Originally Posted by Fenlander
The Cambridgeshire dealer who supplied my Suzuki would sell you the DF20A for £2299 and a Honwave 3.8 V air floor for £999. As the Honwave will probably be better for your use and hold it's price better second hand I was thinking your deal would need to be at least £100 less to consider it.... particularly as my dealer ought to give another £100 off to sell both together and effectively match the Excel deal.
Not trying to interfere... just help you with the options and choices.
The advice you gave was very much appreciated Fenlander. What a great forum and community thank you!!
After long and careful consideration of the Honwave I made my choice and today collected the Excel Vanguard 390 and Suzuki DF20AS with quite a few extras like transom wheels, bow canopy, seat storage, boarding ladder, digital inflation pump etc etc.
I managed to get the boat show prices which had just finished the evening before I struck the deal, I could have got the Honwave combo you mention for £50 less but what put me off in the end was the fact that they collect water in the centre of the V and everything will gravitate there when it is bouncing around. Water in the Excel collects underneath the flat floor and will be evacuated by the self-bailer at the transom.
I had a look underneath and there is a fairly deep V section for much of the hull so I don't know how it would compare to the Honwave for performance but I realize both are not a patch on a proper RIB so the difference is not likely to be that great. Also the Excel floor construction means there are extra buoyancy chambers in case something like a submerged tree stump or metal ever sliced it open and there is the prospect that the floor could be changed if major damage was done. This was what I took away from the sales pitch anyway.
I like the idea of the bow canopy which would never be a retrofit on a Honwave because the front is raised. I think our 16" Manchester Terrier will be quite snug when we make him a bed under there!
I think I need to have a longer petrol pipe and have ordered flushing muffs for the engine. After reading the manual I don't think it can be run using the Suzuki supplied flushing connection.
Only criticism so far is the wheel bearings are not stainless so will rust. Some of them now come with plain plastic sleeves but this doesn't help me. I'll devise some method of keeping the worst of the salt out and the waterproof grease in.
After lumping it from the car I'm pleased with the manageability of the 44kg engine but the boat itself is quite a lot heavier. This is the price to be paid for a the room afforded by a 6 man dinghy. I hope there will be extra stability over a smaller one and I took on board one member's comment that they are much smaller when at sea, compared to when viewed in the showroom. Floor area will be reduced by the bow canopy so we should still have enough room for 3 adults, 2 dogs and beach gear.
I wasn't going to purchase until next year but my advice is buy now. Brexit and the weakening £ mean prices are only going to go one way in 2017 and a zero % credit card deal over two years makes it a no brainer IMHO.