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Old 13 June 2016, 03:26   #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, 04:08   #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, 04:20   #3
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Never imagined Poly would look like Clark Kent...









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Old 13 June 2016, 04:59   #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, 05:02   #5
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Originally Posted by Max... View Post
Never imagined Poly would look like Clark Kent...
He totally does....

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Old 13 June 2016, 08:50   #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, 09:37   #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, 09:38   #8
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Enjoying the story.
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Old 13 June 2016, 09:38   #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, 11:16   #10
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Here's the stats (and some spurious GPS readings...
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