As stated in my last post, Rib Wakey was to get her first outing in Cornwall and my first launch was at Gorran Haven on the Roseland Coast.
Now in an ideal world I world have taken her for a shake down before towing her over 300 miles on Holiday......but when is it ever ideal.
There are a couple of problems launching at Gorran haven....1. The slip is closed between 10am and 6pm 2. You're fighting the tide if your unlucky as it a beach launch.
It wasn't until the Friday of the first week that we managed to get her out as not only did i have to pop off and do my PB2 but i then had to fetch her from home.....yes yes it was for the second time as I towed the caravan down first trip.
We launched into a receding tide and to be honest we we're quite slick for our first launch. I tied the boat off and drove the car and trailer up the hill to the cark park...C and T £10. It took me around 15 minutes top's but when I got back, both boat and my Son was sat on the sand.....and my Son strangely had a smug grin on his face. I asked him why he didn't move it down the mooring line...he said " I thought you would be mad if i moved it....lol...teenagers! We got the help of two fellas to help push her back to the wet stuff...no problem really......but we did lose our slick status though lol. We spent an hour or two getting used each other before deciding we were ready to launch the towable ( a Jobe doughnut)....that my Son loved....and I got to practice my man overboard skills I had been taught by Martin in Plymouth.
Having spent several hours pottering about we decided to pop in to Mevagissey for a spot of lunch. So a quick broadcast to the harbour master (my very first) and he said come on in but you may have to beach it as a visitors dock was full. No problem....took it nice and easy and when it became too shallow (tide was out) my Son jumped in and secured the line.
We had a lovely lunch and Ice-cream then popped back on the boat. untied the bow line and pushed off......trim the motor down........trim the motor down......trim th...you get the idea...the down trim wasn't working yet trim up was fine. Now this wouldn't have been a problem had I remember to put the tools on board.
Long story short we ended getting towed back to Gorran Haven by some chap's in a speedboat who as it turned out we're from the next village along from where I grew up in Derbyshire.....they wouldn't take money for the tow, so as they turned to leave I threw £40 quid in their boat " Derbyshire lad's stick together " i told them.
We did struggle to recover off the beach as the tide was almost all the way in.....I lost traction on the sand. I unhitched and threw a 10 tonne strap round the trailer and with the car on the slip I managed to pull her on to the dry.
That was trip one and to be fair I did expect there to be problems as it underwent a full rebuild.
My original plan was to pay for the visitors mooring and keep her in the water for the week....but as expected ( the harbour master tipped me off) an Easterly blew in....They even had to Cancel the Gorran Haven fate where locals race those big wooden rowing boats....I can't remember what they are called but I think i remember they were used as lifeboats back in the day. Whilst the weather itself was good over the next few days conditions we're not favourable for a new ribber at least......so we did other stuff.
I did fix the trim, both solenoids we're working fine. This is where I hold my hands up as the problem was my doing....when I took the throttle control appart to change the neutral switch I routed the trim wires wrong....I knew I had done it wrong but just didn't get chance to sort it.....you live and learn. One of the wires had snapped as it wS under tension when I throttled up.....luckily I packed quite a few tools including my gas soldering iron...at least it's sorted and properly routed now.
I did search for a few places to launch as my Wife was keen to make up for bailing out on our first trip....( don't ask) and I wanted her first experience to be a favourable one. The Roseland stretch is really ideal (unless there is an Easterly blowing) but it doesn't seem to me there are too many places to launch from....Mevagissey it too busy and there is no parking to speak of Porth Mellon is slippy and again has no parking. I did go down to Falmouth but the slipway ( next to that fancy shopping complex) was quite expensive I thought. When I went down to Penzance last year i did take a picture of the launch fees and checked the slipway out.......it had a great set up. The ramp is shallow and is well corrugated and there is a long plastic pontoon....so Penzance it was....easy launch motor fired up first touch and the Car and Trailer parking is right next to the slip.
The forcast was pretty good but I asked a chap about conditions as he had just been out...and he said "the forecast was wrong it's choppy "
We decided to take her out the harbour and have a look see......it was choppy but nothing the boat or I couldn't handle. I did learn that if I picked my speed up by 10 knots or so then the boat would skip along quite happy and not too bangy (Harry Dwyer phrase)
If you look at the map straight across the bay o the other side was Mullion harbour....so we de decided to go for lunch there i the only Cafť. We we're going to poke our nose around Lizard point but i wasn't too comfortable with it as I knew we would have used more fuel due to the chop....and I was right because as we made our way back via St Michael's Mount we ran out of petrol......my Wife had been driving and she gunned it ( around d 30 knotts in choppy conditions.....not bad I thought) I was carrying a 20 litre spare can....so no biggy.
So just two trips out......I did bale out on another day but on reflection I think I was over cautious as once the quick storm blew through the Sun came out and it all calmed down.
So the Journey has begun (remember I hadn't had this boat on the water before I restored her) so it was all a bit unknown but I'm happy to report she handles really well even i a good chop and she feels far more stable than I dared hope for as she has a narrow beam....I shouldn't have worried though.....these Tornado's do have a good sea handling reputation.
It felt so good to be out even though I was nervous....but the more we do this the more we get to know the boat and we can start getting experience.
The Boat is stored in Cornwall but we are swapping with the Caravan later in the year.
So that's it... Wakey's first outing and she did get quite a few comments saying how nice she looked ( which made me proud as a peacock if I'm being honest) as it was my first ever boat rebuild.
Hope to see a few of you out on the water some day....but for now be safe.