The thing with having a boat is that you invariably need a smaller boat or dingy if you want to explore the amazing places you travel to on your boat and don’t fancy running your larger boat aground regularly. (Note: Running keel boats aground is NOT a SailorMum approved activity.)

We had a dingy but last year we noticed it had started to leak. By ‘we’ I mean that ‘I’ noticed because for some reason, I am typically the one who ends up sitting in the puddle that accumulates at the stern.

We tried fixing with several types of goop, and we talked about new dingy options, but as all options cost money it was safe to assume that the wet arsed version of me would be a repeating summer time occurrence for the next few years.

Thing is, we’re rowers. We’d like to have an outboard and I’m always impressed to see young kids confidently and respectfully driving dinghy’s around in marinas and bays….but to buy an outboard requires a decision to be made on the size and that’s just something that we never quite manage. Rowing is exercise which, is hard to come by on a boat so for now, we’re rowers and need a dinghy that rows well.

We’d settled on our dream dinghy. A Walker Bay 8′ or 10′ hard plastic boat with an inflatable collar to make it very stable and non bumpy against the big boat in the night. They also come with a dinghy sail kit…which basically sounds like  fun to us.

By the time we’d figured this out we knew we were into this thing for a few $K. Thus the procrastination about purchasing anything, and the realisation of the soggy bottoms that were coming my way.

That was until our very wonderful friend and wooden boater told us that he had a spare 8′ Walker Bay that he wasn’t using. The code of brotherhood doesn’t allow me to know the entire deal that was struck for it, but I do know that rum was involved in the exchange.

This gives you a sense of what the Oars looked like "pre-Perfection."
This gives you a sense of what the Oars looked like “pre-Perfection.”

The oars were in sad shape so I sanded and then painted them with something mysterious called “Perfection” which the salesman promised would be such a hard finish that I wouldn’t need to touch them again for several years.  This didn’t sound so amazing to hubbs when I tried to explain to him why I spent $60 on white paint.

The paint was one of those two part deals that upon vigorous measuring, mixing, and letting it age for the prescribed time, I realised that the fumes of it pretty much negated all the good I’ve done on attempting to eat organic over the past 10 years.

I wanted to name our dingy “Eaglet” as our boat’s name translated means ‘2 Eagles’…but the previous owner…a wooden boater had named her “Suprema Plastica”  in exquisitely scribed Sharpie. It shows the history of the vessel. I love that more.

Supremica Plastica with Perfect oars.
Supremica Plastica at the dock. Note: feel free to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at the oars.

The oars came out ‘perfect’, and we’ve given the boat a couple of test drives which have shown us how much we were missing on the rowing front with an inflatable. Even Mr. A is faster rowing the thing…he may become our secret weapon against the stand up paddle board renters that swarm our part of false creek (just kidding.)

Testing out the new ride.
Testing out the new ride.

Next up, I set out my tickler on Craig’s List for a second hand inflatable collar or sail kit for a Walker Bay 8 using one of my favourite sites IFTT and sat back and waited…..

…We’d just about reconciled ourselves to going North without any new bits when the Craig’s List Gods came through for us and we got a deal on the whole sail kit with inflatable collar. New in the box.

Since then my main source of entertainment has been watching hubs act like a kid with a new toy. We finally got the thing up for sailing last weekend on a particularly wind-less day. So as of yet we still don’t actually know if it will sail well, but what is more important is that the young man is extremely excited about the prospect of dinghy sailing.  We are purposely holding off putting him in a sailing camp for a couple more years so this should be a great bridge, I hope. Meanwhile, I get to finally be ‘Nancy‘ from Swallows & Amazons …a series that I am now in the process of tracking down for the young man…but that’s a whole other story.

Suprema Plastica skidding along in a bracing wind.
Suprema Plastica skidding along the waves in a bracing wind.

There’s just one little issue….now that we’ve taken the seal out of the dinghy so that the centre-board can fit in….it is no longer watertight when we are towing it, despite using the plugs supplied by Walker Bay. If any one has any experience on this please let me know!

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