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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beware The Water Appears Bluer Under The Neighbors Boat

Beware the water appears more bluer under the neighbors boat!

We are continually making a list and checking it twice, getting ready for the next cruise.  On the top of that list is a new dinghy with an outboard to skip around the anchorage and make far off treks to better snorkeling spots.  (Read: bigger fish and lobster) We had met a captain on a really nice 28 footer in Morgans Bluff and on his foredeck he kept an Achilles 270 RID.  It was awesome to watch as the sprite sized dinghy skipped along the harbor.  Powered by a 4hp 4 stroke he would hit over 15kts.  We just have to have one.  Now that we have full time internet again we have found the Achilles 240 RID.  WOW there could actually be space on the foredeck during passages.

s/v Velocir taken by s/v Way Happy as they toured the ICW

Then yesterday we got an email from some new friends on another Vega.  Grant and Amelia aboard s/v Velocir, whom we gave a heads up to s/v Wee Happy as they brought their new larger s/v Way Happy down the eastern seaboard to be on the look out for.  Although we never got a chance this season to meet them in person we have been following each others blogs and now swapped emails.  Seems they are going the Walker Bay route now and asked for our input.  Well there is no reason to keep it just among ourselves so if you are interested in an eight foot Walker Bay dinghy this is our input after a year and a half of living with it and no motor.

Helpful hints
  1. Add a wood bar in front of the center bench at the same height so you can move farther foreward and give the passenger more room.  about 6"
  2. Add a wood bar in front of the rear bench at the same height and leave a 1-1 1/2 " gap so you can use it as a lock bar or  for anything else that comes to mind.  This was seen recently in St Pete on a Walker Bay.
  3. Actually use the sail kit
  4. We tow it almost always except on passages.  USE TWO LINES MIN.  One to the tow eye (AND CHECK IT BEFORE EVERY PASSAGE) and one we wrap around the front seat.  Walker Bays love to Walk About!  Or at least ours does.  
  5. We use a 4 pound Fortress for our dinghy anchor.
  6. We just broke one of our oars (the blade) so make sure if you have the stock oars you have a back up plan.
  7. You can drill a hole through the wooden part of the oar and snake a cable through it for safety and security locks.
  8. Do not scrub the bottom with sand or scotch brite it makes more scratches for the growth to hold on to.
  9. If you decide to store it on the fore deck make something like the foam kayak roof mounts for the transom to mount into.  You can do the same on the bow.  
  10. If you get a rid kit you will have no room to launch the main ship anchor!  (only some room with the basic WB).  We developed a plan with our secondary anchor tying it to a bow cleat, running the line on the outside of the shrouds and safety lines, lying the 10 pound Fortress on the cabin top over the coiled line and chain.  A rear mount would be just as good.  We found this out the hard way trying to anchor on the Banks with 25kts plus and the dinghy tied down.  I had to untie the dinghy's bow and lift it onto my shoulder as I sat on the bow and launched the anchor.   Next morning I had to put the dinghy into the water to raise the anchor.
  11. We use a three point harness and the spinnaker halyard and winch to lift it.  Turning it over with one person is a real pain!
  12. I still have not decided how to mount fishing rod holders to my liking.
  13. I have a dry box with all the misc safety gear for when we are leaving a protected harbor in it.  Remember it is better to anchor than get blow out 10 miles,  the dinghy still floats even when swamped.
  14. Use a cut jug to bail out the water, it is faster.
  15. Stick one of the fish measuring stickers on the flat forward edge of the rear seat or the new wood bar.
  16. When pulling in the anchor line or a long line to shore/boat you have to pull from the bow!  it will pull sideways and possible swamp from anywhere else.  Same with someone else towing you to a destination, let it pull from the bow.
  17. The roller wheel sucks,  If you pull it in gravel more than 10 feet expect it to be ground down and never work again.
  18. Tow it on the same part of the wave that you are.  Preferably two waves back,  We mostly had it one wave back.
  19. When you leave it on the beach beware the tide is out to get you.  If you have the tide coming in it will swamp you.  If the tide is going out of course it is a flat and you now have 100 yards of mud to deal with.  
  20. You will want a motor!
 I guess it is always bluer under the neighbors boat, we want a  240 RID with a 4-5hp motor.  

No matter how hard we tried in the Bahamas Grant must have caught all our Mahi too.

We are also modifying our rear bimini and railing to be more like a cross between a new tower and  s/v Velocir's.  Of course we want a "Peter Box" for our propane (s/v Sin Tacha) .  We want a wind vane like on s/v Mini Pearl.  The fridge just like on s/v Whisper that started the whole Vega thing for us.  We also want to get our cockpit lids just like Richard on s/v Rebecca had them!  And so on and so on, with all this blue water under the neighbors boats!  Oh wait Richard's boat is our boat!


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