British Float Tube Association

EVENTS 2021 => Discussion 2021 => Topic started by: bracken on January 14, 2021, 10:42:12 AM

Title: A lonely Voice from the past.
Post by: bracken on January 14, 2021, 10:42:12 AM
Hello to everybody - and as far as possible in the prevailing catastrophic conditions, a happy new year to you all.

I'm not sure how float tube fishing will go in the current situation where one is banned from travelling more than a few yards from home, but hopefully things will improve after we have all been vaccinated. I don't get to hear very much of what is going on in everybody's lives these days, but some of it is not as good news as I would have liked to hear regarding health issues of the old guard and their kin. Hopefully things will improve for all of you affected. As I write, I'm sad to report that it is unlikely that I will be able to venture forth on a big windy lake in a float tube again - immobility and overweight has finally caught up with me, and made me reassess what is safely practicable in order to be fair to everybody else around me. I'm fairly certain that even Ric would be hard pushed to heave me out of the claggy mire these days. (Kennick at low water a couple of years back)!

I had a nostalgic view of Foremark earlier this week when two young ladies made an appearance on the TV by having the audacity to want to go for a walk there, and unfortunately made the acquaintance of the local constabulary. I reflected on fishing there one morning with one of our more interesting past members - who had enough high explosive in the boot of his car, (licensed and legitimate I might add), to have blown up a substantial area if he had set it off. I guess a car search by the boys in blue that morning would have caused some excitement and a wry comment or two on here. Those were the days!

It would be nice to see a bit more comment and interaction on this site from some of the membership. This will still be one of the primary 'hits' and a showcase when searching for Float Tubing UK and there is quite a lot of useful information here. Some of it needs updating by a better man than me, and the site needs a good literate person to take it in hand and keep it interesting. It would be good to see some of the apparent myriad of new members taking a more active role in the organisation. Facebook is all very well, but be warned that it can be a dodgy / dangerous place, and be careful what information it gleans and squirrels away about you!! Nuff said!

Title: Re: A lonely Voice from the past.
Post by: buzzerman on January 16, 2021, 02:45:54 PM
HiTony good to hear from you. Don’t be hanging your fins up yet there is always help on hand from members at events You have always been overweight so you can’t use that as an excuse either. As soon as we have the all clear and hopefully members of a certain age have had their arms jabbed a fixture list will be organised. We have lots of new members who I can’t wait to meet and I’m sure old stalwarts like yourself will be able to advise them on our great sport.
So no excuses Tony get your fat butt out on the water again as soon as it is safe to do so. Rik has gone down the motorised route with the customised madcat tube due to his girly knees that he will hopefully be having replaced in the near future
Brian might be able to help you as he seems to always forget his kit so will be fishing from the bank at lots of fixtures
Hope to see you all soon on the water and I’m sure all our thoughts are with our Chairman at this difficult time for him and Sue

Title: Re: A lonely Voice from the past.
Post by: phil p on January 17, 2021, 09:28:06 PM
good to see your still about have the help from all of us dont worry about that. i waiting for this lockdown to lift and im out on the water

Title: Re: A lonely Voice from the past.
Post by: bracken on January 26, 2021, 11:13:01 AM
Thanks for the kind words and offers of help Steve and Phil. If I do ever get back near the water in a FT the assistance will definitely be required. As some of you will know I have had difficulty putting my left fin and boot on for some years. I cannot even put a left sock on now, and have to rely on the goodwill of the resident gardener to do it for me. Getting old is a bit of a pain, but as my Doctor said the alternative is not very good either.

I have received my first Anti-Chinese biological warfare jab, and got the aching arm to prove it - hopefully I - and several million others - will get the second dose before this one wears off completely.

I'm very interested in Ric's motorised FT and would like to see and hear more about it. Is this the developed tube that our Dutch colleagues were testing and starting to sell a couple of years ago, (but you needed to be very rich to buy it)? As you will know - based on my fairly extensive experimentation on this topic, I eventually came to some worthwhile conclusions about motorising a FT and one or two commercial types were just beginning to become available which I thought showed a lot of promise. If anybody is interested I could be a bit more forthcoming on this topic.

