Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Putting on some mileage

One of the functions of having a bigger inshore boat is the ability to handle some rougher water and longer distances.  2fly, our Yellowfin 24, cruises nicely between 35-40mph while burning about 10 -11 gph-- pretty solid numbers considering the load of anglers and fishing gear we normally have aboard.

After a long summer with slower fishing activity in local waters, the brief window of early fall when false albacore make their appearance is thrilling. They don't call it "albie fever" for nothing! These little speeders can maddening, and light tackle anglers develop a love hate relationship with them.  Often challenging to locate and then finicky to hook, success attaches you to one of the more thrilling inshore species the Mudhole and surrounding waters have to offer.

We heard the first reports of 'hard tails' trickling in from waters east of us. Rhode Island first, followed by the New York waters of Montauk and Fishers Island, and then the eastern Connecticut shoreline. Like a nervous tick, the brain jumps back to chasing albies, distracting you from whatever task is at hand. finally, it's too much.  Despite busy schedules, we freed a Sunday and started prepping for the trip. Gear was laid out days in advance. We just needed to put the boat on the trailer.

The weather was the big uncertainty. As the weekend approached, east winds blew strong. That's rarely a good sign for good fishing. The forecast changed by Friday, and on Saturday it showed that Sunday would see rain progressively clearing eastward and then light southeasterly wind.

Having a plan in important. Adapting the plan to the situation is more important. We changed gears. Instead of trailering to Niantic (Plan A), we launched from the Mudhole in the late morning after the rain cleared. Plan B was to drive east and stop either when we found birds and fish or when we hit the rain line.

So we drove. The seas were confused but not big, and 2fly loped easily along at 35mph. We slowed to sight see in the Thimble Islands and poke around a few rips. We paused in Clinton to throw flies at a brief surface blitz of bluefish. We passed Niantic in fog and a brief sprinkle.  In front of the old Seaside Sanatorium we found birds and small blues blitzing-- along withe a blitz of boats! We paused and fished with the herd for a while hoping for albies. They may have been there, but we didn't see them. We chatted with some friendly folks as we tossed flies in a slowly increasing wind and then moved on.

We passed New London and continued down the shore. With no real action to speak of, it was time for a game change. "Let's run over to the Race," I suggested. By now it was noon, so we enjoyed a light lunch and cool beer as we reached the eastern end of Fisher's Island.

Immediately we saw fish on the surface.  Lunch was on hold as we cast into small 1-2 lb bluefish. It was entertaining, but these weren't the fish we'd driven all this way for. We moved south toward the The Race.

And then we found them.  Pods of albies up on the surface, here, there, gone, then back. Tucked into the lee of the island made the fly rods the best and most fun tool for the job. With Allie on the bow and me at the stern, we cast epoxy flies into the busting fish.

Laying it out

The of a tug on the line in your hand travels up your arm and down your spine like electricity.  Drags set tight seem to hardly slow these little speeders, which run as hard as anything pound for pound.

We boated a couple, broke one off, cursed at a few that nipped our flies but didn't connect, and laughed when our cast landed right in the boil on the water without success.  Albie fever indeed!

50mph does wonders for your hair

Three smiles for the camera

Meanwhile the weather was changing.  The wind had picked up, and we could see showers moving in from the southeast.  The radar showed a wet ride for the first 15 miles home.  We pulled on the foul weather gear, stowed the rods, and started the run for home.  The first 30 minutes were wet-- this is the tradeoff of having an open boat to maximize fishability.  We rode down sea in 3 foot waves, eventually running through the storm and into clearing skies.

Driving rain

Opening up the throttle, we pushed for home. Sun beamed through multilevel clouds, guiding us home in a golden glow.

No PhotoShop required

103 miles isn't something to do every day, but it's mighty nice to know you can. Bringing albies to the boat while waters in the Mudhole were empty made it all worthwhile.

Long run

Friday, October 31, 2014

Stolen by the wind

It is one of the great ironies of fall fishing. Big Stripers are migrating through. Bunker schools remain plentiful, at least this year. However, the days are getting shorter, and you find yourself reaching for fleece gloves as you head out the door. These last few remaining weekends to fish before putting the boat to bed for the winter are precious. 

And then there's this.

