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::: Sunday December 03, 2006 :::

First Launch

Well, today was the first time the boat went in the water.

We backed it down the boat ramp, after making sure that all the tie down straps, safety chains, etc. were removed (Also remembered to fit the bung to the drain hole too!), slackened off the winch.....and it wouldn’t move. I wedged myself between the bow of the boat and the back of the Pajero.....and it still wouldn't move. Some helpful boaties came over from their boat, and the three of us pushed, and it finally moved.

Lesson No. 1 - grease the rollers on the trailer, and keep them greased

Great, it's in the water now, Delia (Our friend) has hold of the rope attached to the bow, and is making sure the boat does not run away. All fine and well, but we are on the leeward side of the ramp finger, so the stern starts swinging across. Lou, who is on the boat, grabs some more rope, and we get it attached to the stern, and pull it in.

Lesson No. 2 - either launch on the windward side, or have two people holding on, one at the bow, the other at the stern.

Everything is now looking good, I take the Paj and trailer off and go and park, and hop on the boat. We turn on the radio and GPS, get a final weather report, lower the engine, start it up, and we're ready to go. We cast off the rope, I put the engine into reverse, and......nothing happens. Reverse will not engage. By this stage, we have swung across the ramps, and are now against the windward finger, having done a complete 180 degree swing. I fiddle with the engine controls, but while it quite happily goes into forward, it will not engage reverse. After a while we give up, eat our sandwiches, and drink out ginger beer, still tied up to the boat ramp fingers.

Lesson No. 3 - Never, never, trust outboard mechanics, when they say your engine is fine.

Now we have to turn the boat around to retrieve it. I eventually decide the only way is to tie a rope to the stern, on the side away from the finger, and take it forward and around the bow of the boat. Lots of elbow grease against the wind, but it works. I go and fetch the Paj and the trailer, back it down the ramp, and we get the boat out.

Lesson No. 4 - We need an electric winch on the trailer, the boat is heavy.

We then go home, and put everything away again.

Good things:
We learned how to launch the boat without too much fuss
We learned how to retrieve the boat without too much fuss
We discovered the reverse is broken before we left the marina
The boat does not leak (Bilge was bone dry)
The motor is much quiter when the propellor hub is in the water
The Pajero was an excellent choice, it tows the boat perfectly

Bad things:
The water at Westhaven Marina stinks
The motor is broken

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::: Thursday May 11, 2006 :::

The Start of the Boating Adventure

After much decision making, the boat arrived on Monday 1st May. Currently it is at the trailer repairer, having brakes and new axles fitted, once completed, I will get stuck in and install the new seats and pedestals, new house battery, do the electrics and finaly fit the ski pole. There's a ton of other minor stuff to do as well, but all in good time.

Here are the vitals:
Length: 6.6m (22ft)
Width: Bloody wide
Height: Bloody high
Weight: Bloody heavy
Engine 225HP Johnson

In the meantime, Ruby the cat has volunteered to be the boat bitch for a share of the catch

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