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Old 18 June 2017, 13:51   #1
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River Blackwater

Hi all,

I have just completed my Power Boat Level 2 and plan to take my boat for the first time next weekend (weather permitted). I am planning on launching off one of the slipways at Mersea Island.

It would be great to hear from anyone who has good local knowledge of this area? Any good tips? words of caution? good places to visit? nice beaches to roll up on in the area?

Thanks
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Old 18 June 2017, 13:57   #2
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Have a look at this thread and my posts from #16 onwards...

Launching question West Mersea

High tide just after lunch next weekend so the way we work it would be to get out am and enjoy the rising tide and the period just after high water before it all goes back to mud.

Winds modest on the long range so you should be OK.

A small hint for your first trip... if you seem to be going really quickly on the way out with easy wave conditions do a test turn around before you get too far to make sure it's not far more difficult returning.
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Old 18 June 2017, 15:48   #3
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Had a read through and makes perfect sense. This has answered a lot of questions
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Old 18 June 2017, 18:00   #4
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I assume you learned about buoys and navigation on your PBL1? Make sure you follow the buoys in and out of the channel from the public slip, it's very easy to ground out if you're not careful... I have...
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Old 19 June 2017, 02:10   #5
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>>>about buoys and navigation

And withy sticks in the case of getting out from Mersea!

I must admit Boatozzy I forgot to ask how you will navigate... Mk1 eyeball, map, chart, GPS???
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Old 19 June 2017, 03:39   #6
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I recall returning from Mersea and sharing my GPS track once only to be told (possibly by you Fenlander) that at low water, even though I was a mile or two from shore, there had been the odd cricket game on a huge sand bank right where I'd been zipping around at 15+ knots... needless to say I was amazed as I was (in my mind at least) miles from the nearest visible land...
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Old 19 June 2017, 04:00   #7
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Yes I remember your first outing track was headed off in the area of Buxey Sands where soggy cricket is sometimes played...

https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/560/...1_dscf3144.jpg

Some might say not as bad getting in shallows with a SIB as a large craft but getting stuck during a falling tide on one of those huge sandy/muddy areas could put you in real difficulty.

Another thing that can be a surprise in that area is just how far it can dry off Mersea Island beach at low water.
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Old 19 June 2017, 12:59   #8
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Amazing info guys! Yes the Power Boat Level 2 covers the basics of navigation. It covers the different type of buoys, obstructions, shipping channels, speed limits, restricted zones, where you can and can't anchor e.t.c. It was a great course and I am so glad I did it! To give you an idea of what we covered, I can now send off for an internationally recognised certificate that states I use a power boat up to 10M long.

Also the Navionics app is great! It shows everything on the nautical map plus real time tide with sea height and current speed. It auto calculates routes as well. This is what I will use for my GPS but as a guide.
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Old 25 June 2017, 12:50   #9
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Hi all,

I took my SIB out for the first time today at Mersea . The weather was extremely calm when I did my PB course so I definitely learnt a lot today with Force 4 winds!! We never had any issues rigging the boat up or launching (thank you Fenlander for sharing the Mersea thread!). We never had any issues navigating out of the channel and I rarely needed to use my GPS App (although it helped me calculate the route before we left). But I did notice the impact of the wind on the boat which I got used to very quickly.

My plan was to head out of the channel then cut across to the other side of the river just past the NASS beacon, then head up the river to try to find calmer waters - here was where I wanted to practice some of the skills I had learnt on PB like MOB, anchoring and parking as I never trained on a tiller boat.

Everything went according to plan until after we got past the NASS beacon. There were some pretty big waves in this area which were fun. BUT as we were cutting across the river I noticed that my Tell Tale water stream had stopped. I immediately cut the engine, lifted it up but couldn't work out what the problem was. When I put the engine back in the water and started it up there was a little stream of water so we very slowly headed straight back to the launch area. I couldn't believe that the day was over in less than an hour!

Anyway when I got back home I studied some YouTube videos and realised that the pee hole was blocked. When I prodded it with a rob and flushed the engine, I realised that the whole issue had been caused by a tiny piece of grit!! After that, the engine was flowing beautifully.

All in all I had a fun day regardless that it ended quickly. Next time I will take a rod just in case it happens again!

Thanks everyone
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Old 25 June 2017, 13:14   #10
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Well done... good to get that under your belt... including a slightly buttock tightening need to stop the OB!

Is your SIB a Honwave? What make OB?

By chance my 22yr old daughter was doing her RYA 1 dinghy course round the corner from you at Brightlingsea today. Yesterday in similarly blustery conditions their buddy training crew conducted a capsize drill somewhat earlier than the trainer had planned!

Btw the usual reward for advice givers on the forum is some pics of your outing/outfit if you have them.
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