The latest addition to the Kennett family toybox (it's not for me, it's for the kids. Honest!
) is a Quicksilver 340 Airdeck with a 15hp Yamaha 2-stroke outboard.
I had been slightly suspicious of the Quicksilver inflatables because they are so much cheaper than Avon and Zodiac, but they seem to be earning a pretty good reputation so I decided to give one a try. Martin at Malthouse Marine sorted one out for me quickly (excellent service as you would expect from a RIBnet trade member
) and I tracked down a second hand motor that seemed to be in good order at a reasonable price. Then it was just a matter of waiting for some decent weather.
Yesterday was the day to put it to the test and I went back to Petersham
, the spot where I first launched a boat of my own. That boat turned out to be horrendous in just about every way, but it's still one of my favourite places. It's on the Thames just upriver from Richmond, in the semi tidal section, and you don't need a licence which is a bonus.
The Airdeck is great. It may reduce the high speed performance, but it makes for a really easy and hassle free day. Especially combined with a LVM Hi-Speed Inflator
and a cheapo 12v power pack that was on special at Maplin a couple of weeks ago!
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable day out. First of many I hope; who's up for a SIB gathering sometime?