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Old 03 December 2019, 17:48   #1
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First boat purchase - advice

Dear all,

I found this forum when looking around the internet for information on inflatable boats.

I have not owned a boat before and want something to do some fishing off on calm days. I understand the importance of safety and so plan to go out a bit with my father in law who has boated for thirty years. I will also invest in the necessary equipment (radio, flares, life jackets etc....).

My main question relates to the boat plus engine. I'm thinking of going for the FRIB 330, which looks like a good compromise between something sturdy yet also being fairly lightweight. After the first few trips, I'll often be going by myself and so want something that I can lift in and out of the car without doing my back in.

The thing I find most confusing is the engine aspect. It seems that people use anything between 6HP and 15HP for this sort of boat and I had thought that 10 HP would cover my needs as I'll mostly be solo and would like the assurance of a bit more power if it is ever needed. I had not realised though just how heavy an outboard is with 40kg seeming the average. I also noted that 2-stroke engines are much lighter but seem unavailable new to the leisure market (is this right?). So I wondered whether a second hand two stroke would be my best bet as these are more like 25-30kg.

What would people advise here? I think my budget for all in (second hand) is £3k ish. Does this seem reasonable?

Thanks for any help,
Steve
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Old 03 December 2019, 18:13   #2
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You are correct due to emissions rules new 2 strokes are difficult to purchase as a leisure customer..... consider where you are boating, calm lakes and short harbour trips as tender are very different to travelling distance on open water or at sea.

Plenty of great threads to read on the forum on different options etc. 9.9hp motors like the tohatsu are well liked light and being 9.9hp avoid the regulations some areas put on craft with 10hp or larger motors.....

The smaller often are de tuned more powerful engine which with a small upgrade can make more power then the sticker suggests....

But even a 9.9hp is probably 30kg+
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Old 03 December 2019, 18:23   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. I should have clarified, I envisage using the boat for inshore sea fishing (within a mile of shore mostly - at least until I get more experience).
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Old 04 December 2019, 04:41   #4
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Originally Posted by HDAV View Post
9.9hp motors like the tohatsu are well liked light

But even a 9.9hp is probably 30kg+
The Tohatsu 9.9hp weighs 41kg. The 9.8hp weighs 26hp.

Choose wisely...
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Old 04 December 2019, 04:54   #5
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The Tohatsu 9.9hp weighs 41kg. The 9.8hp weighs 26hp.

Choose wisely...
Thatís the one I was thinking of.....but when I googled it there was a much heavier 9.8
The new MFS9.8 is 37kg 😳 the 26kg 2 stroke seems to have vanished (at least from the UK catalogue)
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Old 04 December 2019, 06:00   #6
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some 10hp are the same weight as 15hp to be honest the outboard engine is the most awkward piece of kit to lift so not so much the weight, use of a sack barrow helps no end have you thought of a air deck boat such as the excel volair 390 with transom wheels pikey dave is trialing one as we speak worth reading he's using a 20hp 4 stroke. personally i would look at 15hp unless you go down the small frib such as the one gurnard uses 2.75 i believe, now that goes well one up with 6hp and might suit you.
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Old 04 December 2019, 06:08   #7
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Thanks again all. Hmm, maybe the 2.75 with the 6hp might be best given what I need it for. If the bigger boats will be a struggle to launch by myself then it may be better to go smaller for weight and convenience. Also, if i'm packing into the car when we go away there might not be much room for other stuff or the rest of my family.
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Old 04 December 2019, 06:19   #8
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Hi Steve and welcome to the forum.

I've used pretty well every inflatable variant with various outboard sizes but not used an Frib. They are well liked by their owners. They do broadly the same job as a fully inflatable but some folks like the hard hull better. Also they have better speed and a cleaner plane performance for any given outboard size than a fully inflatable.

They are a little quicker to set up than a fully inflatable but having the folding GRP floor less flexible if you need a tight pack into the car. A 3.3 Frib takes up more room in the car than my 3.8 air floor inflatable which with outboard and all the kit just fits in the back of a Mondeo size estate still with rear seats usable. A 3.75 Frib is that much larger we'd be unable to carry it without folding the seats or having a trailer. Even a 2.75 Frib despite being smaller packed (on its brochure dimensions) than my 3.8 inflatable will occupy effectively the same space in the car.

