Last October I brought back to England my elderly (1992 vintage) Avon dinghy as one of the patches that a previous owner had stuck on the underneath was starting to lift. Like most of my good intentions the job was put on the 'back burner' until a week before I was due to come back out to Greece when I realised my Hypalon two pack adhesive and patch material were still in foreign parts, on Hindsight! Fortunately in the sail loft there was some scrap Tear Aid, a brilliant clear repair material which we use for all sorts of repairs where stitching would be inappropriate, like delaminating 'plastic sails' invisible mends to foul weather gear etc etc.
With now over five weeks of the dinghy bobbing gently in our wake it hasn't budged an inch however last nights electrical storm followed by fearsome winds and torrential rain resulted in some 50mm of rain dumped in the dinghy. Getting rid of that rainwater? I must confess at the moment I still rely on brute strength and ignorance; pull the bow of the dinghy up over a guard rail covered with Andy's split tube* and a couple of sail chafe protectors (maybe that's why the original patch started to fail in the first place?).
However my 'neighbour,' clever folks these Germans, didn't do what I did (and he has an extra eight years of maturity on me, me 'slightly' over seventy). He got into his dinghy with what looked like, from 15m away, a Whale easy bailer stirrup pump and within less than five minutes his dinghy was empty. No strain on his body and no possible damage to the dinghy. Was he feeling a little smug watching me struggle to get my boat upright? Heaven knows, however I did feel maybe a little smug as my Vulcan anchor (designed by the guy who invented the Rocna) held last night whilst his 'plough' type anchor did not and he ended up almost alongside Hindsight! He told me earlier that he had been approx 400m to windward of us when the breeze picked up!
Methinks a little plastic pump such as the Whale Easy Bailer might be a useful addition to our inventory next year, what say you Jenny? Or to make it even easier, how about a Seago battery operated pump? Just press the button on the top and wait for the water to empty!
* Don’t forget that stainless steel will rust if not exposed to air. Split tube should either be a loose fit or if snug removed on a regular basis and trapped dirt removed from the wire.