COMMENTARY by BARRY THOMPSON

by admin

What a great summer we are having. Weeks of sun shine, warm water and of course way too much drinking and eating with family and friends, Still, I reckon that’s what Christmas is all about. I love it. Up until I wrote this a week ago, it was all sun, sun, sun, although I did see there is a weather bomb predicted this week. However, I have had my boating curtailed for a little while as last week I went in for a total knee replacement. Bouncing around in boats is not a good look and I certainly want to recover as quick as I can and get back to some sort of normal life.

Prior to heading in to surgery I got a fair amount of boating done, despite the constant North Easterly winds that came into Manly in Auckland, where I launch my McLay Fortress off the beach. It was also the first summer with a steering wheel in the boat. After about five seasons, I swapped the tiller steer on my Mercury 90 for a Seastar steering system and wow what a difference. Much nicer to drive and along with a new Springfield swivelling seat, I have really enjoyed driving the boat.

I launch off Manly because our local boat ramp at Gulf Harbour is the pits. Two lanes only and as I have mentioned before it is not uncommon to see 30-40 boats waiting to get back  onto their trailers in an afternoon. And let’s not even talk about the trailer parking, a huge amount of which is taken up with freedom campers.

Conversely I spent a day boating out of Omaha Beach and what a difference. The ramp at high tide is a bout 3-4 wide, depending on the size of the boats and when the tide is about ½ or more there is room for that many again to launch or retrieve on the hard compact sand.

Auckland’s boat ramp situation is diabolical and it is about time the council did something about it, rather than spending money on things like cycle ways. Until then I will continue to beach launch. Happy new year to all and look forward to bringing you this weekly e-news through 2022.

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