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Old 13 February 2006, 09:22   #1
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A few general (SIB) questions from a Newbie

Hi everybody!

May I start of by saying what an excellent forum I think this is! I have spent the last few weeks trawling through previous posts and have found answers to sooo many of my questions.

I have recently bought a used Zodiac Futura (Fastroller) 4.2m with a 25hp Mercury (both '99) and had a vast amount of questions that needed answering, most of which already have been thanks to Rib.net

Although I realise this is a primaraly a RIB forum I have noticed quite a few posts from SIB owners and wondered if there were many current/previous Futura owners out there that could possibly offer some advice...

1. I don't have a owners manual for the boat and am not sure what order the main tubes, airfloor and speed tubes should be inflated. Can anybody offer me any advice on this?

2. In the summer I hope to pull a wakeboard behind the boat, has anybody had any experience with a similar boat/engine and towing a wakeboard?

3. I wasn't going to bother with a VHF radio as I don't plan to go out much more than a mile or so but found this on Ebay and wondered what people's thoughts were(if any) on it: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Cobra-MRHH90-H...QQcmdZViewItem - Doesn't seem bad for the price?!

4. One of the tubes has a patch on it which doesn't appear to loose air but I've heard that with PVC boats a repair is only temporary unless carried out by a pro. Is this true or should I just keep an eye on it?


Sorry for all the questions but any feedback will be most gratefully received.

I hope to take her out this weekend (only in Bristol docks for a trial run) and can't wait to see how she goes, will post an update next week (with maybe a bunch more questions!)

Many Thanks to any responders and keep up the good work peeps
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Old 13 February 2006, 13:48   #2
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Cobra H/Held radio

I have one of those radios. Cost me marginally more than that 18 months ago. It is not fully waterproof but was supplied with a waterproof bag. The bag was pretty crap and split when we were out in very cold weather recently. The two important limitations are:

1. Power - is 0.5 W or 2 W (high power) compared to 1 W and 5 W for most hand helds. I haven't tested its range but intuitively it must be less than a more powerful handheld. You might only be 1 or 2 miles off shore - but you could be several miles from the C.G. transmitter - so I'm not convinced its a real safety feature (could be false sense of security).

2. Channels. This is basically a US transmitter (albeit apparently legal in the UK) so doesn't have the M1 M2 channels normally used for UK yachting (you might not care though!).

If you do decide to buy this unit I'm not sure that ebay is the BEST option, it will cost you 45.99 inc p&p - you will get it from Marinestore or one of the other UK mail order chandlers for virtually the same price BUT its not an ebay transaction and you have the added advantage of some sort of back up if there are tech problems etc.

In my opinion you would be better with a fully waterproof (submersible) radio. Presumably on a SIB a fixed unit is not practical, so that means a good handheld. They cost about a 100.

I am planning to upgrade to a fixed unit as soon as cost/time allows. It might well be a Cobra though as I am reasonably happy with the cheapy handheld. It did develop a fault (probably after being dropped!) but I managed to fix it myself (bent circuit board causing a short).

Hope that helps,

NEIL
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Old 13 February 2006, 14:37   #3
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1. Generally speaking put floor in first(wood) then inflate tubes partially all around boat - then bring them up to final pressure - better this way as not to much strain on internal baffles - don't just pump up a chamber fully with a flat one next to it!!! Inflate the keel last.

Don't know about air floors but I would have thought inflate after tubes but before keel.

I have pulled a doughnut behind my 3.1m with a 15hp so you may get away with a wakeboard.

Remember lifejackets and have fun!!!
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Old 13 February 2006, 15:29   #4
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Hi,
I've also got a Futura - a MKII C 3.8m with a Suzuki 40HP on the back. Mine is a combination Aluminium and Wooden floor (the boards near the bow are wooden). I also have a jockey console and remote steering / controls on mine. I used to have a smaller SIB with an airfloor and the inflation procedure was to pump the tubes 1/2 full, then the floor to full pressure, tubes to full pressure and finally the hull. With my Futura, I pump the tubes up fully before putting her in the water then inflate the keel and speed tubes once in the water so that they are not damaged by the trailer during launch. I usually do this over at the pontoon by the slip as it's easier there.

