Lucky for us the family cottage is still in the family, so we have a place to stay while we wait for boat repairs to be completed. The original cottage structure was built 1938 and remained mostly unchanged until my parents bought it in ’75 and added some upgrades over the years. My sister and I are now the proud owners of our current humble little abode.
The cottage sits in southwest New Brunswick on a body of water called Oak Bay, within site of the US border. Oak Bay leads into The Bay of Fundy, well known for some of the highest tides in the world. The picture shows the beach at low tide, but it looks completely different at high tide when the water level almost reaches the top of the retaining wall. The water is also really frikkin’ cold, currently sitting at approx 10C/50F degrees!
The property is in a rural location so there happens to be a lot of critters around to keep us company…in the past month we’ve seen deer, ground hogs, porcupines, coyotes, foxes, harbour seals, and of course squirrels, chipmunks and birds galore.
“Go pet the pretty kitty.”
The fox population seems less than thrilled that we moved into the neighbourhood. We’ve smelled the distinctive odor of a skunk in the area but thankfully haven’t encountered it up close. There has also been a black bear cub sniffing around some mailboxes, but we haven’t managed to catch it on camera, nor seen mama who is likely close by.
Looking for things to occupy us, we decided we wanted some kind of boat to use while we are here, but of course didn’t really want to purchase anything since we didn’t know how long we would be staying. Cue “family to the rescue” once more, with Christa’s father providing us with an Espadon S137 and a Honda BF100. We think the boat is from 1980, but can’t say for sure. The motor has serial number B100S – 1500406 which put it between 1972-1979, closer to ’72 based on info from Honda. There are very few hours on it, so we should be good to go.
It’s old enough that it doesn’t have a safety lanyard and kill switch, just a simple on/off button. We may rewire that as the boat’s a lot less stable than our dinghy which is a RHIB, and the waters can get a bit sporty here at times.
If you Google “Espadon” you could end up in any number of places depending on where the search geo-tags you. Espadon is French for Swordfish, and there currently is a boat manufacturer in Tunisia called Espadon as well. Our little 14′ aluminum (or is that aluminium?) boat was built in Princeville, Quebec, hence the name, but calling this fella a swordfish may be a bit ambitious.
Christa’s father generously replaced the motor mount plywood, as the original had long since rotted away.
We also bought these awesome little transom launching wheels from Beachmaster of New Zealand.
After a test fit, it’s always great to drill holes in your boat.
We placed the wheels as far apart as practical to ensure a stable base, and to be out of the way of the motor. Of course the rear seats were right in the way and held in place with rivets that needed to be drilled out and replaced. Another trip to the store since we didn’t have any rivets or rivet gun here…
Four holes each, some stainless nuts/bolts/washers and of course the ubiquitous 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive/Sealant. When the wheels are up, we get no adverse spray behind the boat. With the wheels down, they extend just below the length of the outboard’s drive leg, completely by accident, which makes beaching very easy. Just motor towards shore and when the wheels touch, hit the off button. Very slick!
While cruising we got exposed to people using tiller extensions, whether purpose-built or from PVC pipe. The extensions allow you to sit farther forward in the boat/dinghy for better weight distribution. It also makes it possible to stand up while steering so you can actually see where you are going. As the water here is rarely clear, very shallow, and full of nasty obstacles just below the surface, we “borrowed” a 30″ length of PVC from our neighbour, and after an end cap with some anti-slip tape we were good to go.
Structurally it was in great shape, but the paint was a bit tired, so Christa got to work sanding down the “interior” so we could give it some primer and two coats of new colour with some anti-skid. Yes…that’s periwinkle blue.
Behold the mighty Espadon. Ready to ply the waters of Oak Bay and beyond. Eager to strike fear in the hearts of…well…nothing. But hey, we have a boat to play with! Hopefully lightning won’t strike this one.
Yes…I’m compensating with the length of my tiller handle.