Warbird carries two inflable RIB tenders on the bow. The smaller one is a 14ft AB inflatable. The larger one is called “Sealegs.” This vessel is equipped with three wheels that can be hydraulically lowered and used to “drive” the boat onshore. Sealegs is 21ft overall and has an aluminum hull and keel making it a heavy boat that handles seas well. (2800 lbs) These tenders are critical pieces of equipment on long range expeditions. They serve as the link that allow us to depart Wabrid and get ashore.
Every bit as important as the tenders are the crane, (davit) that lower the tenders from the bow to the water. A crane failure can leave us unable to access the shore entirely without swimming! Knowing the important role the davit would play in this trip we had it completely rebuilt before departing Fort Lauderdale. Once would think it should be good to go, right? Wel,l a few days into the trip the davit suffered an electrical casualty. It was still operational, but only by using the back up valves located in the base. Seveal repair attempts were not successful and we determined the controller or electric valves had failed. We made the decision that the davit should be used as little as possible and we would tow the Sealegs behind Warbird. We quickly made up a make shift tow bridle and away we went. The Sealegs ended up towing extremely well even in choppy conditions. We found it usefull to send ahead to scout out uncharted anchorages