Captain Crappy arrived in town just in time to beta test the new outboard bracket and the GoPro mount.
The weekend was really blowy (various Transat boats sunk out in the Atlantic and scuttled etc) and it was not really a great idea for us to go out as I have still not finished the reefing points in the sail. Instead we botched up the new outboard bracket as the first one was a bit too high and too far out to port, resulting in some cavitation and manoeuverability being a bit suspect….. Minor, nit picky quibbles or a total disaster waiting to happen when we get caught out in bad weather and just need the bastard to work. Work!! God damn it!!
So, to avoid my losing what little cool I have, it was the usual lash it up as I go bodgerama. I rivetted some ally box section to the main frame crossbeams, rested it on an upturned piece of box section (very left over with lots of holes in it) and fabricated a little bracket on top from 25mm small box section inside a thick L shaped bracket. I glued a thin piece of ally sheet onto the hull to stop it wearing (hopefully) and it looked about right….. Close enough. Absolute tat but this is all testing I keep telling myself.
Here you can see the thick angle section which is rivetted onto the horizontal box section, and then mutiple bits of scrap smaller box section rivetted to that. Some small thin strips of flat ally are then rivetted to act as retaining points to prevent the motor simply sliding off the bracket. I tried to anti-Crapster it…. And yes there is a lanyard point on the main frame to attach to the motor.
Now, from this rather exciting angle you can see the empty rivet hole as I realised that would prevent the outrigger crossbeams locating all the way in… A bit of extra ventilation can’t hurt??
Looking at this exquisite piece of craftmanship and quite exhilarating photography, you might never have thought that this boat was not designed with an outboard in mind?
The GoPro has been mounted on my swede generally so I can’t see when it randomly stops which has been mildly annoying. Perhaps I’m catching it as I barely duck under the boom? So, I decided to get a remote control for it and a super life battery – apparently it will work for 4-6 hours but sticks out the back rather so no longer room on me noggin. The remote should help hugely as I can see if it is actually running and pick and choose the shots a bit better and alo take stills etc.
Marvellous! Another bodging apportunity. So I rivetted some spare pieces of 30mm right angled ally section on to the back of the outrigger frame and then down on to the float itself. As the angle and bouyancy on the float isn’t quite right at the moment I knew it would likely drag when it gets swamped at speed, but hopefully shouldn’t be too bad….
Not sure what view we will get – it appears to cover the width of the boat but it might be too low for a good view. I’m also not sure if it will capture Lesley hanging off the side as she is so wont to do. That is what bodging and testing is for.
As you can see it was carefully engineered, with much thought and calculation to ensure structural integrity. It was definitely not simply based on the lengths of scrap ally angle I could find.
So Let’s Get the Disasters out of the way…
Captain’s propensity for destroying anything electronic continues unabated, however this time it was only the GoPro case that died – before we got out amazingly! I snapped the case closed with the new super life battery attached and I was just about to mount it on the spanking new bracket when it kind of just opened back up. Upon further investigation, the clip had decided with the powers of crappys paranormal electrofuckwitedness and general somethinghastobreakwheneveriseehimness to simply fall apart…. Normally that would have happened out on the water and broken the camera but lo! A miracle. Saved the camera, just need a new clip. Ordered another crappy plastic one now but also an aluminium one that will hopefully last the course.
So, yet again no video evidence of actually doing something. Balls. Still having a minor disaster on land is preferable to a major one at sea, so hopefully that was it out of the way.
Crapster jumped on and managed to get the dagerboard both the right way round and up and then in so we were really on a roll.
Having checked the jib furling line was running free – as previously it has stuck a few times – it somehow managed to get completely off the drum and caught underneath, meaning it would only unfurl about 80% of the way. Crappie stike aagin. Not so great really as we were going to have to tack right into wind to get out in the main channel. I eased off the main to slow us down a little and Crappo eased gracefully forward (lumbered really but why use one word to make him look bad when I can use three to talk him up somehwat to lift him out of his ordinary existence) – a slight difference with his 100kg bulk oaffing around up front compared to Lesley’s lithe 50 odd kilos wafting around. We were amusingly bow down with water pissing through the bowsprit hole. Interesting.
