Dinghy Dingaling

So, our old faithful Bombard Tropik inflatable was getting a bit long in the tooth. But we launched it at Duncan Bay, motored around the harbor and over to the State Park and back. Then we let it sit in the water in front of our slip for three weeks. Good for another season.

To go cruising, we hoisted it up on deck, upside down, and left Duncan Bay. We sailed to Harbor Island, then to Hilton Beach, then to Portlock Harbor where I caught enough fish for a delicious dinner.

But, of course, it is necessary to go ashore to clean the fish. So we lifted the dinghy off the deck and lowered it into the water and walked it back to the stern of the boat. I hopped in. Jo said, Look at the water pouring in.” I said, “It must be the rain we had.” She said, “But the dinghy has been upside down on the deck. No rainwater thre.”

I was almost immediately up to my knees in water. I rowed it rapidly to shore and tipped it upside down. The seam along the port side had come completely undone–where the floor was attached to the side tubes. On the starboard side, a 2-foot stretch of seam had similarly come undone. The dinghy was toast. Why? I suspect the extreme heat of the week, with the sun beating down on the black seam, caused some glue to un-glue. Or maybe just old age.

After cleaning the fish, I rowed rapidly back to the boat, feet up on the side tubes out of the water. Then phone calls. Blind River Boatworks had no dinghy for sale and didn’t know who had. Superior Marine in the Soo–ditto. Kagawong–zip. Gore Bay had two in stock, about double the normal price. Boyles in Little Current could order us one, about a week delivery from Toronto, and at a premium price. We called an online company, Liberty boats, who wasn’t sure how he could ship one to Little Current or Gore Bay from Montreal. West Marine Canada had astronomic prices.

Finally called Drummond Island Yacht Haven–they could get us a Mercury, and at $960, a relative bargain price. So we ordered it. It would come by UPS, either the next day or the day after.

We sailed (motored) back to Harbor Island and on delivery day, called DIYH. Oops. The Mercury company  had shipped it by truck (freight) rather than by UPS. Joe, at DIYH, went into overdrive, located the truck shipping the dinghy, and sent a driver off to intercept the truck. Fortunate, since freight deliveries to the island occur only one day a week–the day before yesterday.

But the driver found the truck, got the dinghy, and brought it back to DIYH, 4 pm Friday, only a day late. Our cruise has been delayed a minimal 5 days.

It’s a chintzy dinghy, even though it’s a Mercury. It’s now held air for one full day. So it should serve us for the summer, at least.–rd

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