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Old 11 February 2018, 15:15   #1
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New member - hello

Hi All, just joined the forum and wanted to introduce myself. Iím Chris and have a Bombard Aerotec 3.8 with 15hp Mercury. In the Southend area of Essex
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Old 11 February 2018, 16:07   #2
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Welcome Chris from a fellow Aerotec owner/enthusiast. Is this your first SIB or perhaps even your first boat?

My first experience of boating on the sea as a child was at Burnham on Crouch... and now our launch place of choice from our Cambs home is Mersea Island. Where do you intend to use the Aerotec?

David
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Old 11 February 2018, 16:31   #3
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Hi David,

It is indeed my first boat. I did my powerboat level 2 several years ago and have finally bought a boat and essential equipment - i.e. life jackets, VHF (have done the SRC course recently) etc. etc.

I am planning to launch and use the boat at either Chalkwell beach in Westcliff-on-Sea (my nearest potential launch), Two Tree Island (Leigh on Sea) or as you say, on the River Crouch (perhaps via Essex Marina). Plus welcome any recommendations?...

I am really excited to have bought a boat after years of planning and spring is just around the corner.
Of course there is a lot I donít know and no substitute for experience but keen to build up step by step and listen and take on board advice

Many thanks for the reply
Chris
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Old 11 February 2018, 16:41   #4
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Originally Posted by chriswjallen View Post
It is indeed my first boat. I did my powerboat level 2 several years ago and have finally bought a boat and essential equipment - i.e. life jackets, VHF (have done the SRC course recently) etc. etc.........

.......Of course there is a lot I donít know and no substitute for experience but keen to build up step by step and listen and take on board advice
Welcome to RIBnet! Sounds like you have covered the bases. It's always a steep learning curve but take it step by step and you'll be fine.

It's a fantastic "afloat" world out there
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Old 11 February 2018, 18:10   #5
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Well you've started with a very nice outfit... was that just chance or did you seek an Aerotec? I wonder if you will be transporting in the car or do you have a trailer? How about crew... anyone with you or will you be solo?
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Old 12 February 2018, 02:11   #6
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I sought out the Aerotec and 15hp Mercury 2-stroke after having read advice and reviews on this site. I have a four wheel drive and can fit all the gear in the back. Initially it will be just myself with hopefully my Wife to join once I have built up my confidence.

I am thinking about the Crouch or Roach or close to shore off Westcliff to build up experience

One thing I would appreciate a point of view on please

Along various points of the sea defences at Weatcliff/Chalkwell beach there are several Ďmini slipwaysí which would be ideal to launch from. I have the large zodiac launch wheels and my house is within 150 metres so easily done with help from the Wife. There are no signs about launching/not launching, nor any info about charges so I am right to assume I can safely launch here free of charge? (Clearly avoiding peak holiday times when the beach is busy)

Keen to find some where for the inaugural launch which is ideally free and without lots of nosy eyes watching me make inevitable mistakes when launching for the first time!

Many thanks in advance
Chris
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Old 12 February 2018, 05:38   #7
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I have no experience of this location but have looked at the charts etc. It seems at low water there is up to a mile of mud off Chalkwell beach so it may be you will have a very short window around high tide for enough water to make launch/recovery. If you make a mistake re times when you are out it will be impossible to get back in once the tide is out any distance.

In any case a beach launch can be challenging and sometimes impossible solo... I'd do anything to avoid that for a first outing. In fact with 50+yrs on the water since a kid I avoid it full stop.

I've just looked it up ( https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...5tfd9R_CgQUiFl - scroll to item 53) and it seems they are trying to discourage launching from the beach as the charge is £38 a day! Of course there might not be anyone about to collect this time of year but it's a high charge if they catch you.

Leigh marina is a possibility as their daily charge for a smallcraft is lower than the beach (I think) but their slip is still only usable at HW +/- 2hrs... to me a very narrow window for smallcraft.

The ramp at Two Tree island looks a slightly better option. The charge there is £25 to launch and again this time of year there might not be anyone on site to collect, they also want you to have proof of insurance. It seems that is usable through more of the tide range as it goes into a small creek which looks to have water at all but the very lowest tides.

Essex Marina on the Crouch would give you access straight to deep water at all tide states and mean you started off in a sheltered location so to me it has massive advantage for you. No idea if they allow smallcraft launch or about their charges.

Across the Crouch is the Burnham Yacht Marina... not been there for years but I think they allow smallcraft launch for about £15/day plus harbour dues.... their slip is mucky at low tide.

It may be further than you want to travel but the hour to West Mersea on Mersea Island would be well spent to get the ideal launch situation for someone starting out. The hard packed gravel slip adj the RNLI (always good to know the boys are nearby!) is free and hasn't any significant mud at all but the very lowest tides. It is uncontrolled so no-one needs to see insurance (but I'd still get it) etc. Immediately adj to the slip there is an excellent pontoon with toilets, wash tap & cafť at the top. Small car park nearby on the front and close by free street parking if that's full.

For a first trip out where you are new to the sea and to your outfit here is huge benefit in somewhere like Mersea where you launch into sheltered water with a pontoon yards away. If you realise you've left something in the car, the motor splutters or anything else happens you can paddle to the pontoon tie up and sort yourself out.

Here is a review of Mersea I wrote a while ago... not saying it's the only place but it's the only place I know in the area that ticks all the boxes for someone starting out.

Launching question West Mersea

See in particular my posts from #16 onwards with some images to give an idea of the location.
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Old 12 February 2018, 14:36   #8
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This is really, really useful. Thank you for taking the time to research my area and options. All noted and take your points about launching in mud and a limited window of time to get it right either side of high tide
West Mersea sounds like a great option and looks like a lovely place for a day trip or weekend.

Thanks again Fenlander
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Old 12 February 2018, 14:45   #9
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Forgot to ask a question.
How do you best use the telescopic oars that came with the boat if you need to paddle to the pontoon as you suggest? Does the boat require oarlocks/rowlocks?

Many thanks
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Old 12 February 2018, 16:05   #10
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Do you have paddles like these in the image below? Normally I'm lucky in always having crew so we paddle at each side... like a wide canoe! If you are on your own then you can paddle each side in turns but this will only work in calm water with minimal current. In more difficult water you will struggle to make progress or keep the SIB straight.

A couple of folks on here have cut out a section of grab rail each side and fitted glue on rowlocks then they use oars. If you are solo this a great help but not a mod I'll bother making.

Another point re being solo. You will find the Aerotec very lively and bow light from the normal tiller position when on your own so you will need a tiller extension. Most are telescopic so you can get the length exactly right.

See post #3 on this thread for my comments on running an Aerotec solo...

An Aerotec in Scotland 2016

I now have a new tiller extension that better fits the thick grip on my Suzuki without any bodged fixings.
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