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Our first overnighter!


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Ok, so it's not exactly a "holiday tale" as such, but our first excursion and sleepover in the new boat! I dunno whether anyone will be interested, but thought I'd share anyway :grin:

One of the most important things we had to sort in the period between Christmas and NYE was to fix the leak from the forward escape hatch, which was letting in rain right over the top of our bed! Luckily we removed and rebedded the hatch a few days ago, and mother nature provided a good test, proving the repair was successful, so we were go for our NYE trip to Waveney River Centre

We arrived at the boat on new year's eve at about 9:30am, pleased to see the ice in the marina had finally all thawed, and proceeded to unload the car. As we haven't had it long, and being the winter season, none of our gear was on the boat, so we had a car load for just one night! Sleeping bags, fancy dress costumes, a tub of pre=prepared spag-bol for our tea, and four pot noodles for lunch time!

Once we had transferred everyting to the boat, engines were started and we left the marina on route to Reedham. On approach to the Reedham Ferry, we heard another boat some way ahead of us call the bridge to request an opening. The call was answered, and the bridge duly opened. As we came towards Reedham, I tried to make the same call (even that was unnerving for me having not used the VHF before, having only got my SRC a couple of weeks ago), but my call was left unanswered. I tried several more times, to no avail, but was pleased to see the bridge was still open so just proceeded through, but with some doubt as to whether my VHF was working :? .

We had arranged to meet Jonathan (Mariotech) at Goodchilds so he could offer a little moral support for our first fast blast over Breydon, and so headed down the Yare to Breydon. A sudden sqall sprang up, with little white capped waves and lashing rain - at which point the left windscreen wiper blade fell off :o SWMBO donned her lifejacket and braved the elements to retrieve it from the deck before it disappeared forever. Luckily the right wiper performed fine, so I could still see where we were going!

I'll continue tomorrow as Live at the Apollo is about to start :wave

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Glad u got away ok Mark,as regards to your VHF i had some of the same problem when i picked up my new sealine 5 years ago,as i was approaching Torquay marina i called the marina to request a mooring for a few days,no answer,eventually i moored up on the visitor pontoon and went to the office to enquire why they did not answer,they said they could here me but i could not here them,so a marina man came to the boat and looked at my new US VHF radio and said it was switched to US signals and he adjusted it to international calls and BINGO it worked ok,not sure if yours is the same problem but you could check and tick that off the list,glad you had a good night in the WRC.Olive and i had a quite night in due to olive not feeling too good. :wavecheersbarcheersbarcheers

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Hi Barry,

As it turns out, the radio was fine, I just wasn't being answered :roll:

We arrived at Goodchilds visitor pontoon, and after a rather botched mooring attempt Jonathan came aboard. This was only my second ever mooring, and I am really struggling with the manoevering of this boat at slow speed. Our old bath-tub I could place just where I wanted 95% of the time in most weathers, but this one is a totally different ball game. Combining twin outdrives, powerful engines and a planing hull makes it much more confusing. I daresay practise will help, and we need to gel a bit more as a team when mooring, so it's a good job the rivers are empty at the moment :lol:

We left Goodchilds, and headed for Breydon. I was a little nervous as I had never driven a planing boat at speed, and I know we have some trim tab issues from the river trial when a severe list appeared at planing speed, so I was grateful for Jonathan's moral support! When we reached suitable point on Breydon (we had the whole place to ourselves), it was time to open the throttles and see what happened. Speed built, and the bow rose bouncing over the white capped waves (it was wind over tide so not completely calm). After a few seconds she started to climb over the hump, and then immediately flopped onto her starboard side in a pronounced list. I quickly closed the throttles as posts were coming towards us due to the steering being affected by the list. Jonathan suggested we add port trim tab, which I did, and then we tried again. This time once she climbed out, the list was to port, so we knew the tabs were working. Throttles were closed again, and tabs adjusted back to starboard a bit, and this time she popped onto the plane nice and level, and off we went :clap

We seemed to approach Breydon bridge in just a few minutes (rather than 45 minutes we are used to), so slowed down and turned back for the return run. This time when opening the throttles, there were no unexpected dramas and she planed beautifully, as we were also running with the waves this time too, so a little less bouncy. I got used to the handling with a few shallow S turns and corrected slight leans with the tabs, and in no time at all, we were back to the end of Breydon. It amazes me how that vast expanse of water shrinks to a narrow channel at speed :o . Our log seems to need a bit of calibration, as it reckoned were were cruising at about 21 kts, whereas Jonathan's hand held GPS showed 33mpg OG.

