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Old 24 June 2008, 08:56   #1
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Advice on a SIB

Hi there, I would really appreciate members advice on the purchase of an inflatable. I'm new to this game and have next to no previous experience on the water.

I need one that is easy to transport in the back of my 2006 Picasso.

I intend to use it for (normally) 2 but a maximum of 3/4 passengers to visit Lochs and do a bit of coastal exploring/camping/fishing. I already have a Evinrude 15hp which I hope will do the business.

I've had a look at Excell and Zodiac but am quite keen on the Quicksilver HD 380, because of the kit we will be carrying probably go for an aluminium floor, is it quite easy to fit during boat assembly? Quite concerned about the whole weight of this set-up if there are only 2 of us. I need to know if we are looking at a boat which is perhaps too large for what we intend to use it for but obviously keen on a vessel which can handle the sometimes choppy waters just off the coast of the West Highlands.

Can you also advise how feasible it will be for 2 people to lift it up a beach/rocky shore if we have transom wheels fitted?

Appreciate your advice.

Tony
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Old 24 June 2008, 09:37   #2
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Definitely go for aluminum (or wooden) floor if you're going to be out in anything choppy. Bear in mind that it does take a bit of work to put it together and pack it away - allow a good half an hour or so as a minimum.

Around 3.8m sounds good, any bigger and you're going to want more power. You could go smaller - you'd get 2 people plus a decent amount of kit into a 3.4 but it would be a bit tight with 4 people.

Quicksilver are good value for money. I would say that they are about 80% of the quality of a Zodiac at about 50% of the price.

Do get launching wheels. Do get a decent electric inflator. If you're going to be using the boat a lot then I would think about getting a road trailer too.

Have fun!

John
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Old 24 June 2008, 09:38   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexmundi View Post
Hi there, I would really appreciate members advice on the purchase of an inflatable. I'm new to this game and have next to no previous experience on the water.

I need one that is easy to transport in the back of my 2006 Picasso.

I intend to use it for (normally) 2 but a maximum of 3/4 passengers to visit Lochs and do a bit of coastal exploring/camping/fishing. I already have a Evinrude 15hp which I hope will do the business.

I've had a look at Excell and Zodiac but am quite keen on the Quicksilver HD 380, because of the kit we will be carrying probably go for an aluminium floor, is it quite easy to fit during boat assembly? Quite concerned about the whole weight of this set-up if there are only 2 of us. I need to know if we are looking at a boat which is perhaps too large for what we intend to use it for but obviously keen on a vessel which can handle the sometimes choppy waters just off the coast of the West Highlands.

Can you also advise how feasible it will be for 2 people to lift it up a beach/rocky shore if we have transom wheels fitted?

Appreciate your advice.

Tony
my advice, get good transom wheels

check out the size and weight because for example the quicksilver 340 airdeck is considerably smaller and lighter than a 380 when packed i believe

check out the size of them when inflated, ie how much room etc as you would be surprised how this varies across the models

avoid, inflatable thwarts, as a seat (wood or fibreglass) where the fuel tank fits underneath it is better for using the space wisely

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Old 24 June 2008, 09:45   #4
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Hi Tony and welcome

I would say that the QS 380 would be too heavy for your requirements and with 4 adults in the boat I doubt very much if it would plane with a 15hp.
As already said I would recommend either a QS 340, Honda T32-IE or a Zodiac cadet 340
Transom wheels are a must!
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Old 24 June 2008, 10:30   #5
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Hola Tony

Having already a 15 HP engine, ideal a 2 stroke, I'll go for any inflatable floor model in the 340/350/360 range if possible to find locally, if portability, low weight and easy inflation are a must. If assembling floors is no big issue, 340/350/360 wooden or aluminum with a nice electric inflator, launching wheels, will do. A 15 HP will move a 380 sib efficiently, but not plane hevyly loaded as your requirements. If planing a 380 is not a deciding purchase issue, but space is, go for the 380 & 15 HP configuration,

Other important consideration: how far do you intend to water travell, if extensive, will be bored shortly on far out distances with a non planing sib, an alternative, trade your 15 for any 25 HP available brand of your choice.

