Monday 30 September 2019

Ronald's Sea Strike 18 (Canada)

Its great to see yet another launching, this time from Ronald who lives in Canada
and his Sea Strike 18 getting a quick splash.

He writes:

Thanks guys! Just got the boat in the water this evening at 7 . What a sprint to the end . I haven't stopped , 7 days a week for 6 weeks ,evenings after work and weekends trying to get to this stage . But it was AWESOME !!!!! 

Got a few pics in the boat , the young fellow got some on his phone , he will e-mail them to me when he gets home to Montreal . He and his girlfriend are leaving tomorrow , at least they tried out the boat .
We went for a ride in my nephews boat yesterday. First time that my sons girlfriend has ever been on the ocean. I think she enjoyed it .
Going to get my nephew to get a video , hopefully this weekend .

What a top job you did building your Sea Strike 18 mate !!

Good day guys,
Gotta a couple pictures of a fishing trip, this is my cousin Robert with a cod . Got another video to post when my nephew gets a chance , he's the guy that took the video . He's been out of town and really busy

Regarding to the speed of the boat ,three guys in the boat and a full tank of fuel plus a little gear, we hit a speed of 41 mph with rpms of 53 to 5400 . With two guys, full tank, a speed of 43 to 44 mph and rpms of 5400 .

For more information about the Sea Strike 18, please click HERE

Saturday 28 September 2019

Jesse's Sea Strike 16 (Australia)

G'day all, 
Its great to see yet another Sea Strike 16 launching this week, this time from Jesse who lives in Darwin Australia

He writes:

Hi Team,
Thanks for all the kind words. The boat touched water for the first time today. I wanted to do a sort of safety test before the launch this Sunday at the Darwin Beercan Regatta:
A few small things to work on (in addition to the things mentioned in previous videos):
- A yoke on the trailer is broken.
- The handle on the anchor locker likes to vibrate.
Other than that it went really well. Haven't properly set the trim on the motor, the prop is whatever was on when I brought the motor second hand, the controls have only been roughed in and it was a little choppy - but we still got 32 knots. It gets on the plane in what feels like under a second, but I'm really just concentrating on holding on so can't be sure.

My neighbours also dobbed me into the ABC and Mike of Tales from the Tinny came and interviewed my wife and myself this week. Sorry Mark, I did a solid plug for BMD and yourself but they edited it out (something about ABC and advertising).

Fingers crossed for the official launch this Sunday; hopefully I can get more and better media.

The boat launch was successful. Mark's tips to prevent porpoising worked a treat. My friend with the camera and drone was absent interstate so I didn't get much good media; it's hard to be both skipper and photojournalist.
There is this FB post that I made with GoPro footage, but it's mostly just drunkards doing flips:

The boat is now laid up in Darwin ahead of a relocation to the UK. I'll get her back in 12 months, but in the meantime, I find it very difficult to think about her without getting upset.
Still have a lot of work to do when I return:
- Tow her from Darwin to Melbourne
- Console and locker doors.
- Proper wiring (bilge, deckwash, lighting, radio, live baitwell and fusing etc).
- Motor service and new impeller.
- Choose and install a chartplotter/fishfinder
- Fit out for fishing (speargun holders etc)
- Build plate and registration (no registration or license required in the NT)

A super positive side note: the esky that I built into the floor is amazing. It keeps ice so well, 2-3 times longer than all normal eskies I've owned. I strongly recommend this method to anyone considering building an esky into the deck.

I plan to check into other builds over the next year, if not just to keep from missing my own boat too much.


For more information about the Sea Strike 16, please click HERE

Vladimir's Tropic 12 (Russia)

Great to get an email and photo's from Vladimir from Russia
He writes

Thankyou very much Mark. I love this boat very much. I catch many Pike now !!

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Glenn and Kim’s Tassie Adventure in their Broadwater 5.1 (Australia)


Its great to hear from Glenn and Kim from Melbourne (Vic)  as they took their Broadwater 5.1 down to Tasmania on holidays.
They wrote:

I recently spent a week down in Tasmania, Kim was doing the “Three Capes Walk” with the local Scout group, and as much as I would have loved to go as well, my knees couldn’t take the 50 or so kms that the trip does in the four days. It was too good an opportunity to pass up and I thought I’d take the boat down, and knew my father would be in for a trip! 

