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Old 02 March 2002, 20:30   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Worcestershire
Boat name: Not Yet Named
Make: Avon SR 4
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40 HP Yamaha Autolub
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 600
Topaz - First Trip

We headed down to Portsmouth on Saturday morning (2 March)at leisurely pace to meet with the tide, and launched around 1100.

We potted around the harbour for 10 - 15 mins to set up the GPS etc, then headed out into breezy and quite lumpy conditions.

One amazing thing was the noise - or lack of it - from the engine. Even later on when pushing 35 to 40 knots you could still listen to the VHF, and hold a conversation with the person next to you. The wind noise was much more than the engine. Compared to some of the RIBs I had tested or travelled in this was sheer bliss.

According to the Radio Traffic from Solent Coastguard we were in a North Easterly 5 - 6 with moderate seas - nothing like the 2 -3 calm that had been predicted! This was reported to be backing and dropping to 3 - 4 later - which to be fair it probably did.

I pushed her along gently at first, but soon we were wave hopping at around 28 knots with little difficulty.

(At the end of the day the kids unanimously voted one of the highlights of the day as their first 'flying' lesson on the way out to the Nab Tower).

We made our way to Nab Tower - often spoken about to Sian and the Kids but to date never seen!

Having seen this important yet visually disapointing landmark (or seamark?) we turned and ran back to comparative shelter and headed up towards the Hamble River.

We decided to pop up to Moody's boatyard to see if we could pick up some additional kit, mainly for the kids - and found some excellent bargains at Andark - to be highly recommended for their prices, and their helpfulness.

A downside of the day was then to be sat at the cafe in Moodys only for Sian's handbag to be stolen from the back of her chair!

Having recovered from this shock, and having spent time cancelling the cards and her 2 mobile phones, we headed back down river and out into the Solent.

We pushed Topaz up to 40 knots for the run back, and tried to play with the Trim button - not to any great success I may add.

On return to Portsmouth Harbour we did our tour of the warships before recovering her on the slipway.

The fuel gauge I was recommended to use seemed to perform well during the day, and dropped down steadily much like in the car. Others I have seen require the boat to stop and hold fairly level or they show completely empty or full.

All in all a highly successful first trip. Need some serious helm time to get to grips with her handling, and how this trim is supposed to work, but she is an excellent RIB, and so far everything I dreamed she would be.


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Old 03 March 2002, 12:40   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Portishead, Bristol
Boat name: "
Make: Ribcraft, Cowes Mari
Length: 5m +
Engine: Mercury 90hp 4-strok
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 600
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TomKat - first trip of the season

Excellent - well apart from the handbag

Sounds like a good trip. I can't remember - did you have a rib before? Have you , Sian and the kids been into boatng for a while?

Anyway - I took TomKat out for her first run of the season - just a little potter arround Bristol Harbour, which is local for me and it reasures me that the engine is running fine before being more adventurous.

Not much opertuniity to open her up - but I was out for about 2 hours before heading back to the slip.

I'll post a couple of picture in the Gallery - Where are you photos then Graeme?

Hopefully I will see you (and Topaz) next week on the Thames.


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Old 03 March 2002, 12:59   #3
Country: UK - Wales
Town: Pwllheli-North Wales
Boat name: Delta 1
Make: Delta
Length: 6m +
Engine: Mariner 90hp Optimax
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,367
Hi Chaps

Graeme, sorry to hir about Sian's handbag.

Jools, TomKat looks cool thinking about selling the jet ski and getting one!!! Does it pull a skier or Knee Board?

I'm itchin to get my rib out now, next weekend will be my first trip of the season. Just finsihed fitting the new fuel tanks.

Jools are you bringing the TomKat next weekend? or hoping in mine?
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Jono Garton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03 March 2002, 13:37   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: Worcestershire
Boat name: Not Yet Named
Make: Avon SR 4
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40 HP Yamaha Autolub
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 600
Hi Jools

In fact Topaz is our 4th Boat. When I met Sian a little over 2 years ago she hated boats - she wouldnt even take the Cross Channel Ferry as she got seasick!

We started out with a YAM 3.3 Metre Inflatable, then moved up to a 4.3 Metre Quicksilver - still inflatable. These were fine for pottering around harbours and estuarys. We progressed to a 4 Metre Narwhal RIB so that she could see the difference, then, having spent some considerable time looking at and sea testing different RIBs, both new and second hand, we ordered Topaz.

Yesterday you would never believe she ever had any fear of water - and for a time gave up her jockey seat to sit in front of the console, thoroughly enjoying the bumpy ride. She is even taking her Powerboat 2 Course in April!

As for pictures, all being in one boat this was difficult. Sian did take some with her 'posh' camera, but these have to be developed. I have attached one of Sian's eldest enjoying the ride.

We are really looking forward to the Thames Cruise next week.
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