Saturday, 9 April 2011

Getting ready for "The Mackerel"

What a lovely day it was today, the early morning mist soon burnt away and the sun shone down from a cloudless sky. There was not a drop of wind. It would have been a perfect day to try boat for the first time.

Alas I was not prepared. I had a lot of work in front of me getting things ready. I want to be comfortable knowing I can launch and retrieve the boat on my own before heading for the sea. My first task today was for some shopping.

I bought my groceries from Morrison’s supermarket and was delighted to see mackerel now in the fish counter. This means they are not too far from our shores now. They migrate in the winter, returning around the end of May when the water temperature rises slightly. I put me in boating mood even more.

Next stop was to Halfords for a 6 meter tape strap for the hand winch, a sack trolley for the outboard motor and a tow ball lock. Then I headed for the fishing tackle shop and bought a pair of chest waders so I don’t get wet launching the boat. I also bought a rod holder to fix in the boat. Then it was back home for a day’s hard graft.

The boat now lives quite happily up the side of my house.

The day was spent cutting up a launch trolley so that I could fit the two wheels to the front of the trailer. They are removable for towing the boat but with four wheels under the boat, it is very easy to push up and down my driveway. Im hoping it will be as easy pushing it over a hard packed shore of shingle or hard sand. However, if required I can winch it along. I also fitted a hand winch to the front of the trailer which makes it very easy to get the boat on. The friction of the trailer pads make it slightly more awkward shoving it off but its not too difficult. I have a roller boat which is positioned under the rear of the boat as it comes off the trailer and this should then allow the boat to roll into enough water to get it floating without submerging the trailer wheels in the sea.

I relaxed a little after the hard work of cutting and drilling the metal bits, and half a dozen times of getting the boat on and off the trailer, by fitting the rod holder. I will be ready with “ The Mackerel” when the real mackerel return to our shores.

The next step was to check over the outboard engine and refill it with fresh fuel. I would be a liar to say it started first pull but it did start after a little encouragement and ran very well once the new fuel got through the carburettor. I couldn’t help thinking of my father when it started. The last time it ran would have been when he used it for his last voyage approximately two years ago. I’m sure he would be very happy to know it was running again :-D

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