Re weight the Fribs are quite light as are air floor inflatables... inflatables with alloy or wooden inner floors are heavier and more fiddly to set up.

Outboard choice as you say can be confusing. Do you know about the displacement speed/getting on the plane issue? A boat will only go to a certain speed when pushed "through" the water... after about 5 or 6kts the bow will lift, a large wash will appear and loads of fuel will be used but you'll not go much faster unless the OB has the power to lift the boat on top of the water to plane. If sufficient power is available by 10kts you should be on the plane running in a far nicer more efficient way. It is very useful to be able to plane (essential to me).

The ability to plane depends on outboard power and weight... boat/outboard/kit/people carried.

Few examples...

The Gurnard on here has a 2.75m Frib which planes nicely one up with a 6hp to about 15kts.. add one more person and it won't plane.

Our 3.8m will plane with self and a light teen using an 8hp. But with self and another adult it struggled to plane.

With a 10hp it would plane OK with self plus another adult being amost 5kts faster than the 8hp with same load.

With a 15hp (current motor) it planes really well with self plus another adult and adding a third light adult only drops the top speed 1kt plus blunting the mid range pickup a bit.

With a 20hp previously it would plane really easily with two average adults and two slightly smaller ones.

Outboard weight is a real issue and that too gets really confusing. Yes the older 2-strokes were lighter for any given horsepower and yes thay haven't been legal to sell in the UK since about 2007. It is possible to buy them still for commercial use and different dealers have different ideas just how commercial you need to be! But they carry a price premium and can be more than a new high tech 4-stroke.

The general weight for 2-srokes is about 35/36kg for a 15hp and most of the 9.9/10hp versions are just the same unit de-tuned so weigh the same... i.e might as well go for a 15hp. The one 10hp class exception is the Tohatsu 9.8 2-stroke which weighs only 26kg so a superb power to weight ratio. HDAV mentions the Tohatsu 9.9hp and I reckon as Willk says he means this 26kg 9.8. The Tohatsu 9.9 2-stroke is a different beast and based on the 18hp hence weighs a lardy 41kg... almost as much as a modern 20hp 4-stroke. Great unstressed strong motor for a GRP fishing boat on a trailer but not ideal for inflatables.

In the modern 4-strokes the lightest 20hp motors weight around 44kg and mostly the 15hp models are the same motor de-tuned so same weight. 9.9hp 4-stroke models are usually around 38/39kg and the 8hp models are often a variant of the same motor so weigh the same.

Weight is a personal thing depending on age/strength but bear in mind it's not just the weight you can pick up... an outboard is top heavy and slippery to handle often over beach, shingle or on a slimy slipway. I find 26kg easy... 36kg OK and 44kg too much.

David
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Old 04 December 2019, 06:29   #9
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Here is all my outfit packed in a Mondeo estate, as mentioned above rear seats still usable. When we go on holiday we pack all out personal gear in multiple soft bags so it can be packed into small voids between the boat kit and in the middle of the rear seat.

3.8m air floor inflatable
15hp outboard & tank
Transom wheels
Oars
Anchor and rope bag
Lifejackets and safety kit
12v air pump
Etc
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Old 04 December 2019, 08:53   #10
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If you realy want lightweight you need to look for an old school two stroke, they are also easier to self maintain & better suited to being laid down and manhandled about as theres no oil sump to worry about.
A late model 9.8 tohatsu or 8hp yamaha are about 27kg ish both great engines next best if you want to go larger is the 9.9 & 15 hp both the same physical engine so 15 is probably the better bet but weight goes up to 36kg.
If you can manhandle and transport the larger boat then big is usually better, no one ever said I wish I had a smaller boat when it gets a bit lumpy or pals want to tag along the extra few centimetres can make you feel that bit more comfortable.
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Old 04 December 2019, 09:11   #11
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>>>If you can manhandle and transport the larger boat then big is usually better

Very much agree and in truth up to a 3.2m/3.3m size... either Frib or air floor... they are all easy to move... often more so than the move up in outboard weight from around 26kg to 36kg.

