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Old 13 June 2016, 04:26   #1
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Scottish SIB outing 2016 by The Gurnard

Gurnard’s Log entry Saturday 11th June 2016-06-16

The Magnificent Seven SIBBERS ... plus the Gurnard ... met for the first time on the public slipway outside Largs Yacht Haven.

Some may say these men where the only ones stupid enough to go SIBing and wild camping in a weekend with forecasted winds gusting to F4-F5 .. torrential rain ... and midges by the millions.

However ..undeterred by such forecasts .. each and every one of us thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.

Some may say that one man was only a boy.. but I can assure you all..he proved he was a man in every respect. His constant grin brightened even the darkest sky .. his endless energy tired me out ... watching ... as he ran around collecting fire wood after a hard day on the seven seas.

However .. his fearlessness of midges had to be seen to be believed. While other grown men hid heads in nets made of stockings .... he laughed and threw another log on the fire.

Some may say it was weather only suitable for Deep V inflatables .. there were one or two in this company of boats.

However... those that say they are the only SIBs suitably for a chop.... that is only their story.. and this is the Gurnard’s story.

I hope you all enjoy reading it..

It wasn’t all a weekend of plain sailing. I trailer the heavy 4.3 Quicksilver SIB and due to a receding tide ..didn’t have enough depth of water at the end of the slip to float her off. I yanked and hauled the handles on her aging tube cones.. got her into the water then heard a Psssssssst sound. She had sprung a leak..her skin worn through where the rear floor board edge chaffs against soft PVC tube.

I curse my stupidity for being so rough with her..but was determined it wasn’t going to spoil my adventure. Its not the first time I have had to “man the pumps” while underway at sea. I manage to slow the leak by padding the wound with a PVC patch (the grey in the attached) slobbered with best Russian PVC glue in the hope the tube would still be round although not hold much pressure. A decent repair was impossible due to the leaks location.. time available ..and everything being soaking wet.



The good ship Gurnard still floated.. that is why she has three air compartments and an inflatable keep ... which was enough for me.



Stigomery assembling his Honwave beside me said.. “Hey..it looks a lovely Morning Gurnard..despite the forecast..hardly any wind..and some blue sky.. I was expecting rain”

I replied pleasantly.. “Give it time Stig..things change quickly up this neck of the woods”

Poly (he had more sense than me and used the marina slip) arrived and started telling coastguard our route plan. I noticed Stig recorded it on his video..presumably for insurance reasons..in case he had to make a claim if he drowned ?



Soon after.. a couple of Aerotecs appeared and started buzzing Poly .. while the other boats got ready for sea



Soon after ..I sensed the sky beginning to brood and the wind begin to freshen ..



It wasn’t my sixth sense of wind predicting that made me think it was going to be a rough crossing.. but my observation that even the small storm sails on the racing dinghies ..had their crews hanging fully out on their trapeze wires



I wondered how the Gurnard would handle the chop with a sagging tube.. so mentioned to Poly that I was going to set off ... round the north of Big Cumbrae Island.. and if all was well..would make my way across to Bute.. I would then wait for everone else to get there. If the leak worsened due to transom movement in the chop.. I may have needed to reconsider my options.

Sunsport and Son decided to follow me .. while Poly waited for the remaining boats to start outboards. It didn’t take long to reach some chop..there is normally a bit of a tide against wind at the tip of Big Cumbrae...and we were now in it.



So far..the Gurnard’s burst side was staying round ..and as the ever deflating tube was on the seaward side from the chop.. I looked at the four mile crossing to Bute ..and decided to go for it..



The ever increasing wind and sea .. started to make things interesting ... to be continued
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Old 13 June 2016, 05:08   #2
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This is shaping up to be a good read... deflation drama and all.

Of my hard floored SIBs only one had alloy stringers (honwave 3.5AE).. and on assembly I always thought they were too tight in the rear corners. Had they been wood like my old Avon & Zodiacs I'd have rounded them a little.

