Monthly Archives: April 2012

Exploring…

Shawn/ April 23, 2012/ Boating, freshwater/ 25 comments

Went to try out my new inflatable boat, the Intex Seahawk 2.

The camera adds 50 pounds. =p

My brother with his kiddie life vest bought in Thailand probably in the year 2000.

Saw a massive Toman, probably 20lbs here. Smashed my underwater camera into my brother while I looked for my rod. Casted out a sasuke 105 silently (lure was already on the line) but the fella ran away!

The next day tryout on a solo mission. This time round, baiting/trolling.

Sitting cross legged is best here. Otherwise, you’ll get massive back pain from the rowing. No pins and needles probably because of the soft floor. Another seating position is to sit open legged (kang kang) but does not give you enough leverage to paddle swiftly and only works if you’re alone.

The boat glides effortlessly over the water but does not track like a kayak.

Total set up time is less than 10 minutes (including double checking everything) if there are 2 people. If you are alone, you’ll probably take about 15 minutes… or also under 10 minutes if someone is watching you (trust me).

This is a pretty damn cool boat and is cheap. Definitely an excellent “first inflatable boat”.

However because the floor is soft, I’d recommend against taking this out to sea. The seams and everything will definitely hold up against the salt water but unless you’re paddling out into calm water and have some kind of anchor or rope, you may be blown out to sea.

For safe excursions into the ocean, I’d recommend that your vessel have these 2 “basic” features.

1) Tracking as it keeps your vessel moving in the direction you’re paddling – i.e. not like a raft – and saves your energy by expending all your paddling power to moving the boat forward. Imagine a hovercraft that has 2 fans on the left and right instead of 1 at the middle. If you alternate turning each fan on (like one person paddling on alternate sides of the boat), a lot of energy will be wasted by the boat swinging left and right.

If  you use the oarlocks to row and are a newbie like me, you’ll find it difficult to sync your arms and you’ll still end up spinning (till you get used to it).

Because it is difficult to accurately add a tracking fin at the bottom of a soft floored boat (if you sit on it wrongly the fin could turn you left or right instead of straight and also because it will be nigh on impossible to safely fold up the boat once you’re done), you’ll be hard pressed to find an inflatable boat with such a feature. However, you could easily DIY one. But I would suggest that you add the fin by hanging it out over the stern. It will allow you to adjust your tracking while also minimising the chances of you accidentally adjusting it.

2) It should also have a rigid floor***. This is typically known as a Rigid Inflatable Boat** or RIB***. However those labelled as such typically have the hard floors built in. You could also purchase floor boards (or make them yourself) and place it atop the floor. A rigid floor will give YOU (not the boat), the ability to move around the boat easily. This is very important in case you need to jump to push the boat away from a navigational hazard, or if you need to embark on to or disembark from the boat. The lack of a rigid floor is not a deal breaker as a rule of thumb, I’d recommend this for any ocean expedition. Sans a rigid floor on an ocean expedition, I recommend you stay where you are and position yourself so that you are in reach of the most important things.

Kayaks are really expensive and take up a lot of storage space. Most of them also do not have the deck space to allow you to bring many things. More importantly, kayaks are potentially very unstable. There are a lot of benefits sure but weighing the pros and cons and taking the cost of an inflatable boat into account, I’d take the inflatable any day. Only the Hobie’s with their MirageDrive system (you can “paddle” the boat with foot pedals) has got me drooling.

If you don’t trust inflatables, get a portabote.

*** Editor’s note (27/02/2013):
A Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) or Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) is a boat with a hard hull like a normal boat but with inflatable collars on the gunwale. This type of boat is used by militaries around the world as well as search and rescue units. This is due to it’s immense stability and speed. The point made about a rigid floor is still valid though. Some of the ways to get a rigid floor include the following:


Shawn started fishing in 1994. He caught his first fish (an Ah Seng) on that very first trip to Changi Carpark 4 (before it was barricaded). He built up his fishing knowledge and gear over the years but still keeps his old gear, just like the memories.

One method to remove a treble hook from your skin

Shawn/ April 17, 2012/ Tips, Tricks and Guides/ 0 comments

While I certainly don’t endorse the method shown in this video, at least we now know that it is possible.

It may also come in handy if you are alone and urgently need to remove a hook, perhaps when longlining with a fish on the other end.


Shawn started fishing in 1994. He caught his first fish (an Ah Seng) on that very first trip to Changi Carpark 4 (before it was barricaded). He built up his fishing knowledge and gear over the years but still keeps his old gear, just like the memories.

Pekan Sailfish

Shawn/ April 17, 2012/ Pekan, saltwater/ 1 comments

These are photos from my first ever trip to Pekan for fishing and my first ever Sailfish trip in October 2011. This was with Nigel, Weiyee and Cindy on the famous Pekan Ricky’s boat.

I’m posting this for posterity.

I had brought a my brand new Tiburon Smart Shift reel for the Sailfish. In fact, I saw the guy who sold it to me also staying at the same place as us. I found that it was a bit too uncomfortable to fight a sailfish. I was not used to it and the ergonomic handle was not really ergonomic. The drag was awesome though. I later used this reel to fight a ~50lb Stingray in Singapore and found it quite good. Nevertheless, at the time I was not very happy with the reel.

The fishing was quite slow with only 2 sailfish being caught the first day and because of that, we dedicated the second day to sailfish as well. We also caught 2 sailfish this second day. Everyone shared their rods so that all 4 of us had a chance to fight a sailfish.

The guys (and gal) were very nice to me and Nigel passed me his rod and reel for the very first sailfish on the first day just so I could get a chance to fight the monster. Aside from the setting of the hook by the deckie, no one took the rod away from me. There were a lot of pointers and directions flying towards me but having fished with Icebomb and Weiyee before, I managed to filter in only the good stuff quite well.

I am very grateful for that as it is hard to find kaki like that. I am emphasising this point both because I am quite appreciative of their acts, but also because I recently went on a trip to Rompin with a friend, who’s friend kept taking away the rod from yet another guy to fight a sailfish. I know people like that.

Anyway, back to this trip. As far as sailfishing goes, this was not a really good trip and according to Nigel, it was a disaster. But in terms of the experience, for me, it was awesome.

So anyway, here are the photos.

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Shawn started fishing in 1994. He caught his first fish (an Ah Seng) on that very first trip to Changi Carpark 4 (before it was barricaded). He built up his fishing knowledge and gear over the years but still keeps his old gear, just like the memories.