The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bic Balbao Kayak Mission

In the last days, the sky has alternated between brief sunny periods and dark low clouds as I sit at my desk translating my life away.

My last guests have left: a German and his teenage son on a surfing holiday. They promised to be back in Easter.

Looking back, it seems that the first rental season wasn't too bad. My net house-rental income covered my boat expenses. The boat, does anything else matter? 

Bic Bilbao for Sale
Leaning toward a Bic Bilbao

Got serious about buying a kayak instead of just looking at Internet ads for used kayaks. Because I don't have the time to actually go out and get one, I made a "formal" commitment to the plan.

Ana and I took a quick trip to Decathlon in Torres Vedras after lunch. Besides some cheap shirts, I also bought 2 foam rolls for transporting a kayak on the jeep's rooftop.

Pretty much like committing yourself to buying a boat by getting an anchor and chain!! Easy logic, right? And to think that my parents used to say I was wasting my time studying philosophy.

Anyway, I did get a second-hand Bic Bilbao kayak for 200 euros and I'm quite happy with it. It came with a paddle, life jacket and helmet. The paddle will suffice.

Why am I happy with it? It's fairly easy to load and unload onto/from the car roof, it's stable, it goes fairly fast and tracks well without too much effort. It's also dry, except for some water drops that flick off the paddle and collect on the seat getting my bum slightly wet. For 200 euros I got a maintenance-free unsinkable vessel that's a lot of fun. It also tows really well behind the boat.

The one setback is that I have to get my feet wet getting on and off from the boat ladder. It's nearly impossible, or a least very risky, to get on and off without placing my feet on the underwater ladder rung in order to bring my butt more level with the seat.

Surprisingly, I can also transport a fairly large load in a water resistant bag. I wouldn't recommend carrying valuables such as a computer in a normal bag. The kayak is stable but there is always a higher risk of dropping something in the water during the loading and unloading operation when compared to an inflatable dinghy.


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