Sunday, January 17, 2016

A dingey find

Jenny Rose been holding anchor well since the last mishap
She's been holding anchor. I've been traveling back and forth on a $12 inflatable raft, and needed something better, and dirt cheap. I thought about doing what this guy did, with my own raft.. and I considered building a "One Sheet Boat", which I still think is cool.

But then a Craigslist ad caught my attention; All it said was:

4 Man Raft Bladder only - Bladder for a 4 man raft. Bladder holds air, cloth boat is dry-rotted. Boat is 9.5 feet in length.

And it was free.
The ad specifications stated:
condition: salvage
make / manufacturer: Aquarius
size / dimensions: 9.5 ft

I noticed it had been posted for about a month, so I emailed the seller: "Do you still have the raft bladder?"
He replied: "Yes I do."
"Where do I pick it up?"
"George Blv. and 204, there's a Food Lion there. Does that work for you?"

Here's a pic I found on the internet.
But mine looks a little different
North Pak Aquarius hard bottom boat.
Picked it up the day after next on a trip to Home Depot with Bobby for a small job we were working on. We detoured about 15 miles to meet the guy with the raft at the parking lot. We had a brief greeting exchange as he was opening the back of his SUV and handed me the boat folded neatly and slightly wet.
I said "This is a lot nicer looking than what I was expecting." ..

Then took out two large black durable foam-like panels with a hard smooth facing covering it, the two pieces obviously made to link together - he said they go on the floor to make it stiff.
This is the "bladder" I received.
Slight deflating after a day and a half.
But not bad for a free boat.
Then he handed an algae stain board and told me it would slide in the transom for a trolling motor on it (I had recently  purchased a Craiglist $20 trolling motor).
Lastly, he handed me the owners manual along with some other papers.. We said goodbye, and with the raff and accessories in the truck, Bobby and I returned to the beach.

The tore seam where the transom
meets the floor needs repair.
It was after dark before I unrolled the raft and began foot-pumping it.. It was a lot nicer than what I ever expected it would be. The cloth "wrap" at the bow was tore, but other than that, it looked pretty nice. Then I noticed the seam at the bottom of the transom where it meets the floor was tore about 12 inches. It didn't have any effect on the floatation, but it would allow water into the boat. Fortunately, it appeared that it shouldn't be difficult to repair.

The paperwork showed that it is a Aquarius 896 hard bottom pontoon. He had bought it from Sams Club in 2007, it didn't say the price. Another document had the HIN number, along with other info, and the 5 or 6 page owners manual provided some basic care instructions and warranty information.

I'm thinking about just duct-taping it to get it in the water quick, also thought about giving pvc pipe glue a try since I have it on hand, but am trying to resist the impulse, and do some searching around for solutions on the net first..

This is the $20 Mariner electric troller motor I want to put on it. I hooked it to a battery and it does seem to work, but I have no clue on the model or thrust.

Anyway, hopefully all this will result in a more comfortable and convenient method of getting back and forth to the G26,

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