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Old 30 April 2014, 03:05   #1
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Boat name: Bombard, Y-162
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Considering a Bombard Aerotec (again!) - questions, questions...

Bear with me but Bombard nuts please, this is your chance!

I keep coming back to nearly getting one as I've tried most other types of SIB's in search for the 'holy grail' SIB compromise in terms of size/weight/performance.

Mostly used my Zodiac 340 HP airfloor but I've been playing with a Suzumar 360 solid floor too. I just don't think I'm going to get on with trailering a boat again and the impracticalities of launching a heavy boat up and down a steepish 'heavy going' beach and working round it in the garage etc.

As regulars know I am a big advocate of keeping the SIB inflated all year and of popping it on the (Land Rover) roof for trasport - short drive to our launch sites.

The Zodiac 340 is around 32 kg I believe and easy for my lightweight wife and me to slide up on the roof and with engine off reasonably easy to manhandle up the beach on decent launch wheels.

Can owners give their thoughts to lifting the Aerotec up there and the actual weight - seen this vary on different sites between 40 and 48kg??

Again, dimensions quoted vary too - can someone please measure theirs and give the exact length external and internal to middle of tubes and the same for beam internal/external? Are the tubes 43cm diameter? Seems it is quite a narrow beam compared to other SIBs?

As we know it is the only SIB with any real 'V' to the floor especially at the stern - how do those coming from a typical very shallow V HP or solid floor find it works in practise in comparison? Will they actually cut through minor chop?

I'll be using a 15 2 smoke Mariner which should be a good compromise for me and the young lad (about 18 stone total). Will it make near 20 kts like this?

And has anyone put a false flat floor inside - the shape looks a PITA to be honest for gear and stuff.

Lastly, lots of issues seem to surround these with leaks/rubbing/seams and straps breaking - how good/bad are they?

Sorry for the ramble.
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Old 30 April 2014, 04:36   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max... View Post
I keep coming back to nearly getting one as I've tried most other types of SIB's in search for the 'holy grail' SIB compromise in terms of size/weight/performance.
If you need/want to deflate it and pack it away when it's not being used then there's nothing that I've found that compares for ease of use and performance.

Quote:
As we know it is the only SIB with any real 'V' to the floor especially at the stern - how do those coming from a typical very shallow V HP or solid floor find it works in practise in comparison? Will they actually cut through minor chop?
I reckon it's as good as an inflatable with a solid floor and inflatable keel. It's streets ahead of an air floor with inflatable keel, and is at least as good as a small shallow-V RIB. There's no comparison with a real RIB though, and a SR4 would leave it for dead.

Quote:
I'll be using a 15 2 smoke Mariner which should be a good compromise for me and the young lad (about 18 stone total). Will it make near 20 kts like this?
Provided you don't load it to the gunwales with a week's worth of camping kit you'll be fine. You should find that you can plane easily enough with up to 30ish stone aboard, although the pickup will be slow.

Quote:
And has anyone put a false flat floor inside - the shape looks a PITA to be honest for gear and stuff.
I've never felt the need. The V floor keeps everything nice and low which is good. I keep my kit in bags which stow easily enough, although boxes would probably be less good.

Quote:
Lastly, lots of issues seem to surround these with leaks/rubbing/seams and straps breaking - how good/bad are they?
They are well made, and don't particularly suffer from problems any more than other inflatables. There are a couple of points worth watching out for that you've probably seen though:

Some people have found that the thwart seat wears the tube where it touches - it's not likely to fail suddenly or catastrophically, and a strategic pre-emptive patch seems to solve this

Stones that get under the floor can cause punctures over time - just be aware of this and occasionally remove the floor and clean underneath (a five minute job)

I don't have mine to hand at the moment so can't take measurements, but I'm sure someone else will be able to assist.

Hope that helps!
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Old 30 April 2014, 05:03   #3
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As i'm sure people have guessed I have a sib addiction and I have a had a lot sibs over the years, so I will try and give you an honest appraisal.

Size:
For a 3.8m sib its small, in practice I would say it has the same internal volume of a Honwave T32. The big tubes and small beam are what does it and I even use a 2.5 gallon tank in it because a 5 gallon just feels huge inside. With the bow bag and seat in place you will feel cramped with 4 adults on board (For comparison the Futura 3.8m easily holds 5 adults with room for kit). It wont feel as big as your Zodiac 340.

Weight:
Its light and it feels it. Easily carried by 2 adults and we can throw it up on the roof of the Range Rover quite easily, this is where the narrow beam is an advantage because it sits fully on the roof rails unlike the Futura or Honwave that hung over each side. I have never weighed it cos it wont fit on the bathroom scales, but you can reduce the weight a lot by removing the bow bag, seat and paddles. The small beam also makes it feel easier to handle, its not as unwieldy as a lot of big sibs.

Performance:
The big positive for the 380, the floor really works (subject to correct pressure). Its rigid and because its seperate (unlike the Honwave/Suzamar/Sun Sport) any small amounts of water end up under the floor rather than puddled round your feet. The splashing over the transom is a real thing, so much so that I think we should start compiling a list of engines and height mods needed ! With a 25hp Yamaha and no mod the boat fills up in a couple of minutes, with a 35mm shim its as dry as a bone, with a Evinrude 15hp its dry with no mod needed. Dont get caught up with the rough water handling charcteristics, its a good boat,but at the end of the day its just a sib. It will be dryer than your 340 because the bow is higher and the V does help deflect chop away from the cockpit. I have never clocked the boat, but it planes easily with a 15hp and 2 adults on board.

