New member from Berks
I have been looking at Ribnet for a while thought I should now join so here is a potted history of my boating life
I recently took early retirement and only took up boating 2 or 3 years ago. I am an EBay man and bought and sold 90% of my kit through eBay and most times broke even or made a little. I bought a 14 ft speed boat back then and hated the launch/recovery process so looked for an easier alternative –found out about airfloor Sibs so here I am.
I bought a 3.4 Quicksilver with a 5hp for use on the Thames - perfect on the river but, having bought a 15HP, tried it 4 up in Poole harbour found it too small nearly being swamped by a Sunseeker going way over the limit.
I talked to a colleague who had a Honwave and decided that was for me, bigger, heavier and with larger dia tubes I felt a lot safer. Still using the 15 but it started have intermittent cooling water problems that I could not cure. A bit irritating driving to Poole – no cooling water take it home put in my tank to rinse and it would pump water like a fountain!!! Found a spares or repair 25HP mariner on eBay. Got it going but it did not feel right on the boat so sold that.
Being an engineer making research apparatus I enjoyed designing and making things so started with my on-launch wheels, they work but not perfect. Found a steering system then a motor control box for inflatables on eBay so set about modifying my 15 to accept the remotes, never did get them right and my wife said I have a not so good engine and the remotes aren`t that good so spend some lump sum on a new motor – I broke out in a sweat I don’t do new- I came round to her thoughts and decided on a 4st Tohatsu 20HP with remotes. Took it home did a trial mount in the garden and then off to the river and promptly fell in love with the setup quiet, economic, elec start, and suits the hull and when we are 41/2 up there is some power left.
We carry the boat in the back of our Grand Picasso. Now it takes us about 30 to 45 mins to get on the water. I have tried many ways of inflation, starting with the hand pumps then Lidl 12 volt high vol pump (£6) for initial inflation then hand pump to finish. That was such hard work I made car tire valve to bayonet connectors and used 2 12volt electric tyre pumps with gauges fitted for the high pressure floor and tube, that setup worked very well but took time. I had read about Bravo pumps and at last found one on eBay that I got at a good price but this was one of the times I was had, the low pressure high vol pump motor was shot. Oh well strip it down and have a look, by luck the motor had a sticker on it and I googled its details and found the exact same motor for £9 – it’s a radio controlled car drive motor.
Put it all back together and it pumps as new now.
My project now is to continue designing and building my Bimini top, a bit more to do but nearly there.
This summer we are driving to Spain and hope to take the boat.