The seasonal transition kicks up the winds, robbing you of already scarce opportunities to get out on the water. This fishing year's not done yet, but the end draws closer. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Martha's Vineyard vacation with the family is a grand slam

Menemsha's swordfish harpooner

We had wind all week. 15-20 kts and greater was typical, and it was mostly northeast. This wasn't shaping up to be a good September vacation, at least for the fishing part. It meant more beach time with the kids, and that's also great.  Unfortunately with the strong winds, even finding a beach in the lee was tricky. On a Monday we ended up at Menemsha, and my daughter wanted to fish so who could say no? Unfortunately family patience being what it is when traveling with a 3- and 5-year-old meant that lasted about 15 minutes. Casting off the Menemsha jetty was just a tease.

The wind just wouldn't let up. A few of the places I wanted to kayak like Cape Poge Bay were just off limits. It was frankly frustrating, but at least it validated the decision to bring the kayak and not bother with the boat.

On Tuesday I was back at the jetty in Menemsha.  Recalled scenes from David Kinney's The Big One, the story of the Martha's Vineyard Derby played in my mind.  Sure enough, the fly rodders camped on the Lobsterville side, and the spin casters on the Menemsha. As a kayak, I was odd man out. I launched on the sound side from the beach and bobbed in steep 2-3 foot chop. I rode the strong current into the pond and fished there. I padded back out and fished the sound again. A small blue and a porgy were the only activity for me. The boys on the jetty didn't seem to be doing any better.  After a few hours of getting slapped around in the waves I called it a morning and headed for the house.

Wednesday was evening windier. I slept in. 

Finally there was break in the wind on Thursday. 


The weather window opened up only the night before. At first I was on the fence-- we had other family plans-- but this was the only window and I jumped on it. I got the boat ready the night before and headed out around dawn directly from our rental house on the pond.  

Windless sunrise

The tide was mid-outgoing. I threw a x-rap minnow in the water and trolled my way toward the pond cut. Bang! Fish on within 200 feet and I had my first striper of the trip. Just a schoolie, but a nice sight.

There were a couple other kayaks inside the pond near the bridge. I waved and headed under the bridge. It's low enough that you need to take down your rods, so plan ahead if you're sweeping through on a strong current. Now outside in Nantucket Sound, I set up to the side of the outflow and drifted with it a few times, casting into the current and letting my lure swing.  The fly rod was rigged and in the rod holder, but for blindly searching water the spinning rod is a more effective tool.  The bottom here is only 4- to 5-feet deep, but a 100 yards past the jetty tip it drops off quickly to about 25. I drifted past and then padded back up toward the bridge for another drift.

On the first return, I picked up my next customer, a bluefish who was also caught trolling as I paddled back upcurrent.  Released him with smile. "You know," I thought to myself. "Add an albie and it's a slam." It wasn't a greedy thought, more idle musing. 

I decided to fish the drop off and switched over to a bucktail tipped with a zoom fluke. On the first drift I had several sharp taps. No connection. The next drift I got the tap again and set the hook hard. This time it held true, and a nice fat black sea bass came to hand.  He looked awfully tasty, but the house didn't have a cutting board and I was feeling lazy, so he went back in. "Three species morning," I thought.  This was fun. 

A couple power boats drifted in the area, waiting for albies to show. One had a couple guys with spinning gear.  The other was a solo fisherman with a fly rod.  The gear guys were impatient, fanning the water with casts, getting nowhere. Fly guy waits. Eventually the gear guys get tired of flogging the water and motor off to parts unknown.

Now it's me and fly guy. I slowly paddle toward the jetty tip and set up just west of it out of the current. Silverside form clouds in the clear water. They are everwhere.  My spinning rod is stowed. An 8-weight is in my lap with line stripped out. I throw a few casts at the jetty to see if anything's stirring there.  Then I drift and enjoy the view.

Fly guy and I look at each other and nod. "Lot of bait," I say. "Now we just need to guest of honor." 

"Look behind you," he says, and points. 150 feet away the tell tale slash of false albacore on small bait blows up in the shallow water off the jetty tip.  I grin and paddle in their direction, 15-20 hard strokes. Then the rod is in my hand and I fire a cast. Buck fever has a grip on me and it's not a great one. I back cast again and fire it off. Strip, strip, strip and the fly is in sight.  Another cast, and this one gets some distance. It lands in the area where they'd boiled ten seconds before. I strip once, twice...

and the line stops.

In my limited experience with albies, the hook set happens so quickly that I've focused only on getting the line cleared and the fish on the reel.  This one was different. A head shake. A pull. The fish didn't run. "Bluefish?" I wondered to myself.

ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!  The fish was off to the races. Denial was over and it ran for it's life, burning drag and streaking backing toward the west. I laughed out loud and called out a thanks to fly guy, who waved. He was quietly motoring into position for his own shot. And my fish headed for for the horizon.

He began to tire and slow. I glanced down at the GPS display on my kayak and found that mighty little 8-pound fish was pulling almost 250 pounds of kayak and angler at 2 mph. He tired and I gained line. With the shallow water he couldn't bring the fight vertical, and I had a hand on his tail in short order.  A quick photo op and off he went.

And an albie completes the grand slam

It was then that I realized I'd pulled off my first grand slam, from a kayak.  I chased another school for 10 minutes, but it was time for breakfast and it really couldn't get any sweeter. I paddled back into the pond, where I had a slight delay casting at yet another albie boil before heading back to the house.

For our next trip I now have some intel on where to trailer launch a boat. That creates some interesting possibilities so long as there's a place to store the boat on shore. The ferry fee is less than a slip, and it eliminates the uncertainty of a bad weather crossing forcing you to change your plans.  The wheels are already turning...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dog Days

They refer to the "dog days of summer" because Sirius, the dog star, is visible in the sky.  Most striper fishermen, however, think it's because the fishing is for the dogs.  I had a nice long dry spell from July 3 through August. Admittedly it was partly due to lack of effort at the right times of time.

The determined fishermen go nocturnal or log many hours in the car heading to points east. For me it's a chance to catch up on sleep lost during early morning outings in May and June. Don't get me wrong-- being able to play on Long Island Sound while the water is warn is terrific. Family outings become more of the focus when the fish aren't around. We go sailing. The kids have a blast on snapper blues.

Happiness is a tug on the end of your line.

This summer it does seem that there were fewer big fish around. There were some stripers around for people making the effort. We had a few fun outings casting small flies to 12-14" bluefish blitzing on the surface, but they seemed to average on the small side

What's nice to see is the quantity of bait. Schools of adult menhadden stuck around all summer, and they've grown fat while enjoying respite from harassing schools of big stripers and blues.  This gives hope to fishermen hoping for a good fall run.  The calendar and morning temperatures in the forties tell us that it's fall. The fishing is getting interesting again.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Game Time in the Mudhole

This year, it seemed like spring just wouldn't arrive. Every time nice weather seemed to be on the horizon, it snowed again. Even my snow blower gave in to the heavy toil and died.  Everyone was tired of winter.

Not only was spring late, but the stripers seemed to be, too. In early May, Long Island Sound water temps were still in the forties. Cool temps, wind and rain seemed to dominate the weather pattern. The flowers in our garden ran two weeks late.  

Finally the bunker arrived, and with them the bass and the blues. It's been game time in the Mudhole.
Bunker school at dawn
This year the bunker arrived thick. Whether or not you chose to believe or accept it as hyperbole, the tackle shops are buzzing with comments about "the best year in the past ten years for bunker." Or fifteen years. Or five.  At any rate, there are a good number of adult bunker that moved moved into the local harbors and estuaries by the middle of the month. So far, they've stuck around, which means the fishing has been good.

Typical fish this year have been 20 to 30 pounds

When big bass are your target, and the big bass are on bunker, you have to fish bunker. Although I would prefer to fling big bunker flies into schools of fish boiling on the surface, that doesn't seem to be common this year in the Mudhole. The fish tend to be deeper. This part of the spring run seems more of a bait game to me. 

Sleep patterns suffer this time of year. Collecting bunker for bait is best done in the wee hours of the night. That means a 3am wake up and being on the boat by 3:30 at the very latest-- it's light before 4:30.

An angler abroad: Tom returned to his former home for some saltwater fishing

The most rewarding aspects of this type of fishing, this time of year, is the accessibility of big fish. Experienced or not, a fisherman with the right bait, at the right time, and in the right place can hook big fish.

Steve's first striper-- spoiled for life by a 22-pounder

It's a great way to spend time with friends. It's nice just to be on the water after the long winter, and most other boaters have just started thinking about getting themselves ready for the season.  At 4am you're the only soul stirring on Long Island Sound.

So, here's to game time in the Mudhole. To fishing with friends. To another year on the water.

Bill "Saltshades" assesses the girth of a bass

Allie's first bluefish of the year

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mudhole Expedition: Destination Idaho

A vacation to visit family in Boise happened to fall on Father's Day.  As it happened, my cousin recently celebrated the birth of his first child, and therefore this Father's Day-- his first-- had some special meaning.  Our wonderfully understanding wives encouraged us to go hit a stream and enjoy ourselves for the day.

