Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our New Car!

Getting ready for our first ride!

Just as landlubbers need a car, so do cruisers!  They need a vehicle to get them to shore for groceries, diesel, laundry, exploration, etc.  This past weekend we got our "car" and put her in the water for the first time.  Ken and I have been dreaming of buying a dinghy and motor, but we really didn't expect to have one so soon.  However, after an unexpected tax refund (we haven't had one in years), a little bit of money we received for Christmas (2010 and 2009 - we were afraid to spend it with all the unexpected expenses this past year - yes, we are really frugal), payment from an insurance claim I recently made (do you remember that guy who side-swiped me?  He asked me not to call the cops which I reluctantly agreed to and then he "thanks" me by trying to claim it was my fault!  Never again will I not call the cops if there's damage, but the pictures told the truth and I've chosen to ride around in a car with scratches), and another unexpected refund from an insurance policy we found ourselves feeling confident that we've earned a dinghy and motor!  None of these payments were large, but saving and lumping them all together paid off.  In fact, we have just enough money left to purchase some davits to hold our new "car" on our sailboat.  After a few stressful and challenging months, we feel really lucky to get a break!

Ken inflating the dinghy and our new Tohatsu motor

Defender was having a clearance sale and we found a great deal on our 8'8" dinghy and our 4hp motor.  We know that a rigid dinghy will be better for the Caribbean, but we think this dinghy will serve the purpose for the next few years and it was in our budget.  Our new Tohatsu ("Mr. T") requires some breaking in, so the canals in our neighborhood are perfect for this.  Can you tell we were anxious to get on the water ... we left the tags on the motor!

 We weren't sure of the best way to get the boat and motor into the water, so we decided to put the motor on the dinghy, tie the motor to the dinghy so we were sure not to lose it in the water, then slowly lower the dinghy into the water, stern first - luckily we had no problems. We really enjoyed putting around our neighborhood over the weekend, and it was a totally different feeling than riding in the sailboat.  Docking is a lot easier! 

As the weekend came to a close, we had to figure out how to get both the dinghy and motor out of the water.  Ken ultimately decided to pull the dinghy onto the dock with the motor hanging over the water, then remove the motor and carry it into the garage where the stand Ken built is located.  We had no problems, but are anxious to order some davits.  They should be a lot easier on Ken's back!  We didn't want to deflate the dinghy just yet, so it's in the house in a sitting area that we don't use.  We knew we needed that room for something!

Back home - we never get to see Nirvana from this angle!

Thanks to all that responded to our question on our Facebook page regarding a radar and radar arch vs davits.  We really appreciate everyone's advice!  While we may purchase a radar in the future, we've decided against the radar arch and will get davits instead.  The davits will be less expensive and probably a better idea for a 30 foot sailboat.  Ken has been speaking with Mark from Garhauer, and he's been wonderful!  We can't say enough about the service we've received and after taking a few more measurements Ken will be placing an order.

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Sandee said...

Yep you have to have a dinghy if you're in a sailboat. Well any boat that you don't want to have to move until you're ready. Looking good and they are indeed fun. Well if the weather is good.

Have a terrific day and enjoy your new car. :)

Duff said...

Excellent. I am very jealous. Someone stole my very beaten up fibreglass dinghy (I hope it sank on them), and have been dreaming about getting a IRB. It will have to stay on the wish list for a while longer though. Will be interested to see your davits, as my boat has too small a transom to have large radar dome structure. (will have to go looking through your facebook pages to read the comments).

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Nice dink!

We never had davits on our sailboats. You could use your boom to lift the motor from the dink to stow on the rails. Consider pulling the dink up on the foredeck using a jib halyard and winch and stow the dink on the foredeck. That method got me across the Atlantic and cruising the Caribbean.

I try to keep things as simple as possible, better to sail than wait for new davits or anything else.

We need a dink, too. But need a bimini even more... Really need more cash!

Laura and Hans said...

We don't have davits either. We have to lift our 8HP dinghy motor to the stern rail via our halyard. We then use the halyard to hoist our dinghy to the stern where we flip it on its side and tide it down. Time consuming? Yes!! But it works for now.

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