On tour at home and abroad with the Sumpners

The view below is Holmbury Hill, Surrey

Boating on a Budget

We love boating – mainly canals – but cannot really afford or justify the expense of owning a boat, but last year we hit upon the idea of a blow-up boat. They are very popular for tenders in the UK and for fishing in the USA. We did our research and found the Intex Excursion 5 seemed to fit the bill. We wanted to be able to share our boating experience and it seemed just the job. As you can see from the link, it came complete with oars and pump – everything you need, really, to start boating on a budget.

We took it to Switzerland and France last year and had great fun boating on the lakes. We also plan to take it on canals an other waterways , here in the UK.

Boating on Lake Thun, Interlaken

We had great fun with it that summer, but over the winter we got to thinking about extending our range. Paul-power is great but an outboard would be even greater. More research ensued and we first bought the Intex Motor Mount, which we could use with any outboard we chose.

After more research we settled on a Bison 40ft/lb electric motor. Next came the battery to power it. We sought advice from the Fishingmad team (where we bought the outboard) and they recommended this Tayna Powerline Leisure Battery. Finally we need a battery box and settled on the Bison one, which seemed to represent very good value for money. And we can even charge our phones from  it!

And that’s it. Here is a cost breakdown. I have shown rounded figures (although Paul is in the marine trade and managed to get a good discount) and the prices quoted are what would normally be payable :

£
Boat 120
Mount 35
Outboard 110
Battery 54
Battery Box 60
379

We have recently used all the kit for the first time and are delighted with it.  We reckon we can get between 2 and 5 hours – depending on speed etc – with this combination of kit. And we would always take the oars in case of breakdown/ engine failure.

We plan, at some point, to remove the croc clips on the outboard power cable and replace them with suitable ring terminals so that they are less likely to become detached. This should cost almost nothing but help to avoid risk of losing power if a croc clip gets knocked off the terminal.

Here’s to some happy time times messing around on boats – on a budget.