constantly in flight (unless they’re nesting). They travel to the UK in the early summer months until they return to Africa around 12 weeks later. Head to Swift Mapper to track where you see nesting swifts so their sites can be protected.
  • Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem; based on your experience, you can track bees with Friends of the Earth to add data on any bees you see and the conditions around them.
  • If you want to see what you can hunt down wherever you are, download the Nature Finder app. Made by the Wildlife Trust, it shows all their sites across the UK and which wildlife you can expect to find at each location.

Take some time to meander down the River Great Ouse

If you’re new to boating on the river, or are a seasoned sailor looking for somewhere different to explore, why not take some time to meander down the lesser known River Great Ouse and discover the everyday wonders it has to offer.

Off the beaten tow path into lesser known waters

Flowing for 143 miles, this vast waterway is the fourth longest in the UK. It is navigable from Bedfordshire, through the heart of Cambridgeshire and to the Wash at King’s Lynn in Norfolk, visiting some stunning towns and villages along the way.

On your journey, you’ll experience the character and immense beauty of the Ouse Washes Landscape. This is a hugely important area of rich washland with internationally significant wildlife habitats and substantial drainage engineering heritage.


These are some of our favourite places to stop off along the River Great Ouse:


Huntingdon is a fabulous market town that’s ideal for stocking up on all the essential in preparation for your trip. Just a couple of miles away in the peaceful countryside lies Hartford Marina – your gateway to the River Ouse. The marina has 200 fixed and floating moorings available for canal and river boats of all sizes, offering all the amenities and services you’ll need for your vessel. The Hartford Mill pub and carvery is on site and it’s a great spot to relax and take in your surroundings. It’s the perfect place from where to start your journey.

St Ives

Just five miles away from Huntingdon lies the stunning St Ives. A thriving market town that’s full of riverside cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s a great place to stop off for lunch and soak up the sunshine, followed by a browse in some of the town’s many antique stores.

Offord Cluny

This small and beautiful village is three miles south-west of Huntingdon. It’s peaceful, quiet and perfect for a relaxing stop-off. Especially if you want to explore the magnificent late 13th century Church of All Saints that stands proudly in the centre of the village.


Tranquillity reigns in Earith. It’s ideal for those who are looking for an undisturbed afternoon on the side of the river or a stroll around the quaint village. Moor-up and visit The Raptor Foundation where you can see wonderful birds of prey – all of whom have been rescued.


Littleport and the nearby hamlet of Little Ouse sit just below sea level, which tells of just how low the fenlands really are. The village has an incredible network of streams that were created to control flooding in the region. There are numerous shops, eateries and pubs – our favourite being The Swan on the River which has moorings nearby.


The fenland city of Ely and its historic cathedral need no introduction. It’s a stop that you will want to incorporate on your journey down the river. The city is packed with museums, shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes. They also host concerts, festivals and other events throughout the year.


The Great Ouse really is very special

From the incredibly diverse and extensive wildlife to the attractions along the way, you can’t help but marvel at the wonders it has to offer. There are plenty of temporary moorings along the Great Ouse, but if you’re looking for something more permanent then Hartford Marina is the place. It’s close to Huntingdon and St Ives, and the transport links for London, Peterborough and Cambridge are excellent. The marina facilities have benefited from recent investment, now boasting a social club, on-site restaurant, laundry room and post room. It also offers all the usual services including pump-out, boat repairs, washing facilities and electricity to berths.

Hartford Marina offers temporary and permanent moorings. Perfect for a few hours away from it all, a weekend afloat or as your main home. Contact the friendly and experienced team at the marina for further information on 01480 454677 or visit the Hartford Marina page.


Winterising Your Boat

The winter months and falling temperatures can wreak havoc on your craft if it is not properly prepared. So if you’re going to leave your boat unattended for any length of time this winter, we recommend winterising your boat so that you don’t have any nasty surprises when you return in the spring.


Drain fresh water tank by opening your taps and letting the water drain overboard. When no more water comes out, turn the water pump off at the switch panel. Leave ALL taps on (especially the hot taps if you have a calorifier), including the shower, with the shower head placed in the shower tray or bath. Turning the stop cock off is NOT sufficent!


Cooled engines should have the sea cock turned off, anti-freeze fed into the raw water feed and fed around the engine until it leaves the exhaust. Check that the sealed cooling, if present, also has the required level of anti-freeze in the system.


Engines should be checked for a coolant anti-freeze level of at least -20 degrees, and ensure that the coolant levels are topped up.


Battery levels on all wet cells should be checked and topped up with distilled water unless these are of the ‘sealed for life’ type. Turn off battery isolators, and if you have an installed marine battery charger, this should be turned on to keep the batteries topped up.


Ventilation is essential to keep down damp. Leave open a couple of window hoppers for air flow which helps to stop mold growing. Do not block low level vents on doors etc.


Instant water heaters should be drained using the drain plug, leave the plug out with a bowl under the outlet. Leave the thermostat control on maximum.


Diesel heaters with a frost stat. You should ensure that you have a FULL tank of diesel, and very good batteries. If you have access to electricity through a metered lead, and have a marine battery charger, connect to the shoreline so that batteries do not go flat.



Electric heaters should be used with caution. The recommended heater is a greenhouse ‘Tube’ heater. These are very low wattage and cannot cause fires. DO NOT USE THE FOLLOWING – fan heaters, bar heaters, gas heaters, or any heater that has exposed elements. If you do, you may find your insurance is invalid if they cause a fire! And another reminder:



Smoke & CO2 alarms should have the batteries REMOVED if you are not on the craft. During the winter months, we do not want to visit craft with alarms going off due to flat batteries in alarm systems.


Mooring lines and ropes should be used correctly. You should check all of your mooring lines for chaffing or wear. If worn, they should be replaced. Do not use the whole 10 metres of line on a mooring tee to secure your craft. If we need to loosen your ropes due to water levels, wind, or snapped ropes etc., it takes a long time to undo all of the knots!


You should not leave these actions until last minute. Make sure you prepare in advance.


Please be aware that this list is not exhaustive and does not guarantee that frost damage may not occur.


If you need help with any of the above, then please don’t hesitate to give the marina team a call. The team will be happy to help and can advise whether these actions can be completed by the marina on your behalf before any damage is possibly caused.