Title: Re: A lonely Voice from the past.
Post by: Ric the Red on January 27, 2021, 09:59:20 AM
Hi Tony

Glad to see you have had your jab, now according to social media they can follow you now the have the tracker( dick heads)

The tube I have got is a Mad Cat 180 float plus ready. This is a bladerless tube with 2 sections, also inflatable seat and deck same as Brian's tube. The pockets are large and detachable.  Comes with 2 carrying straps. It has a motor mounting point fitted to the bottom of the deck. You also get a decent  repair kit and some elastic bungees to assist fitting the control box.

The motor fits in the mount in a fixed position and the cable goes through a hole in the deck were you attach it to the control box/ battery pack. Your controller has a sling that you wear around your neck.

The controller allows you to change the speed letting you hold position in a strong blow or you can get it moving at a normal tubing speed. Stearing is done as you would normally do at low speed but when I am being daft and go to "Max power" then I just stick my fins out the water and let water pressure change direction.

 I have had no problems with the fully charged  battery lasting the day, first time out at the Mighty Bower covered loads of water much more than I have under paddle power and still had juice left when I came of the water. Times when I have not used it much  on a light wind I have got 3 trips out of it, the charge in the controller goes before the main battery, this has happened once so I placed the battery box on my rod holder tray and put the controller in its charging slot and carried on.

The kit comes with a charger and takes a few hours to charge, the controller has its own charging port in the box for charging, you also get a dead man strap and some more bungee cord and ends to make up some more straps to secure the box, the box itself is not fully water proof so I secure this to the top of the net behind the seat.

The tube itself is well made and robust but the zips on the pockets are not up to much, these are detachable and large, I have broken one of the zips and Covid has closed down the place I need to get in touch with, also the sewing on one of the straps went, so repaired and reinforced these. The seat is also detachable and held in place with Velcro, I do not think this tube is as comfortable as my old Fat Cat but the pro's out way the cons.

The other thing is cost but with my crap knees, waiting for 2 complete replacements but am on hold till this Covid thing is sorted I would not be on the water.

With the motor being on the bottom you have to be careful I damaged  the motor mount on a big blow at Lady Bower but managed to get a replacement part sent over and got it sorted.

Hope you found that interesting mate.

If you fancy a  whirl once Boris has sorted these unmasked party going knob heads and we all have the jab and " tracker " give me a shout and will meet up in the middle somewhere can meet midweek if that helps as I am now a lady of leisure.

So all in all I am a happy little tuber with this set up, sell some body parts change a few bundles of those  white fivers from in the mattresses to some current coin of the relm and get back out on the water.


Title: Re: A lonely Voice from the past.
Post by: bracken on February 03, 2021, 07:00:45 PM
Thanks for the reply Ric. This sounds like an interesting development and you have given a good description and report on the set-up.

I did make and test out a motor head mounted under the seat arrangement which I thought was a rig with a lot of potential. The biggest downside was the motor hitting the bottom when launching or landing. The potential answer was a tubular frame of two loops rigidly mounted either side of the prop and a little deeper than the diameter of the blades; this would potentially hit the bottom first and save the motor and prop - particularly if a strong mesh went underneath. The Motörhead I used wasn't powerful enough on my version. I also reckoned that a case which contained both the motor and battery box would have made a tidy design. (Most batteries are li-ion 18650 based packs so could be assembled in any shape you like). I guess if somebody has a 3D printer and a bit of CAD  knowledge a suitable unit could be designed without too much hassle.

Does the tube have an inflatable rigid bottom? My early Snowbee version doesn't have this which is a grave deficiency. I think the Rider and some more recent newer designs do have better stiff base arrangements.

Battery boxes are best kept dry with Li-Ion cells in them. My mobility scooters even warn against getting them wet. I didn't experience a problem but who knows what might happen?