As luck would have it, I happened bring waders and boots. Coincidence? A borrowed five-weight and a few flies from a Boise shop were all the gear needed for the day. We hopped in the car and drove a bit over an hour to the South Fork of the Boise River.  The river is a nice wadeable tailwater, a canyon cut through the high desert. Above, grass and sage dominant. The river is lined with cottonwoods and bushes. Gentle runs, riffles, and faster rapids are dotted along its length, and each of these sections hold wild rainbow trout.

South Fork from the rim

Cloudy skies and temps in the high sixties were promising. I like clouds because the fish are less shy. We needed the temps to warm enough for the bugs to hatch, though. We were hoping for two big insects to bring the trout to the surface.

The first were cicadas. We could hear them signing in the cottonwood stands as we drove the dirt road along the river bank. Figuring that some of these might be blown into the river by the occasional gust of wind, I tied on a foam cicada pattern the size of a couple peanuts still in their shell. 

Jason opted for the second pattern, the salmon fly. These large stoneflies hatch this time of year, crawling from the river bottom to the shore where they shed their skin and unfold new wings to dry in the sun before taking flight. Nearly the size of my pinky finger, they make a pretty irresistable meal for a hungry trout. 

Salmon flies make a meaty snack for big fish

We fished a gentle riffle section for an hour or so without getting a hit. A father-son duo in a pontoon boat came down and hooked a fish from a deep run on the opposite bank. The son was at the oars, and the dad was throwing big subsurface flies.  Another great Father's Day in progress.

Since the action was slow, we paused for lunch.  Sitting on the bank, we watched a small caddis hatch in porgress on the far bank. We noticed salmon flies pulling themselves up on the rocks at our feet, a positive sign for the afternoon. Maybe the warmer temps would trigger something.  Jason suggested that we move downriver to see if the hatches started earlier there, a somewhat typical pattern.

It's a true pleasure to fish with someone who knows their game well. Jason pulled the car in next to a likely patch of water. Rather than splash right in, we fished the water we wanted to wade through. About six casts in, while I was talking and not paying attention, I got my first tug of the day. "They're heeeeeee-ere..."

Not paying attention, I botched the hook set.  However, it was the shot of confidence that we needed.  We started moving upriver, Jason along the near bank and me up a bar toward the middle of the river. 

Jason had the first fish.  It had a fat belly on it, the kind that droops over your hand as you support the weight of the fish. These fish were well fed. The big bugs were making them aggressive.  

We left landing nets in the car, which made landing the fish a little tricky.

Tricky landing
Unfortunately, landing the fish cost him a broken tip section. Thankfully we weren't far from the car and a spare tip, and the fish was worth it.

Got it!

Jason hopped upriver a hundred yards and the two of us started working up. It was great water-- bouldery with lots of pockets, varying depths, and currents that ranged from a crawling pace to a fast run. Likely trout lies seemed to be everywhere. 

Pockets and seams

The pocket water made for short, technical casting. Anything longer made getting a drag free drift for more than a few seconds nearly impossible.  Instead, it was a fun game of stealthfully moving into position and dropping a short cast into the current seam, hole, or gut that you wanted to work.

'Bow in hand

The fish aggressively took the big flies we offered. It was fun to prospect with a dry fly-- not something a salt water guy normally gets to do. By the end of the day, I'd landed, broken off, or missed hooksets on enough fish to have had my fill. The sun came out from behind the clouds. The spectacular nature of the place takes over and the fishing no longer matters.

Happy Father's Day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Shallow runnings

"So, I noticed the charts here show a lot of water from zero to one foot deep. Exactly how shallow will you run one of these boats?" I asked.
With a laugh and a easy smile, Captain Mark hooted over the wind "Where I'm taking you, that depth finder isn't even going to read!"
Owning a new boat is an emotional experience. Not on par with major life milestones, but certainly one you'll remember. My first kiss, graduating from school, my wedding, my children's birth...  and the first time I ran the boat aground.

Not something you want to remember, and it's especially worse if the memory isn't "that time I put the boat on a rock" but is "that time I put the new boat on a rock."

Captain Mark flashed a mischievous grin. "You might want to let me drive."  I stepped away from the helm, trying to ignore the bottom skimming beneath us or that the depth gauge on the display read simply "--".