I'd forgotten that 8hp Yamaha... a nice motor and usually far better value than the Tohatsu (holy grail) 9.8 2-stroke.
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Old 04 December 2019, 09:24   #12
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The challenge the OP gives himself if 100% wanting an Frib is finding one. A 3.2m or smaller inflatable is easily found in a variety of makes but the Fribs are few and far between used.

There is a used 3.2m Honwave on here for example at about half new cost if you take the expensive transom wheels into account...

Honwave 3.2 For Sale

A used Frib would likely be double that.

Partner that Honwave with something like this and you have a starter outfit for half the OPs budget. I'd be wary of going all out on the budget being new to boats as so many of us soon realise the first boat isn't quite what we wanted.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yamaha-8h...p2047675.l2557
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Old 04 December 2019, 10:57   #13
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Hi all,

Thank you so much - this is very helpful.

I wasn't totally fixed on a frib - that just seemed a good option when I thought about what I wanted. From what I'm reading here, a SIB might be a better option in that it will allow me to dip my toe into this without breaking the bank should I decide I need a bigger boat! I would consider it an advantage that it packs smaller too since a lot of my boating will probably be combined with family holidays.

Steve
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Old 04 December 2019, 11:38   #14
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To my mind the advice youíve been given is excellent. Iíd also add try out someone elseís boat if you can before you buy. Things look very different on a computer screen to what they feel like on the water. The sea is a different beast to a lake as well.
I hope you enjoy your boat. Be prepared to spend more than you thought/wanted/can afford. Many people end up changing after a while as you find out what you like and what suits your boating lifestyle.
Stay safe and have fun.
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Old 04 December 2019, 12:20   #15
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An essential accessory for me are transom/dinghy wheels (included in Fenlander's kit list, above). These make single handed launching very easy.
The ones I have fitted have a stainless steel tubular frame which you unpin, remove from transom mounted sockets and refit, inverted, to store whilst afloat. The flip up versions look easier to use but they would reduce the full lock of the engine steering on my narrow transom.
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Old 04 December 2019, 14:35   #16
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Buying a used set up ready to hit the water can be a great option as looked after they hold value reasonably well. And little things add up in cost..... some ropes, wheels, oils, life jacket, parts etc can soon add up to a few £100 so haggle and look for bargains where you can buy spend wisely on key items......

Oh and don’t be tempted by a seagull.....
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Old 04 December 2019, 15:58   #17
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Oh and donít be tempted by a seagull.....


....or a Parsun
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Old 04 December 2019, 18:35   #18
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....or a Parsun
How about a selva?

They do a 27kg 8hp (black vasís)and a 9.9 30.5kg (Piranha) and are 4 stroke?

https://www.selvamarine.com/admin/pu...I_18-19_EN.pdf


Looks interesting on paper at least...single cylinder but otherwise looks well what am I missing?
https://www.westwalesyamaha.co.uk/pr...-9hp-outboard/
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Old 05 December 2019, 05:08   #19
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How about a selva?

They do a 27kg 8hp (black vasís)and a 9.9 30.5kg (Piranha) and are 4 stroke?

https://www.selvamarine.com/admin/pu...I_18-19_EN.pdf


Looks interesting on paper at least...single cylinder but otherwise looks well what am I missing?
https://www.westwalesyamaha.co.uk/pr...-9hp-outboard/
They look like reasonable replacement for two strokes weight wise & selva have been around a long time so probably a better bet than the spurious makes arriving from china.
Selva have close links to yamaha I suspect it might not be long before we see those engines with yamaha hoods on them.
With the yamaha price premium of course
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Old 05 December 2019, 05:56   #20
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Originally Posted by Pecheur Anglais View Post
An essential accessory for me are transom/dinghy wheels (included in Fenlander's kit list, above). These make single handed launching very easy.
The ones I have fitted have a stainless steel tubular frame which you unpin, remove from transom mounted sockets and refit, inverted, to store whilst afloat. The flip up versions look easier to use but they would reduce the full lock of the engine steering on my narrow transom.
I have the flip down/up type on aluminium legs. When I know I'm going to need full lock, which is normally at low speed or in reverse, near a jetty or similar, I unclick them so that the tyres float and the legs are neither up nor down. That way, they are clear of the propellor and also clear of the head of the engine.

In fact, it is possible to leave them in that position for a whole river trip, but this is probably not good as a long term option, especially in choppy conditions.
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