Floor Shape:
Yep, its a PITA. Everything slides into the middle, and small kids always end up sitting on the seat rather than the tubes because they have nothing to brace against. But the compromise is worth it because of the performance the floor gives.

Something you havent mentioned is portability. When the boat is deflated, its tiny. Its a lot smaller than 3.1m sibs and even fits in the boot of a 3 series coupe with room to spare, being able to remove the floor really helps with this. With the 15hp its become the boat of choice for my son and I to nip out for a quick blast (We previously used a 2.7m V floor Europa with an 8hp, but the Bombard is easier to handle and inflate).

Overall its a great boat, full of compromises as they all are, but a lot better than most. With a Bravo pump it can be set up in under 10 mins and put away in a similar time, as a portable sib its one of the best I have had.
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Old 30 April 2014, 05:38   #4
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Max, we moved to a 380 last summer. Its a great piece of kit.

We've found that without kids around, we can be on the water in under 15 minutes from putting the handbrake on to pottering away from the slip. Thats using a rechargeable hi pressure pump and me and Mrs B.

It is narrower than some, but for family fun we've found it fine. With 2 adults a 5 year old and a 7 year old, it planes with out a problem using our Johnson 15hp. Thats with 34 stone in the boat (I'm a well fed lad!). Over Easter our little one found the V floor at the front a great place to lie and shelter out of the wind.

As the others have said a searider would leave it for dust in the rough stuff, that said it doesn't compete with a SR4 as product, ultimately this is something that'll slot under the workbench in the garage!

I had a play in the big waves on the Salcombe bar last October and it as a riot, never felt out of its depth and landed softly from some airtime over the waves.

Its definitely a rig that we'll be hanging onto, wherever our boating takes us in the future.

I like a bit of speed, but it must be mental with a 25HP on the back
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Old 30 April 2014, 06:11   #5
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Firstly Max you should get one... your needs are not quite the same as ours but your feedback on using one, knowing the outfits you've had as a comparison, would be welcome.

Regarding dimensions in a slightly nerdy way over the years I've collected dimensions seen in old brochures and sometimes taken measurements from boats so I have a table of info on many popular boats of the past 10-20yrs.

The 380 info I have is (with your 3.4 air floor in brackets)...

Packed size 115cm 72cm 39cm (105 54 32)
Weight (sorry about change to imperial) 95lbs (88lbs)
Overall width 5'5" (5'6")
Overall length 12'6" (11'2")
Interior width 2'5" (2'7")
Interior length 8'2" (7'4")
Weight capacity 1518lbs (1322lbs)
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Old 30 April 2014, 06:25   #6
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Cheers guys, *very* useful input.

(David are you sure on the Zodiac as I have it as 30kg in the original brouchre although some say 35kg? 88 lbs = 40kg.)

As I say set-up time, packed size etc will not be an issue for me as I rig it in April and bag it in September - the whole season it will be left rigged in the garage and popped up on the Landy roof and down to the beach/river.

I've read a shed load of topics overnight but good to get more feedback - the engine/transom/height issue seems to not be too bad with a 15 and an inch or two of raiser bar.

The floor will be a pain though as I carry everything in a weighty large Pelicase which I usually strap down.

I was chatting to Fenlander about this but there must be a composite sandwich type waterproof sheet type material that can be routed with radiused edges etc and without the weight/maintainance issues of ply that could be fashioned into a simple false floor panel - with cut outs for the valves/straps etc and simple tie down rings incorporated...

The inflatable floor is not the actual bottom floor is it? Does it have a panel underneath?

And is there a decent rubbing strake on the bottom of the V or just the usual Zodiac flat thin strip?

All pics and further feedback welcomed.
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Old 30 April 2014, 06:39   #7
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>>>(David are you sure on the Zodiac as I have it as 30kg in the original brouchre although some say 35kg? 88 lbs = 40kg.)

Well it's from a 2002 Zodiac brochure which is still in the file... it's a 3.4 boat and looks identical to yours in the image with the same sausage keel under air floor. Of course that weight could be gross to include stowage bag and pump??
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Old 30 April 2014, 07:39   #8
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Here are some pics of my current SIB (Suzumar 360) to show the Pelicase - awesome boat but too heavy to manhandle on roof/beach. I love the solid floor for it's solidity and 'real boat' feel and it's very easy to attach tie downs - see twin fuel tank strap mounts and front SS eyelets I've added to tie down Pelicase.

Another big plus with this boat is the internal 'squarish' shape - really wide bow and internally length is 243cm and width 83cm so very practical.

But.....if it's too tricky/faffy to use the trailer (and to have to store a trailer) I end up using it less which is the main thing of course so I think I will go back to an airfloor.
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Old 30 April 2014, 14:59   #9
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Hi no idea on bombard but if you are after one give Phoenix Pete a call on here I think he has a good one for sale. As he has just bout a rib
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Old 30 April 2014, 16:00   #10
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I did last night!
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