The option of taking a ‘tinny’ is being explored by increasing numbers of grey nomads as they seek out fresh adventures on their travels.
Bringing a boat certainly adds an exciting new dimension to the Big Lap. Waterways that were once just backdrops for a scenic photo or a place to cast a hopeful line, are transformed into highways to excitement, exploration … and possibly a fish-filled freezer.
The key questions any traveller should ask themselves as they ponder the take-a-tinny dilemma are: ‘will I use it?” and ‘how much will I use it?’
Aluminium boats are often surprisingly light and boat-loading technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, thus significantly reducing the hassle factor of taking a tinny. However, lugging a boat around a continent is still something you’d prefer not to do … unless you were going to regularly get it wet. A tinny adds weight to your rig, lessens its aerodynamic efficiency, and means a bigger fuel bill … but it is seriously fun! It opens up a whole new world that many travellers never get to experience and enjoy.
The size of tinny you select and the engine you choose to power it will largely depend on the vehicle you will be carrying it on and your boating plans. Unless they have specific goals, most grey nomads are looking for something relatively easy to transport and to load and unload … and yet stable and robust enough to be safe as they venture into unfamiliar waters.
Logistics dictate the craft of choice will probably be less than four metres. This generally makes them possible to transport on roof-racks and to be handled by mechanical boat loaders. Boat loaders have revo¬lutionised the boat-carrying experience, making it possible for a single person to load and unload a boat at the flick of a proverbial switch. Now, anyone can take a tinny.
However, whether you are an experienced boaty or not, it makes sense to talk to as many people as you can before taking the plunge. Talk to salespeople about the capabilities of various models and to grey nomads about their boat-carrying experiences. Once you’ve done the deed, spend as much time as you can in your new tinny before you set off on the ‘big one’.
Safety is always paramount so it is vital that you both know your capabilities and that you have all of the correct gear. Then, it’s time to load the boat, get the rig ready to roll, and strike off into the unknown. However many times you’ve done the Big Lap before, the first ‘tinny trip’ is going to be something extra special.