Early winter/late autumn in Auckland New Zealand is a classic time of the year for generating fog. And so it was on this fine Friday morning when we got down to the boat ramp nice and early and could barely see our own outstretched hands! Pea soup, clam chowder, whatever you wanted to call it, we needed to wait a bit before we could safely launch. Fortunately our patience was rewarded as the fog slowly lifted revealing a stunning blue sky day!
Like many of our product testing days, we had a few missions to accomplish.We have been toying with the idea of building the world’s best pack-down Bimini (sun shade) for many years now.Other projects like the latest aluminium transom Discovery design and our QuickLok Dinghy Wheels have consumed all our development time so while the ideas bubbled away, we had to put the Bimini on the back-burner.
Finally with some spare time available we have been testing some concepts. Our goals with our Bimini are for it to be significantly better quality than the other offering out there. We have seen most biminis fall apart quickly and not handle the sun well - the irony is they are supposed to be designed to keep the sun off the boats passengers! We want our biminis to be strong enough so you can keep them up while motoring along, at good speed too. And finally we wanted a bimini top that can be set up and packed down super fast and be much more portable so you could always fit them in even when space was tight. That list of goals is a tall order but we believe we have ticked all the boxes, now for the testing phase!
Hand in hand with the bimini goes our new Premium Seat Bag.These bags are amazing.Built tough and waterproof, they securely hold all your important boating gear.Phones, wallets, keys, jackets, flares - you name it - they will be safe in these bags.We built these bags from a fabric called Stamoid which comes from famous textile manufacturer Sergio Ferrari.This is the fabric of choice for super yacht awnings and covers.Good enough for them - good enough for our customers too!For zips we used the well tested YKK nylon number 10 zippers.The zipper cars, and teeth are both made from a tough corrosion-free nylon to give years of hassle free service.
While the Premium Seat Bags have already been put through their paces in development, we still like to keep pushing the limits and using our products as often as possible.So on this day we had a bunch of tools in there, a warm jacket, microphone equipment, phones, etc
The final thing we wanted to do was test some props.Propellers are such a key item on any power boat but often overlooked and under-appreciated!When you think about it, it is only those small blades on the prop that are propelling you forward so you want to get them right.On this day we were taking out our dark grey Discovery 330, paired with a Yamaha 15F which had a Permatrim fitted on it.Our load situation was 2 blokes at about 85kg each and a bit of other gear.For testing we had the standard Yamaha 15F prop, plus 2 Solas props at 10 inch and 11 inch pitch.None of the props had any cupping added to them.
Sea state was pretty mint as you can see in the video.You can really notice the difference the Permatrim makes on the attitude of the boat.This is particularly noticeable on acceleration and in the turns.The reduced bow rise means there is less drag from the transom digging in on take-off - the acceleration really was effortless.The turned down edges of the Permatrim give more direct steering response and you can feel this in the corners - make sure you and your passengers are hanging on if you decide to turn at speed!
As for the results?We preferred the 11 inch Solas over the 10 inch.The standard Yamaha prop worked surprisingly ok (not the case for a lot of standard supplied props) but the Solas 11 inch pitch prop edged out the top end speed test at 36kph, 1kph better than the standard Yamaha prop.
As for the bimini testing? Well let’s just say it surpassed all our quantitative measures and we had big smiles with the results. These biminis are bristling with innovative ideas not seen before that will make your boating experience so much better. We all know how important it is to get out of the sun and protect yourself from its damaging effects, now we have the right solution for it. This isn’t the time to reveal all the secrets but all going well in production we will be rolling these out in July. Stay tuned and keep an eye on our website!