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Old 02 August 2014, 17:33   #1
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Bombard Aerotec questions

Greetings from the United States. My grandmother, Margery Jeyes, was from Truro, Cornwall so consider me a proud 1/4 Brit and go easy on me for all of these questions!

After reading every SIB post for the last three years, I am convinced the Bombard Aerotec 380 or 420 is what I need. I live in a condo in Los Angeles and spearfish up and down the coast and occasionally at the Channel Islands (Catalina and Anacapa), which are 20 and 11 mile journeys, respectively. So portability and seaworthiness are both important to me, however mutually exclusive they may be. I am also willing to buy new.

I have no doubts about the vessel near shore. My questions are about offshore handing:

1. But first, will anyone even ship an Aerotec to the United States? Where does an American find one of these great vessels?

2. Assuming I can get one, how does the 380 or 420 hold up in the open ocean? In 15 knot winds/rough seas? Do any of you regularly go 5-20 miles out in yours?

3. What size engine for the 380 or 420 is needed to go out in the above conditions?

4. Is the 420 unpopular? Few of you seem to have bought one. Does the hull bend in rough waters?

I'm sure I'll have more questions, but these are just a start..

Cheers!
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Old 02 August 2014, 17:46   #2
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Hi the 420 is no longer made, they are part of the Zodiac so you may be able to order one through one of there dealers?
I have a 3.8 and a 15hp 2st with is a great combo for a lightweight set up, I have done some longer trips in it and it will handle very well in some swell and always feales safe you may want more power if you are going to load it up but I used to run mine with a family of 5 in it when they where smaller.
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Old 03 August 2014, 00:22   #3
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Hi the 420 is no longer made, they are part of the Zodiac so you may be able to order one through one of there dealers?
I have a 3.8 and a 15hp 2st with is a great combo for a lightweight set up, I have done some longer trips in it and it will handle very well in some swell and always feales safe you may want more power if you are going to load it up but I used to run mine with a family of 5 in it when they where smaller.
Ahh, well that explains their scarcity. Thank you.

And great to hear the 380 holds up in swell. It gets really rough crossing the channel so I need something safe and the Aerotec is the only SIB with the deep V hull that I can find anywhere.

If anyone knows of any other deep V SIBs, by the way, I'm all ears...
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Old 03 August 2014, 01:52   #4
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Bombard Aerotec questions

Although they are great boats, and certainly the best combination of packability and performance, it's still a compromise and I wouldn't class it as a rough water boat.

A bit of swell is no problem, but it's going to be hard work when it gets choppy. It's a deep V hull compared to other inflatables, but it doesn't come close to the performance of a RIB.

I'm not saying you shouldn't get one, but be realistic. I wouldn't want you to go to massive expense to get one shipped over because we rave about them here, only to discover it's not what you expected!
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Old 03 August 2014, 02:03   #5
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Although they are great boats, and certainly the best combination of packability and performance, it's still a compromise and I wouldn't class it as a rough water boat.

A bit of swell is no problem, but it's going to be hard work when it gets choppy. It's a deep V hull compared to other inflatables, but it doesn't come close to the performance of a RIB.

I'm not saying you shouldn't get one, but be realistic. I wouldn't want you to go to massive expense to get one shipped over because we rave about them here, only to discover it's not what you expected!
Thank you John!! I hear you loud and clear and think I have my expectations set accordingly. No SIB will compare to a RIB, but I need the packability so I want the most seaworthy SIB I can get, if I can get it. But if it's going to cost a fortune more, I will have to weight that cost vs the added utility and re-evaluate.

So strange they don't sell them over here... Every model but the Aerotec
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Old 03 August 2014, 04:40   #6
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Although they are great boats, and certainly the best combination of packability and performance, it's still a compromise and I wouldn't class it as a rough water boat.

A bit of swell is no problem, but it's going to be hard work when it gets choppy. It's a deep V hull compared to other inflatables, but it doesn't come close to the performance of a RIB.

I'm not saying you shouldn't get one, but be realistic. I wouldn't want you to go to massive expense to get one shipped over because we rave about them here, only to discover it's not what you expected!
Yep agreed is a sib at the end of the day not a rib,
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Old 03 August 2014, 05:27   #7
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Nick - you said you've done some "longer trips" but were you coast hugging? Or have you done anything like a 15-20 mile open sea passage? I guess that would be the equivalent of an English Channel Crossing? UK -> IOM, Lundy, Scotland -> Ireland?

The guys with 4 -5m ribs would only do those journeys in the very best of weather and usually only in company...? Not sure I've seen anyone on here say they've done it in a SIB?
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Old 03 August 2014, 14:17   #8
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Nick - you said you've done some "longer trips" but were you coast hugging? Or have you done anything like a 15-20 mile open sea passage? I guess that would be the equivalent of an English Channel Crossing? UK -> IOM, Lundy, Scotland -> Ireland?

The guys with 4 -5m ribs would only do those journeys in the very best of weather and usually only in company...? Not sure I've seen anyone on here say they've done it in a SIB?
friends of mine here in California cross the channel to the Channel Islands (20 miles) in 3.6m ribs pretty regularly. They are usually well prepared for any calamities, have 30hp engines, only do it when there is a good weather window and wear goggles on the ride home

clearly a risky one hour crossing meant only for the experienced boater with a capable boat.
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Old 03 August 2014, 15:53   #9
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It's doable in a SIB (when it all comes together)
I have done a run in a Zodiac MKIIC+20hp from Blacksod to Eagle island,Mayo at the start of Oct
Long time ago,would not be so keen now
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Old 03 August 2014, 15:58   #10
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I would say that the crossing is certainly possible in a mid-size SIB, but you'd need to a) pick your day, b) ideally have another boat along for support, c) file a float plan, and d) carry an epirb/PLB.

The SB channel can be quite calm, but can also have pretty horrendous conditions, and it's capable of pretty quick changes. Not a trip to take lightly.

jky

Shafe: a 3.6m RIB will enable you to endure much worse water than a SIB will. Not that the SIB can't handle it, more that you won't. A RIB eats up energy in the hull; the SIB transfers it all to you.
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