I was pleased to hear Stig would be flying the flag for Cambridgeshire on this outing... even more so now I can see he was doing so in a stylish hat!
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Old 13 June 2016, 05:20   #3
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Never imagined Poly would look like Clark Kent...









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Old 13 June 2016, 05:59   #4
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Hi Fenlander.. hats off to Stig too.. he represented your part of the land excellently. Im sure he will add that he enjoyed every moment of it...midges and all.

Although he openly admits to being new to boats.. IMO he is a natural skipper and threw himself into every rough spot with great enthusiasm. The Honwave 3.8 air floor is a remarkable boat ..and powered by his 20HP was almost as slippery in speed as Poly’s poly boat.

Stig enjoying the shelter of the seaward shore .. the rough stuff .. another hundred or so meters off shore



Although I have not checked yet..as it is a lot of work taking the floor out..Im pretty certain the Quicksilver is an easy fix..it just wear and tear..after 12 years of chaffing. As you say..its tight in that area.. the leak is an inch or so after the end of the stringer...although it is on the very corner aluminium floor trim edge..which could also have been a bit sharp. Its her first patch though..so Im having to accept she is getting a bit older now.

Hi Max.. Poly’s managed to change his facial features for the outing .. to look exactly like his Avatar .. but I guess.. what he looks like outside SIB meets.. is anyone’s guess ?
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Old 13 June 2016, 06:02   #5
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Never imagined Poly would look like Clark Kent...
He totally does....

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Old 13 June 2016, 09:50   #6
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Hi Willk..a reasonable likeness..but who knows..I thought Poly had a nose ..


I kept a careful watch on the transom joints as I planed across the open crossing. The waves were now around a meter high..and white tops breaking regularly. Although I imagined the boat to be wallowing like a jelly because of the soft starboard tube.. she had no problem keeping plane speed on the chop. I slowed a couple of times to pump some more air in..but I didn’t want to overdo it and blow out the temporary patch. It gave Sunsport and Son a little time to catch up again. Their Aerotec was powered by a 15HP which couldn’t be expected to keep up with the 25HP of the Gurnard... However by keeping heads down and bow up..were never far behind.



I noticed the larger yachts on the round Bute race appeared to be going very fast too .. bet they were enjoying a far dryer passage than our wet SIBs



On reaching the Lee Shore of Bute ..I was surprised not to see Poly and the others guys crossing ?

A quick call on VHF and Poly explained one of the outboards of the other SIBers was not running well. They had tried to get it going smoothly but failed. They were now making the sensible decision not to trust the engine with the crossing. Poly volunteered to take the owner of this boat as a passenger in his poly boat.. which explained the delay.

It was still rough close to shore.. and with no where to land .. I informed Poly that we were going to head for the more sheltered waters at the north end of Bute.



It still took Poly and the others time to cross .. so as the old saying goes.. ”Any Port in a Storm” both Sunsport..son..and myself... headed into Rothesay Port for some shelter..and to keep out the way for the busy Ferry traffic



No sooner had we landed.. than I saw.. way in the distance.. some white water spouts..rather like the trail a jetski leaves behind .. I guessed this was Poly and the guys now passing us...so it was all aboard again...



... and full speed ahead for ourselves ..in spumes of spray .. before we final all met up in sheltered waters at Colintraive.



Both parties grinned and said in unison.. what keep you guys ?! ... to be continued
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Old 13 June 2016, 10:37   #7
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Awesome write up Gurnard... And thanks for the photographic memories, I think I forgot to look at the scenery on Saturday so this is a wonderful reminder. Sunday I was glad to slow down a little and take in the sights no thanks to your guidance.

Wonderful to meet everyone and had a cracking time... As for the midges, well Gurnard, not sure if it was the Avon Skin so Soft, DEET or Jungle Formula but I only came away with 2 bites...

(Fine) hats off to Poly for pulling this together...

Can't wait till next year!

