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  • Robin Howard (a.k.a. Fishyrob)

Falling in love again...

A very busy boat shed at Pirate boats...

We had an agreement, that to purchase a boat ready to work was the only way forward for Brighton Inshore Fishing. Neither Bruce or myself are particularly "handy" in a tools kind of way. Neither Bruce nor myself are particularly inclined to find ourselves wandering around a wet and breezy boatyard, donning a blue jumpsuit splashed fetchingly in various chemicals and paint that once was firmly attached to a hull, or a cleat... Its just not a bit of us. I can completely understand that a lot of the joy of boat ownership for many people is in spending many hours fiddling with a spanner or a scraper. But for Bruce and myself, every hour wrenching and scraping, is an hour not fishing. A no brainer really...

Our first view of BIF 1

For two years I have been scanning the "COMMERCIAL AND WORKBOATS" sections of various online brokerages. Dreamy moments scanning "Cheetah Marine"'s shiny creations on their site. But always, stuck in my heart, was how perfect "Scooby" was for the job. I really wanted a coded version of her. Then my friend Matt Roberts, and his father Ed, purchase "Fly Fisher", a pirate 21 center console. She sports a T top and the console is encased in a kind of material cockpit. I was privileged to have many trips on her at Matts invitation. Her sea keeping was simply amazing. We caught many great fish on her. And I caught the T-Top too many times as well...

The ultra reliable Suzuki DF140

The clincher, was spotting a pirate 21 cc, fitted very basically, and being sold with a very low hours 2nd user Engine. From the Pirate boat yard itself. On the initial email inquiry, I asked if that combination could be sold coded, and with a MCA Category 5 certificate. The reply was positive. We were booked in to see her the following Monday.

The aft half... So much room to fish from with safe and even footing.

I was more excited for this trip than I have been for a long time. Thinking Wales is a very long way away, I arranged to pick Bruce up at 04:00. My girlfriend Ruth was also up for the road trip. We got away, and missed all the traffic, and I was in shock when about 2.5 houts later we were at the Severn road bridge. I have been over this bridge by proxy before. Via Gavin and Stacey. Things have changed. Namely, the toll... How much?? But they let the Welsh into England for free... A little after nine we were drinking tea with Tristan, the main man at Pirate boats.

40 miles an hour in a welsh river... chilly...

After tea is was down to the pontoon. I felt I perhaps should have been wearing more clothing. The weather had been stunning right up to the welsh border. Then, greyness and drizzle prevailed. Ten minutes later, as we were flying through the estuary where the boat was moored, at 40 mph, I was very convinced I needed more clothing. The wind chill was brutal. Tristan asked the three of us to hold onto something very tightly. We all did. Even so, the g-force generated as Tristan put the boat into a full speed turn was incredible. But the boat held so true, I would not have believed it if we had not just been part of the experience. Amazing. She hardly dipped at all. She didnt skip. She just held onto the water exactly as she was designed. By now, we were all chilly, We werent even interested to helm her. Just to get her to Brighton...

Bait wells - Hmm... drinks chillers??

I have to highlight at this point what an absolute pleasure Tristan at Pirate boats was to deal with. He very much knows his business.. Every question we asked was responded to cordially and more importantly quickly. And we even managed to haggle a bit off the final price (safety pack, coding, and auxiliary and independent fuel system for the auxiliary took us a little over budget). As we speak, coding "BIF1" is underway, and we get progress reports with every bit of, well, progress. We simply could not ask for more

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