Monday, March 18, 2013

Bayliner’s 195 bowrider

USCG Bayliner Trophy Patrol boat
Bayliner’s new 195 bowrider gets families in the water for maximum fun with a minimum budget.
As the fog lifts over the Tennessee River, you’re one of the first few brave souls to make it from the warm confines of the marina log cabin to the wind-nipped docks. Curiosity has overridden the lower temperatures, and you’re rewarded with a spot at the front of the line to test a new 2005 Bayliner.

As a supposedly seasoned boat tester, this is the part where you clear your throat, puff up your chest, and belt out all of the features you like or dislike on the boat in one single breath to inform the rest of the crowd on the dock of your boating prowess and expertise. But today that would be silly for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the boat you’re about to hop on isn't tailored to the seasoned boating aficionado crowd. It’s suited for families just dipping their feet into the boating lifestyle, and as such, you treat the upcoming expedition on the Bayliner 195 accordingly. You jump into the cockpit and start asking a lot of questions.

You've officially put yourself in the shoes of a prospective new boater looking at his or her very first boat purchase. Kind of ironic, considering that the folks at US Marine used the same technique before producing the 195, similar to a lot of other models in the Bayliner lineup. According to the company, the 19-foot range of boats offer the second largest boating market, and US Marine has gone all out to blanket that market with affordable boats. At one end of the spectrum, you've got the compact Bayliner 175 — a bargain of a boat at under $10,000. Walking back up the price scale, Bayliner adds on features with the size of the boats to produce a well-rounded model range.

That philosophy is apparent in the 195’s design. The cockpit is noticeably different than most runabouts of its size. It’s bigger, for starters. The official term is a “cockpit forward design,” which opens up space in the cockpit so a family of four can actually sit in comfort and not have to squeeze into some kind of cramped wraparound seating that inevitably leaves squished toes and overlapping legs. Once you’re idling or at an anchoring point out on the water, the 195’s layout opens up even more for you. The aft jump seats fold out into two sun lounges. Tack on another large convertible sunpad aft (two fold-up sections at the transom complete the setup), and you've got three prime tanning stations. That’s not counting the open bow, which has room for two folks to kick back, although it’s not recommended that you lounge up there while going full throttle.

The seating is fun and all, but if you bring along kids, they’ll want to do a little more than sit in the jump seats and admire Mom or Dad’s driving. Nope, they’re into things that involve action off of the boat, which means mucho family interaction will be at the swim or transom platform. On the 195, getting on and off the boat won’t be a slippery situation with the non-skid fiberglass hull. That’s good because kids are rarely anything but wiggly once they spot the first chance for a dive into open water (PFDs on, of course). The optional extended platform has enough space to sit down and put on your watersports gear. A foldout ladder is provided for easier access in and out of the water too.

The obvious follow-up question to watersports capability is — where the heck are you going to store all of that gear? Usually, when it comes to runabouts this size, the math doesn’t add up for storage space. It’s normally reserved for cramming wraparound seating or more bow space instead of accommodating the logistical side of boating. Not so on the 195. Right in the middle of the cockpit is a center-floor storage area that can hold a wakeboard, towlines and PFDs. More storage is available in the bow and stern under snap-off upholstery.

So, at this point, you've pretty much exhausted every conceivable question in your conversation with the Bayliner rep, which leaves only one more thing.

Before the rest of the boat-testing crowd can blink, you and your crew of four are out the slip and on your way to open water ... and fog. Unfortunately, once out of the no-wake zone you encounter a blanket of fog over the water, making visibility pretty poor. But considering you've got what’s visible to yourself (most of the testers are back at the dock getting ready to go out), you crank up the throttle and see what the 195 can do. Because it’s a small runabout, you've got to factor in the time it takes to plane once you've decided to go for the full rpm, and it takes the 195 three seconds to get from nose high to just right. Traveling back and forth in your square block of visible waterway, you clock 51 mph as the 195’s top speed, and it takes about 10 seconds to get from 0 to 30 mph. Had the conditions been more favorable, you might have been able to crank out a little more on the 195, but with the current conditions that would have involved speeding into a big blur, not suitable for a crew already fearful of your driving.

What you do come across in that little water space of yours is a few of the 195’s limitations. As a 19-footer, you’re going to be at the mercy of wakes and waves more than say a 25-foot cuddy or 30-foot cruiser. That’s expected. This isn't a boat to go offshore fishing or overnighting — it’s a day boat centered on simple family activities. Similar to the use you would use with a pontoon boat from Manitou. And with a trailerable frame, you can take the 195 along for family vacations instead of centering your boating time on one body of water.