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Old 13 June 2016, 10:38   #8
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Enjoying the story.
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Old 13 June 2016, 10:38   #9
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Cracking interpretation and write up as ever Gurnard.
Just gutted that I couldn't make it along.
Hopefully this adventure won't signal the demise of the Gurnard (the sib).
I'd hate to see it getting recycled like the Seago.
I'm sure a man of your talents will resurrect her to fight another day tho:thumbup:.
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Old 13 June 2016, 12:16   #10
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Here's the stats (and some spurious GPS readings...
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Old 13 June 2016, 14:30   #11
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Hi again Paul..just sorry we didnt get to meet this time..but next time Im in the area..I will give you warning

Hi Kaman.. I missed seeing your blue cover planing up the centre of us all. It was rough..but nothing near as bad as our return from Belnahua..that was a real choppy day. Hope the neck bones heal quick and you get back on the water soon.

Thanks for posting the technical data Stig..I didn’t take GPS tracks so glad that you have them.

As no one was left behind ..its reasonable proof that all inflatables ..from the longest and heaviest 4.3m Quicksilver wood floor with 25HP ..to the smallest and lightest 3.2 m? unbranded airfloor with 18HP outboard can plane at speed in a decent chop. I would therefore suggest that anyone who suggests they cant.. has not been on a Scottish SIB outing.

However .. Stig ... I do wonder if you filled with rocket fuel at Millport cafe .. ..the average speed of 61kts on that last leg seems a bit exaggerated ?

Talking of rocket cafes... once we all met at Colintraive ..it was then a quick scoot through the narrow Kyles of Bute ..



... where everyone except me .. forgot to wave to the two lovely painted maids.. sitting at Buttock Point.. waiting for their husbands to return from sea... where they have waited that long.. some say they have turned to stone ?



I took this opportunity to watch the Aerotec’s wakes .. although it spurts up a bit at the back of the boat..neither of them seemed to get water over the transom.



Then we were on flat waters following the tail end of the Yacht races .. going down the West Kyle of Bute towards Tighnabruaich ...



Where we pulled over for a cafe coffee break. Each and every one of us had been covered in sea spray on the crossing..but unless Im mistaken..no one looked shook up any more than another .. from the rough crossing ?

Although the water was flat in the Kyles..the pontoon flags flying horizontal show there was still a strong wind blowing. We heading off for hot coffee and a plate of soup



To be continued after the cafe coffee break ...
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Old 13 June 2016, 14:46   #12
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Seems I've missed some choppy conditions gurnard but it does prove as you say SIBS can handle the rough if driven with care. Looking forward to the rest of the report.

Cheers
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Old 13 June 2016, 18:44   #13
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OK, so at this point, and from departing Largs, I had dressed for sunshine and balmy weather (I'm not a Scot, but almost). Shorts, t-shirt and at the last minute (because others were wearing dry suits and floatation suits) I threw on a waterproof jacket, "just in case"!

Well, if we'd not stopped off for coffee and soup I'm certain I'd have succumbed to hypothermia... I might have put on a brave face but I was chilled to the core... Proper cold, reminded me of wet, cold, relentless nights on the hills!

As for the 61knts average, can you imagine what was happening in my pants at 16691.7knts peak!
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Old 14 June 2016, 04:39   #14
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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 wasn’t 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 anyone’s 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 didn’t 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..”Can I come again next year ?”

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. Poly’s 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 don’t 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.....
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Old 14 June 2016, 05:06   #15
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Most of my photos appear quite blurry as the sea spray was impossible to keep off the lens... Need to bolt me a Gurnard-style console to the airfloor of my SIB to keep my camera dry... Or maybe not...

Anyway, The Gurnard in all its glory...

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Old 14 June 2016, 07:14   #16
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>>> 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.<<<


Stig's Honwave looks very balanced and purposeful in your image Gurnard. My Honwave 3.5 alloy floor seemd very roomy... hence even more so the 3.8. It's actually only 3" wider and 5" longer than the Aerotec internally (giving something over 3sq ft more floor space) but agree it looks a lot more. The large tubes of the Honwave enable it to support 460lbs more than the Aerotec.

Your observations Gurnard and some of the figures I've given is why when folks pose a "which SIB" question for daily inflate non trailer use the Honwave 3.8ie is the one I mostly advise. They're exceptional value.
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Old 14 June 2016, 07:33   #17
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Fenlander, I must admit I had a few chuckles on the water directed mostly at you...

