Took my 2006 Drammer 935 Classic yacht for its first trial run

I was clocking a ground speed of about 16,5 km/h! Which is pretty good for this little boat. Better than its theoretical maximum hull speed!

BHPian Jeroen recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Got up at my usual 0600AM, but by 0700AM I was in my Jaguar driving north to Leeuwarden to visit Boot Holland. A small, but always very nice boat show. I spend about 3 hours roaming around.Bought the latest charts and almanak.

Then I drove to Strand Horst, the marina where Sirion is moored.

I had a boot full of stuff with me, not just the few things I had bought at Boot Holland. Just piled everything into the forward cabin. Did a few quick checks on the boat and the engine and started her up. Started immediately.

The weather was quite nice, with very little wind and good visibility. I must admit I was a bit nervous. This was the first time I would be taken Sirion out, all by myself, on waters I was not familiar with at all!!

Before I cast off, I had a quick check of the radio. I am familiar with my new VHF radio. The course I took not so long ago had this exact radio. So I powered it up and tuned into channel 10. The default channel for Dutch inland waterways. I also powered up my fancy new plotter/radar/depth gauge/fish finder.

It did power up, but it is way more complex. One of the problems, Raymarine does not supply you with printed manuals anymore. You have to download them. I had a look at their support page on the web. But very complex I could not figure it out. I will talk to Michael and make sure I get the correct manuals.

Even so, the plotter gave me excellent information on everything that I needed for a first trial run.

So I slipped the bow and stern line and back out of the mooring carefully. I had to reverse out and that is always a bit of a challenge on a motorboat with one propellor and rudder. (and bow thruster). The trick is to understand the boat wants to follow the rudder in reverse. There is a so-called wheel effect of the propellor which is always more pronounced in reverse than going forward.It appears this effect on Sirion is pretty manual. Also, you can use the bow thruster to steer the boat when going in reverse. One of the very legitimate uses of a bow thruster.

Made it out of the marina with no problems!!

Me being extremely happy!!! Notice I am wearing my life jacket. I am just by myself, the water is still very cold, this is pretty open water I am entering and there are large barges out there! Safety first.

In due course, I will show some more details on how all of this works. Just a few shots of my plotter. This was about 10 minutes after I had left the mooring. you can see a ship coming towards me and one behind me. I can click on those ships and it will tell me the name of the ship, speed, and so on. It also tracks speed and direction. All part of the AIS! Very cool and extremely useful

If there is any danger of a collision the system will warn you. I still need to fine-tune the various settings for the alarms. There are about a billion settings you need to think through.

The water police was out in force with 6-7 high-speed boats. I saw them climbing on this barge. I think they were practising interceptions and boardings. Pretty cool.

I steered Sirion by hand for about 15 minutes. Very happy with how she handles it. Very light, very nimble. Next, I put her on autopilot. When I switch the autopilot to auto, it will maintain the current heading. I have four buttons, increments of -1o, -10o, 1o and 10o (respectively port / Starboard). So I can alter the course in either one-degree or 10-degree steps.

I was being, slowly, overtaken by this workshop. It followed me through a narrow channel. I was not quite sure what they were doing. So I decided to give them a radio call. My first radio call in a very long time. I contacted them for a so-called radio check first. Interestingly enough, officially you have to perform a radio check every day. Which means calling another station and asking if they receive you loud and clear. Nobody does radio checks every day anymore. Radio has become extremely reliable. There is no need. But my radio was brand new and had never been tested. So I called them and asked "Radiocheck". To which they responded, Sirion we receive loud and clear. Next, I asked them about their intentions and told them where I wanted to go.

After we understood each other I let them overtake me and I started following them;

They were doing some survey work or so.

Not a bad first day out on the boat!!

By now I was really enjoying myself. I must admit, I had been looking forward to this first trip, but I was also a bit stressed. I have had some serious health issues over the last couple of years.Taking on any new adventures doesn't come as easy as it used to. Learning new stuff is a real challenge. Of course, none of this is really new to me. But I had not done it for a while. I am on my own boat, beginning to understand how all the various systems work!

I was fine and starting to enjoy myself more and more every minute!!

I steered into one of the other marinas. I wanted to practice some more manoeuvring. With no other boats entering or leaving the marina, I spend about 15-20 minutes getting a feel for how Sirion handles in close quarters.

I took a little video. Don't mind the engine noise. I don't know why it sounds so intrusive. Must have something to do with how an iPhone picks up sounds. I was pleasantly surprised by the engine sound. Even at full throttle, you can have a normal conversation in the cabin, with no problem.


I had put some of these images in our family app. Soon the comments and congratulations of my kids and their partners started pouring in.

By then I was almost an hour into my first trip and decided to turn back to Strand Horst. Also, time to full speed, damn the torpedoes and all of that!!

I was clocking a ground speed of about 16,5 km/h! Which is pretty good for this little boat. Better than its theoretical maximum hull speed!

I managed to make it back into the marina Strand Horst and moored here back in the same position. Not to boost or anything, but I did really well manoeuvring and docking her, the first time, all by myself!!

I did a bit more tidying up and putting away all the new stuff. And I hoisted two of my new pennants. The Bridgetown Yacht Club and the KNRM (Royal Dutch Lifeboat Association) of which I am a member of course.

The pennant of my home marina will go at the front, but I have to modify a few things before it will fit.

All in all, I could not be happier!! Still, a lot to learn. I will meet with Michael later this week or next week and he will give me a full rundown on all the new electronics!


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