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Old 07 June 2011, 02:25   #21
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Thanks Brian, funnily enough I started searching about for the Zodiacs last night (not too familiar with them). Found this one at Ron Hale - I think the newer ones come in 3.25 or 3.6m.

Ron Hale Marine Ltd - Zodiac Cadet Fastroller 340 Acti-V

Apart from this I am still drawn to the Honwave 3.2 with air floor - gets great reviews, quality build and fittings and seems to have slightly bigger tubes, deeper floor and bigger rubbing strake all giving a slightly more secure and drier ride from what I've read. Also can be found at near 800 brand new. Only thing that puts me off is a few reports on here of them 'bending up' at times when on the plane even when properly inflated etc...??

The Tohatsu 9.8 does seem to be the 2 stroke to go for with this size boat. Although the 4 stroke version is quite light too I think?

Blooming decisions....
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Old 07 June 2011, 06:32   #22
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Hi Max, I have owned the the Honwave T32 and a T38 and you are right about the extra height at the front giving a drier ride, but compared with the Zodiac the trim tabs are a pain in the a**e, the wobbly up and down floor which is a killer to inflate to the correct pressure and the quality in no way matches the Zodiac you saw on the Ron Hale website.

Before biting the bullet have a look at the two of them before making a decision.

Brian
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Old 07 June 2011, 07:55   #23
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Thanks Brian - I rang Ron Hale - I guess they may be biased but they certainly maintain the Zodiac is in a different league to the sub-1000 Honwaves etc. The older 3.4m I linked is apparantly the same size really as the new 3.25 just that the rear tubes are stubby now. That boat with a 9.8 could be the ideal one for me. The Tohatsu 9.8 4 stroke is only 38kg too so may be back to that again. I'm off to the Dordogne for 2 weeks this summer and I believe Zodiacs in France are much cheaper so it may pay to investigate buying a new one over there with the opportunity to check it out on the Dordogne itself...

If anyone has one of the Cadet Fastroller 325's I would love to hear first hand opinions about it.
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Old 25 June 2011, 07:57   #24
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Forgot to update this - thanks to David on this site I did a deal on a minter of a Zodiac Fastroller 3.4m together with a 2006 Tohatsu 2 stroke - both are beautifully complete and a credit to provious owners as they look virtually brand new. Maiden voyage tomorrow!
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Old 25 June 2011, 08:13   #25
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2006 Tohatsu 2 stroke - Maiden voyage tomorrow!
Nice one, 50:1 mix, BTW.

Expect to get about 0.3L/Nm or better

WOT is 4.5L/hour
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Old 25 June 2011, 10:25   #26
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Cheers willk - ended up with the engine you and others said I must have! What's the consumption when pootling along a river at 6 kts or so??
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Old 25 June 2011, 15:10   #27
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Cheers willk - ended up with the engine you and others said I must have! What's the consumption when pootling along a river at 6 kts or so??
Put it this way, you'll die of starvation before the fuel runs out...

I did a wee run on Friday, about 25 miles and burned about 4 litres, a third of the tank. And I was "cruising" at 10-12kts, with some faster stuff. (And some trolling, I habit I find hard to break )

If you're going to be at this tootling a lot, I'd fire a spare set of plugs and a plug spanner into the bag too. They're quicker to swap out than clean, if you ever have to. They're a couple of quid on eBay: NGK BP7HS-10
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Old 26 June 2011, 13:11   #28
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Willk, I owe you one! Got all set, inflated (how hot was it today! ) and in the water...followed 1/2 an hour of totally frustrating struggling to start the engine - really had me beat but I can only think it was the previous days playing in the garage with the throttle etc - plugs were oiled up and the engine flooded (I think?) - eventually got it going after repeated pulls with the fuel disconnected and plugs changed (which I decided to carry after reading your post).

After that was perfect and re-started each time first time. Spent a lovely few hours on the river stopping by Bodiam castle for sasuages fried under a welcome shady tree. Had a few goes at getting up on the plane which we managed - weight distribution sure is critical in these things. Played around with trim postions too - which hole do others use for the best result?
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Old 26 June 2011, 14:01   #29
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Glad that all worked out!

As regards the trim, I've been using the second up from the bottom, with light or heavier loads. It ventilates on the third in either case. I've just refitted the doel fins that came with it, so I'll be interested so see how they effect performance (I need a bit of lift for the bigger loads).

The starting trouble is interesting. Mine always started first pull, even after the winter. Just this week, the cold start has been terrible - maybe 10 pulls. Once the block is warm, it's a small pull and away it goes. Out of curiosity, I cleaned and heated the plugs and tried an otherwise "cold" start - it ran first pull. Someone on here will know what this is but I've ordered a set of new plugs to be going on with. If they don't do the trick, I'll start a "HELP!" thread
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Old 26 June 2011, 15:56   #30
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Glad you got out Max but the engine starting must have made you curse. I honestly think it was a combination of ticking over in the test tank the previous day and more importantly excess choke on what was a very warm day.

We managed our maiden trip in the 3.6 Fastroller today with the new-to-me Mariner 15. Funnily enough it has started first time from cold using choke in the test tank over the past few weeks but today (around midday and 29deg) after a slick performance inflating it and slip launching on the transom wheels the Mariner didn't start first time. After four pulls I realised it was probably too hot for choke so I pushed it in and it took 10 vigorous pulls to start and coughed and smoked for a few seconds until clear.

Didn't risk the planing thing with a busy river and 4mph limit! Anyway I'm going to do a proper review and photos in the thread I started when thinking about this outfit purchase.
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