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Old 22 September 2015, 06:46   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Uckfield
Boat name: Dos Anos
Make: Brig
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Dilemma

I realise this may seem a rather dumb question but, please, bear with.
Recently retired, we bought a Brig Dingo 330 and Yamaha F6 outboard at last year"s Southampton Boat Show believing that we would get great use of it on holidays and maybe on the Broads and Thames in this country - we live in Sussex. However, despite adding several accessories our use of it, unfortunately has not worked out quite as we envisaged - we have been out in in twice for a total of about two hours including a very uncomfortable ride across the Sneekermeer in Holland this June. In short I'm not sure when and where we are going to use such a small boat. The time it takes to inflate and prepare and then deflate has discouraged us from possible day trips and I realise we should have thought of this before, but there we are. But before we try and sell it - another question would be how and where - my question is: are we missing something in terms of how and where we might use it that would reignite our enthusiasm and ability to get more from it.
Many thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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Old 22 September 2015, 07:09   #2
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Is it a hard deck floor?
If you want ease of use then air floor is the way to go along with a good electric pump that can get it up to pressure with ease.
My Sib from boot to water 20 to 30 mins me on my own not rushing
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Old 22 September 2015, 07:33   #3
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Country: UK - England
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Bit of a ramble but you might pick something out of this...

It's true air floors are a lot easier but perhaps only save 5-10mins in assembly. That is a small consideration besides getting partner/family to want to make a day out boating specific and then packing all the kit in the car... then the same the other end of the trip.

You are far closer to the sea than us. It takes us about 30mins to pack the SIB, engine and kit in the car then we're almost 2hrs from the sea. Once at the coast we're rarely launched in under 30mins and the same to pack away again. Once back home or the day following I'd unpack the boat to wash & dry, repack and flush the engine.... about an hour.

So the prep/travel/setup/faffing is about 7hrs for perhaps 4-6hrs out... hence with respect to Nick saving 5-10mins each end of the trip using an air floor isn't that significant.... it's more whether you really want to be on the water.

I never regard all this effort getting on the water as a chore because every outing is worth the trouble. Add to that boating every day for two weeks a year in Scotland and it's all positive.

I guess it all depends on the enthusiasm you, your wife, family etc have for a boat outing over anything else you could all do on a day off/weekend. Unless boating is the no.1 choice then the hassle probably exceeds the benefit.

I'm lucky Mrs Fenlander is very keen... as is at home 18yr old daughter if she's not out with friends... and the dog enjoys a day out too.

Last Friday Mrs Fenlander had the day booked off work and we were all organised to have a long day out on the inflatable but it rained most of the day so we stayed home... however then the weekend when we were otherwise committed it was perfect weather. Chatting to my 84yr old dad visiting that sunday he said he'd find it frustrating getting so few days out a year. My argument to him was an inflatable outfit is so cheap to buy and maintain plus it takes up little space so I'm happy to have it in the garage unused for significant periods as on the days you get on the water its brilliant fun.

By the way you mentioned an uncomfortable trip in Holland. It's a great help if your launch site and the area you cruise makes boating as comfortable as possible.

For example where we mostly go there's parking, toilets & wash facilities, two cafes, pub, a chandlers, hard slipway, pontoon all located in a sheltered area then you can motor out to the cruising area to face as much or little in the way of sea state as you are comfortable with.
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Old 22 September 2015, 08:02   #4
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It's a slatted floor dinghy that we put in and then inflate the keel. We do have an electric inflator which we attach to a separate 12v battery. And actually it's more the dismantling that the - mantling? that can be a faff. I think if we'd found it or could find it more comfortable when out but even having bought the padded seat covers and an extension tiller handle back ache kicked in about half an hour into the trip. But where in Scotland did you go, as it may be just the quite significant chop on the Sneekermeer that was to blame - we endured a very blustery week's weather.
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Old 22 September 2015, 08:15   #5
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Country: UK - England
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Well we've been several locations around the west coast over the years but make a suitable launch site into initially sheltered waters a priority when choosing the location.

I'm retired too but not 60 until next summer. Luckily I don't get aches on the boat (sit on the tube, wife on the seat) and I'm fine with setting up the boat but just have to be careful with carrying the 15hp.

Have you been boating in similar or different forms for years or is this a new venture?
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Old 22 September 2015, 08:25   #6
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This is a new venture although we've hired cruisers on a couple of occasions in Holland and on the Broads. 15hp sounds a mighty engine. Presumably your boat is bigger than our 3.3 metres?
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Old 22 September 2015, 08:34   #7
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Well I'm not sure about mighty... it looks very small besides the 200hp motors on RIBs at the pontoon!

We've had a 15hp for a while on 3.4/3.5/3.6/3.8 SIBs.

Current outfit in image below.

I've been boating in some form most years for 55yrs now... started on the Broads age 4... I don't look forward to the day when it's not practical if age reduces my abilities.

Father... as well as doing loads on the sea until he was 45 or so... had several river cruisers in his last boating years. They put the cost/use of a SIB into perspective costing up to 50k to buy and a minimum of 4k a year in marina fees, river licence, fuel and maintenance.

Despite the boat being situated minutes from his door even then loads of stuff got in the way of getting out for the day/weekend/week so I reckon his fun factor was way down on ours.
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Old 22 September 2015, 09:43   #8
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It just doesn't suit some (many!) people hence, the stream of nearly new Honwave/Zodiac/generic Chinese outfits for example re-sold at a big loss on eBay. And why many SIBbers on here always say buy a big name boat/engine used, try it and if you hate it sell on and lose no money. Nothing ventured, nothing gained - at least you tried.

Shiny little inflatable boats and lightweight engines sat on a nice blue carpet at a glossy boat show always look very tempting with the promise of little outlay, easy storage, 'bung in the car and pootle along a river or coastal stretch on endless sunny days'.

The reality of UK boating (especially coastal) as most of us know on here is:

....faff, choppy seas, knackered backs, more faff, cr@p weather, wet through, engines failing, dodgy fuel, 'never again' wives, loading/unloading, cleaning/drying, swearing, time wasting, useless forecasts, a bit more faff, wet, wind, cold................




BUT - on the good days ( Waterskiing with the Aerotec ) it all comes together and the fun you have have from less than two grands worth of little boat is unbeatable and it all seems worth it.
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Old 22 September 2015, 10:10   #9
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Thanks, folk. Points to ponder there. I guess the true test would be if we sold it would we miss it? And we hate the thought that as we grow ever older we are adding to the list of things we give up on.
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Old 22 September 2015, 10:33   #10
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I think you need to pick your locations and weather more carefully. I guess having driven to the Sneekermeer you "had" to use the boat even though the weather was unfavourable.
A boat like yours really needs pretty flat water if it's to be comfortable.

What about a day on the Thames at Henley?
The Broads you mentioned - good flat water up there with, I think, some areas where you can go a little faster.
Salcombe Estuary for a weekend?
Scottish Lochs?

I find the beauty of owning a boat is being able to NOT use it when the weather is poor!
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