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craigdritchie last won the day on June 14

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  1. Johnson Outdoors (parent company to Minn Kota) is in Burlington ... (905) 634-0023. Try giving them a call, I have no idea if they would have parts on hand but if not, they can at least point you in the right direction. Good luck.
  2. Ha! I don't know about the wannabe actuary part ..... but I guess almost 40 years as a writer is tough to hide.
  3. There are three main issues driving up the cost of new boats. That, in turn, is driving up the cost of used ones. First, supply chain issues remain a huge problem for pretty well every boat builder on the planet. Semiconductors, aluminum, plywood, stainless steel, resin, gelcoat, foam for seat cushions, and a whole bunch of other parts and pieces remain in tight supply. As a result, the cost of components and raw materials has skyrocketed. Shipping costs have also increased massively. The cost to ship a container of parts here from China is now 10x what it cost in 2019. Part of that is higher fuel costs, part of it is higher demand, and a big part of it is extra safety protocols to satisfy covid measures in ports, which are all government controlled. Finally, demand for boats since 2020 has gone through the roof. Dealers have very little inventory, pretty well all boat builders sold out their entire 2022 production runs long ago, and most of them are now well into 2023 meaning if you buy your boat today, it will be some time next summer before you see it. No one wants to wait, so that is driving up the cost of used boats. I don't see prices coming down. The reality is that we're going to see a lot of new, wealthy buyers coming into the market over the next several years as aging baby boomers die off and leave their assets to their kids. In the US, they're expecting millennials to inherit more than US$68 trillion from their baby boomer parents over the next 20 years. Canada's economy is around 1/10th of the US, so reasonable to think that here we're talking about $6.8 trillion changing hands over the same period. Even if only a fraction of these suddenly wealthy millennials become boat buyers, it's still going to be a huge number, and that will hold prices high.
  4. LOL ... yeah Chris, that's about the size of it!
  5. Grayling are a hoot. As Bill says, most of the rivers in the far north have them. Find fast water and you're usually into grayling pretty quickly. Anyplace where rivers flow into or out of lakes usually has loads of them. Easiest way to catch grayling is with an ultra-light spinning outfit and little spinners .... size 0 Mepps or a little Panther Martin is very tough to beat. Small hair jigs are also good. Don't bother with twist tails up north, they get destroyed quickly and are more fuss than they're worth. You'll catch just as many fish on hair jigs, and they're far more durable. Size matters more than anything else, so nothing bigger than you would throw for crappies. Fortunately, grayling aren't exactly shy, so you don't need to make long casts. To my mind, the best way to catch them is to fly fish with small (size 10 - 14) dry flies (any colour). The way grayling crush floating flies is just incredible, they're some of the most ferocious topwater hits you'll ever see in your life! I'm not a big fly fisherman, most days I can barely make a cast without hooking my own ear, but it's so much fun that's become pretty much the only way I fish for grayling now. It's easy, and it's a riot. A basic 5-weight outfit you would use for stream trout down here works just fine, and if you can cast even 15 or 20 feet then you're good to go. I became completely enamoured with grayling at one point and built a 6-foot, 3-weight G Loomis just for them. It works great - at least until a lake trout comes along (yes, they will also hit small dry flies at times) so the heavier outfit is probably more sensible overall. Most grayling you catch will be around 12 to 14 inches. Anything around 16 inches is a really good fish, and one over 18 is a monster. They fight like a whitefish, except that they're in fast water so it's a lot more intense. When they extend that big dorsal fin in the current it's like someone opened an umbrella underwater, and the fish just suddenly takes off on you. It's not unusual to have to chase the bigger ones downstream, especially when you're fishing in strong currents. Finally, grayling are superb eating fish, especially fresh-caught and fried up for shore lunch. Eat the average-sized guys and release the big ones. This picture is from my first-ever grayling experience in Manitoba, many years ago. We kept two fish for a shore lunch, and I wanted a selfie. With one hand on the camera, what's a guy to do? I will say it was a lot more rewarding about 20 minutes later after the things got cooked. Go do it - those northern trips are pricey but you will remember the experience for the rest of your life.
  6. The Freedom 16 is a really nice boat. You might also want to look at Starcraft's Storm 166 T, which is very close in size but has a different interior arrangement with an elevated front casting deck (the Freedom is flat from bow to transom). The bow deck in the 166 T is perhaps a little bit larger, and the hull has a bit more flare up front so you may find it a bit drier if you're running in a good chop. There's also a 166 T Pro, which is the same boat but with an in-floor rod locker in the bow deck. I've driven both the Freedom and the 166 T, and to be perfectly honest the biggest difference is the raised bow deck in the 166 T. If you spend a lot of time casting, it's something to seriously consider. Otherwise, they're both great boats.