Day 1 (Saturday) was a relaxing trip across Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania.
I would have been happy with going over Friday night, but needing to work Friday made this not feasible.

The strait was pretty flat, with a lazy swell of about 1 m running through. Could have taken Relativity across on her own bottom, apart from running out of fuel two or three hours off the north coast.
Saturday night was spent at Drumreagh B&B and Farmstay, just out of Deloraine. Lovely spot with great parking for the boat (in the middle of the farm yard). The kitchen at the pub, along with all the restaurants and cafes, shut at 8:00 pm, we got there just in time for a feed!

Glenn’s Tassie trip Day 2 (Sunday) was an early-ish start for a trip down the island.
Google told us to turn off “1” onto B31 and go through Campania. Kind of a mistake as B31 was very narrow, twisty with some steep descents!! Not what I wanted with the boat behind the car, decided not to come back that way. Got to Port Arthur around 1:00 pm after picking up groceries in Sorell. Checked in to our home away from home at Four Seasons holiday cottages in Taranna. Lovely two bedroom cottages with everything we needed, including a wash-down hose!

Headed down to Port Arthur, grabbed some bait and headed out.
Was a pretty nice day with a 1-1.5 m swell running up the bay. Poked into the Port Arthur historic site for a look from the water. Headed out to Safety Cove then back along the eastern side of the port between Budget Head and Surveyors Cove and found quite a few blue-throated Wrasse and a few flathead, sometimes two at once!

It gets very deep very quickly, we were in 20 m or so of water quite close to the cliffs, dropping off to 40 m plus. Spectacular scenery.

The Garden Point boat ramp is basic but very easy to use. Two ramps, the most we saw there at any time was about 6 cars. Watched a work-boat pulling a salmon farm out of the bay at about 2 knots.
Wrasse for dinner, then vacuum bagged up the rest.

Glenn’s Tassie trip Day 3 (Monday) was back to Garden Point with the goal of heading out of Port Arthur and around toward Tasman Island. The sea was a long swell running around 2 m or so with a bit of chop. Was very comfortable in the boat. We got around into Haines Bight and started fishing, pulled up a couple of flathead and a whole lot of Wrasse.

Watched a crayboat pulling pots up from about 50 m off the cliffs, probably still in 20 – 30 m of water. Thought about heading round to Tasman Island, but the rain kept coming over top of the cliffs, so we headed over to Crescent Bay on the other side of the heads where there was sun.

Caught more Wrasse and Flathead, watched a couple of people sliding down the sand-hills. Headed back up the harbor before lunch as the wind was picking up out of the north-west and had lunch at anchor in Stewarts Bay. The afternoon got breezy and cold so we packed up around 3:00 and headed home.

It was nice to clean the fish on board and get rid of all the scraps (happy seagulls), and not worry about landing fish “whole or in carcass form.” Crumbed flathead for dinner.

Glenn’s Tassie trip Day 4 (Tuesday) was forecast to be about 25-30 knots out of the north in Port Arthur, but only 10-15, rising to 20-25 in the afternoon in Storm Bay. With this in mind, we decided to head to Nubeena to launch, and head from there out to Dart Bank, about 4.5 nm south of The Wedge, an area of shallow (12 m) dropping of to 50 m or so.
We used the boat ramp on the north side of White Beach, another basic, two lane ramp with good access. Just a couple of rocks on the north side of the ramp to watch. There was still a southerly swell of around 1 m running as we hit the open waters of Storm Bay.

Winds were light, but picked up to around 15-20 knots on the trip out and a lot earlier than forecast. By the time we got out to Dart Bank, there were short, sharp northerly waves of about 4 feet overlaying the southerly swell. The boat was getting tossed around a fair bit, and one or both of us would have probably ended up swimming if we’d stayed to fish. We headed over to behind Salters Point to get out of the wind and waves. Relativity handled the conditions beautifully as long as we had at least steerage way on. We could sit on about 12-14 knots very comfortably.

