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Old 22 October 2014, 13:41   #1
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4.5 or 5.5m SIB?

My family and I are looking to get a SIB in the Spring and trying to figure out a good size for us. We'll be heading to local lakes, rivers and the bay area of the coast for day trips.

We want to be comfortable and not cramped. It will be us two with our three young children for most of the day. As anyone with kids has experienced, they grow fast and will be teenagers before we know it... We will be taking along our typical boating gear/emergency requirements along with a cooler for drinks and food.

We have not been able to locate a single dealer around us that has any SIBs on display for us to see and review. All of our research has been done online in reviewing pics, videos and commentary.

Even with a trailer, a lot of the places we will go to will require for us to roll the boat to the water on transom wheels on concrete/hard soil.

We found a great deal and bought an almost new 20HP 4-stroke short-shaft. We're not expecting to move along in the water quickly and picked it because it was the largest that we both could handle easily.

At first we were looking at a 4.5m/15' version but then found a larger 5.5m/18' version. We'd have more room but then we're wondering if we'd be able to manage the bigger size and weight?

Anyone have 5 people in a SIB, what size was it and how much room did you have?

Thanks!
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Old 22 October 2014, 14:15   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

A 5.5m SIB is a seriously big boat for a SIB. To give you some indication of scale take a look at this Zodiac MK V (5.9m). It's an HD aluminium floor and can take 90hp. It's overkill for what you need (Milpro) and is built like a preverbial s**t brick-house. This can't be dragged with a 40hp on the back.

As you've bought the engine already, then I'd be inclined to look for something around the 4.5-4.9m range. Boats such Zodiac Fututra MKII to MKIII will fall into this bracket. You can choose between air floor, ply or aluminium floors. All well built and suitable for leisure market.

Double-check before purchase because the new ones now take long-shaft engines.

Avoid cluttering the boat with seats and remote steering and use the inflatable tubes to sit on. Then add in fuel tanks, probably 25 litres tanks, or two, safety gear, wet weather gear and camping kit. It'll be tight with 5 on board, but workable.

You really need to see one up close to visualise, see what's involved to break down and pack, assuming you will build when you get to the water. Normally 2 bags with boat in one bag and floor boards, stringers and oars in the other.

Note: carrying 4-stroke engine requires powerhead to be higher than leg and has to be laid down on a certain side.
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Old 23 October 2014, 00:36   #3
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An entire family on a SIB is going to be an accomplishment. I have a 4.2m boat and have put six in it before (See image below). Had five adults a couple of weeks ago. In the San Francisco Bay it can get a little hairy with only one person on board. The Boat has a 40HP engine and planes just fine with five scuba divers and gear. There is no way I would consider setting up and taking my boat apart every time I wanted to use it. It probably wouldn't get much use. Instead living on a trailer it is mostly ready to go fairly quickly. Plus I never have to pick my motor up.



When I wanted launching wheels there were non rated to handle The Boat's weight at around 500lbs, so I built my own transom legs, and used Wheeleez tires. Later I made a dolly for the front so we don't have to pick The Boat up at all, just push/pull it which saves a lot of energy. I know you can buy a front dolly which is what I copied, but doubtful there is anything commercial for transom mounted wheels. The freedom the launch wheels offer is huge. I can launch so many more places, and typically I do not dunk my trailer anymore except on the Petaluma River where they have a washing station and even then only for recovery.



So out of the two you mentioned I would recommend the 15'. Really though with a family I would recommend an inboard outboard as a family boat. Rinker, Four Winns, Mariah, Cobalt, etc. Depends where you want to boat. Are the kids going to want to learn to wakeboard? (FWIW I was what you could call a hardcore wakeboarder for years. We rode on the Delta year around, by where I stored my wakeboarding boat.) What city are you in? I could probably offer some more in depth advice and show you a 14' SIB, but I am Santa Rosa. You can PM me if you don't want to post your city.
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Old 23 October 2014, 01:35   #4
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Assuming you'll be trailering the boat (which I'd recommend for either of those sizes), I'd recommend the 5.5m boat. It will accomodate 5 people much more comfortably. I think you will find a 20 hp motor will have a hard time getting that load on plane.

