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Old 05 July 2015, 08:39   #1
PIB
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Country: UK - England
Length: 3m +
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Advice on which SIB / engine combo works best ..

HI

I need some advice from more experienced hands than me.

I am looking for a craft to use during holidays down in the south west, mainly for me , the boss and our new born + visitors. we would be using on a tidal river and some excursions 5nm down the coast either way.

Originally I wanted a Bombard C3 but feel this may be overkill for river use and the odd explore down the cost in good conditions.
Then I looked at Aerotec and Zodiac Futura, but couldnt work out pr's and con's!! Then I started looking at all the other brands and got completely confused on what I should be looking at ?!?!?!

Some of my requirements:
I want to be able to store it in my shed next to its engine, so it needs to be a SIB
I need to be able to carry the various parts from shed to car (25m) and then car to water (1m)
I would like to be able to plane with 3 adults
I would like to be able to pull it up the beach.
It should be reasonably tough (but this is lower importance than being light)
I want tiller steering
Undecided between inflatbale floors or alu/wood floors ? any advise ?

Any help would be amazing !

Very confused SIB newbie
PIB
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Old 05 July 2015, 09:11   #2
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Country: UK - England
Town: St Helens
Boat name: Wine Down
Make: Maxum
Length: 8m +
Engine: Inboard
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Hi, first thing to do is read the thread 'which Sib' in the inflatable boat forum.

Then buy a Aerotec 380 and either a 15 hp 2 stroke (36kg ish) or a 25hp 2 stroke (45kg ish) if you can manage it.

Job done :-)

Thats a bit tongue in cheek, but the above is a great combo. If you want to inflate every time, stay with air floors and less than 3.8m and stay with a named brand. Others to look at are Zodiac Futura Mk2C fastroller and Honwave T38.
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Old 05 July 2015, 09:32   #3
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: Nimrod II
Make: Aerotec 380
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Engine: Suzuki DF20 EFI
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As said read the Which Sib and then post back what extra ideas that raises.

Re your needs/wishes...

I store my SIB & outboard in shed/garage and the choice of 15-25hp outboard and air/wood/alloy floor makes little difference... they are all super compact compared to a trailer boat.

A 20/25hp outboard is noticeably heavier than a 15hp but both OK on a trolley and carrying SIBs packed up is OK as the air floor ones weigh about 100lbs and the wood/alloy floor ones weigh about the same for the boat then you have a second bag for the floor at another 60lbs. I can carry/move a 100lb SIB on my own as they are a great soft shape to handle... a 100lb outboard has too many sticking out bits and is unbalanced so that's a no for me... hence I keep to a 15hp max.

Getting on the plane with 3 adults very much depends on the overall weight. A hard floor boat feels less lively with its extra 60lbs or so... then if the adults are "substantial" and/or you carry loads of kit you will knock the performance down with a 15hp and 20/25hp might be better (if you can carry it).

Pulling a 100lb air floor SIB up a beach is easy... a 160lb hard floor with larger outboard less so.

In truth there is little real difference in toughness for leisure use of all the SIBs from Honwave through to Zodiac/Bombard. Of course commercial, RNLI or military versions are super tough... but very heavy.

Tiller steering... makes sense.

Floor choice... a difficult one as I've swung from one to the other and back over the past few years. Ideally I would like a SIB with a decent V underwater profile but a flattish floor inside made of wood or alloy. But then on a few occasions when rushed or on a baking hot day I'm very pleased to have the ease of assy with an air floor.

To give you an overview of where we're at (with a similar use to you of mostly holidays and 2 adults plus 1 or 2 grown up teens.. packing in the shed, pulling up the beach etc)...

Been using a Zodiac 340 Acti-V air floor for past year with a 15hp Mercury 2-stroke... also just bought an old Aerotec for trialling alongside the Zodiac for 2wks soon in Scotland to see if the benefits make that deeper V worthwhile.

Oh yes... might seem a bit personal but approx budget and buying new/used makes a difference. If you were able to buy a new Aerotec plus the lightest new 20hp 4-stroke made that puts you in a different market to many (inc me) who look for an all in used outfit for 1400-1800.
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Old 05 July 2015, 13:20   #4
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Country: UK - England
Town: Sussex
Boat name: Bombard, Y-162
Make: Aerotec 380, Y-Class
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Engine: Mercury Mariner 15hp
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Superb advice above, I won't repeat what's in the sticky but you are pretty much looking to buy the same end result as the vast majority of the SIB users on here.

I'll just add a couple of points, someone posted on here earlier this week re' another which engine? question and summed it up very nicely and concisely roughly along the lines of:

"Buy the biggest engine you can manhandle from your car (and garage) to boat up to the maximum your SIB will allow".

