Monday, December 9, 2013

A Cunning Plan

"Why, yesterday, was this dinghy laden classic Honda with a damaged right front wheel arch parked under a Pohutakawa tree in Devonport opposite the 'Evergreen' second hand book shop"  I hear you ask --- Well it's all part of a cunning plan that I will explain to you. But first ......

The Evergreen second hand book shop in Devonport has a really good sailing section amongst it's bookshelves. It is from said shop that I have almost completed my collection of UK published Yachting World Annuals 1950 - 1973 (I am missing 1955, 1968, 1969, bugger, but I live in hope ).  I called in to take a look and bought a great book by the legendary Kiwi sailor Adrian Hayter

.........But what about the damaged car ? I hear you ask again. Well, a large and impossibly stupid steel post literally jumped out on me as I was reversing in a supermarket car park, simple as that. Bloody supermarkets, someone should show them how to design car parks fit for sailors, or alternately someone should show the car manufacturers how to fit tillers to cars instead of that stupid encumbrance called a steering wheel.

 Now to the cunning plan, bear with me as I explain. Dinghies are a perennial problem for small yachts such as mine. Inflatable dinghies are problematic because they don't row very well at all ( they are very dangerous in high winds as they are almost impossible to row ), necessitating the use of an outboard motor (fuel cans, stowage, smell etc, etc) which are expensive.

Also, inflatable dinghies not very robust. Nothing beats a rigid dinghy as a tender for a yacht - BUT, and its a big But, a rigid dinghy is almost impossible to stow on board small yachts such as I own ( 30 feet / 9 metres ) unless the dinghy is really small. But the problem is that most really small dinghies are not very sea worthy and don't have a great carrying capacity.

Dinghies are usually stowed upside down  between the main cabin hatch and the main mast. They are stowed here for safety reasons as towing a dinghy offshore in high winds can be dangerous as when running before the wind dinghies have a tendency to surf on the following seas. There are many cases where the dinghy has either surfed, broached and capsized or surfed itself aboard into the cockpit and injuring the crew.

What is cunning about my plan is that this second hand dinghy is the minimum size for sea worthiness, carrying capacity and stowability (is that a word?). It should stow snugly between the main hatch and the main mast with enough room for any crew member who is as thin as a Norwegian racing sardine to slip below when required.

This dinghy is shaped in such a way that it has a lot of volume for its length, has good free board and rows well to boot. This is a dinghy that boxes above its weight. I know all this because my late father had just such a dinghy which he used for his own little yacht back in those far off sailing days that I remember so well.

I got the dinghy for a fair price but it needs a lot of TLC including a complete re paint. What with my yacht Mariner not having been hauled out for two years because of my heart attack, my current big old trusty work horse of a dinghy in need of a lot of repair work and now this new (old) dinghy in need of work ..... guess what I will be doing over the Christmas break.


Ben said...

What do you do with two dinghies? Always nice to have some things to do in a long vacation.
Enjoy the summer.

Alden Smith said...

The large dinghy I will keep moored to the boarding pontoon in the Hatea River close to where Mariner is moored. The other new smaller dinghy I will take on trips up and down the coast or out to Great Barrier Island - this new small dinghy is big enough for 2-3 people to get to and from the boat when anchored and small enough to turn upsidedown on the cabin trunk if needed when the weather gets rough - towing big dinghies in a seaway is dangerous - hence the new small one.

Alden Smith said...

I am not really a materialistic person but I just thought now that I own - A sea kayak, a P class dinghy, a 9.5 metre yacht and 3 dinghies if I count the small 2 metre inflatable I use sometimes - that's 6 boats of one sort or another. But I am only 62 years old and have a few more years of collecting to go! So watch this space. LOL

Ben said...

That is how things go. I own 4 bicycles, one for racing, commuting, all terrain biking and for camping. Like you with ships, I like the old design of classic Italian racing bikes and find the modern ones with fat tubes ugly.

Alden Smith said...

Yes, I remember your bikes,and riding one of them with you by the river Maas (or was it the Meuse? ) - happy days :>)

Ben said...

Yes, that was the commuting bike and we went along the river Waal, the largest branch of the river Rhine. The Maas (French: Meuse) is only 5 km more South.
Are you doing any biking lately? It is good for the physical condition and it is easy on the joints. If you do it long enough you might even make your own feel good drug, Endorphin.

Alden Smith said...

I haven't been doing any biking lately but I know I should. As you say, it is low impact on the joints and endorphin producing. There will be a nice incentive to bike soon. On the completion of a short walking / bike bridge there will be a circuit that starts by Revas Restaurant goes along the river across this new small bike / walking bridge to the new large bridge. You then cross the large bridge to the other side of the river and then back along new pathways that are being completed as I type and back to Revas. Everyone (especially the bikers and walkers) are looking forward with great anticipation to this new circle walk. I intend to take my bike down to the town basin on my bike rack and do the circuit a few times as my daily exercise. Revas Restaurant is where we had a meal together when you were in NZ :>)