London Boat show 2015

LBSI like the London boat show. I’ve only ever been to it at the Excel London, so don’t fall into the older crowd who still reminisce about the days of ‘old’ show at Earls Court, but life moves on, even if some people don’t. London is a good show, and when I first went in 2010 it took me a while to understand it all. I remember clearly just wandering around really not knowing what I was doing or looking at, but after a while names of boats and people begin to become familiar and the show takes on a new meaning.

The 2015 London Boat show was interesting. I occasionally work in the events industry so have a certain amount of respect for those who exhibit although that being said the 4D attraction didn’t really add that much to the show, even if it was technically clever, which is a shame.

showroom_details_engine_ETEC_300_HP_G2_BLACK2I then found myself looking at the new Evinrude G2 engine. Normally the people on the stands I’ll be honest don’t really know much beyond the cover of what they are selling (technically) and so mostly my questions end up with a blank face or being misunderstood, but that being said the all new Evinrude G2 engines are AMAZING & even better the chap I was speaking to was also well informed when it came to asking questions. Everything about them makes so much sense. Direct injection 2 stroke engine with internal steering system, 2 stroke oil reservoir – no inboard tank and incredibly a 500hr service interval. These are proper bits of kit, highly efficient and very clean. Quite frankly it shows up everything else produced by anyone else. Providing they prove to be reliable, they will be the best outboard engine there is for quite some time. Sorry Yamaha, Mercury, Suzuki etc.

Moving on I wondered about some of the boats, I don’t usually get too close and only board a coupleSSi-225-Run-01-13. I’m a bit strange in the sense that I don’t like my time being wasted and so I don’t like to waste the time of other salespeople when they could perhaps be dealing with people in a position to spend on a new boat (one day!) but I was caught by a sales chap from idealboat.com who invited me to take a look at one of their Chaparral boats a 225SSi.

A nice boat it was too. Great lines, and good external finish. I wasn’t so impressed with the cuddy however. It was clear it was finished to a price (fair enough) and so the thick carpet style material was rough and bumpy from the finish beneath. If your expecting car trim level if finish – it wasn’t but in the cockpit it was spot on and on my quick 10minute tour I thought it was well done.

855One boat I do keep going back to look at however is the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 855. I really like this boat. Its one I can see myself owning one day. A genuine family weekender boat with two cabins and plenty of spacious cabin and rear deck space. It’s a really clever use of boat space. Granted it looks a /little/ bit too much of a fishing boat, but it still has a few sporty lines and I do keep reading how it rides the sea well and other positive comments. Now, one of these with two of the Evinrude G2 engines.. The only sad thing is the standard boat is only rated to 300hp, but they do an offshore version which will take 400. Really to have some proper fun I’d want at least twin 250’s in my dream scenario. I can dream eh!!

After this we came across the friendly people from Motor Boat Owner (hope you don’t mind the use of your image!) this is a free digital boating magazine. Now that Motorboat mboMonthly has ceased publication (Damn you Time Inc) and Sport Boat & Rib is loooooooooong gone (my first boating magazine) we are only left with PowerBoat & Rib or MBY, but MBO is different. It’s real life boating with real people. I’m not entirely sure how they do it, I once tried to do a digital automotive monthly magazine for a car club – and it was impossible, but fair play to them. Their digital publication has been going for over a year now and was confidently told at the show its getting more and more popular, which I can quite believe. I had a quick chat with them about the things I have been getting up to here and will be forwarding them some information shortly!

datatagNow here is another interesting thing I came across. If you have ever owned a motorbike then you are probably already aware of a scheme known as DataTag. DataTag is a forensic method of tagging your property in an attempt to make it less inviting for a thief. They have now started a scheme specifically targeted at outboards. The system which retails at ¬£40. The nice thing about this system is its DIY capable. It works on the basis of visibly and invisibly identifying your outboard en1-2015-01-18 01.30.22gine. The visible sticker is placed on the cowling. This is an ‘ultra destruct’ type of sticker that makes it very hard to remove. Then there is a sticker that is placed on the gearbox this has a laser etched serial number which you then paint over with the supplied UV etch paint. The idea being that even if the sticker is removed the ID will be visible with UV light. Also included is a transponder chip which you hide somewhere on the loom this will respond to police transponder scanners (much like dog chipping) and allows the identity to be checked. Finally if that is all not enough the system also comes with a load of tiny microdots which you paint in various places around the engine. These also contain the serial number allowing another way of identity testing. Phew! All of this is managed via an on line database which is tied to the owner, and is transferable if the engine is sold. To me this all seems a rather good idea so much so I brought one (p.s. DataTag has not paid me to write this but if they want to send me a few more – thats fine I’ll put it on my other engines).

Beyond this I spent the rest of the day looking at electronic gadgets buying a few bits and bobs, checked in at the RYA stand and generally had a good all round day. Can’t say fairer than that.

Slightly different but the next boating event I’m likely to be at will be the Beauleiu Boat Jumble on the 26th April, and finally the Southampton boat show in 11-20th September 2015.

 

18/01/15 Latest

Trying to find a nice way to make navigation on this site work. Its quite tricky. Not used to wordpress and it has a few odd limitations which arn’t really limitations but require plug-ins and messing about to make it work how you want to.

A London boat show article has been added. I enjoyed this. Hopefully you can read my article and see why.

Fletcher 170GTO Ownership Specifications and Thoughts

The Fletcher 170GTO is a very popular boat. Fletcher made it in this form for some 20+ years. And there are thousands about. But what are they like to own? I’m going to try and share my overall limited boating experience with you.

General

The Hull: The 170GTO is a really capable hull. Its design lends it self very well to the UK coastal waters. I can say this as I have covered some pretty serious trips in mine. The longest coastal trip was nearly 50 miles from Falmouth to Plymouth. It wasn’t in mirror calm weather either. In every case the boat has been able to withstand more abuse than me, and except in some windy conditions its a very dry ride, with it being unlikely to cover the occupants (at least in the front!) in water.

Performance

I don’t have my boat setup for outright performance. If I could compare it with a road car it would probably be something like a ‘normal’ Mitsibishi Evo(!!!) reason is, the grip is fantastic. With my setup which is a 21 Laser II prop, and an approx 200hp 2.0 Mercury V6 (again not optimised so assume around 150-160hp) the boat will clock GPS 56mph, but I can turn fast and the back of the boat does not skip, and unless really pushed with the trim to high the prop does not even cavitate. It’s a very good all round boat.

Economy

Really? Ok well since you asked. My engine is OLD its OLD tech carb 2 stroke. It doesn’t get worse¬† than this. Typically I average around 3MPG. It can be nearly 4-5MPG, and easily as bad as 1.5MPG. Best economy is around 20mph with two people where I can get just about 1 mile per litre of fuel.

Here is a set of averaged data taken over a week holiday in Falmouth 2013:

Total Fuel: 315.6 Litres
Total Distance: 251 Miles
Average MPG: 3.62
Max Speed: 55.1MPH
2 stroke oil: 7 Litres
Total Engine Run time: 14 hours.
Total average speed: 17mph.

Would I recommend one of these boats? Definitely, but check for ROT the transoms all go just like mine eventually.

 

Now up to date

So little has changed since 2013 on the Fletcher 170GTO. It has travelled many trips now and covered in excess of a thousand miles.

Very minor things were changed/fixed like broken seat mounts and a couple of dials but really, but boat has been very good indeed, and work has moved onto the Waverider Quantum 580, so you need to go and read about that one next!!