We fished along Salters Point and pulled up a few more blue-throats, then decided to head up to behind Wedge Island, where we tucked in behind some 200 plus foot dolomite cliffs and drifted in circles around a little bay. Bagged out on blue-throats so we decided to head further inshore and see what we could snag. Ended up drifting out of Roaring Beach Bay for a few hours, we would motor in to about 100 m off the beach, watching out for the surfers in the water, then drift out again with the breeze, picking up around 1 decent flathead each drift.

Dad hooked a gummy, but lost it at the boat as I was grabbing the net to land it – bugger! Packed up around 3:30 or so and motored quietly back while cleaning fish – more happy seagulls. Saw the same work boat pulling a salmon farm again, assumed he was heading back to Port Arthur. Back on the trailer not long before dark, crumbed flathead for dinner again.

Glenn’s Tassie trip Day 6 (Thursday) was blowing a lot harder, 30 knot plus westerly, so we played tourist for a while, stopped at a gin distillery, and ended up and the tessellated rocks and Tasman Arch in Pirates Bay.

We were on the wharf when a tuna charter came in, they’d got wet but caught three of around 40-60 kg, one of which was grabbed by a seal as they tried to get it aboard the boat.

Glenn’s Tassie trip Day 5 (Wednesday) dawned with a 20 knot westerly, so we decided to head out from the Taranna boat ramp into Cascades bay. Found a lot of small flathead, with a few legal ones mixed in. Wind picked up some more and we were drifting along at around 4 knots. Didn’t find anywhere that was worth anchoring up, so packed up early around 2:00 pm, and headed down to Port Arthur to pick Kim up off the bus from her hike.
Crumbed flathead for dinner again.

Glenn’s Tassie trip Day 7 (Good Friday) was beautiful, but time to pack up and head home. The sea was flat, there was no breeze. Headed up the island and met with Luc and his ET at Richmond. Good to see another BMD boat, shame we couldn’t make a joint fishing trip work. Just after Luc left, I got an SMS from the Spirit saying check in and boarding were delayed. I did some mental calculations and consulted google, and realized that we would have time to detour past Launceston and drop Relativity in the water on the Tamar. Headed up there and dropped in at Gravelly Beach around 3:30, had an hour and a half before sunset!

Cruised out a bit and Kim said she hadn’t done any fishing this trip, what could she do? I’d chucked all the bait, but we trolled a couple of hard-body lures. Heading back in we saw some birds working and bait fish jumping, trolling past and “bang, bang,” two Australian Salmon, one on each lure. Kim lost her fish and the lure, so grab another lure, head past again and hers goes again! End up with four pretty good sized fish before the light’s gone and we had to head back.

Found a nice café in Devonport, just across the road from the ferry check in for dinner before boarding.
Another flat crossing, and a dead-calm Port Phillip Bay.

For more information about the Broadwater 5.1, please click HERE

Monday 9 September 2019

Alex and his Sea Strike 18 (Reunion Island)

 Build your own 5.50 m open shell for € 7,000: a story of a successful construction site

Alexandre took 3.5 years to build entirely of his hands his hull open. A construction site on the island of Reunion. Proud of his amateur construction, he tells us how it unfolds and the steps to carry out such a project.

Alexandre comes from Reunion Island, and after 10 years in Canada. (2004 to 2014), he returned to his island and began building his boat. An open shell of 5.50 x 2.20 m constructed of epoxy plywood. He explains his journey and the pitfalls encountered during this project.

Receiving plans. Let's go !

How do you get into such a project?
Alexandre took 3.5 years to build entirely of his hands his hull open. A construction site on the island of Reunion. Proud of his amateur construction, he tells us how it unfolds and the steps to carry out such a project. Alexandre comes from Reunion Island, and after 10 years in Canada. (2004 to 2014), he returned to his island and began building his boat. An open shell of 5.50 x 2.20 m constructed of epoxy plywood. He explains his journey and the pitfalls encountered during this project.

How to choose a plan?
I did a lot of research on the internet before I found Marc Bowdidge (Bowdidge Marine Design). 
It is an Australian architect who draws boats and especially helps the amateur builders to realize their project. Without his help and patience (little helped by my very rough English), I would not have arrived.

I also discovered a builder community in Australia via the forums of his site.
For two years before I started, I peeled all the forum and technical information that I could find on the internet and on the site of Marc (not easy everything is in English). Without forgetting to consult the Division 240 and 245 for the respect of the French regulation.

