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Old 06 October 2016, 18:16   #1
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Notts J28 M1
Make: Excel Volante 390
Length: 3m +
Engine: Suzuki DF20AS
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 33
Collected New Excel 390 Today

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlander View Post
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.
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Old 06 October 2016, 19:32   #2
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Country: UK - England
Town: Dudley
Boat name: Volante SD360
Make: Excel
Length: 3m +
Engine: Suzuki DF20SA Efi
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 26
Hi LimeCC,

Thanks for the update. Great comments. I just bought a Volante 360 from the guys at Excel and had a good (show price) deal.
I'm also getting the Suzuki DF 20SA next week. Can't wait to get on the water

Ade
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Old 07 October 2016, 03:25   #3
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Country: UK - England
Town: East Anglia
Boat name: Nimrod II
Make: Aerotec 380
Length: 3m +
Engine: Suzuki DF20 EFI
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,672
Yep good to hear what you decided on and why LimeCC. I couldn't be sure from your description if you have bought the model with a flat air floor and sausage keel under or an alloy floor type??

Good choice of outboard. When I started sibbing most folks who carried their boats in the car for a daily setup would regard a pre-2006 15hp 2-stroke as the heaviest that was reasonably manageable. Now many more folks are going for this latest generation lightweight Suzuki 20.

I swapped the petrol pipe from the supplied Suzuki one as it was soft and easy to kink, then when I went to use it for a second tank backup on holiday in August (when it was just 5mth old) the primer bulb had failed. I went for a Quicksilver brand as their pipe is crush proof and bulb of a better quality.

If the transom wheels really have ball bearings they will be a pain. The nylon wheels running on axle stubs is plenty good enough and I'd see if you could pull the bearings out and replace with a suitable size nylon sleeve.

I forget where you are in the country... which is your nearest sea launch location for the first run?

Don't forget to tell us how it goes once run in and chuck up a few pictures.
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Old 07 October 2016, 11:34   #4
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Dudley
Boat name: Volante SD360
Make: Excel
Length: 3m +
Engine: Suzuki DF20SA Efi
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 26
I've been looking at Tywyn as a possible first launch for me.
The slip looks really shallow and accessible.
I don't mind paying the 30 license fee and annual 140 for launching.
Barmouth also looks quite accessible.

I'm open to advice

Ade
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Old 07 October 2016, 14:19   #5
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Notts J28 M1
Make: Excel Volante 390
Length: 3m +
Engine: Suzuki DF20AS
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 33
My first launch is looking like Sawley Marina and I'll be trolling up and down the Trent during the break-in period. However it won't be for a while I'm in the middle of a complex repair to my car and have a gable roof to build onto my porch extension, then we'll have lost the daylight.

In the meantime I'm going to construct an engine stand out of 4x2 so I can get some floor area back in my garage and I will find time to glue the bow canopy patches to the bow. I'll try and get some pics of the assembled boat at this time.
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Old 13 November 2016, 03:09   #6
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Country: UK - England
Town: Notts J28 M1
Make: Excel Volante 390
Length: 3m +
Engine: Suzuki DF20AS
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 33
First Impressions

Still no nearer to maiden voyage thanks to self-build project, but I couldn't help myself but get the boat out of the box a couple of days ago. I need to affix the bow canopy and drill the transom to fit the wheels. I'm disappointed I have to work out the position, there are no instructions about the position and the dealer is a hour away. For other's benefit I'll post details when I've done the job. I was trying to save a few bob as I already pushed the boat out financially by getting optional extras.

I like how the boarding ladder fits nicely around any of the handles and is easily folded and stored, the rope has a large brass clip.

I notice a new feature of the latest models is the anchor wheel at the front. I'm not sure how to use it but it looks good.

The boat looks very well made, so far I'm very impressed!
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Old 13 November 2016, 03:51   #7
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: East Anglia
Boat name: Nimrod II
Make: Aerotec 380
Length: 3m +
Engine: Suzuki DF20 EFI
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,672
Yep always tempting to get a new SIB inflated even if a trip isn't possible... living room is always best option in the winter!

Plan and plan again for fitting the transom wheels before you drill.

Things to consider...

Mount them in a position to get the SIB well off the ground for OB skeg clearance.

Mount as far apart as possible but make sure as they flip up they don't foul the tubes.

Check the OB will turn to each side when they are in the up position.

If an air floor check the mounting nuts on the inside do not rub on the rear of the floor.

Try to avoid drilling through any data plates... and if air floor do not drill through it by mistake!

Remember if they have curved legs these should curve under the transom.
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Old 14 November 2016, 12:59   #8
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Notts J28 M1
Make: Excel Volante 390
Length: 3m +
Engine: Suzuki DF20AS
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 33
For now I've bagged it and no drilling until I've been to Excel's showroom and collected my cover which is on back-order and taken some photos as assistance.

The weight at 66kg is a two man and awkward lift but it doesn't have to be that way. I had a brainwave (lol) to separate the components into two or more bags! I can't be the only person to have thought of this stupidly simple idea?

I'm going to get an awning bag similar to the full awning bag we have for our twin axle caravan. This will be perfect size to accommodate the inflatable floor and seats, oars etc leaving just the tubes and transom in the main bag which now weighs just(!) 46.5kg. Still not light but no longer a two man effort.
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