Thursday, 1 December 2011

ASBO's Year

We purchased Asbo, Naughty-Cals tender, in March of this year. We had previously purchased a rigid plastic dinghy with an electric outboard, which was fine for pottering around in the marina but wasn’t really suitable for our growing adventures at sea. As is usually the case we were not exactly looking for a replacement dinghy when Asbo happened to come for sale. A friend was selling her to buy a faster RIB with a bigger two stroke outboard engine. It was too good an opportunity to miss, an as new 2.4m Quicksilver dinghy with an as new low hours 6hp mariner four stroke outboard at a bargain price. So with a little bit of haggling the deal was struck and Naughty-Cal had a new buddy to keep her company on her many adventures.

It is safe to say that Asbo is a completely different beast to the little green dinghy we had previously owned. Asbo is much more stable and with the grunty 6hp engine much more fleet of foot with some extra oomph to push us along against a tide. This has led us to becoming much more adventurous with where and how we use the dinghy.

Asbo’s first major outing was in June this year when we loaded her onto Cal’s davits and took her down the Norfolk coast to Wells next the Sea. This gave us our first chance to take our dinghy onto the salty stuff. Wells is a great little harbour to explore with little creeks branching off the main navigation channel, but it was taking the dinghy to the entrance bar that was the highlight of the week. Riding the cresting waves in a little dinghy gives a whole different perspective to the experience and the landing party on the beach was the icing on the cake. Simply magic, and a great way to round off the stay in Wells.

Asbo’s holiday on the Norfolk Broads later in the year was her next chance for a dip in the salty stuff. After a four hour piggy back down the coast she was lowered into the water for her own adventure through Lowestoft docks, mixing it with the big boys of the commercial boating world. Later in the holiday she was again put into good use as we anchored the mother ships off Blakeney Bay and the dinghies took us to explore the deserted, golden beaches in this stunning and serene setting. The resident seals were extremely nosey, swimming around the dinghies as we headed back to the boats. A truly great day that will stick in our memories for a very long time to come.

Since her main holiday, Asbo has been relatively quiet with local trips on the Fossdyke and Witham. It is unfortunately time now for Asbo to be taken out of the water for some winter TLC, leaving dinghies to the mercy of the ice does them no favours. We had planned to take Asbo home but due to some unwilling floor boards she is currently hung on the davits, hopefully drying out. Over the winter we plan to sand down the floor boards and repaint them. The existing paint is starting to peel so a repaint will give her a fresh look ready for the 2012 cruising season and should hopefully provide some extra protection to the wooden flooring. We also have a new bow bag to install, which should keep our valuables safe and dry whilst onboard and give us some much needed storage stopping items rattling around on the floor. Finally the outboard has been taken home and is to be sent back to the local dealers for its full annual service. This should ensure that the engine is in tip top condition and hopefully reliable for our future adventures afloat in 2012 which promise to be more adventurous than ever.

We have been genuinely pleased with Asbo this year and pleasantly surprised by how little fuel she uses. Throughout the whole year we have filled the fuel can once and topped it up once again, amounting to about 15 litres of petrol for a full seasons use. Hardly worth complaining about and for the entertainment that she provides is a bit of a bargain.

Hopefully this winter will be short and mild and then we can look forward to relaunching Asbo early next year, fully prepared for the season to come and looking fresh and up to date and then we can hopefully enjoy some more dinghy adventures.

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