Always start by determning what boat you need for your purposes, then find a motor that suits the boat and those purposes. Selecting a boat to suit an outboard that is already in your posession is like purchasing a particular car because you already have a set of tires that would fit.
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Old 23 October 2014, 01:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prairie tuber View Post
Assuming you'll be trailering the boat (which I'd recommend for either of those sizes), I'd recommend the 5.5m boat. It will accommodate 5 people much more comfortably. I think you will find a 20 hp motor will have a hard time getting that load on plane.

Always start by determining what boat you need for your purposes, then find a motor that suits the boat and those purposes. Selecting a boat to suit an outboard that is already in your possession is like purchasing a particular car because you already have a set of tires that would fit.
Good points! I was hung up on the fact they already got the motor. Probably best to sell the motor and get something 3 times bigger. Near max horse power is best for heavy loads.

Heavy load

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Old 23 October 2014, 08:42   #6
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Thanks for the input, we appreciate it. The photos with a lot of people in the boat is helpful to get some idea.

We're not looking at this as an all purpose boat that can do anything. Quite the opposite. It will only be used a couple times a year. Probably once on a river, once on a lake and then once or twice at the coast to see the dolphins in the bay, tour lighthouses, ports, etc.

I grew up going to a large lake every weekend and we took out our 17' all-purpose family boat with 4-6 people to just sight-see. Speed wasn't our thing and we'd stop occasionally to swim and have lunch or a snack. That is all I'm wanting this boat to be. We won't have a bunch of gear on the boat, just the equipment necessities, a cooler and other misc items.

On a trip to the beach this summer, on the ocean side of the island, I came across a guide who was taking groups up and down the coast in an inflatable boat all day long. I went by myself on down the beach to check out what he was running because they were hauling along pretty well with about 4-6 people in the boat each time. They launched from and returned to the beach each trip easily maneuvering over the rough surf. He told me he had a 14-footer/4.2m with an aluminum floor and a thick rubber mat over it and a 25 HP four stroke. I was wishing my family could have joined me so they could have gotten some idea. We chose the 15' boat first and then chose the engine based on the power to weight ratio. I knew we'd be fine with the 20hp and 15' but it's the 18' I'm not too sure about.

These will be slow excursions, no scuba diving, and no wakeboarding so I know we'll be alright with that engine. The 15' will be work enough but I'm just wondering if we'll be hating an 18 footer after trying to get it ready and then rolling it to the shore with the motor attached on transom wheels. Then, whether or not the engine would push it alright through the water.

My wife has little to no experience and I'm trying to research and think this through so that the Ride and Trip is enjoyable for everyone but also so that it's not physically overwhelming. It's also the reason we chose the 4-stroke. I've experienced both and knew that slow cruising with a loud smoking 2-stroke would ruin it. I've explained and hopefully relayed to her all of the work in preparing and launching a boat since I know it all too well but that it's the wonderful experience of the trip that makes it all worth it.

I saw those Wheelez tires in my searches and thought they looked perfect. Are they difficult to push down in the water to get them to lock in place?

We're in San Antonio (SAT) and unfortunately too far away to take you up on your offer to review your setup. I know it would be really beneficial.
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Old 23 October 2014, 12:12   #7
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I typed up a lot then my stupid iPad decided to refresh the page and it is gone. Anyone know how to not have that happen again? I went to look something up and refresh!

Oh well. Don't plan on launch wheels. Use the trailer. You will need a trailer.

I think you will be underpowered with the 15' and couldn't imagine the 18 footer with that little bit of power. Cruising is nice, but when you want to get somewhere planning speed is your friend. You can always upgrade motors later.

What do you have for a tow vehicle?
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