The other week I wrote about the Edgewater from my family’s point of view, if you haven’t already, you can read it here. Since then, I’ve managed to clock up 5 hours by getting the boat out on Sydney Harbour a couple more times, admittedly, I haven’t a lot to show for it but I have been able to spend some time towing it on the road; getting a feel for the launching and retrieving process on my own; figuring out my storage and access; and moving around in the boat.
My last, was a dream trailer. Aluminium I-beam frame, dual load sharing axles and to top it off, it was fitted with electric over hydraulic brakes running to all four wheels. When required the brakes would pull the car and boat up as if the trailer wasn’t even there. Changing to a galvanised steel trailer, with a single axle and an over-run hydraulic brake setup that was fitted only to the front axle, I was a little hesitant. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this setup. The trailer tows well, tracks straight and pulls up nicely. I guess I was just spoilt, going from a trailer with all the ‘bells and whistles’ to a premium trailer without the overkill.
It was pretty much a known fact that launching and retrieving wasn’t going to be as easy as a bass boat. Bass boats are pretty much fool proof when putting them onto the trailer. If you don’t get the boat in the correct position when approaching the trailer, the skids will pretty much self-centre the boat. It’s then just a blip on the throttle, attaching the winch strap and away you go. However, this trailer is a little different. It has a combination of rollers and skids, it has taken a few outings and attempts, but I have learnt that when backing the trailer down into the water there is a sweet spot, where if I go any deeper, the back of the boat will float and any shallower and the back of the boat can skew off to one side of the trailer. Like everything, it is taking a little bit of time to understand all the little intricacies but the important thing is that I can handle this boat on my own without too much difficulty, even on busy weekends in the middle of summer.
The storage setup is completely different to what I’ve come to get used to. The fact that there are no rod lockers and deck to strap your rods to is probably the feature I’ll miss most. In saying that, it is pretty handy when you manage to sight some fish busting up the surface and you pull up, as you walk past the console, you just grab a rod out of the rod holders and keep walking. Aside from that, there is a tonne of room in the front hatch for most my tackle as well as the room under the console for any overflow, safety gear, camera bags, clothing and anything else you don’t want to get wet. In the console there is a double cup holder to throw extra bits and pieces like phones, keys, loose lures and maybe even a drink. And if that isn’t enough room for you, then there is also the compartment under the very front of the boat where I keep my anchor and a couple of fenders, the esky that sits in front of the console as well as two storage compartments under the two rear seats. Available storage on this boat doesn’t look a lot from the outside but once you start filling it up you realise just how much there is.
My last few trips have been chasing the kingfish, salmon and squid towards the mouth of Sydney Harbour. While the average size swell wasn’t any obstacle for the Edgewater, it was evident with the increased summer traffic from recreational boats as well as ferries, cruise-liners and pilot boats stirring the Harbour up like a washing machine, that this boat was capable of so much more. It would push through the chop with a welcomed comfort moving past much bigger boats with ease and when sitting out near the heads in what looked like a washing machine, I was pretty comfortable and confident with my purchase.
These have been some little steps in what I hope to be a much bigger journey. As I grow more comfortable with this boat, I have no doubt I’ll be pushing it further and harder with Josh already planning a few so-called ‘missions’.