Anyway, his dextrous fingers soon had us in more trouble but he did get it cleared with seconds to spare before we needed to tack to avoid the rocks. We popped round to starboard and crossed over to the other side of the river and then headed straight out. Seemples.
After a few minutes it was clear it was picking up quite a bit – a much larger sailboat ahead of us was all over the place with the big gusts and quickly took its main sail down and turned round to motor back in. Once we were a little way further out it was getting reasonably choppy, nothing like the fiasco trip a few weeks ago with Lesley when we motored back in (that was blowing well over 35 knots) but a bit iffy especially as everything Crappy touches turns to shit. Adding in the fact that he knows less about what to do than I do, it’s not really a talented line up I guess – more One Direction than the Rolling Stones. And I think that One Direction was probably down.
Well we scooted up and down a few times but as El Crapstero is quite sizeable, the trapeze harness wouldn’t fit so he couldn’t hang off the side so we simply ploughed through the water quite heavily. The readout below shows a low top end speed but we had some great acceleration and it gave him agood idea of the boat having only been out previously in almost no wind.
We decided that as the weather was getting dodgier by the minute, that discretion was the better of valour – so instead of calling him a useless twat to his face I simply wrote it here. And also decided that heading in was probably sensible – I had after all promised Lesley that I wouldn’t die in some dreadful fiasco of Crappy’s making. So we waited for a ferry to depart then nailed it into the harbour all good to go with room to get things wrong without being mowed down by the car carrying behemoth.
We pulled over to the pontoon before the ramp and tested the new Moorfast telscopic grabber doodah which is excellent. Good old Force4 in Lymington – they put up with my inane questions very well before relieving me of some more of my hard earned most weeks. Well done them! Clip it through any loop, hoop, thingy or whatsit then pull it back and your mooring line is instantly attached. It became clear omething like this was required when Lesley was holding onto the buoy a couple of weeks ago while I got the outboard fitted and going when the wind died coming back in – her little arms valiantly clung on until we motored away but it wasn’t really ideal..
Unlike that occasion, the engine is now more centrally mounted and lower in the water with the cavitation plates firmly below the surface. I fired him up and we scooted round to the ramp looking quite composed – not the mindless turips we actually are. The engine appeared much more powerful and stearing was hugely improved. 4hp for £200 seems quite a bargain.
We came back in and helpfully and wholly unexpectedly I misjudged the depth for Crappy to leap manfully overboard at the ramp to guide us in. As mentioned earlier, he is 6′ 4″ so when I suggested it should only be knee deep he was somewhat disappointed to find it nearer his chest. Anyway, I didn’t get wet which was most important so all’s well that ends well!
Well, All’s well but not the end
Finally, a good suggestion from the Crap. Actually have a proper scoot about with the engine while it was quiet he said – I guess he was wet already so had nothing to lose. So we fired up again, turned around and had a little scoot about – I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of the wrath of the more experienced locals by creating too much wash but the extra power was very evident and easy steering means I feel confident we can get back without any huge problems in the conditions we are likely to be out in.
After a while of mainly avoiding an oil spill response boat dithering around in the main river, we headed back to the ramp and Crappy exhibiting that keen memory and logical processing ability of his remembered that the water was deeper than it looked and waited until the last minute to hop over. That powerful, restless mind of his never stops seeking the thrill of learning not believe a word I say.
All in all a success and some useful further info – I just need the GoPro case / clip sorted so we can test the mount. It might end up attached to the boom but that appears quite risky, we will have to see what works best.
The new outboard mount is great so I can take off the old one no problem.
The only thing that was quite odd, was that the swarf from the drilling/rivetting was still firmly in the boat. Sticks like shit to a woolly jumper apparently and wasn’t washed out as expected. I may actually have to sweep it out. Does my owrk ever end?