Tag Archives: Dinghy


17 Sep

Are outboards ​the bain of every liveaboard’s lifestyle? Certainly, I’ve read several blog posts bemoaning them and they all too frequently become the subject of cockpit discussions​. The dinghy is such an essential part of our boating existence, the car of the dirt dweller but with a far less reliable engine. Not only that, the engine has to be heaved on and off the boat, a task that is either back breaking or involves some sort of, often precarious, pulley system.

We thought we’d cracked it though. When we bought Desi a lovely little dinghy was included along with its outboard which happened to be electric. We’d never actually seen an electric outboard before and had certainly not considered buying one. A little wary at first, we were rapidly converted. Light to handle and with more than enough power, it also had the advantage of being rechargeable via either the mains electricity in the marinar or using the solar panels – free power! No more reliance on smelly petrol or carrying/storing noxious containers. Win, win. Until now.

Our little beauty has developed an aversion to water. You might well say that, of course, electricity and water don’t mix. But this is an outboard motor, engineered by those clever Germans, and designed to be in water as the basic function of its being. Now ours doesn’t like a bit of dew. Connections have duly been cleaned and sprayed with the German equivalent of WD-40. But a few days at anchor and we’ve had to resort to rowing ashore. And back.

Damingly, it always seems to start on testing, even happily taking us for a night out. Sorted, we thought. But no. Ironically, just as we were returning to the dinghy we got chatting to another owner, only the second we’d met, singing the praises of the motor. As we both inserted the magnetic key his started immediately. Ours – nothing. The other guy, who happened to be German himself, volunteered​ to give us a tow, saying that he felt a responsibility for his country’s engineering. We were very happy to take him up on the offer, our rowing not being the most efficient at the best of times let alone after a big meal and several drinks.

At the time of writing, cleaned and sprayed yet again, it seems to be working. Until we come to use it again?



17 Jun


For us, the really special part of being in Turkey is the fact that our sailing friends, Christine and Vic, are here too. When their dinghy chugged up to the beach near where we are staying we were practically bouncing. In my enthusiasm I landed sprawled on my posterior trying to assist the dinghy ashore. As anyone who has read our sailing blog will know, I’ve never been surefooted when it comes to dinghies.

It turned out my reputation held up the following day, too, when Vic transported us to their yacht. They always take extra care with me. I am allowed to step in while everyone else hangs on to keep the dinghy as steady as possible. This I accomplished without mishap this time. As the guys pushed us away from the shore, I sat happily at the front like Lady Muck. The revs built up on the outboard and we duly set forth only for me to be leaping up as the nose dug in and seawater came spilling over the top. For some reason Christine didn’t seem very surprised to see me arrive with wet feet and bum. Happy times.