  7. Legend have nice boats. But like all boats, sometimes you see them sold with smaller engines as a way to keep the sticker price down. Here are a couple of things for you to consider: 1. What does the boat weigh? I'm not familiar with the specific model you mentioned, but a 20 foot aluminium fishing boat is usually somewhere around 1,500 pounds empty. The old rule of thumb for horsepower is to go somewhere around 1/10 of the boat's gross weight. If you have a 1,500 pound boat, you'll probably be happiest with a 150. A 3,000 pound boat will usually want something in the 300 hp range, while a big, 8,000 pound centre console will need twin 400s. There are obviously a ton of variables here and loads of exceptions to the rule, but overall, that's a good starting point for powering standard V-hull boats. 2. What is the boat's maximum power rating? Something in that size range would usually be rated for 150 to 200 hp. If that's the case, then a 115 will be working awfully hard to move it around once you load it full of people and gear and fuel. Does it have a carpeted floor? If it does, and you're out there on a rainy day, the carpet will quickly suck up a couple hundred pounds of water, with a further impact on the boat's performance. There's a reason people tend to go with the maximum recommended power. 3. What's the additional cost to get a bigger engine? Normally the cost to go up one or two steps in engine size is fairly reasonable in the grand scheme of things. That's especially true when you consider its effect on resale value down the road. People will always pay more for boats with bigger power, so at least a chunk of that extra cost will come back to you when you sell it - whether you sell it privately or trade it in at a dealership. 4. Where are you planning to use the boat? If you're going to be putting around smaller, more protected lakes then that 115 might be just fine. But if you're thinking of heading out onto the Great Lakes on a regular basis, then you're going to want more power - not just for comfort or to get to the fishing spots faster, but for safety on those days when the weather doesn't do what they said it would. 5. Boats are often sold with smaller outboards to keep the sticker price down, but that could be more expensive in the long run. Engines that strain to push heavy loads day after day usually need more frequent maintenance than engines that push the weights that they were designed for. Buying a smaller engine can save you a few bucks up front, which you just hand over to the service department over time. Long rambling response to your question, but hopefully it gives you a few things to consider beyond just me saying yeah man, I think it's this or that. Regardless of what you do, enjoy the new boat!
  8. It seems like everyone has an opinion on this, or an opinion of the people involved. Putting that all aside, the security camera video evidence is crystal clear. https://youtu.be/KaQwdSekfQg At the 1:35 mark you can see the O'Leary's boat appear, with its lights on. At 1:53, it hits the other boat. At 2:10, the other boat begins turning on its lights. Regardless of who has money and who doesn't, the one thing that cannot be disputed is that the boat Mrs O'Leary hit did not have its lights on. The court got it right, fault lies with the operator of the second boat. Everything else is just window dressing.
  9. Virtually every manufacturing business in the world is having supply chain problems right now. Car, boat and RV dealer lots are empty because of manufacturer's having problems getting semiconductors, plastic resin, vinyl resin, steel, aluminum and, to a lesser degree, marine-grade lumber. When you can get it, you pay through the nose. Some of this stems from covid, some of it (semiconductors, for instance) stems from Trump's trade policies in the US, including restricting the importation of chips from China (where more than 80% of them are made). Most of the boat builders sold out their entire 2021 production run back in the spring, and several are now saying their entire 2022 production run is already gone. Delivery trucks come into the dealership and every boat on them is already bought and paid for by somebody else. Dealers can't get inventory to put out on the lot because pretty well every boat coming in already has someone waiting for it. It's not going to be a buyer's market for a long, long time - at least until these supply issues get sorted out, and boat builders catch up on what (for most of them) is already approaching 18 months worth of back orders. Even if boat sales suddenly tank, that's still at least two years away. Just saying ...
  10. OMC went out of business over 20 years ago - in December, 2000. Even if you can find parts, you're better off to junk the old engine and replace it with an outboard on a bracket. It will work 100x better, use way less fuel, and just be fewer headaches all the way round.
  11. If you're worried about the fuel capacity, Smoker Craft's Excursion 166T is very similar in layout and comes with an internal 24 gal / 90L fuel tank. I've driven a couple of these, they're nice boats. https://www.smokercraft.com/showroom/2021/fishing/excursion/166-t
  12. What I truly can't believe is that there are still people in this country who didn't see this coming. The call-in show I listened to over lunch was just amazing ... all these guys phoning in practically in tears, OMG I can't believe this happened, etc etc etc Once again, I will repeat the fearless prediction for the coming season that I make around this time every single year. Leafs will look great in training camp. Early season holds promise. In first place by Christmas! Start planning the parade route! Starting to wobble by the all-star break. <<< EPIC CHOKE >>> Watching the Stanley Cup final on TV - for the 55th consecutive year. Next year's team won't look a whole lot different than this one. Neither will the results. Sorry boys and girls, but that is the reality of Leaf hockey.
  13. If you're talking about the Nith River that flows into the Grand, then you shouldn't be targeting bass at all. The season is closed for another month.
  14. I've caught fish on all sorts of crap while joking around with friends: cigarette butts, gummy bears, surgical tubing, a ripped plastic bag, and even a carrot (trolled 70 feet down off a downrigger on Lake Ontario, no less). No way I'm coughing up $1,100 for a designer fishing lure. That said, good luck to the guy selling it. If he can find some fool to pay that much, then why not? Kind of reminds me of the artist who duck-taped a banana to the gallery wall then sold it for $120 grand.
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