Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Roosie's boats

That's one of our friend Roosie's boats. I was just talking boats with him this afternoon. He stopped by to see what I was doing with the shovel, in fact. Its a little thing, kind of a fair weather toy. Goes like stink with that little outboard. People typically put a couple pieces of 4 or 6" PVC pipe under them as rollers, and pull them up with a car, or whatever. Block them up and let them sit for weeks at a time. A lot of the home built boats here are made with fiberglass over plywood, and not always marine plywood. They rarely build in any foam at all. When they start getting 'loggy', or saturated, its common to haul em out and let them dry out for a while. Then, they cut out and patch the rotten places, glass over them again, and they're good to go for a while.

Boats here are precious things. They keep getting patched and fixed, bought and sold, down through the years. One pretty much has to be un-fixable to be junked, and its rare to see one totally abandoned. If you've got a boat, you can feed yourself and your family. you can get from one island to another. You can haul people who will pitch in for gas. These are not recreational boaters, its more a way of life.

If it can be made to float, somebody, somewhere, wants it.

Ok, here ya go:

It's got a wheel, throttle, fuel gauge, tach, and radio antenna....what more do you need?

The first time I saw this boat was over a year ago. I noticed it because the guy that owned it was leaving Leeward, obviously headed for North Caicos (about ten miles) in it. He weighed maybe 200 lbs. The lady sitting on an ice chest behind him probably went 250. I don't know what was in the ice chest, or the four grocery bags...but it was a load. Hey, they made it.

But not long after that, Roosie showed up with it. Perhaps the previous owner's Mrs. said it was time to move up to a bigger boat.

Here's one of his other boats, his daily commuter. Have seen him load eight guys and their tools in this one and head home..

Right now he's all PO'd because he took it to the local mechanic to get it tuned up and now, $1100 bucks later it runs like crap and he cant get more than about 35 mph in it. We raced him in this boat, in our Dauntless 180 with a new 150 Optimax last spring, and he just barely beat us. We were doing 46 on the GPS. He was grinning ear to ear.

I notice he just put a lighted compass on it:

He musta cleaned it up. Usually got a few green bottles rolling around in it.

Yeah, there are a lot of Montauk-shaped conch-boats around. BWs are a well known and admired brand name here. I think its probably that someone, sometime years ago chose that particular boat to pop a mold off of, and it was probably the only mold in the country for many many years. So, if someone wanted to build a boat here, they could either go the plywood route, or go work a deal to use THE mold.

The Meridian Club on Pine Cay is in the process of replacing their little fleet of boats, which includes three Whalers and several other boats. I think they have ordered something like five different model boats from some company called Parker. You guys have heard of them, right? The first one just got delivered a few weeks ago.

I was talking to one of the MC staff captains yesterday about it, and was surprised to find out that, so far, he doesn't like driving the Parker. He'll take a Whaler just about anywhere, though.

Supply run day. Each Wednesday morning the Pine Cay staff takes this boat over to Provo to pick up groceries and supplies for the week. This time of year, there are not too many people staying on the island. By the way, that's Roosie (Roosevelt) holding the bow-line. Raymond is the captain, and Evan is on the stern line. We give a lot of our barracuda catch to Evan. he loves em.

I am guessing that this boat will be replaced this year by one of the new Parkers. Do they make a model that would serve well as a sea-going pickup truck?

Notice the flag. the wind here is just about ALWAYS from the right in this photo, and the incoming tide is in your face, the outgoing tide at your back from this perspective:

So, getting into these slips is always a cross-wind landing. We come in from the right. Not so bad on the incoming tide, you keep the bow into it and allow for drift. On the outgoing, you end up giving her a real good shot of reverse at the last moment. At full tide, it can be 2-3 kts current and 15 mph winds on the beam. Makes for some interesting tie ups when its crowded in the winter busy season.

Someone asked about Molasses Reef, the development (not the reef itself). It's on West Caicos. The guy doing most of the development on it lives two houses away from where we are building our house. We took the new boat out there on our first long trip after we launched it. Looking at it from the water, it seemed to be pretty well thought out. None of the structures are glaringly obvious, they fit in with the landscape well. It doesn't look like the typical over-developed, high-density resort, at all. The little marina/harbour there is well protected, with nice bulkheads all around, etc. They have obviously put a lot of work into it. The entrance is a nightmare, though. you have to come in through a small cut in the reef, and waves will be breaking on either side of you in any kind of swell.

From what I have read, they are working to make it environmentally sensitive, and putting a lot of effort into preserving most of the island. I also heard that a small, one-bedroom condo was going something like $ 2,000,000.

That's where we ran out of gas outside the reef and I swam for almost an hour towing the boat back through the reef to someplace protected and shallow enough so we could anchor. They sent someone out to tow us in, and sold us a tank full of gas. Good people.

It runs about $ 250-300 per sq. foot for the main house, depending on the type of finish, what type flooring and roofing, quality of windows and doors, appliances, etc.

The construction here is different from the US though, as I tried to show in some earlier photos on this thread. CBC, concrete, rebar. There are NO wood frame exterior walls allowed. Residences must have cisterns to store rain water...etc. Its expensive, but you end up with a better built house that has a good chance of surviving a storm if you ain't real stoopid where you put it. Of course, if a Cat. 5 parks over you for a few days, its probably toast. the building codes here are meant to produce buildings designed for gusts to 140 mph. We kinda went a little overkill on ours.

The weather has gone from muggy and hazy to off and on thundershowers. I think Hurricane Dean is still too far away to be affecting us. But whatever it is, it colored up the sunset tonight a little:

No comments: