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Author Topic: Can't help myself!  (Read 377 times)

reddory

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Can't help myself!
« on: April 11, 2018, 02:09:25 pm »
Last October I posted a story about how I traded my open Quintrex 3.75 dart for a Caribbean Navigator half-cab, so I could accommodate a small grandson or two plus their dad and/or grandma.  In that piece I also noted that the new boat wouldn't be suitable for fly-fishing, especially the smaller lakes like Penstock, Little Pine etc.

So I thought I had resigned myself to fly fishing on foot again: long days spent standing in the shallows, watching and waiting, occasionally casting a line, etc.  Trouble is, with age and infirmity has come an inability to stand around for extended periods without suffering badly next day - back, shoulders, neck etc all complain loudly.  I just HAD to get some sort of floating device so I could fish sitting down!

Finally found what I wanted on Gumtree a couple of weeks back: little fibreglass dinghy of 2.7 metres (nine foot), modelled from a traditional clinker-built Tamar river rowing dinghy.  It was a little chipped and dinged, but for the right price it came with oars and rowlocks, so I took the plunge.  It won't have a motor, so no need to register it (save 78 bucks a year), and it goes OK upside-down on my box trailer, so don't need to buy and register another trailer for it:

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I patched all the outside dings, rubbed it down and gave it a rough paint-over.  Then attacked the transom which was starting to crack: filled the cracks with epoxy then fibreglassed over it with cloth and resin, all feathered out etc.  Gave that a coat of paint, then fitted a new motor-plate to replace the rotting original:

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Then yesterday I had a chance to finally put it in the water to see how it would go.  Towed it down to Dover, and launched off the little rudimentary ramp at Hawkers green, intending to fish around the islands in the Esperance narrows.  Launch was simple, and I put my rods, tackle bag, bailer, lunch bag and coffee flask aboard.  She looked quite the goods, sitting on the water!

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Stepped aboard, pushed off, took up the oars and found her easy to row.  The extended hardwood keel means she tracks straight, and continues to glide after each stroke.  I had some fun dithering around, spinning SPs for a few flathead and a couple mackerel, then the breeze got a bit too much, and as the row back to the ramp was across a beam-on slop, I headed off.

Got back to the ramp to find low tide had the toe of the ramp out of the water.  No probs - just run her up on the sand beside the ramp; I've done it heaps of time before.  Ran the bow in, stepped over the side - and my foot (in thigh waders) sank more than 30cm into cloying ooze!  Boat proceeded to swing away from me with the other foot still inside, so there I was, doing the splits until finally I crash-tackled the little vessel which of course tilted it down and in rushed about 200 litres of muddy water.  There was me, one foot stuck in the mud, and the rest of me face down in a swamped boat!  Not happy, Jan!!

Eventually I extricated my foot, sloshed onto the ramp, dragged the boat bodily onto the hard surface, took all my inundated gear out, tipped it up and emptied it.  Then turned it around and hoisted it back on the trailer.  All my gear was wet; I was wet (thankfully the day was warm!), and every damn thing was covered in black mud.  And the "plank" edges now had a few new dings, where I had crunched it on the concrete.  Not a great end to what had been a pretty positive maiden voyage up to that point.  And no, I didn't take any pictures of the mess.  The camera had been in the boat, and was also inundated!  Phooey!

bream_spinning

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Can't help myself!
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2018, 05:18:50 pm »
Are you considering an electric trolling motor for it? A battery near the transom and a tiller steer electric should produce a perfect little lakes boat.
Congrats it looks great

meppstas

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Can't help myself!
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 08:58:00 am »
Nice little dingy Paul, not the best christening though.. badday1    would loved to have had a video camera there at the time..  whistlingdixie1

Just be careful not to get any injuries getting it on and off the tailer as well..

cheers
Adrian
'' Mepps Spin Fishing Guru"

reddory

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Can't help myself!
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2018, 08:58:34 am »
In answer to bream spinning: Nope, a motor would just be one more thing (or with battery, two more things) to have to install and remove each time I launch and retrieve it.  It rows nicely, and I do like to row.  It won't be used for long distances, nor on bigger lakes - the Caribbean can handle that.  It's just a means of getting on the little fly-only lakes, a bit like a float-tube, but with a dry bum!

reddory

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Can't help myself!
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2018, 09:02:13 am »
Nice little dingy Paul, not the best christening though.. badday1    would loved to have had a video camera there at the time..  whistlingdixie1

Just be careful not to get any injuries getting it on and off the tailer as well..

cheers
Adrian

 embaress1  laugh1  Mate, it's easy enough to man-handle when it's not full of muddy water!

Paikea

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Can't help myself!
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 04:51:06 pm »
Nice looking rig Paul.  goodjob1

But I would have given anything to watch your landing. Especially as been there done that or something similar.  oops1

Little boats are fun and so easy to handle on your own (most times) I love taking my 49 KG Kevlar/glass baby fishing on Burrell Lake. (NSW South Coast). Floats on wet grass so goes anywhere. especially the shallows when the Blue Swimmer crabs are about.

Cheers

Paikea
PAIKEA

 

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