Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Taking the Wii

Its been a bit of a slack day today.

Torrential rain in the morning and high winds all day, we decided to stay put and get some work done. My satellite link enabled me to get lots done, even though the Vodafone 3G was non-existent. 

Yesterday was a different kettle of fish though.

The greyness in the sky cleared at about 3pm, so on the spur of the moment, we decided to go for a paddle. 

We unpacked the Grabner inflatable canoe we call "Shamu" (after the killer whale 'cos its large and black) from its valise, laid it out on the coachroof and began pumping with the stirrup pump supplied.

Ten minutes later, all was ready and we set off.

The late afternoon sun was warm, the wind was non-existent and all we needed to wear was T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. It's what boating is all about, really.

We couldn't find the first mates buoyancy aid (must have got shuttled home in one of our occasional tidiness binges). So, she wore one of the self-inflating lifejackets that we keep onboard for bad weather and tidal use.

We had a nice paddle (about 3 miles), got bitten by gnats and were ravenously hungry on our return.   

It got me thinking about inflatable canoes again and electric motors.

My recent discussion with another Mark on the Just Canals forum on the subject, got my cranial juices flowing again.

I keep telling myself that the act of paddling is keeping me fit and my waistline in trim.

However, my laziness and love of gadgets keeps telling me that it would be nice to have an electric motor on the canoe for such excursions.

You know how it is. The voice from the creature sitting on one shoulder says "it would help you get home if you get tired of paddling", "it would give you a chance to look at the scenery more", "it would be better for the first mates dodgy back".

The voice from the creature sitting on the other shoulder says "more crap to find a home for", "it's going to take longer to set up", "where is the battery going to go in a blow-up boat ?"

The logical part of my brain is saying that I don't really need an electric motor on the tender for Willawaw, but I was surprised at how cheap they are, when compared to petrol outboard motors.

The adaption kit for the canoe, which consists of two outrigger floats and a cross member (allowing the motor to clamp on, out-board of the gunwhale) is 75 Euro (about £75 these days) and the Minn Kota Endura 30 electric outboard is £189 at Ely Chandlers. 

By comparison, the Honda 2.3HP petrol outboard is about £500.

I know I have to fit a 100AH battery in a battery box, etc, but even so !!!!

Petrol is not an option - don't want to have to store it onboard, its not a green solution and the electric licensing option is cheaper.

On the licensing front, I might be able to get away with no additional cost on the grounds that it's a tender for Willawaw and she already has a gold licence ??? I seem to recall that there is something in the licencing small print about tenders being allowed ? 

Looking around the world wide webby, there are various movies of electric canoes and kayaks, but this one takes the biscuit or is it the Wii ?

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