We’d been planning to return to St Abbs for a while now but the weather always seemed let us down during my days off. The forecast for the weekend ahead looked promising so we packed the van a couple of days early ready for a quick getaway if the conditions remained calm. Surprisingly they did so we set off around 4am on the Saturday morning. The journey was expected to take the usual 2 hours but took slightly longer, as due to a change in vehicle I was in a slightly slower transit minibus. We arrived there around 7am as we stopped a couple of times along the way to take a few pics. My wife wanted a pic at the England – Scotland border. We had with us my Honda Honwave T38 inflatable boat and Yamaha 9.9 outboard motor.
On arrival the place looked deserted apart from a couple of locals and the tide was quite high up which was perfect for launching the boat.
At low water there is a drop at the bottom of the slipway so launching and landing are only possible from half tide up to high. The slipway barrier wasn’t locked so we were able open the barrier and drive the van close to the slipway. We set up the boat in about 45 minutes then moved the van into the proper car park. We made a boat assembly video for my Youtube channel as I’ve had people asking me to show the complete setup process from vehicle to waters edge.
We decided to make a few boat videos before we started fishing, showing the performance of the Yamaha 9.9hp 4 stroke. Now was a good time as there were no other boats about to get in the way of. I did a few laps around the harbour with my wife recording the footage. I wanted to check how quiet the engine would be for slow trolling.
The day was supposed to be for fishing and we tried all the usual spots but after a couple of hours of blanking, we didn’t even catch any Coal fish which was a let down as we always catch them. We even tried to find the wreck called the Glanmire which was apparently a mile or so offshore but with my GPS giving me false readings we gave up on that idea and headed back closer to shore.
Footage of the Yamaha 9.9 HP and the Honda Honwave T38 at sea.
I noticed a bit of a problem with the floor of the Honda Honwave T38. Whenever we got to a certain speed the floor would start to raise in the middle and air would be sucked under the boat and the outboard would seem to leave the water. You can hear this in the following video. I have since researched this issue and according to some of the forum posts on Honda Honwave inflatable boats, it’s quite common on airdeck boats, especially the Honda Honwave T38. The key is ensure that the air deck is fully inflated to the recommended psi. This sounds quite simple but you need to allow for the water temperature and the drop in pressure that will follow as the air condenses within the floor. It is recommended that you use the boat for 10 minutes then recheck and adjust the pressure accordingly. I’ll know for next time.
By midday we decided to return to the harbour as we weren’t catching anything and we’d been out for around 5 hours anyway. We had the Yamaha 2.5hp 4 stroke outboard in the van so now seemed a great time to give it a run out. I’d never tried it on a boat that big so was keen to know how it would perform.
Obviously it was not designed for a boat that big but I wanted to use it only as a backup engine anyway so I needed to see if it could push the boat along at a reasonable speed. Here are a couple of videos of the runs. It performed well under the calm conditions of the harbour but I know it would struggle in rougher conditions. I’ll maybe keep a lookout for a 4 or 5 hp to use instead but I do like the compact size and lightness of the Yamaha 2.5. And weighing in at only 17KG it can be carried easily unlike the Yamaha 9.9hp 4 stroke (40KG or so).
For Honda Honwave inflatable boats: http://www.honda.co.uk/marine/products/inflatables/overview.html
First time out in the Honda Honwave T38: https://stufishing.com/day-honda-honwave-t38-ie-inflatable-boat/