Yup.. each and every one of us was covered in water Sig..so from my observation ..its a myth that Deep V hulls in small light inflatable boats make for a dryer ride. Of course..some folks were dryer than others..that is where experience comes in..and the experienced SIBbers who wanted a dry ride wore dry suits. Poly even wore a Gecko helmet..to keep his Clark Kent glasses from steaming up.
Hey... we did look on the bright side .. at least it wasnít raining..right ?
After warming ourselves with soup and relaxing over a hot coffee..we headed back to the boats.. feeling very much more comfortable.. and very much lighter in coinage weight.
The calmer conditions of the West Kyle gave me an opportunity to snap the main characters in this story.. so now is a good time to introduce them. Im not being rude by not naming folks..not everyone on this adventure has an Avatar Name ..and its not in anyoneís interest to use real names on a public forum.. so Im introducing folks by boat brand name. Feel free to add your names or avatars if you so wish.
I should also perhaps mention.. when Im giving my observations of boats..its not a head to head.. only based on what I saw .. these observations may or may not be accurate for many reasons.
First off from the pontoon was the driest skipper ..as he wore a full dry suit. His craft of choice was an unbranded airfloor..powered with an 18HP engine.. and that wee boat could move and track in a safe and stable manner. I think Im fair in saying ..that on the Sunday.. heading into four foot waves.. it was starting to struggle keeping up with the others ? I suspect this was due to the smaller length rather than hull shape. Feel free to correct me if Im not accurate though.
Next off was well known forum member Stig. I suspect his craft of choice the 3.8m Honwave airfloor powered by a 20HP four stroke was the fastest inflatable. It handled all conditions with ease.. and in the worst of the chop.. Stig usually appeared to be first through it. This may be because of his enthusiasm as he was clearly enjoying the adventure. Its a very much bigger boat in appearance than the same length Aerotec. There was no way Stig was going to fall out that boat..his is not a small guy either.
He was followed by the Aerotec powered with a 20HP engine. The skipper has had a lifetime of boats and been involved in building them too. Obviously the arerotec handled the chop well..but from my perspective .. I didnít see any difference in performance. While watching it..it bobbed about on the waves in the same manner as the other sibs. However..I suspect it may have felt a softer ride.
Then came the second Aerotec of the day powered by a 15HP engine..and Skippered by Father and son team Sunsport. My observation of this set up was the youngest member of the team seemed to smile the most of us all..and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.
His parting words were..ĒCan I come again next year ?Ē
Its very much worth mentioning to others who have youngsters ... do consider bringing them along to such outings.. they get a lot out of it ...and it is not an adult only sport.
Last but certainly not least.. Poly and his passenger who sadly suffered from having to leave his own SIB behind because his outboard issues. Polyís poly boat powered by a 20HP is far faster than any SIB.. which is understandable..it has a slippery..little drag hull. From my observation ..its a wet looking boat ..but Poly stands well above the spray..and looks more like a Top Gun pilot in his Gecko than a Clark Kent type?
I donít have a photo of the Gurnard in action.. so if anyone has one..please add it ..as that will complete the line up. I will add that my Quicksilver 4.3m is the best performer of all.. but that is only based on the fact.. its the one I own. IMO all the guys will say theirs is the best.. its human nature.
In reality..they all did the job.. exceptionally well .. and it was not an easy 60 mile course due to the strong winds.
When I left the pontoon ..I pre warned Stig that it would get even rougher going round Ardlamont point ..its a very exposed area and tide was now turning to face the winds..... He put his waterproofs on .....
to be continued.....