We took off for the cottage on Friday night to spend the night and the day on Saturday with my parents as the weather forecast was actually looking promising for once. When we got there I made the first of two interesting, at least to me, discoveries. The first was that my new Blackberry from Rogers could not pick-up service at the cottage. This came as a bit of surprise as my previous Bell unit as well as my Rogers unit from PCO, both got great reception up there. The signal came back as soon as we hit the town of Gracefield on the way home, so hopefully it was just a case of one tower malfunctioning.
The other interesting discovery was that when driven aggressively with no one aboard, my parents’ new aluminum run-about, with its 15HP two-stroke outboard, can be quite the thrill ride. I discovered that the motor’s ability to be aimed at nearly 90 degrees to the boat’s keel can make for some incredible lateral loads at speed. In fact, on a couple of “exploratory” runs, the cornering loads knocked me right off my seat and right onto the floor of the boat. Luckily, prior to those less than graceful moments, I had already realized the potential of the little beast and had hooked the motor’s kill-switch to my person and had dawned a personal flotation device.
The other neat trick is to bring the boat to a halt, point the motor fully in right or left and then progressively open the throttle. The centripetal forces builds so quickly I don’t think I managed to open the throttle more than one of third of the way.
All this got me thinking that it would be fun to bolt a karting seat to the floor so that just the driver’s head protrudes over the hull. This would help keep the driver planted in the boat despite the side loads and lower the total centre of gravity. Such an arrangement would also require a steering wheel, but I’m not sure if that would be possible with the hand-steered motor currently installed. It would be cool to have such a toy as it really would be a thrill-a-minute. Anyway, it could make a fun summer project for some future summer. If we do ever build such an animal, I think I’d get a helmet. :) BTW, the shots below were taken by my Dad with my camera (Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L with 1.4X extender on 20D).
Overall, it was good to spend some time with my parents as I really don’t see them as much as I should. We’ll try and get up there again soon.