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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nikki Rose upgrades


Nikki Rose has been put under a variety of tests ever since its been launched: speed, range under oars and motor, versatility and equipment capacity, ease of use and durability. Overall it has archived a well-balanced score on all levels. Some notes so far consist of the following: while rowing at about 75% of maximum load the rowlocks failed in shear – rowlocks are made out of high tensile plastic material, but that was not enough. I informed the BIC of the problem and got a set of the same rowlocks in the mail – they flat out refused to change the rowlock from plastic to higher-grade material. If you never had one fail on you, try rowing with one paddle – impossible. West Marine carries a stainless steel rowlocks; in my opinion, a must upgrade on any BIC 245 boat. While corporate concern for safety is “iffy”, versatility of BIC 245 model is unquestionable. I have found a very easy way to lift the dinghy onto the boat single-handed; it fits perfectly on the bow of Victoria and literally locks in at 90 degrees for sail locker access. In retrospect the 245 is still the best unsinkable dinghy around, especially for short-handling situations. Originally it was selected against others based on the following:


Length
Weight
Capacity
Cost
Weight to Capacity
Sinkable
KL Watertender
9.5
114
439
Low
26%
Yes
Pelican Scorpio
10.2
115
520
Mid
22%
Yes
BIC 245
8
86
551
Mid-High
16%
No
Portland Pudgy
7.8
128
557
High
23%
No

Weight to Capacity ratio was astonishing. BIC 245 almost matches infamous Portland Pudgy in capacity at third of its weight. Chart does not consider inflatable dinghies.

Minn Kota Riptide 45 with a full SeaGel 97Ah battery gives range of about one nautical mile (she motors for 40 minutes at 2-3 knots and 20 minutes at 2 knots) When rowing I can archive up-to 4 knots speed for relatively short periods of time. I didn’t invest in gasoline-powered engine for number of personal and technical reasons. Nikki Rose is 100% solar powered dinghy. 130 Watt Kyocera KC130TM is regulated by SunSaver Duo 25 Amp Controller that splits solar energy into two banks: main and emergency. SeaGel 97Ah battery acts both as “always ready” emergency bank and dinghy bank on the vessel. While ashore Go Power GPDL-10 10-Watt Self Regulating Unbreakable Solar Module charges the dinghy bank via car-charger type socket.

Nikki Rose can be used with the following elements depending on the landing situation:

Personal Life-jackets (always)
Standard Horizon HX850 Personal VHF with 12V charging cradle
Go Power! 10-Watt Self Regulating Unbreakable Solar Module
Minn Kota Riptide 45 with Minn Kota Trolling Motor Power Center
Guest 10 Amp Portable 110V Charger
(2) “Perfect” Bungee Cords
Overboard Waterproof Tube-like Back Pack
REI Camping and Fishing Gear
Aqua Signal White Stern Mounted LED Light
Fortress FX-7 Anchor and line
Scotty Throw Bag w/ 50 MFP Floating Line

Thermos Stainless Steel 1/2-litre capacity

Personal gear


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