Friday, May 20, 2011

New Hobie Island trimaran.

Here is a photo of how the boat came to me. The hull was double wrapped and there was one other box which had seen better days, and it was only in the hands of the delivery company for 3 days total! (UPS)
There was some damage but nothing major. The rotomolded outriggers had some impressions like something heavy was put on top of them even though the box clearly stated "Top load Only". Not the sellers fault. Oh, by the way the Backyardboat folks were great to work with and no issues at all.
This is the first time that I have bought any major purchase brand new that was just for me and something that I did not have to have. I'm 46 now with 3 grown children so I figured I was due, anyway that is how I justified it not that I needed to but it made me feel better about doing it.
Why did I buy it? It is going to be my Ultra Florida Challenge race boat. You see I needed a boat that could do many things because of the race around Florida. The race goes something like this....Start in Tampa Bay and sail to key largo with 3 checkpoints along the way which are up tital creeks and the everglades. It you take the inside route you will do what they call the Everglades wilderness waterway which includes one part that is the toughest that is called "The nightmare". At Largo you turn north and head up the east coast. There is one checkpoint about 1/2 way up but you keep going  until you get to the St. Marys river at the Fl. , GA. state lines. You go up the river to around the mid point of the States (more check points)  where you then portage your boat for 40 miles and put in again at the Okeefenokee Swamp. The portage is where you walk and pull your boat behind you for 40 miles. You put your boat back into the water at fargo GA. and  run down that river (120 miles) until you hit the Gulf of mexico again and then turn South again and back to Tampa Bay with one more check point along the way. This is around 1200 miles total. You have 30 days to complete the race and you can of course drop out at any time. Why do this? That is a stupid question for someone who wants to do it but for someone who does not want to do it then it makes no sense at all and that is another story alltogether. Much has been written about why people do things like climb mt. everest so i will not get into it here except for saying that this has been titled as the toughest small boat race there is and that is why I want to attempt it. I hope that you noticed that I said "attempt"!

My second outting in the boat. Heading up the creek at Lake Robinson, Greer SC. No wind so peddaling and I had just gone under a low bridge so I took the mast down.

Lunch is over.....more to come.
So the Hobie Tandem Island is reasonably lite. 190 llbs. It is fast. It is stable in heavy weather and tough to turtle. It folds its outriggers down in just a few seconds or about a minute with the tramps on. It has a dolly system so it can be towed although it will be heavy loaded. It can carry enough supplies for one person for one month. The mast takes less than a minute to take down. The sail is furling so any amount of sail can be put up from one foot to the entire 90 sq. ft and it is done while sailing and is easy to do if a squall blows up. It is well proven design that has seen some tough weather and most of the faults have been worked out so that extra parts can be carried along. It has peddal drives so that you can use your strongest muscles when there is no wing, going against the currents or other.  It carries two people so that if I can talk someone into doing the race with me then they can come along and enjoy the adventure as well. Any takers? Bully...P90Rex?...anyone? I'll give you some time to think it over.
Another good point is that my wife Dawn and I can go out on the lake and get some exersize amd no be bored to death on a treadmill. In two trips already on Lake Robinson I have seen some great wild life and I will blog about it tonight. I saw some things that were suprising to me and that I did not know.
Thanks for reading.

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