Home' Afloat : October 2013 Contents Take monthly with water October 2013 53
ON THE WATER
with David Lockwood
Available online at
Or phone: 03 9421 4235
for a quote to suit your bed size/shape.
While stocks last.
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The clever under mattress spring system
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Travel Sleep System
Given the continuing consumer restraint, the need to keep active
now that summer is in the wind, and the recent trend to accessorise
rather than upgrade in the pared-back world of luxury boating -- think
add new watertoys and tender instead of buying a new boat -- we've
decided to go shopping for the 10 Best Boats (and watercraft) under
1. Stand-up paddleboard (SUP): The
fastest-growing watersport in the world is
hot property among Sydney's boating clique.
Available in inflatable, foam, plastic and
fibreglass variants, stand-up paddleboards
team low-maintenance with portability,
simplicity with stability, exercise with adventure. Weighing just 12kg
and packed away in a bag, the inflatable types make good sense for
boaters. Cost ranges from about $800 to $1800.
2. One-man kayak: Made of polyethylene,
requiring just a quick hose to put to bed, the one-
man fishing-orientated kayak is a ticket to explore
the fascinating feeder creeks of the Hawkesbury,
Cowan Creek and Berowra Waters, Middle Harbour and Lane Cove
River. Aside from a spot of twitching -- the stunning sacred kingfisher
hunting on the Port Hacking sticks in my mind -- my one-man kayak
lead to some great fishing for Australian bass in the backwaters
beyond the mangroves at this time of year. Cost around $500-$750.
3. Sea kayak: Kayaking on the open
and often bumpy waters of Sydney Harbour,
Broken and Botany bays, for example,
demands more waterline length for speed
and a swooping bow for seaworthiness, a foot-
operated rudder, and a good lightweight paddle. With appropriate
waist-high flotation device designed for paddling and some dry
storage for your lunch you're set to go. You'll have to carry your sea
kayak on the roof racks, but it's still a low-fuss conveyance for about
$800-$2,000 race ready.
4. Hobie pedal power: That creative
hotbed of California has given rise to
many kooky ideas, but revered Hobie
has successfully redefined the sea-kayak
market with its Mirage Drive pedal-powered system. And it works!
Two pedals drive a couple of underwater fins with such efficiency
you can out-paddle a conventional kayaker while expending half the
energy. The Mirage Pro Angler 12 is a purpose-built pedal 'yak fisher
for about $3,500 including heaps of cool fishing features.
5. Hobie Mirage sailing tri: These agile sailing
trimarans, equipped with the abovementioned Mirage
Drive pedal-powered system in case the wind fizzles,
come in single and tandem variants that driven rather
smartly by a decent roller-furling battened mainsail.
Even in light airs, the tris get going thanks to a carbon
fibre rig. From less than $5,000 sail away.
6. Rubber ducky: The inflatable tender aka rubber ducky
exemplifies all that's great about the portable boat. The best new
models have a stiff inflatable floor with a vee in the bow for sluicing
the waves. With a portable 2-5hp outboard, you can
get about the waterways for a sing. About $2,000 for
boat only. Inflatable kayaks in a backpack open up
an altogether new realm of backcountry boating.
7. Cartoppers : Grey nomads with their highly accessorised
Winnebagos, camper vans and 4WDs are at least
partly responsible for putting the humble cartopper
back on the roof racks of Australian boaters. There
are some clever Aussie boat-loading devices on the
market to assist with cartoppering -- see boathoist.
com.au -- that allow bigger tinnies to fit on your car. Something like
the AnglaPRO 374 Lite is a good upmarket cartopper option for about
$7,000 including Suzuki 15hp two-stroke outboard engine.
8. Savage 415 Big Daddy: If you're bitten
by the fishing bug then a bigger tinnie on a
trailer beckons. The new class is the 14-footer.
There's also more stability for fishing and taking
the family to a boat-only accessible beach for
a picnic. The Savage 415 Big Daddy has a sub-$8,000 bundle price
with 30hp Vortex tow-stroke outboard on trailer.
9. Windsurfer: They might seem somewhat
passé, but the windsurfer still rates as a compact,
convenient and cost-effective conveyance for
keeping fit and exploring the waterways on the
strength of the wind alone. Expect to pay about
$2,000 new, while used sailing rigs sell for $350, and a third that will
buy a board that could double as a SUP.
10. Laser: With more than 300,000
worldwide, the Laser from the pen and so-called
million-dollar doodle of Canadian designer
Bruce Kirby has proven a sail-away hit. Single
mainsail (cat rig) and basic strings make for
a great all-round family dinghy for cruising and racing. The 4.23
metre-long fibreglass hull weighing 56.7kg was also designed to be
roof-racked. New for about $8,000 or half that second-hand.
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