There are a number of basic styles of boat. Different styles will suit different people’s needs:
Single Level Throughout with Forward Steering Position
This is a very popular style on the Norfolk Broads as it was originally designed to be able to navigate under the low bridges at, for example, Wroxham and Potter Heigham.
This style is also excellent if any of the crew may be concerned about getting off the boat and moving around inside as the floor is all on one level – having got on the boat there are no stairs.
The internal layout is normally spacious, with a large forward cockpit with a sliding canopy, which is where the steering position is positioned and where the dining table is located.
Centre Cockpit with Central Steering Position
This is another traditional Norfolk Broads design. There is a forward cabin, normally with berths and a toilet/shower, a centre cockpit with a raised floor and sliding canopy where the steering position is located, and an aft cabin with the galley, other cabins with berths, toilet, shower, etc. The details of the layout will vary depending on the size of the boat.
The advantages of the raised floor in the centre cockpit is that you get a good view of what is going on around you, normally there is seating in the cockpit for other crew members and, depending on the boat layout, there may be room to eat at the dining table.
Central Saloon with Dual Steering Positions
This style has the advantage that you can steer the boat from inside the saloon on cold or rainy day, and on sunny days steer from an upper deck position outside. On the upper deck you have a commanding view of what is going on around you and there is normally some space for other members of the crew to sit nearby.
The saloon on this style of boat is normally very spacious with plenty of living/dining room, as well as the second steering position.
This very traditional style is normally to be found on smaller boats. The steering position is in the aft cockpit. The aft cockpit is equipped with a vinyl folding canopy, so that you can steer the boat comfortably when the weather is not too good.