A few more bells & whistles AND a Name!
When making long runs on unfamiliar water I usually have a chart that I follow. Most river channels in my area are marked but if I decide to leave the prescribed route it is nice to have an idea of what’s down there. Occasionally, during periods of lax attention, I have used the lower unit as a depth sounder but this is not a recommended procedure. I had tried just placing the chart on the berth hatch but to read it I had to pick it up with one hand and try to read it. Not an easy task. I decided I needed some type of a board to hold it. I really didn’t want anything mounted permanently, as it wouldn’t be needed and in the way for local runs.
I fabricated a board from 1/4” plywood and decide to hang it on eyehooks from the berth hatch. The bottom is support by extending the lower rail out far enough to catch the edge of the instrument panel which makes it set at the same angle as the panel. To remove it I just swing it up from the bottom and allow the eyehooks to fall free. I am really not wild about the looks of the eyes that are screwed into the hatch but it works.
A minor item that I added was more the comfort of my wife. She complained about sitting on the vinyl seats in a swimming suit. Usually she draped a beach towel over the seat but it inevitability would slide off. I decided to buy a few yards of terry cloth and sew up a set of seat covers. They slip over the seat back and wrap around the seat bottom. An elastic band sewn in to the outer edge of the bottom cover holds it in place. They can be used during hot weather but quickly removed when not needed. She is happy which makes me happy.
The only major change I have made (major = $$) is replacing the trim tabs. I had become dissatisfied with the tabs I had installed. I guess for the $100 I paid they really weren't that bad. But for me there were two problems. The first was they were a little hard to adjust. I couldn't just "add a little" to get the correction needed. The only way to get what you need is to add a lot and then ease off a little at a time until the desired result is obtained. Kind of a pain but it was functional. The other problem was more of an aggravation. I boat on rivers. Rivers ALWAYS have junk floating in them - sticks, leaves, plastic wrappers, etc. And this stuff always seems to end up stuck in the venturi water pickups that cause them to stop functioning. It was usually easy to clear, as normally just backing up would force it out. Some times I would have to actually reach down and manually clear them. A few times I had to use a dowel rod or pencil to force a stick out.
If you are running in open water this probably wouldn't be a problem but for me it was. I just finished a 5-day 900 mile trip in the CS and I found that once every hour or so I would have to stop to clear them. This was OK (still aggravating) until I came up a large lake fighting 2 to 3 ft waves straight off the bow. I had to use full trim to force the bow down to keep from pounding me to death. I ran for 75 miles this way at about 12 MPH. Fortunately they didn't clog. If they had there was no way in water that rough that I could have hung over the transom and cleared them.
When I got home I ordered a set of Bennett hydraulic trim tab and have them on now. They are a pure delight - easy to use and very effective. But my wallet is $350 lighter too!
I guess I would sum it up this way - I like having trim tabs. To me they are mandatory equipment on the CS if I want to run at speed in any thing over about 6" waves. All depends on what you want to do and what you want to spend. Ain't it always!!!!
And finally I have decided on a name for my Cabin Skiff. I have had a few ideas I liked and many I didn’t. It’s been almost a year since the maiden voyage but at last I have made the choice – THERAPY. I think it describes the boat’s role in my life as both a project and it’s on going use. Somehow it just fits.