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Author Topic: Birthday wishes etc.  (Read 1720 times)
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« on: January 26, 2018, 05:31:42 PM »

Many thanks to all of you who wished me a Happy Birthday on Facebook etc. I very much appreciate the thoughts.

Fortunately I am now able to enjoy the day after a couple of weeks of absolute agony, apparently brought on by a change in tablet doses which are supposed to keep me alive, but which were heading in the opposite direction apparently. My reaction to the heart medication is apparently quite rare and a bit unexpected which might have given me some satisfaction - but hasn't! My right arm was virtually paralysed and I couldn't grip anything much with my right hand. Both my thumbs feel like they were hit with a lump hammer. My knees hurt like h**l as did my already dodgy back and hips which practically left me immobile and definitely not capable of fishing from a FT,  or even operating a fly rod. I must say that getting older at this end of existence is not quite what I had anticipated.

In more comfortable moments I have been redesigning the control of the Watersnake outboard motor for my float tube. Hopefully I will be trialling this at Elinor together with  about a Mk.6 version battery box in an attempt to keep a dry power source. For those interested I have now bought a 24lbs thrust version of the motor which uses more amps, but should in theory be capable of better performance against the wind than the 18lbs thrust version. We shall see.

As a heads up to anybody getting a new Watersnake, I would suggest taking the lid off the top before trying to turn the control head around. The new version has a couple of little metal plates at the top of the down tube to stop the tiller handle fouling on the wires, these are designed to keep the wires to the side of the down tube. These plates will have to be loosened before the head can be rotated 180 degrees. On my motor they had caused the down tube recesses to cut through the wire insulation on the cables leading down to the motor, and would have made a dead short on the metal pipe if I had put a battery on first and switched it on! How these passed quality control I will never know!

The Watersnake ASP24 version also has the advantage of a tilt transom mount mechanism, which allows the prop to be lifted out of the water for launch and landing - if your arms are long enough and back supple enough to reach the release button. I twice managed to catch the ASP18 version on the bottom while landing in a gale - fortunately not breaking anything but, releasing the down tube from its breakaway mount. Getting the tube back in the mount is not for the impatient / faint hearted! Unfortunately the ASP24 version has increased in relatively considerably price in the last 12 months because it has been discovered by kayakers as a good system for pushing them about. It was only about £10 more than the ASP18 when I bought mine 12 months ago, but is now about £40 more - Who said inflation was running at a maximum of 3%?

At some stage when I feel really enthusiastic, I will collect all these musings and snippets of experimentation together, and produce a guide for anybody wishing to motorise a FT relatively cheaply. For those with deep pockets, have a look at the "Float tubes UK" website, where for about £1500 you can get an underseat version and more sophisticated system ready made. I reckon about £150 to £200 is plenty enough for crippled old pensioners. If you search the web you will come across some very weird and wonderful systems produced by some wild "rednecks" in the USA, France and Italy. How the devil some of them still have toes and have survived drowning is a matter of conjecture.
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