It's as simple as that - if you cannot get it into/out of your car and up/down the launch area, remembering that for some this is a steep, stony long beach then it's no good. I'd like a 25 on my Aerotec but the simple truth is myself and my ship's crew cannot manhandle that weight any more up our beaches, yes, when I was 20 but at well over double that now forget it, certainly up and down shingle and pebbles. So, a 15 it is.

And secondly, your choice of SIB must be governed by where you will use it and the prevailing weather.

Again, here on the Sussex coast of the last say 10 the times we have been able to go boating, maybe 2 have been flat calm, the majority minimum F3/4 and last three times, random weekends mid summer as yesterday have been into F5.

Simple truth, having owned and run a typical Zodiac (Fastroller) 340 HP floor SIB for some years (+ the odd solid floor model) and now an Aerotec the Aerotec is streets ahead as a usable boat in the weather we typically experience. Simply owning the Aerotec with it's unique proper V hull all the way back to the transom makes boating safe and possible for us.

Yesterday, amongst the kite surfers and wind surfers there were no other SIBs to be seen, I've been caught out in a flat bottom SIB when it really blew up and safe and comfortable it was not. The Aerotec is unique in that it allows you to cope with bigger seas (and at greater speeds) than other SIB's.

We enjoy the rough stuff (that's me and my 12 yr old son - wife won't go to sea, rivers only ) but if you want to take non-boaty people out or only go out on rivers/flat days/enjoy more gentle prevailing winds then any typical 3.4m SIB will be great.
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Old 05 July 2015, 14:52   #5
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I have just down sized and done A lot of research I got it down to a bombard c3 or at zodiac futura , trouble was no sign of buying this side of Christmas zodiac in trouble waiting for a buyer. So the best deal I could get was from ron hale marine Ross hale advised me on a Mercury HD 365 it apears he sells a few to the commercial boys so went for it with a new. Suzuki 25 62kg boat at 100kg got it all blown up today really pleased with it very heavily built five year warranty on the PVC welded seams good build quality.
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Old 05 July 2015, 20:56   #6
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Guys this I great, so I think the depth is the big challenge of the aerotec
If that works in our river (haven't spent much time on the water while busing the house) it sounds like the best bet!

Are all engines equal or do some have advantages over others

On budget I would've ok to buy new but much better to get something sex d hand around the 1500-2000 mark
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Old 06 July 2015, 02:11   #7
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Aerotec and yam 15 2s on sale on eBay for 2800, bit over your budget but comes with transome wheels and all the extras you are likely to need, looks a great package if you want to buy right first time
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Old 06 July 2015, 02:38   #8
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Boat name: Bombard, Y-162
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Engine: Mercury Mariner 15hp
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Both a bit overpriced TBH. Obviously he is looking for offers and chancing it a bit but the engine is pretty old and needs some cosmetics, I'd maybe try and get the boat for near 1000 or hold out for a similar package under 2k - they do come along.
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Old 06 July 2015, 04:21   #9
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Boat name: Nimrod II
Make: Aerotec 380
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Engine: Suzuki DF20 EFI
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Posts: 3,279
Why can't I see that 2800 Aerotec... link anyone.

I see there are two more just on as well....

BOMBARD AEROTEC 380 Inflatable Boat | eBay

Just my opinion but 1500 is a tipping point where I'd rather go 2000 and buy brand new. Says used a few times but I bet it's still 5-10yrs old. But he is looking for offers so I guess it might come nearer 1000.

Bombard Aerotec 380 Mercury 20hp and Trailer | eBay

A very interesting listing with much mention of "precautionary patches"... particularly interested in the two on the underside to reinforce where the "high pressure air impact is entering the valves". Still it seems an honest listing with loads of pics warts and all. Despite the old engine (and assuming you can lift it ok) there will be some great summer fun to be had as long as the price is on the low side.
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Old 06 July 2015, 04:34   #10
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: Bombard, Y-162
Make: Aerotec 380, Y-Class
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Engine: Mercury Mariner 15hp
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It's the one you linked first, the engine is listed separately.

The second one looks interesting but why do people do odd mods like that?! Just Sikaflex a block to the top of the transom is all that's needed.

The 'precautionary' patches on the floor 'to alleviate some of the impact of high pressure air going into the valves' are a bit daft.

Looks a reasonable package though *once* the boat is tidied up and patches removed/re-done, transom restored. Floor and tubes look clean and lightly used.

If I was in the market for that I'd be contacting him today off-eBay to get an early viewing and try and do a deal for cash.

Personally I would not pay more than 2k for a 5-10 yr old minty Aerotec outfit including a circa mid 2000's last line Mariner/Mercury/Yam 2 stroke to include wheels and a few extras.

This particular one is far from minty but has the trailer which is a bonus worth 250 or so and the bow bag worth say 50 but the boat needs a little work and the engine is rather older.

Earlier or slightly abused examples and older 2 strokes the value should be much less IMHO - 600 to 800 each for boat and engine maximum.
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