330/340 sib sizes are bit too tight for 4 people including camping gear, would say just for 2 + gear. Honda, Quicksilver are well priced fine sibs, Zodiac more expensive ones. It's a pitty to see that sib manufactures are discontinuing 350/360 range sizes, a must size between 340 and 380 sibs.

Happy Boating
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Old 25 June 2008, 03:52   #6
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Many thanks guys. I'm coming round to the idea that the QS HD 380 will be too heavy (although looks a great boat).

I'm going to try to find out more about a Zodiac Zoom 380 and a Bombard 380 as they are listed as being much lighter. Is there any problems that you guys are aware of with regards these two?

Forgive me my ignorance, I have noticed that many members talk about 'planing' the boat. Would this be when the boat reaches a certain speed it moves more efficiently over the water? Speed is not important for me but, for obvious reasons, fuel efficiency is.

Cheers

Tony
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Old 25 June 2008, 04:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexmundi View Post
Many thanks guys. I'm coming round to the idea that the QS HD 380 will be too heavy (although looks a great boat).

I'm going to try to find out more about a Zodiac Zoom 380 and a Bombard 380 as they are listed as being much lighter. Is there any problems that you guys are aware of with regards these two?

Forgive me my ignorance, I have noticed that many members talk about 'planing' the boat. Would this be when the boat reaches a certain speed it moves more efficiently over the water? Speed is not important for me but, for obvious reasons, fuel efficiency is.

Cheers

Tony
yep you have it for plane-ing....that is when the fun starts to happen

i had a bombard tropic 3.30 before the quicksilver 3.4, the build quality on the qs seemed far better and the inside room was very significant. dont just look at a boat from a far, get in and sit in there to get a feel for the room when you have all your bits with you

one where paddles are attached to the boat is useful

remember

you will have

people
kids
bags
maybe fishing gear
cool box
fuel tank
small bag with anchor?
sarnies etc

this kit with you and possibly more so take care when reviewing the size to get

our 340 is perfect for 2 adults or 2 adults and one small kid

4 adults for any time would be a squeeze unless just travelling from a to b

also you can get different pitch props for the engine so you can match the prop to the boat and loading

cheers
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Old 25 June 2008, 07:42   #8
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I would highly recommend the Bombard 380 Airotec, very easy to set up & put away, light at only 43 Kg & it keeps up with a 3.80 quicksilver & a 30 Hp no problem & I only have a 15 Hp it only weighs 79 Kg all in!
The air floor is in a deep v shape & pumps up to over 11 psi so giving a much better ride than other air floors & it is much kinder on you when it gets a bit lumpy! My brother in law has ended keeping his 3.8 Tohatsu on a trailer as it is just to big & heavy to manage & he still is no faster!
They are more money but you do get a better boat for your dosh, well I think so, little things like the seat is padded & bolts in so it dose not come loose then you are having a blast! If you want something light & fast that you can fit a family of 5 in then it works for me, the only but I have it is not as wide as the QS!
Nick
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Old 01 July 2008, 08:33   #9
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Got a SIB

A big thank you goes to all who replied to me and all who contribute on this site - it really assisted me with my purchase.

Ended up buying a 1998 s/h Bombard 380 aerotec (transom wheels already fitted) with a 1998 Yamaha 25hp engine and I can't wait to try it out.

Will be taking it out for the first time soon (after purchasing life jackets) with a friend and both of us are dedicated land lubbers with no experience on the water up to now!

Planning to take the boat for small sea crossings of 1/2 mile and coastal exploring for up to 2 days and would appreciate to know if we will require to take with us safety equipment (apart from life jackets). Is there any legislation which requires the boat to carry a VHF radio, flares etc for instance?
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Old 01 July 2008, 08:40   #10
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With your location you'd be daft not to have a VHF and flares. No legislation saying so though.
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