Well what a day that was. The promised sunshine never arrived, the wind was 8-10mph SE which is ok but defiantly not the mirror smooth I was hoping for. I had packed for every eventuality and unloading it all at the slip car park my first thought was "I'm gonna need a bigger boat"
I dont quite no how but I need to slim down the amount of stuff I take.
My daughter and I assembled and loaded the boat without drama, with the bow trolley taking the load it was easy to trundle it down to the water edge, I then rowed for a few yards to clear the slip as others were using it to recover craft.
A bit of choke and the Yamaha started 1st pull, I was able to idle without choke while I recovered the wheels to the up position. I made a tool to insert into the leg to aid unlocking the leg against water pressure, but clever me forgot it... They released but not as easy as planned.
We left the harbour at a sedate 5mph, outside it was 8mph or less to the limit buoyes, then a fairly bumpy ride at 15mph to the local landmark, a marooned pier head 3/4mile out. We just motored about for an hour or so, my daughter having not seen her seaside town from this perspective before. We stopped and drift fished a few times with not a sniff of a fish. After 4 different positions and still not even a bite we were getting ready to move again when I noticed the wind had shifted to NE which is a nasty direction for us, it was only 8-10mph still but with wind over tide it meant white tops to the short chop and going back to the harbour was a wet ride. If I took it easy the bow stayed down and daughter got wet, if I opened the throttle and lifted the bow I got wet but she was dry. So I got very wet!
I'm used to hard boats with keel bands and bringing an inflatable into a concrete slip I actually cut and lifted the engine and rowed the last few yards to kiss the apron gently while daughter jumped out to steady things while the old guy got over the huge tube to drop the wheels. That was my mistake, should have dropped the wheels well before making the apron. I was trying to lift both boat and engine to get the wheels to lock down, I wont make that mistake again.
I would have got the bow trolley from the car to aid recovery up the ramp but my daughter knew best and insisted the bow wasnt too heavy to lift and pull so I was relegated to pushing halfheartedly. I really wanted to use that trolley!
The next 30mins were not pleasant really, quite a bit of water had made its way into the boat, so we had to empty everything out, open the drain and raise to bow to head height for a while to dump out as much as possible. We then used towels to dry out the floor and air floor before folding the boat etc into their bags.
Now for some reason my car had shrunk while we were gone because only two 3rds of what we brought would fit on the return loading, we did get it all packed in the end but that something I need to pay more attention to in future to get it all in.
Then of course I have tomorrow to look forward to, washing and getting dry everything that got wet & repacking the boat with more care, I couldnt bring myself to pack it nice and tightly knowing I have to take it back apart tomorrow.
So did the boat behave like I thought it should? Well Ive never owned and inflatable before, it felt a bit strange at speed having slugs of air rolling down under the floor, well I assume it was air, maybe it was wave action. It wasnt anything that worried me too much, the boat seemed a little twitchy at speed with small tiller movements producing larger than I expected direction changes.
It sat while we drifted & fished very stable and was a dry boat until those NE's so I cant complain at all really.
The Yamaha 15hp started readily each time with half a pull and was more motor than I could handle in todays sea states. I never once managed full throttle.
With all the gear we had on board my daughter and my overweight frame we were out for 5hr 30mins and fished for 2hrs so plenty of motor use and very pleased with it I am.
The fishfinder plotter worked well though it didnt find me any fish, the transducer mounting being perfect.
Below is the numbers screen for today.