With a base price of under $20,000, you may not need to talk to your Chicago financial advisor about the cost and you have a little extra spending money to invest in some of the options — including a Bimini top or extended transom platform. But what the 195 gives you right off the bat is a viable way to test the waters without blowing your budget. And that’s a lot to talk about.

The Bayliner 195 succeeds in its primary goal — to get you in the water at a reasonable price. The open cockpit, storage space and little features make this a well-rounded runabout; just expect to feel the waves a bit more than larger boats.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Animals Scare me Stiff - Childrens Book

Animals scare me stiff is a children’s story book which I read with surprise to me. The reason that I write this is because in my experience the first time that children meet a large dog  they tend to be fearful.

I would not like your child, who is not used to having animals around him become scared of animals as a result of reading this book for kids. I am sure it was not the author’s intention for children to be fearful of animals but instead be able to frighten them away.

In fact, I am not sure that I would  recommend this book to a parent to read to their child, if the child was not used to playing with animals.

I do however, have to acknowledge that the view I hold of this book is not universal. The Independent on Sunday commented ….”Hilariously Rude” and the TES primary commented …”unrelenting wit and inspired drawing”

One the dog food bowl there written “Pedigree Boy”. The small boy is lying  in the bowl with dog food half covering him up. There is an enormous giant size like dog looking down on the little boy.

There is no doubt that there is wit in this book. My only concern is that it is possible that the wit will not be understood by kids at such a young age.

You as parent know your child best and are in a position of knowing if your child is confident around animals and will take this book in the sense that it has been written.

The young boys scariest weapon is himself and he manages to scare all of the animals away. This saves the day in this book for kids.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Target

I really look forward to my children’s developmental milestones.  They’re so exciting because everything changes – your child, your routine, you.  One of the most exciting milestones, I think, is talking.  After 18 months or so (or much earlier, if you child is a genius), you finally get to hear what your child is thinking.  They tell you what excites them or makes them sad.  They talk about memories.  They even spontaneously tell you they love you.  It’s a milestone that allows you to know and connect with your child in a more personal way.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Not Being Dejected

Yesterday was interesting.  I received an email from an agent I submitted my screenplay to in August last year.  It was a rejection, as the title of this post suggests, but a surprisingly good one.  'What the hell is a good rejection?'  I hear you ask.  Well, a good rejection is one that offers feedback - no matter how small.  It basically said that the writing wasn't good enough, but there were some interesting ideas there.  When I first read it I'll admit I searched and searched for every possible meaning - so I could pick the best one, of course.  I settled on:  'Your writing isn't terrible, but not up to a good enough standard.  Some of your ideas are interesting, but not demonstrated well enough.'  It's made me view the project a bit more positively as I really wasn't sure about how my ideas would be perceived before sending it off to anyone.  I wouldn't describe myself as praise-hungry - you know, one of those people who needs praise like cupid needs an arrow - but it's encouraging to know I'm not just clutching at straws.

I've continued to work on my novel and I'm currently editing Chapter Seventeen.  So far this 'editing' process has seen 20,000 words disappear from the manuscript.  It's gut-wrenching to think about all that time I spent writing those words which have now ended up in a folder aptly nicknamed 'trash'.  It's equally gut-wrenching to think that it pushes my word count way below an acceptable level for a young adult novel.  But this is only my second draft so I'm not going to get too disheartened about it all.

On the plus side, things are making much more sense in the story now.  You never know, I may have finished the second draft by the end of this week!  That's highly unlikely, but I do intend to have it finished soon!  My plan is to start work on my screenplay as soon as I've finished the second draft.  This will help me achieve the required 'distance' from my work before I return to it.  I've already had lots of ideas for improvements.  There are a few scenes that can be taken out completely and a lot of dialogue can be condensed in some others.  This could be the year of the novel and the screenplay for me.

Female Voices Are Easier to Hear?

Picture of an infant wearing a hearing aid
According to a recent study, female voices are easier to hear because they're processed by the brain's auditory section.  However, female voices are also very rhythmic, which makes them more complex.  This, according to the study, may explain why men grow weary from listening to women speak: our complex prosody taxes their brain power.

Okaaaaay.  But I'm only willing to accept this as a partial reason for male selective hearing.
The study also suggests that people suffering from aural hallucinations (false voices) hear male voices.  This is further evidence that male and female voices are processed by different brain areas.

Interesting.  But it doesn't explain why my aural hallucination sounds like my mother.