When we picked up 2fly and headed to Boca Grande for the week, I had three missions in mind.
1) Have a great time getting to know the new boat
2) Catch some fish
3) Don't put the new boat on a rock
Hiring a guide seemed like a great way to maximize our chances of success for all three goals.  At the suggestion of some of the great people at Yellowfin Yachts, I contacted Captain Mark Liberman. Mark operates a Yellowfin 24 himself, and he's happy to guide off your boat, too. With luck we could learn about fishing an area I've never been while getting some tips on running the boat.

Our first few days we were on our own. We stayed in the channels and diligently watched our depth. We moved slowly in waters shallower than 3-4 feet, and we frequently used the trolling motor to reduce the risk of banging up our shiny stainless steel Mercury prop. 

Now we were skimming south on Pine Island Sound in three feet of water, the Yellowfin 24 loping along at an easy cruise speed, me at the helm and Captain Mark at my side pointing the way. The broad open water of Charlotte Harbor was behind us, and bottom flashed beneath us with patches of sand and turtle grass as we weaved through braided islands and channels at 40 mph.
"You might want to go sit up toward the bow.The motor tone and pitch increased as Mark trimmed it up more than I would have thought prudent, and the prop launched a fountain aft and upward from the prop.
A Yellowfin 24 draws 14" according to the manufacturer's specifications. With the prop down it's deeper. With Mark at the helm and the speed up, we skimmed along less than a foot above the bottom.  A state of suspended disbelief set in as my brain tried to reconcile this with new-boat-owner anxiety. Stop worrying, smile, enjoy it. It seemed impossible but we never hit, and I know we could have run it shallower.

For someone coming from the Milford Mudhole, where the tidal range is 6-8' and depths change quickly, this was an education. So what did I learn? 
  1. Commitment. Once you're shallower than you can draw, you have no choice but to continue until you reach deeper water.  You better know what's around that next bend...
  2. Planning. You need to make sure you're going to a place with deeper water so you can stop without settling the stern into the bottom. You also need enough depth to accelerate to a plane again without damaging the turtle grass beds and leaving ugly prop scars.
  3. Go on a diet. Fuel is heavy. Water is heavy. Gear is heavy. People are heavy. Leave it at home or plan to stay in deeper water as appropriate.
  4. Motor trim. You can trim the engine up more than I was comfortable, to where the prop is partially exposed like a surface drive and the water intake will still be deep enough to cool the motor.  Raising the jack plate will get the motor up, but can also lift the intake too high. Trim also helps get the skeg up a bit higher.  Even trimmed up this far, the boat has plenty of power to stay up on a plane.
  5. Weight management. Even on a boat this big you should get the boat running flatter by moving heavy stuff forward. Full coolers and people should move forward of the console. Live wells should be emptied if possible. Don't let the stern squat if you don't have to.
  6. Local knowledge. Pine Island Sound typically gets a one-foot tidal range. A strong northerly or easterly can blow all the water out of the sound, and a southerly or westerly will fill it up. Our visit coincided with a full moon, and the astronomical high tides gave us a bit of a safety factor. Another day or a different breeze would mean areas that Mark took us would no longer be passable.
With Mark's lessons fresh in our minds, we ran the boat from Boca Grande to Pine Island for a relaxed lunch at the Tarpon Lodge.  On the way home we headed back across the sandy flats rather than the channel. With the boat hardly touching the waves, I trimmed up and smiled as the depth finder displayed "--".
We slowed the boat as we neared Mark's intended fishing spot.  He sprang to the bow and lowered the trolling motor. As he did, he grinned broadly and said, "I bet you didn't know you'd bought a flats boat!"
And Mark put us on some fish, but that's another story.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

2fly's journey home

Months of anticipation finally brought us to the big day-- our delivery date at Yellowfin Yachts arrived.

We chose to pick the boat up in person. Most people get their boat delivered to a local dealer. There are some real advantages to the approach. They make sure everything is running properly and clean all the road grime off the boat so that you can just step aboard and turn the key.  I looked at the cost of delivery and decided that a pick-up in person would cost about the same, with a cool vacation thrown into the bargain.

The plan was good. We would leave the kids with the grandparents. We would drive down from Connecticut to Boca Grande, FL. After enjoying the island and relazing on Sunday, we would drive to the Yellowfin Yachts factory in Bradenton, FL, to pick the boat up and sea trial her on Monday. Then it was back to Boca Grande for four days of boating and fishing. Being mid-April, we knew that we were on the early side for tarpon season, but our hopes were high. If nothing else we would have fun on the boat and explore an area we've never been.

