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Old 14 March 2016, 18:04   #1
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3D tender - my review

Hi Everyone,

I thought I would write a little review about a 3D Tender I bought and used recently. I know that is is a small brand and from scrolling through this site I also know that people have questions about them. So here is my experience.

We are fortunate to own a holiday home on the beach in the Caribbean; I always wanted to have a SIB there which we could use when we visit but I was advised that storing them folded in the heat for long period would lead to de-glueing etc...Anyway, I decided it's worth trying...

My issue was that on Curacao, the only SIBs for sale new are WAY overpriced, so I decided to import my own. This meant some serious weight restrictions because it had to come with me on an aeroplane. After much research I settled for a 3D Tender 290 Superlight - advertised at 17kg! I found a white one (who wants a black boat in the Caribbean??). This was great because it was basically my suitcase and it came with me to Curacao 3 weeks ago - no problem with the airline.

Once on the island I purchased a new 3.5 Tohatsu 2 stroke engine and started playing around the bay and beach hopped. Here are my impressions after a few hours of use:

- The 290 Superlight seems very well made. I'm no SIB expert but my father did have a Zodiac back in the 80s - to me the 3D seems to be built in a way that will definitely endure a few years of light use.

- This is really a tender (as the name suggests) as opposed to a more recreational boat. The max recommended power is 10HP but frankly I don't think you'd want more than 5hp. If you are happy to potter along and enjoy the scenery it's great; however it does feel pretty ;light when the wind picks up and I wouldn't want to go too fast in it.

- my 290 is good for 2 adults and one baby (ours is 7 moths). I wouldn't put any more on it. The tubes are quite narrow at 40cm and, whereas you can sit on them, it does affect the shape of the boat. We felt more comfortable sitting on the floor.

- I would really recommend the 3D as a tender, or for a single person fishing; the great thing about it is that is it very light and therefore can be handled by one person. I happily carried it to the beach on my back, then came back to pick up the outboard (13kg). In a way I guess this is very liberating and many people would see a lot of benefits to this.

I had a lot of fun with the 3D but I quickly saw its limitations for the use I want out of it. I want to take my young family and potentially 1 or 2 friends beach-hopping, carrying some beach gear and a picnic. In the future my daughter will surely want to do some water-sports. So I've decided that I will buy and import a Honwave T38 and buy a 20HP two stroke outboard on the island.

I don't think that I will sell the 3D; it's really a nice little thing and it definitely has a place. I can see myself taking it out on my own to go fishing in the bay, or when the kids are older it would be great for them to have fun with.
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Old 14 March 2016, 18:05   #2
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I'll post pictures tomorrow
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Old 15 March 2016, 12:24   #3
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I have had a 3D 290 tender for 18 months now and go away every month to Scotland where I go on different lochs to follow my hobby of photography and what I laughingly call fishing. I am always on my own and have to handle the SIB, engine and launching so for me the 3D is ideal along with an ultra lightweight aluminum trolley for launching. As I am in my 70's weight is a major consideration if I want to continue On the water.
As you can see from the photos mine is a 290 black tender and I power it with an electric engine, the Torqeedo which is not built for speed but has a battery as part of the engine not requiring a separate battery to be carried in the boat. On the lochs where wind can be a problem I can travel between 15-20km off one charge.
Unfortunately I do not have the weather you have but never the less I find the 3D tender a pleasure to handle in breezy or wet conditions and an absolute dream to inflate/deflate and pack away. As you can see I transport it quite comfortable in the back of my motorhome.
Look forward to reading your review and seeing some pictures.
All the best
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Old 15 March 2016, 13:27   #4
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loch ken if I'm not mistaken
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Old 15 March 2016, 16:27   #5
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It is....last year
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Old 16 March 2016, 08:42   #6
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And Loch Lomond
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Old 16 March 2016, 14:02   #7
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ah but I didn't recognise that lol I have a van permanently sited at loch ken
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