I confess.. I love my Guppy to bits ..its the best small boat in the universe. I guess we all say that about our own boats though.. it justifies to ourselves why we bought them in the first place.
The compact size and ease of portability is my number one attraction to this boat. I have found that on impulse..I can throw it in the car and head off to whichever boating area I choose. It can be launched anywhere.. with ease. It is extremely sea worth for its 2.75 meter size and gives me the confidence to use in open seas.
So far..I have been using my Mariner 3.3HP to propel her .. and have found she could plane at speeds around 12 mph with only myself on board ..but no luggage. Carry any anchors ..camping gear etc and she was stuck at 6 mph displacement speeds.I felt it was time to choose her permanent power plant.
I didnít want to loose the easy of carrying an outboard across a shore without a hernia or sack trolley .. so that limited my choice to around 25Kg weight. I wanted a four stroke...I cant hear a thing when my two strokes are whining away at my back. Ok two strokes are light to carry but a pain to listen to and reek fumes. I wanted max horse power for the weight .. so found that I was targeting a 6HP engine. Any bigger and weight jumps to double figures. Yamaha had a cash back offer on in April.. so their 6HP was the cheapest of the reputable brands. The deal was done .. and I was now heading to Loch Sween to run my new engine in.
I arrive early to get the parking space closest to the slipway ... in the sleepy village of Tayvallich. The Guppy was assembled beside the car then wheeled over the road to the water on the transom dolly.
In the water..the outboard looked a far more suitable size for the Guppy than the tiny 3.3HP .. if looks count.
I left a pound or two in the honesty box for my launch .. then rowed clear of the pier ..while the lady opened her shop. The day was beginning to waken.
The outboard awoke with a single pull. It burbled quietly as I eased away from the shop. The lady never turned her head. I wondered if she would have shot me a dirty look if I had filled the still morning air with smelly two stroke fumes.. and broke the beautiful silence with a high pitched whine. I was already loving my new engine.
I passed through the rocky entrance to the inner basin of Tayvallich ..pleased that I passed the red and green markers on the rocks..in the right way. It meant I was in the channel...and not somewhere I could get into bother.
Run in instructions told me not to idle for long periods ..so I now eased the throttle half way open. The guppy easily rose gracefully from the water and went on the plane.
A speed check indicated that I was doing 13 mph. A big smile appeared on my early morning face. I head myself think.. yup Gurnard..great choice in outboards. You can easily go in the tide races of the sea now.
I kept the engine around half throttle and varied to three quarters throttle ..as my efficient wake skittered silently behind the boat.. leaving a neat white scar across the grey seascape
There were many things to see and explore in Loch Sween..but I was now on a mission. I was heading for the open sea. I wanted to land on an island in the Sound of Jura..that can have a vicious tide race around it in certain conditions. It was still spring tides..so to play safe .. I wanted to approach it at high tide. I didnt have time to waste.
With Castle Sween now far behind..I knew I was in the Sound of Jura .
..and heading for Eilean Mor..the largest of the McCormaig Isles. In the backdrop of the photo .. are Islay and Jury..both world famous for their tasty coloured water.
To be continued...