I had your words of advice and praise for the Honwave ringing through my ears, "...and it provides an exceptionally dry ride..." as I spat out yet another mouthful of sea water and clenched my eyes to prevent the stinging of yet more facefulls of the North Channel...

Seriously though, it's the first real test I've had with the SIB and your advice, and that of others on the Forum was invaluable in reaching a buying decision that I'm very happy with. I've not skippered any other SIB but am very keen to try a few out and get a feel for other brands and styles. I was really impressed with the flexibility the Quicksilver provides and it seems a really good choice for an "expedition" boat. Aerotec I struggled to understand the high price tag having now seen one in the flesh but it's without doubt a great boat.
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Old 14 June 2016, 08:17   #18
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Hi again Fenlander .. I generally agree with your posts and experience..and would advise anyone thinking of buying a SIB to take heed of your advice. I have taken your advice in the past too and have been pleased with the results

Hopefully Im not trying to suggest one SIB is better than another in this adventure.. that is not my intention. I am however trying to take the opportunity to clear up some unmitigated statements which in my opinion have wandered far from fact.

Example..I have seen folks trying to “bash” the Aerotec because of waterfalls of water coming over the transom. I never saw that happen on these Aerotecs. I have no idea if they did modifications to them ..perhaps they can advise. My intention is to highlight that it is not really an issue..if it does..it can be sorted. My brothers F –Rib threw up a spout of water on his factory boat..but is perfect with a spacer on around 10cm fitted too.

Another Example .. I have heard folk trying to “bash” the Honwave 3.8 airfloor because of floor flexing. I don’t want to put words into Stig’s mouth so perhaps he can comment too . but he did mentioned his floor flexed occasionally under certain conditions. I laughed and said.. you are the fastest..can handle the chop as well as any other airfloor SIB.. so does the price of a bit of floor flex bother you that much ?

Inflatables are not RIB’s and that is something folks seem to forget.. PVC will flex hitting walls of water at 20 plus mph ..that physics for you... and you canna beat the laws of physics Scotty

I certainly would not advise anyone to have a sizable heavy floored SIB and inflate.. deflate each time. Its a trailer job. Many folks will say” why have a SIB on a trailer and not a RIB?”

I have many reasons.. including cost.. lighter to launch..but also ..very important to me.. I don’t mind a SIB under an old tarpaulin .. on a trailer .. sitting on the drive at my house. I can easily take the 25HP outboard off the boat and store it under lock and key. I doubt I could do that with a heavier engine fixed to a RIB with remotes etc. I don’t live in a bad area..but my drive is in view of the public. I don’t want to attract undesirables to my drive by advertising several thousand quid of engine sitting for them to take as soon as I go to bed.

Thanks for the photos of the Gurnard too Stig.. she handled the water well despite one tube with no pressure ..just shape. I had a quick look at the leak today..and now curse the temp patch..its stuck solid to the tube with the Russian Glue.. so I now have the added problem of removing it before doing a final repair..but it did save my weekend ... to be continued
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Old 14 June 2016, 08:43   #19
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So the flexing floor thing, it does happen, and I'm certain the floor was at max pressure so it's a design/conditions thing.

Some testing still required but from memory it happens more with a following sea at a speed of over 17knts. Essentially the front of the floor arcs downwards directly under the fuel tank, the rear of the floor arcs upwards, a bit like this: ~

When it happens you can definitely feel the power drop off and the prop occasionally cavitates. I'm sure everyone knows that feeling when you're urging your car/bike/boat... to go a little faster (which you know it can do) but it simply refuses to because something seems to be holding it back...

Does it bother me? Not so much, only if I'm trying to catch another boat ;-)

I also find myself trying to push the arc'd floor down with my feet (to no avail)...

All told its fine, just a little irritating at times.
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Old 14 June 2016, 08:44   #20
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.its stuck solid to the tube with the Russian Glue.
have you tried tear aid gurnard its very good.
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