Mark offers many boat plans in amateur construction. This ranges from the 12-foot boat (3.50 m) to the 35-foot fishing boat. 
As I like fishing, I chose a SeaStrike 18, an open 5.50 m to build plywood and epoxy resin.

How is the construction going?
In 2014, I decided to return to Reunion Island and in 2015 I ordered the plans after Marc Bowdidge.
It is by opening the envelope that I really begin to understand the difficulties that await me:

I am on an island and the cost of materials is very high there is room for construction again the plans are in English, but for those who have the will, everything is organized. I order the bulk of supplies (plywood) in South Africa and meet a resin supplier in Reunion which will be of great technical help for me. For the local, I attack in my garage (I should move the boat twice).

In 2016, after importing basic supplies, I start construction. The work of the resin is not simple and at first I had some failures!

What are the difficulties encountered ?
Initially, we want to go too fast. Despite my reading provided in the field of resin and fabrics (on this subject, I recommend the
books of Brothers Gougeon, essential in the CP epoxy boat construction), despite the enlightened advice of many stakeholders of
the forum who advised me to working small areas, I still wanted to achieve the interfacing of the hull at one time.
Lastly, I took 4 days to sand non stop to remove everything ...

And the equipment?
For the realization of the T-top, the base of the bench and the handrails, I have a training in TIG welding that I was useful.
It is for the bending of stainless steel that I have been very interested in finding information. But the D system was finally the most effective.
For anecdote, I bent the handrails with a tree trunk! I just regret not having had time to polish stainless steel. I stopped to a brushed stainless steel finish.

My training in electromechanics served me for the electrical part, but here again internet was an indispensable tool to know the rules of the art.

And if we had to do it again ?
If I had to build a new boat, I would not go out alone anymore. I would launch the project with several other builders in order to have help and to be able to discuss certain phases of construction. I had the chance to meet a local professional who believed in my project and referred me during the manufacturing process.

But 3.5 years of construction is long. We must be determined not to let go. My biggest fear during the construction was not to finish.

What budget do you anticipate?
One of the keys to success is to control your budget. For my part, the boat (hull) returned to me about 7 000 €. 
To which is added 11 000 € for the purchase and delivery of the outboard engine (a 115 hp Mercury bought at the show of the nautical Grau du Roi and delivered to Reunion).

And what next?
On July 17, 2019, after all the administrative process, the Marie Sonia was launched at the port of Saint-Pierre. 
It bears the name of my mother who died in 2010. I did the first sea trials and I am fully satisfied with this deep V hull which passes beautifully in the waves. 
I still note that it must fill the fuel tank (200 l in the bottom of the hull) to ballast the boat a little when I'm alone.

Now I'm waiting for the return of good weather (it's winter now in Reunion) to leave to enjoy the big game fishing with friends!

For more information about the Sea Strike 18, please click HERE

Michael’s Tropic 14 (Australia)


Its great to see yet another launching, this time from Michael from the Gold Coast (QLD)
and his Tropic 14 getting a quick splash.
He's got a few more small things to go on (all the toys etc), but .. went for a quick blat and he reckons it flies.
Anyway, here's his boat. Very nice

He writes:
I wont go as far as saying she is officially splashed, but I did take the tropic down and dunk her in the water to see how she sat.
It was both the most exciting and terrifying thing I have done for many many years haha. I snuck down to the boat ramp after registering it and launched it solo in secrecy, partly because I couldnt promise anyone it would actually float and partly because I wasnt sure if it would be sitting perfectly level with the weight distribution.
It was such a relief and a great feeling to see it on the water and give it a quick blat. the 40hp 4 stroke shot her up on to the plane and no porpoising. I pulled up to a quiet beach and took a few photos, as i sat there and looked at it, I was just full or pride and happiness, I see myself and my boys having so many good adventures in this little boat and I just cannot wait to start already. I cant thank Mark enough for all the support along the way to make this dream a reality. 
Still have quite few little things to fit still, all the electronics, the seadek foam flooring on the casting decks and other things.
We look forward to hearing more from Michael in the coming months, as he takes his family and
their Tropic 14 up to Cape York on a 4x4 fishing adventure holiday, chasing Barramundi, Threadies and more

For more information about the Tropic 14, Please click HERE