The Maiden Voyage of Ruby – my new Alumacraft!
Many of you had the opportunity to meet Ruby, my new Pro 185 Limited Edition Alumacraft, at the fishing and boat trade shows this year. I even started an album on Facebook for those that jumped aboard to get their photo taken. Needless to say, there was much anticipation to get my boat on the water this year as it is my very first boat! The maiden voyage was this past weekend. I chose the Napanee River as the place to cruise, break the motor in and do some fishing of course!
My first trip out! My dad accompanied me and took this photo.
I will admit, I felt nervous before getting out on the water. I wasn’t sure if it would be complicated or stressful driving an 18 and a half foot boat. Lots of thoughts running through my mind mixed with so much excitement. After all, this boat would give me the opportunity to take others fishing and there’s nothing better than that. I wanted it to be easy to handle and operate.
It was as simple as turning the key, putting it in reverse and backing off the trailer. I felt completely comfortable from the moment the motor fired up and I drove down the Napanee River feeling overwhelmed with happiness. This is it and I’m not dreaming. I’m driving my boat! My dad and I cruised down the river for about an hour and a half following the instructions to break the motor in. What a nice trip and great scenery as well!
It was difficult to sleep that night due to how excited I was to get out fishing the following day. I had been watching the weather forecast and it was not looking good. A lot of wind, rain and storms have been passing through the area. The morning was nasty, but the afternoon forecast was looking a little better. The winds would be high but the Napanee River offers shelter from the wind at times and I just couldn’t wait to get out. Matthew Heayn and I launched the boat just off Centre Street and made our way down the River in search of some pike and walleye.
The first two official fish in the boat were 2 nice sized northern pike! I caught them both on Terminator Spinnerbaits.
Matt brought the first walleye into the boat!
I’ve received messages inquiring how I’m liking the boat and what accessories I have added. Here are my thoughts so far and I will discuss more in later blogs as I’m fishing more:
The boat handled well in the wind and didn’t make us uncomfortable at all even in the 30-40km gusts. The dual console gives shelter to the passenger and the console compartment is handy for tools, cameras and cell phones, etc. There’s so much space on board which is great because I like to keep the deck tidy and free of items.
For electronics, I went with the Humminbird 858c (Fishfinder GPS Combo) at the console and on the front of the boat is a 788ci (Internal GPS HD Combo). Very easy to use considering I haven’t read the instructions yet, so I know there’s a lot more that these units are capable of! I’m so pleased with the Minn Kota iPilot matched with the Terrova Trolling Motor and the Talon (Shallow Water Anchor) to aid with navigation and boat control. The iPilot is incredibly helpful and gives the ability to steer by foot pedal or remote (and so far I have preferred the remote). The ability to spot-lock the boat and go grab the net, or assist with a fish in the back of the boat is a great feature. We used the Talon to anchor down in a sheltered area to hold us in place while we took photos, so I can tell that it will come in handy a lot! I went with a Yamaha 75HP Four Stroke, which I’m very pleased with! My dad called my grandpa on his cell phone as I was driving back in on our first trip out – yes, it’s quiet!
On the third trip out, my grandpa joined us. I think he has been more excited about the boat than anyone! The afternoon wind calmed a bit, so the 3 of us (Matthew, my grandpa and myself) headed down the River. The wind picked up shortly after we got out and was pretty fierce. I kept asking my grandpa if he was comfortable, which is important at his age (he is 80). He sat in the chair on the back of the boat and fished away as happy as could be! He even caught a few fish:
He brought this one home for dinner!
The biggest fish aboard Ruby so far was this 18 pound channel cat caught by Matthew! I wrote about it in my upcoming column in the Kingston Whig. What a fish!!
I know this year is going to be a great one and I look forward to more trips, fish and blogs about the adventures aboard Ruby! Thanks for reading and sharing! Your support is incredible 🙂