The Navy List

I recently acquired a cheap, old and very small boat. I like to fiddle with it, and I’m having fun messing about in it.

I know there are some other boat/kayak/etc folk here, so why not a boat thread? Anything boaty welcome, be it current or nostalgic.

Here’s my boat, the MV Smol:

It’s a twelve foot aluminium dinghy with a 6hp two-stroke Yamaha. Flat out, it will do about 15 knots. It can theoretically hold three people, but it’s much happier with one.

When I bought it, it looked like this:

I’ve removed the unnecessary aluminium strips on the side and filled the holes with rivets; added a seat and a solar panel; put a few straps and bits of velcro around the place to secure assorted bits; and added a few cleats.

This is my river:

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Not strictly boaty, but close enough.

I took advantage of the low tide this morning to have a go at fishing off the end of the Redbill Point sandbar:

Didn’t catch anything, but I had a few nibbles. And a big stingray came cruising past in the shallows while I was sitting there; I didn’t get the camera out in time for that, unfortunately.

The birds appeared to be some sort of albatross or petrel. Big Dodo beaks.

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Why were those strips there, I wonder?

What’s the solar panel for, how much does it generate?

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Folding kayak rigged for fishing.

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The previous owner used them for external flotation bags. DIY pseudo-RIB.

a) Charging the 12V battery, which powers the fishfinder and can also run my little trolling motor if required.

b) Just enough. It’s a 1.5W/100mA jobbie.

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Out in the boat again today; I spent the morning fishing in West Arm, then went for a potter in the afternoon and explored Middle Arm and Middle Island.

Home just in time:

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Today’s boat fiddling…

Relocated the battery to port for better weight distribution / more room to position the seat, and removed the unnecessary transom wheel mounts.

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Out for a dangle again.

Ready to go early:

But then the weather turned a bit ick:

Although it cleared up eventually:

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Went out fishing from shore again…

image

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:slightly_smiling_face:

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Out exploring:

The bit I kept referring to as “Long Arm” is actually called Long Reach, BTW.

I also tested that half-throttle-planing trick a little later on with a speedometer app; it will actually hold about 13 knots on half throttle once it’s up on the plane. As full throttle only increases that to 16 knots, it looks like half throttle is the trick for maximum-range exploring,

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Flatty! Delicious.

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Slight issue with the amphibian:

Fortunately, Tamar Marine were happy to replace the failed tyre.

While being within hand-launching distance of the river is a wonderful thing, I’m still tempted by the idea of getting a ute with a towbar. As well as simplifying boat movement (and allowing me to access the local lakes as well as the river), it’d also be handy for fetching lumber etc.

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MV Smol is currently at the welders having a crack in one of the ribs repaired.

If the weather’s okay this Sunday, I plan on taking the boat out to film the PDYC races from the water. The racing season reopened a week ago.

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All welded up, much more solid now.

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Also on today’s voyage:

  1. My anchor rope is about twenty metres long. The main channel of the river is about thirty metres deep. I’m sure you can see how this is occasionally somewhat problematic.

  2. Even in the shallow bits, it ain’t simple. I anchored near the Batman Bridge as the tide was coming in, and the narrow gorge nature of the terrain around there makes the tidal currents fairly extreme. When I went to raise the anchor, I discovered that the current had the anchor rope stretched so taut that I had absolutely no chance of hauling it in by hand; there was so much strain on the rope that it was vibrating. Eventually, I had to start the motor, pluck the anchor with momentum and then race out to the deep channel with the anchor trailing before it could pin itself to the bottom again.

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Your’re gonna need a bigger boat… with a winch.

Also, Batman Bridge?

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A thoroughly evil bastard.

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Don’t let it happen to you!

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My brother has flown in from Darwin to visit me, and today I took him out in MV Smol.

Seals again. One of them was close enough to splash us when he dove under. :slightly_smiling_face:

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