Sailing is such a romantic notion that when we found out Kenutu came with a Walker Bay sailing dinghy we were stoked. Not only would we sail our beautiful boat far and wide, but we would sail her hard dinghy right up onto all the distant shore. That is how good at sailing we would be.
The Walker Bay came with a keel and sail, as well as some nice oars. Captain Mack used the power of the interwebs to figure out how to rig the thing and got her sails up. He was excited to give it a test run around the marina, but I was enjoying my beer in the cockpit and had no interest. Alas, he baited me by calling it "a date."
Climbing into this thing, I knew it was a disaster. It felt like it was going to tip over the entire time. I've kayaked white water and canoed lakes and rivers before, so I'm okay with boats being wobbly. This thing had a feel beyond wobbly. Our main channel has a steady wind, and we were flying downwind with it. When Mack wanted to tack to head back to the slip, I had to fold myself in half so the sail would move to the other side of the boat. But the boat didn't go the way SCIENCE SAID IT WAS SUPPOSED TO, so we ended up being drifting ducks. Dumb drifting ducks because we didn't bring the oars. We drifted right on into a giant power yacht and met its lovely and understanding owners. Then we made another run across the channel, grabbed onto the dock, and doused the sail. We climbed out of the dinghy like a couple of people who had been lost at sea for 37 days and had no muscle left, hoisted the stupid thing out of the water and onto a cart, and pulled her to the little perimeter channel where we dumped her into the water and rowed home using the keel as an oar.
Dinghies are expensive little things, but after this marina adventure, NEW DINGHY went on the TO BUY list. We also won't be sailing her anywhere. Instead, Mack bought an electric motor, a 55-pound thrust Newport Vessel's electric motor. Isn't it beautiful?
It's also silent, has no smell, and weighs like 10 pounds. The weight of the electric outboard is a huge bonus because when you have to hand this type of stuff down to someone sitting in a boat that feels like it might tip over every time you move, lightweight things are less scary. The bad thing is that it runs on a 35-pound battery, which points the nose of the boat uncomfortably skyward when it's onboard.
Mack asked me for another dinghy "date", I grabbed a beer for some liquid courage, and we added our cumulative 300 pounds to the dinghy to test out the new electric motor.
We had to sit facing the rear of the boat and sort of had to travel backwards since things weren't going as smoothly doing it the normal, expected way. Mack had to sit on the center bench to have some turning clearance. The dinghy sucked, as usual, but the motor was pretty awesome. We zipped to and fro and made it safely back to the boat. We climbed out with zero grace, Mack untied the motor, which he had secured to the battery and the bench to make sure it didn't fall off and get lost forever, and we highlighted NEW DINGHY on the TO BUY list.
Two people dumb enough to think anything is possible and smart enough to bumble their way into discoveries.