Trans Am in Tinker
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 07:05:20 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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We're back. Julie and I retunred on Thursday after trailering
our Potter 15, Tinker, 6500 miles across the Trans Canada highway
and back through the U.S. I am happy to say that we had virtually
no problems and great sailing and camping.
Tinker was carried on a Highlander trailer with the motor
mounted forward off the winch support. Tongue weight apx 100
lbs. Wheel bearings, with bearing buddies, were greased at the
outset and before each launch. Bearings are original equipment
('92) and ran cool the whole way. They have well over 20,000
miles on them. Tires showed very little wear after trip. We
used a '99 Honda Odyssey with a v-6 for our tow vehicle. It worked
very well.
We left Ashville, NY, to Niagara Falls and up Trans Canada
to Thessalon Ont. the first night.
Our first sail was in Lake of the Woods. We found that
Marinas would often sell us a slip for less than campgrounds
charged for a site, and that was true here. $10.00 for launch,
slip and car-trailer storage. Beautiful sailing. Off early
next morning. Crossed Canada on what is basically a two lane
highway with passing zones. Able to do about 70, with little
traffic. Interesting Driving. Took the Northern route to Edmonton
and parked in there huge mall (800 stores) to shop, see dolphins
perform, watch people swim in a giant pool, and then a few yards
away, watched people skate on a full sized hockey rink. Traveled
through Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff - breathtaking snow capped
From there we headed for Lion Bay in British Columbia, where
we again found a marina. We sailed among snow capped mountains,
and through beautiful islands. It was spectacular. One of the
most beautiful places we have ever sailed. From there we headed
to Oak Harbor on Whidby Island, WA, where we attened a family
The plan had been to take the boat, via Ferry, to Sidney
on Vancouver Island, and sail to a family reunion on Belle Island
in the Canadian San Juans, but constraints of time, contrary
wind and currents and the $130 one way ferry fee seemed prohibitive
for three days, so we left the boat behind.
Back in Oak Harbor we sailed from the municipal marina and
enjoyed the area. We left on August 15 so we knew we had missed
the rendezvous at Tahoe.
Across parts of the U.S. we were able to travel as fast
as 75 with the boat behaving nicely. Our van was much heavier
than our Subaru had been, so we felt more confident at speed.
We travelled through the Cascades in Washington and then picked
up 90 and 80 for our return. We did not sail at all after we
reached Washington.
We knew that Tinker was a fine little sailboat and that
she trailed easily. What we found out was that she was a dandy
camper as well. Her 6' bunks are comfortable, dry in all weather,
and provide a secure place to sleep that needs minimal setup.
Of course, we ate at picnic tables and used campground/marina
facilities, and we did motel it on two occassions. We wee able
to average about 20 m.p.g. for the trip. We were told that campgrounds
might frown on people traveling in boats, but that was not ever
true. In fact, in Lake Louise we felt we got preferential treatment
because our rig took so little space. It was a great trip.

The boat, motor, and trailer beahved flawlessly. One more
thing we learned, though, was that "cotter rings" used to lock
clevis pins in place, will sometimes vibrate loose if they are
not tightly closed. It is wise to check shroud attachments before
erecting the mast after trailering. Tinker was a great traveling
companion whether we sailed her or camped in her. She was well
worth taking along. We couldn't believe the number of "thumbs
up" we got from passing motorists.
Smooth sailing...Hank and Julie, P-15 "Tinker" #1981.

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