Packing was a large undertaking, this being a boating/fishing/vacationing type of trip. Rods, life jackets, EPIRB and even paddleboards made their way into the Suburban the weekend prior to the trip.  Being so far ahead of ourselves gave us some thinking time, and that always leads to no good.

"You know," I joked to Allison, "we could leave right now.  The boat is ready."

"Really?" she replied. "Ok!"

Now, I didn't quite know what to do here. My off the cuff suggestion certainly wasn't serious.

She continued.  "If we leave tomorrow"-- today being Wednesday-- "we can drive all night and be at Yellowfin by noon on Friday. Then we pick up the boat and have it to play with all weekend instead of wasting Monday picking it up."

She made some good points, but it was a hard sell. There were things to be done, responsibilities to be responsible about.  I did what anyone in my shoes would.

"Uh, ok!" 

So after a brief scramble to make sure all the supporting logistics were in place for an earlier departure, we hit the road 24 hours early and drove through the night.

Years of racing sailboats at regattas around the country have turned us into a well oiled travel machine. We stopped only for fuel and made terrific time.

Somewhere in Maryland, 1,000 miles to go

We pulled into the factory right at noon on Friday, about 20 hours after departure. Kevin, who manages Yellowfin Yachts' small boat business, was waiting for us and invited us in. A few minutes later, 2fly was pulled out from the detailing shop.  We went over the boat and systems in detail with the Yellowfin crew, hitched the boat, and hit the road.

Driving away with the new boat, it kind of felt like stealing. "It's still following us," Allison said several times.

We made the hour-long drive south to Boca Grande without incident. We easily found our accommodations for the night, The Innlet. It's a low key hotel with slips right out your front door.  We splashed the boat for the first time.

The rest of the week was terrific.  We learned how the boat handles.

64 mph
We enjoyed a pretty spectacular place to stay once we moved into our rental house.

Home for the week

We had friends come join us for part of the trip.

Jeff and Tracy try for redfish.

We did some fishing for species I haven't targeted before.
Sea trout


Had some interesting by-catch.

Blowfish on a Zara spook.
Met some locals.

Shortly before the first bird droppings found their way on the new boat.

Took advantage of some of the fine restaurants in the area that provide dockage like The Tarpon Lodge and Cabbage Key.

Arrival at The Tarpon Lodge

Departing Cabbage Key

Our only disappointment for the week was the wind, which just didn't want to let up. The area was in its 7th cold front in three weeks when we arrived, and the 8th visited before we left. The wind and waves stirred up the waters of the sound and filled the water with sand, driving most of the tarpon into the Gulf of Mexico. We could have jigged or bait fished Boca Grande Pass, but instead we choose to fish the skinny water with light tackle.  More on that another time.

Our trip was far too short, but I suspect we'll be pay another visit in the future. While prying ourselves away from Boca Grande was tough, the real purpose was getting 2fly home. Hitched and loaded, we hit the road and pointed the Suburban northward.

We burned some fuel

After 3,000 miles round trip travel we pulled into home.

Now begins a new chapter in The Mudhole Chronicles.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Powering up

The motor -- a big beast, the Mercury Verado Pro FourStroke-- has been mounted on transom. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2fly's console comes together.

The build is moving fast now.The console rigging is nearly complete, and it should go on the boat shortly.

Into the console-- port side
At the top of this image you can see the Simrad NSS8 and Mercury VesselView7.

Lower on the left is the battery charging system. The right side is mostly components of the CZone electrical system.

Yellowfin does a beautiful job bringing order to what could be total spaghetti.

In the console-- starboard side view
 Here's the opposite side of the console.  Left side is the NEP-2. All the electronics are networked now to share information between them. This is part of the backbone.

The white and blue box is the JL Audio amp for the stereo. The head unit is the multi-function display.

Above that, the black box is the 'brain' behind the audio, the SonicHub.

Highest in the and installed at an angle is the back of the Standard Horizon radio.

Top of the console

Why compasses seem to have gone out of fashion in some boating circles is a complete mystery to me. Every boat should have a compass.

Left is the VHF antenna. Yellowfin typically installs a short steel antenna inside the console. It's an elegant solution to having a big whip in the air, but the range is terrible. We opted for a removable model, the Digital 222 VW.

On the right is the Sirius/XM weather antenna.

Dashboard view

She has a wheel! It's amazing how a single addition can have so much significance.

All the major pieces of the dash are in. A few controls remain.  Next up the console gets installed on the hull and the systems connected. 

Trim tab installation

Work on the hull continues as well. In this photo the trim tabs get installed.