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Old 10 March 2013, 07:29   #1
Country: Other
Town: St Vincent &The Grenadine
Length: no boat
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 11
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Hi All

I could not find a thread for air decks.

I have read opposing views on air decks - from 'they are ok for doing a shopping run' to 'they are the way to go, no-one buys ali or wood anymore'.

Also I am wondering if they are so light does this not have an effect as to how the boat handles at speed? I'm looking at a 12 ft plus 18hp tohatsu 2 stroke combo. Will this work with a light deck? Will I need trim tabs?

As my knowledge of boats is rather limited I confess I do not know the effect that a heavy or light deck would have on the way a boat handles/performs.

What about their integrity - are they as strong as wood as claimed and do they lose pressure?
Will I have to carry a pump?
Does quality vary from manufacturer to manufacturer?
Do they flex at the proper pressure?
How resistant to punctures are they? I will be fishing from my boat so I am assuming I really should lay down some marine carpet or the like for protection against hooks & knives.

More often than not, I will be moving the boat on my own and inflating for each use.

Any thoughts welcomed, please.


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Old 10 March 2013, 07:38   #2
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willk's Avatar
Country: Ireland
Make: Redbay Boats
Length: 9m +
Engine: 370hp
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 13,093
Search for Bombard 380 Aerotec on here.

Airdecks can be fine.

Have you REALLY thought about carrying a 41kg outboard every time you launch? Even an airdeck SIB is gonna weigh loads (40kg +). If you're a big healthy lad, fine. No way I'd consider it!

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"
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Old 10 March 2013, 08:06   #3
falcon0310's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: surrey
Boat name: el nino
Make: tornado humber
Length: 7m +
Engine: outboards
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 958
i say there the best but there expensive whats your buget
we all mad
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Old 10 March 2013, 09:05   #4
lockieboi's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: kent
Boat name: SIBotage
Make: Prowave
Length: 3m +
Engine: 15hp Johnson 2 smoke
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 435
Every SIB is a compromise, the Ali/wood floors are heavy and a pain to assemble/dismantle but provide a nice stable platform.

Airdecks are light and easy to assemble but are pressure critical and can flex a little and are not a stable platform to stand on.

I started of with a air deck and soon changed to a 3.8 meter Ali floor SIB and although it is heavy I can manage it on my own.

From what I've read the only air deck that works well is the Bombard 380.
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Old 10 March 2013, 17:07   #5
SIBer's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: South Yorkshire
Boat name: Sold it !
Length: 3m +
Engine: Totallyhotsue 9.8 2S
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 258
Air decks need a decent pump to get up to pressure.
Mine is solid like a board at pressure and it doesn't leak. I can stand on it easily and far better than a slatted or PVC only floor. An Alu desk woud be better and stiffer but heavier and slower to set up.
A little flex is experienced when loaded at speed but the compromise of lightweight and easy set up is best for me. I use a piece of caravan awning "carpet" over it to protect it and provide some grip as they are slippery when wet.
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Old 12 March 2013, 05:40   #6
Country: UK - England
Town: Inkberrow
Make: Quicksilver 340 AD
Length: 3m +
Engine: 1992 Evinrude 20HP
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 109
I've a Quicksilver 340 Airdeck with a 20HP Evinrude on board.... basically the airdeck is convenient but at high speeds you can feel a rippling effect going under you which can be disconcerting... make sure full air pressure!
While the airdeck material is pretty tough and thick (a lot thinker than the rib itself) I'd feel nervous about blades n hooks .. other fishermen on here can advise better that I about the practicalities..
Good luck whatever your choice!

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