There’s boats for this, and boats for that, but there aren’t any boats for this AND that.
It’s one or the other. Get a boat for going offshore and it’ll be hopeless up the creek. That lovely vee-shaped hull that cuts through ocean swell and choppy seas rocks like a caravan at the Beenleigh Showgrounds when the time comes to anchor in your favourite honey-hole up that secret creek.
And that little tinny with a flatter arse than Mick Jagger is fine when you’re standing up in the bow throwing the cast net for prawnies in Nunya Creek, but get it out in the ocean and it hits harder than Charlie Sheen at Hugh Heffner’s 90th.
Not only that, but both the tinny and the offshore boat are like Clive Palmer in a bar fridge when they need to go up those little gutters to pick up the crab pots. So much for your paint job or vinyl wrap. And don’t even try to get the tinny you used to get the pots out into any level of ocean swell. You’ll be bouncing more than Skippy on a jumping castle on the back of the ute driving the Roma Surat Road.
So it was with a happy heart that I headed off the north coast recently in the little glass boat I bought a year or two ago. It’s been windier than a Heinz convention in recent times so it’s been very rare that my time off has coincided with flat weather.
Most boat owners will know about the following.
Just a puff of wind to ruffle the surface meant I could head 50km offshore without drama. Just had to watch out for coal ships. For those of you who think these ships are big, wait until you’ve pulled up near them out at sea. If you’ve ever run over a cane toad in an F100 you’ll know why I’m scared.
Anyway, out I go to 90m of water, where Steely Dan landed us on some pearlies a year or so ago. It’s been a couple of hours of banging hard into the swell so I want to at least feel like the trip has been worth it by pulling up a fish or two off the bottom. Out goes the anchor. Now the books will tell you it’s best practice to make sure you have about a third more rope out than the depth for most secure anchoring. So, for example, I should put out about 120m of rope to anchor securely in 90m of water. But I don’t have 120m of rope. In fact, I have about 70m. I know this because I can see the end of the rope as it disappears into the blue water because I’ve forgotten to tie it onto the boat. Rookie mistake.
I also find out I have only 90m of braid on my offshore reel because unless I’m dropping it down dead straight, I run out of braid. Luckily, unlike the anchor rope, I’ve remembered to tie the end of the braid to the mono backing line I have running on the reel under the braid. Well I’ve sort of tied it. So much for the new xyz knot some knob on the interweb has posted, saying what a secure connection it is. Idiot proof he says. I’ve got news for him; make something idiot proof, and they’ll invent a better idiot.Reads: 801