Negotiating bridges

On the Northern Broads there are three briges you may need to negotiate. These are Ludham Bridge, Potter Heigham (in fact two bridges about 100 yds apart) and Acle bridge. This section show you how to manage passing under bridges by examining the mast lowering and quanting at Potter Heigham. We start on the east side of the bridges moored on the south bank.

Step 1

Lower the boom onto the small crutches.

Lower the boom onto the small crutches.

Step 2

Secure it in place with a couple of turns of mainsheet

Secure it in place with a couple of turns of mainsheet

Step 3

Wrap a tie round the jib to keep it neat.

Wrap a tie round the jib to keep it neat.

Step 4

Remove the fore hatch so the mast can swing through

Remove the fore hatch so the mast can swing through

Step 5

Check that the keep is still inplace holding the mast

Check that the keep is still inplace holding the mast

Step 6

That's it with the piece of string

That's it with the piece of string

Step 7

Undo the light rope that secures the gaff jaws

Undo the light rope that secures the gaff jaws

Step 8

Place all the blocks wrapped round the shrouds

Place all the blocks wrapped round the shrouds

Step 9

Lay the gaff alongside the boom so the mast can lie flat

Lay the gaff alongside the boom so the mast can lie flat

Step 10

Free off the forestay from its cleat

Free off the forestay from its cleat

Step 11

Remove the keep

Remove the keep

Step 12

One person on the cabin top has a tie in his hand and pulls the shrouds inwards to start the mast moving

One person on the cabin top has a tie in his hand and pulls the shrouds inwards to start the mast moving

Step 13

As the balance weight rises catch it on the forestay

As the balance weight rises catch it on the forestay

Step 14

Pause here and use the tie to hold all the shrouds losely to the mast

Pause here and use the tie to hold all the shrouds losely to the mast

Step 15

Lower away gently...

Lower away gently...

Step 16

...until the mast lies on the crutches as well.

...until the mast lies on the crutches as well.

Step 17

Tidy away all loose ropes (remember the jib sheet) so the side decks are clear

Tidy away all loose ropes (remember the jib sheet) so the side decks are clear

Step 18

If you are lucky a friend helps with a second quant

If you are lucky a friend helps with a second quant

Step 19

Quant out into the middle of the river

Quant out into the middle of the river

Step 20

Here's the first bridge, the steel road bridge

Here's the first bridge, the steel road bridge

Step 21

Go well forward and drop the quant vertically

Go well forward and drop the quant vertically

Step 22

Push on the pole with the knob in your shoulder

Push on the pole with the knob in your shoulder

Step 23

As you get towards the stern drop the quant a few inches and give it a twist so it does not stick in the mud

As you get towards the stern drop the quant a few inches and give it a twist so it does not stick in the mud

Step 24

Grab hold of the bridge's giders to pull you through

Grab hold of the bridge's giders to pull you through

Step 25

Continue to quant between the bridges watching out for a couple of deep holes in the bed

Continue to quant between the bridges watching out for a couple of deep holes in the bed

Step 26

Line yourself up for the small bridge - it's at an angle...

Line yourself up for the small bridge - it's at an angle...

Step 27

...and it's quite small.

...and it's quite small.

Step 28

Duck, and use the stoneware to pull you through.

Duck, and use the stoneware to pull you through.

Step 29

Watch for a side wind catching the boat - and the current.

Watch for a side wind catching the boat - and the current.

Step 30

Not far now

Not far now

Step 31

Safely moored open the hatch cover and prepare to raise the mast

Safely moored open the hatch cover and prepare to raise the mast

Step 32

Help the mast up from the stern and by pressing down on the counterbalance

Help the mast up from the stern and by pressing down on the counterbalance

Step 33

Pause halfway and remove the tie holding the shrouds

Pause halfway and remove the tie holding the shrouds

Step 34

Push the mast up keeping an eye that nothing catches

Push the mast up keeping an eye that nothing catches

Step 35

Help it the last few inches with a good push forwards

Help it the last few inches with a good push forwards

Step 36

"What's that?"

"What's that?"

Step 37

Ah the topping lift has got the wrong side of the boom

Ah the topping lift has got the wrong side of the boom

Step 38

That's better

That's better

Step 39

Drop into the hatch to put the mast keep back in place

Drop into the hatch to put the mast keep back in place

Step 40

Secure the forestay on its cleat

Secure the forestay on its cleat

Step 41

Refit the tie on the gaff jaws

Refit the tie on the gaff jaws

Step 42

And collect your cup of tea!

And collect your cup of tea!