16 Mar 2012

Boating World’s Greg Alice joined Lowrance’s John Minnie, Mikala Plotz and Ricky Moss for a personal training session with Jean Schoonhawen on board his grandfather “Schoonies” the new Fairline Squadron 42 which is moored in Gordon’s Bay.

Boating World always undertakes to make sure their clients are well versed on every aspect of their craft including handling, electronics etc and having the Lowrance team down in Cape Town was a huge plus in Jean’s favour.

Having recently had two brand new Lowrance HDS-10 units, 3-G radar, XL-9 chart and autopilot installed, he was determined to understand the setup and integration of his sophisticated units to operate them to their best advantage – especially as he is a very keen angler and crayfisherman.

Knowing that the best biggest and best fish can be found out in the deep, the party set off for Cape Point intending to get some clear 50kHZ readings. John put out a line in an attempt to catch some baitfish but within a few minutes had to admit defeat as the further out they travelled the more the wind and swells gathered momentum.

 As expected the Squadron 42 with her powerful twin Volvo 435HP diesels handled the rough conditions with ease and even when operating at full throttle of around 30 knots she could barely be heard.

Soon it was clear that they had to turn back and to their relief the trip did not have to be abandoned completely as closer to shore conditions were much calmer. Cruising along the coastline gave Jean the practice he needed and after a couple of hours he was operating his new equipment like a pro. While travelling over reefs in shallower waters, he learned how to look for baitfish balls, interpret readings and he was even able to identify birds in the water close to his boat.

This dual-control 42.5-footer (beam 4.22m) has a beautifully spacious flybridge and the party agreed that this was the perfect spot for the training session. They could all relax comfortably seated out in the open while Jean learned the ropes right there alongside them.

The sophisticated helm which houses one of the HDS-10 units has all the mod cons from a wheel which tilts, sliding seats to well -placed throttles and foot rests.  And from here the pilot also has complete control of the motors.

The flybridge area which is completely open, features an icemaker, sink, fridge and BBQ griddle – though sadly there was not enough time to braai that day. Instead they stopped off at the Yacht Club at Gordons Bay for lunch - mooring right outside. Derrick Levy arrived a little later to take another interested client on board.

Greg took them on cruise from Gordons Bay to Seal Island, Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Simonstowns and back over five hours. Seals, dolphins, naval ships and helicopters on training manoeuvres.