I also have one of those cobras, but it's as a last resort backup! I use a Cobra 1w/5w portable VHF as my main backup and have a fully waterproof ICOM fixed DSC VHF on the console, these have a higher aerial (VHF is line of sight so the higher the antenna the better) and at 25w have a reasonable range. As most of my boating is off the weast coast of scotland, range is quite important as i'm often miles from a CG coast station.

Patch wise, as long as the instructions were closely followed and the correct material and glue was used (and the gluing was done at the specified temperature) the patches should be fine.

Cheers,
Fraser
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Old 13 February 2006, 18:40   #5
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Hi Andyboy. Don't buy a US import VHF... just get a UK spec one. I've been there, done it, and given it away to someone who lives on the other side of the pond. It's not worth the aggro. You will be able license a proper UK sourced VHF for free from the Autumn onwards, so get a decent Icom or Standard Horizon. Stevetheboat aka nautequipe posts here and does good deals, as do Pumpkin Marine Supplies.
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Old 14 February 2006, 10:26   #6
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Some really sound advice, thanks guys!

Looks like a radio from the US is a no-go then. Given the time of year there's no rush so I think I'll save me pennies and grab a decent one in a month or so - the Standard Horizon looks like a nice bit of kit. For now at least I've got sat nav (on my phone ) so in an emergency I could call the coastguard and give my exact location

Rich;
I didn't realise a license was necessary, did you mean that you have to pay up until this Autumn but after that there are becoming FOC??

fjarvis;
Do you find the handling is as good as they say it is due to the speed tubes? I've read many people saying that with a bit of chop they're a very hard ride compared to a RIB, would you agree? Yours must absolutely 'fly' with a 40hp on such a light boat, have a tried pulling skiers/boarders etc?

As I said before, any advice is much appreciated
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Old 14 February 2006, 12:35   #7
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VHF radio

Andyboy,
If you want to carry and operate a VHF radio legally, you need a certificate of competance to operate (VHF Short Range Certificate) available by doing a RYA course (about 70). You also need a Ship's Radio Licence, available through Ofcom, which will be free come the autumn, but for now costs about 20.

I've just bought an Icom M1euroV. Cost me 150 at the London Boat Show (they were originally 270). Seem like a good bit of kit - the coastguard use 'em! I'm sure other folks on here have other views on what's good, most of which you should be able to find by searching the forum.
If you want to pick my brains re:handhelds, I've just spent quite a bit of time working out what to look for on the different models so feel free to PM me.

Tim
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Old 14 February 2006, 16:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyboy
For now at least I've got sat nav (on my phone ) so in an emergency I could call the coastguard and give my exact location
unless it gets wet in which case you are lost with no way to get help!

mobile coverage at sea is notoriously bad (not many transmitters!!!) and the CG get a bit frustrated as they cant direction find on your signal when you put out a distress call.
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Old 14 February 2006, 17:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyboy
Some really sound advice, thanks guys!

fjarvis;
Do you find the handling is as good as they say it is due to the speed tubes? I've read many people saying that with a bit of chop they're a very hard ride compared to a RIB, would you agree? Yours must absolutely 'fly' with a 40hp on such a light boat, have a tried pulling skiers/boarders etc?
The handling is quite different to a RIB as the speed tubes stop the yaw of the hull in a turn, so it feels a tad odd compared to a RIB. It does handle nicely though. It was fine in a force 4 last saturday, but I certainly couldn't use full throttle! I've not tried pulling anybody yet, I'm sure I'll give it a go at some point though :-) And yes, it does fly!
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Old 15 February 2006, 09:47   #10
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I have a Futura and it tows skiers fine. Only problem is when I tow my really big friends. Then it's tough to get them out and maintain speed in the turns. Also don't expect great skiing, because the forces you can create with the skiis pull the boat all over. I am not too sure a 25hp is going to be enough to really get going, but you can always stick to tubing. We named our boat the "red BASTARD" for a reason. It can beat the bloody crap out of you in certain conditions.

As for the speed tubes you can see them working in this video.

http://checkerboardhydepark.com/Wave%20Jumping.mov
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