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Old 18 October 2014, 16:46   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Lincolnshire
Boat name: Mousetrap
Make: Zodiac Cadet 310S
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mariner 4 stroke 9.9
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 221
First trip on new boat

Well, it arrived on Thursday and this morning, my wife was encouraging me to get it straight onto the water.

We first tried a dry run, assembling the boat completely on the back lawn. The new outboard has various buttons and controls that either didn't exist on my 3 previous outboards, or which were in different places. It took me some time to find which bit I had to pull before I could tilt the engine - and then I got it in the neck because my wife had suggested pulling that bit several minutes earlier!

I had considered all the various floor options and had been wary of plywood because it was such a job fitting and removing the stringers on both of my previous boats. However, the Zodiac 310 Cadet solid's floorboards slipped in easily and the stringers just slotted into place. The whole thing came apart easily too.

Then we took it down to the Trent, just above Fiskerton, to use a free slipway. The boat went together more quickly this time. An easy launch and the engine started first pull.

A quarter of a mile upriver, I finally remembered to lift the launching wheels!

After an hour and a quarter cruising into the current and a strong headwind. We were a bit cold, but we were having fun. Apart from the common mallards, Canada geese, moorhens and tufted ducks, a range of gulls and terns, Cormorants and herons, and a few late dragonflies we had an unusual sighting of two brightly-marked Egyptian geese.

We arrived at Gunthorpe and tied up to some iron steps below the lock. I had planned to stop off for a snack at the greasy spoon café there, but when we walked in we found it had become a rather pretentious little ristorante Italiono. The toilets were labelled "signori" and "signore" for goodness' sake! Still, a hot coffee and a bowl of chips is never a bad idea, even if the chips are called "spicy wedges" and have no detectable spiciness.

The trip down river was of course much quicker with a following wind. Although the slipway was steep and greasy with wet autumn leaves, the boat came out easily and was back in the car within half an hour.

About £8.50 for a day ticket to use the river (which was less than the coffee and chips) and a sip of petrol - for a lovely afternoon out.

The 310 is the smallest boat I've owned - by about a foot - and may turn out to be a bit of a handful in a choppy sea, but so far so good. A well made boat and good engine (Mariner 9.9 four stroke). Very pleased.

Quite a few of you in this forum gave me advice and encouragement. It took a leap of faith to invest this much in a hobby that I had allowed to drop a few years ago, and the encouragement helped.
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Old 18 October 2014, 17:45   #2
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Country: UK - England
Town: East Anglia
Boat name: Nimrod II
Make: Aerotec 380
Length: 3m +
Engine: Suzuki DF20 EFI
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,276
Good to get out on that first outing after a few years off the water.

I've only ever done a few metres with the wheels down but it's not uncommon.

Glad the ply floor seems to be easy to manage, all the ply SIBs I've owned have been easier than alloy to assemble/dismantle.

Yes it will be a handful as a chop increases if you try and keep the speed up but I was brought up with boats where you had to slow down as the weather worsened so I just regard it as part of boating. The only thing to remember is not to commit to a long distance on the way out on the plane which would then be unachievable if you are dropped to displacement speed on the way back.
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Old 18 October 2014, 18:12   #3
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Oh........ the old transom wheels down scenario!!
Must have done that half a dozen times over the last few years.
Most lately going out of Isle of Whithorn Harbour on my own last month with my Honwave 3.5ae - huge launch wheels still in the down position, with my Tohatsu 20hp 4 stroke propelling.
My old man launched simultaneously with his Cathedral Hulled glass fibre boat, 2 up and heavily loaded, propelled by a 15hp Yammie 2stroke 1977!
Couldn't get past him on the way out of the harbour.
He thought he had lost me!
I had merely stopped to recover my wheels.
Wheels up - full throttle onto plane and goodbye.
Oh how I did smile as I flew past!
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Old 19 October 2014, 04:01   #4
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Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlander View Post
Yes it will be a handful as a chop increases if you try and keep the speed up but I was brought up with boats where you had to slow down as the weather worsened so I just regard it as part of boating.
Happens all the time. Even in my 17' RIB. In truth, the boat will handle it fine; the organic things inside, not so much. There's always a weak link.

jky
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Old 19 October 2014, 09:23   #5
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Country: UK - England
Town: Lincolnshire
Boat name: Mousetrap
Make: Zodiac Cadet 310S
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mariner 4 stroke 9.9
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 221
Here's a few photos.
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Old 19 October 2014, 13:50   #6
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Country: UK - N Ireland
Town: Rostrevor
Boat name: Ricochet
Make: Redbay
Length: 7m +
Engine: Twin F115 Yams
MMSI: 235083269
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
Here's a few photos.
Well done Mike - looks great - SIB's rock
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