Another hashed mooring, and we dropped Jonathan back at Goodchilds to make our way back to Reedham and down the New Cut on to WRC.

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The journey to WRC was very pleasant, though it did get a little chilly due to having no heating. Whenever SWMBO put on the cooker for a cuppa, the windscreens misted up badly, so even that was rationed :lol: .

At Somerleyton bridge, this time the operator heard our VHF calls, and informed us we would need to hang around 15 minutes. It was good practise in holding the boat on station against the tide and wind, and slowly I am getting used to the throttles (which seem to take rather a lot of force to move from neutral - I may have to take a look at that). Eventually the bridge opened and we continued our trip to WRC, arriving just before it got dark.

We entered the basin, and tried to moor on the corner between Clanny and Sea Hunter (which has to be said in a deep "masters of the universe" kind of way :naughty: ). We got almost there, but two knights in shining armour (SWMBO words, not mine) appeared in the form of Ian and Adam to catch ropes, and we were secured. Some kind soul had left £1.10 in the leccy metre, so we accepted this generosity and hurridly plugged in the oil rad and fan heater, and were soon nice and toastie - though covered in goose pooh that is on every square inch of the quay!

We took the guided tour of "Sea Hunter" aka Bling, and had a good chat with Adam and Suzanne. Bling is the only boat I've seen with a patio, an attic and a wine cellar, and makes Serenity look positively utilitarian :lol: .

The NYE party at WRC was great fun, and it was good to meet Phil and Carron for the first time and spend time with new friends. We were a little surprised there weren't more people in fancy dress, but the Salty Bottoms made up for it :grin: . Midnight came and went in the time honoured fashion, and eventually I retired to bed and hour after SWMBO, but still leaving some of the group drinking!

As we have only just repaired the leak from the access hatch, there is no curtain to cover it, which meant after getting to sleep at 2am, I was awake again a couple of hours later with a full moon beaming down on me. Not good news with a thumping head :o . Eventually I could lay no more and got up about 8am feeling rather delicate and in desperate need of a cuppa. The problem was we were using a jerrycan for water (having winterised the domestic supply) so I had to take the can to the water point, only to find these frozen solid. Eventually I located a tap on the back of the shop which was running free, so we got our cuppa and bacon sarnies to stave off the effects of over indulgence :grin:

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We departed WRC about 10:30, having said goodbye to those that were awake (sorry Ian & Heather, we didn't want to disturb you though :lol: ) in bright sunshine. Got through Somerleyton no problem, but had to wait 20 mins at Reedham.

The weather got better and better, feeling positively warm in the cockpit once the canopy started it's greenhouse effect in the winter sunshine, though we could see heavy snow showers on the horizon. We decided on lunch at the Reedcutters at Cantley, but on arrival, it looked like another Salty Bottom collective had appeared with half a dozen of so massive Brooms and Princesses. After a slightly better mooring attempt, we entered the pub to find it packed, so beat a hasty retreat to the boat. We ended up with cheese sarnies en route back to Brundall instead!

Back at the marine, we found it had frozen again overnight, but it was only thin, so no real problem getting through. Another cock-up mooring to the pontoon, but a helpful chap took our ropes, as the pontoon was covered with snow and ice and a bit dodgy to jump onto!

All our junk back in the car, and a drop of antifreeze into the engines, and we are set for the long drive (well it is 10 minutes you know!) back home.

We can't wait for the sping now. If our first trip and night in freezing temperatures was anything to go by, we are gonna have a geat year :wave

Happy new year all!

Next step is to get a salty bottom!

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Good story Mark, I had some of the problems you had with the steaming up windows,suppose you could get one of those 12V demisters from a car accesory shop.You will find also the canopy if fully up with be uncomfortable in high winds we used to roll the sides up and back to give it a little less windage.Trouble with 2 outdrives and big engines you'll find as i did they always wanted to motor faster,tickover was not easy at 5mph.They will also cause more wash due to the hulls shape.But as you say they will turn the boat on a sixpence with forward and reverse at the same time. I found that the slowly,slowly catch a monkey idea suited it better as the big engines will push you to fast at times in a confined space such as a marina.at least i did not hit another boat altho i had a few near misses.You have to watch those big anchors sticking out at Brundall.Anyway Happy New to you and your family. cheersbarcheers:Stinky

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Glad to hear you had an enjoyable first time out Mark.

On the handling front I reckon you may just have to learn to put up with that... its all down to nothing handling as well as a Bahama hull I think, you were spoilt for too long! :naughty:


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