30 Apr 2014

Escapade in Thailand

Hi Mary, Curt,

 Sorry for the delay but been running around quite a bit. I successfully have had two very nice excursions in my new Escapade. I really love it and I’m quite impressed on several fronts. The overall quality, fit and finish etc. is shall I say, “top drawer”. The rotational molding approach really seems to work out well. Comfortable motion and everything functions reliably and predictably. The quadritwist works brilliantly. The storages areas are simple and work ok. I was worried about the “built-in” flexibility of the rudder and prop but that seems unfounded as they work perfect. The bilge pump works great. After washing the boat with fresh water it’s amazing how much water hides somewhere down there!

 The design is outstanding. Pedals effortlessly and moves through chop and 2-3 foot waves with ease. Dry and seems to not lose any momentum through swells and the directional tracking is nothing short of phenomenal. The seat is quite comfortable and the steering is nicely responsive and easily controlled. Ok, I’m sure you’ve already heard all the accolades from other customers.

 Let me tell you about my first two outings. My primary home is in Sri Racha which is a seaside community. Quaint and at the same time a bit busy with nearby fishing and mussel farms. The later should give some indication of the coastal depths. Very shallow. Launching and retrieving really is only feasible at fairly near high tide. After about an hour of just getting familiar with the boat we anchored and visited a friend for lunch. I didn’t calculate very well the tide movements and as you can see by the photo we were left literally high and dry! Drank a few beers and waited about 4 hours until the tide returned. No damage to the boat but just a bit longer visit than we’d planned. The coast there is like knee-deep for hundreds of yards. But once well enough offshore we really got a chance to learn the boat. Fun but not the ideal coast.

 Yesterday I took the boat to our beach property in Rayong, Oriental Beach Village, which is only about 1:20 minute drive. We live there about half time. In the picture it’s a few houses back from the beach. Ironically the coast line there is perfect for the Escapade. The slope is angled so that launching and retrieving is a breeze and tides don’t make much difference. Many little seaside restaurants places to explore. It was/is delightful. We pedaled around for about 5-6 hours and really really enjoyed it. Granted a bit sore to be truthful, but that’s a nice pain if you know what I mean. Good exercise and badly needed. The only somewhat negative was the temperature! This is the hottest season in Thailand and now in excess of 100 degrees most days. It was pretty hot out there! (We have 3 seasons; hot, hotter, and hottest). J I think I might experiment next time with the windshield removed. But it looks so awesome with the windshield in place. The water is like bath water warm so getting in and out of the boat is not uncomfortable. You can see some small islands off the coast that are really nice for picnics and just goofing around. Only a few miles offshore but once there it seems like a million miles away! I’ll keep the boat stored near the beach house with a guy who will launch/retrieve as often as I like, clean, maintain and keep ready for about 30 bucks a month. I’ve had “boatboys” with my other sailboats and it still amazes me how inexpensive this service is. I just phone up and tell him I’m coming and everything will be all done and ready to jump in and pedal away when I get there. When I return I hand it over and he does the rest with clean-up, washing and storing etc. One of the nice benefits of living here. Good cheap labor that makes things really convenient. (Live-in maids, cooks, drivers, gardeners, etc its cheap to have a personal staff. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

 I made a few additions that were simple and are working out well. I have two types of anchors and both function nicely. A sand anchor that screws into the bottom (you can see in one of the photos) and a standard small Danforth. Both very easy to use. On my anchor line I’ve added a Danik Hook. Nice little adjustable device that makes anchoring even easier. When not in use its attached to a small eye strap on the right side that you can also see in one of the photos. You can see my waterproof Bluetooth speaker (A33 from TDK) up in the bow for some music. Its mounted on a shelf made from one of my wifes cutting boards! Now instead of serving up tuna its serving up tunes! J  I added two drink holders, an emergency paddle, a throw flotation cushion, whistle and horn. (Waterproof GPS on order). Fishing rod holder being considered. A small portable cooler holds the drinks we take such as Gatorades etc due to the heat. Now the escapade is truly customized and it feels like “mine”! Hmmm,,,,now just for a name??? My next ride this weekend will likely be with my little buddy Boston Terrier dog. He loves the water and he is so excited with the boat too.

 I better stop here or I’ll just keep rambling on!

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