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Old 02 March 2013, 06:26   #1
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Fishing from an inflatable

Good day Everybody - a nooby here posting for the first time.

I am looking to buy an inflatable and outboard to fish off the coast on the leeward side of St Vincent & The Grenadines, a largish island in the Caribbean.

I do not intend to go much more than a mile offshore - the coast has many little outcrops and small islands that attract the fish, so its mainly to get to those spots.

For clarity to those who are kind enough to read and respond to my post: I do not want a RIB, I will not use a trailer and the max length I will consider is 12ft if alternative vessels are suggested; deep down I know I should be going for a 10 footer for ease of handling but I think I will be glad of a bigger boat.

I don't have any fixed views on the type of deck but something tells me that the airdeck type might be too light for a boat that is going to be used on the sea? Is Ali the right choice or is wood better?

I am considering importing a boat from the USA and have my eye on the Saturn SD330W because of its extra wide inside beam. I have a perception that a wider beam will make the boat less liable to 'bob' on the water.

This leads me to ask those who fish on the ocean and would care to reply, does an inflatable 'bob' more than a fixed rigid hulled boat?

My nephew is advising me that this is the case and I should not be buying an inflatable for this purpose, full stop. He reckons we would be seasick in no time and would not be able to cope sitting there bobbing up and down for hours on end.
Plus he is dubious about having to row if necessary, believing the oars to be rubbish and the boat hard to row.
Is he right?


The motor I intend to buy from the Yamaha dealer on the island purely for warranty and servicing reasons -I am not a technical person and would need expert support.

I am unsure as to the most suitable motor. I am not really interested in being able to go fast but would still want a reasonable turn of speed - at least to plane. I would be the main user but on occasion there would be 2 of us.
although the boat choice may look cheap, money is not an issue providing I don't exceed US$10k by too much for the whole rig, and that has to include all extras like folding seats (if they can be fitted), stowage, launching wheels, bimini top.

In the future I may add a console. Can this be done on any boat with a suitable deck?

I would be using boat mainly at the w/e for the next couple of years then when I retire it would probably get more use.
I would also like to use the boat just for excursions with the wife and young son sometimes too.

Any suggestions on motor size would be appreciated. I think 9.9 would be ok but a 15 might be better. I would like to be able to carry it myself - in fact the over-riding consideration is being able to handle everything myself. I will probably leave the boat inflated and transport on the roof of my Escudo V6. Traffic regs are relaxed over here... plus
I live only 5 mins drive to the beach.

Well thanks for reading I know it's a long post but having read the forums for a while I understand there is a lot you have to know and a lot yet still to know, I will really appreciate any thoughts from you guys, especially about the 'bobbing' issue and thank you in advance.

Gaz
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Old 02 March 2013, 06:29   #2
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Correction

Whoops - apologies guys, my budget is US$15k not 10 as I posted.

Gaz
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Old 02 March 2013, 08:15   #3
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Some tech points :

1-If wanting a long lasting purchase buy any sib that's Hypalon fabric not PVC , Caribbean has excesive UV radiation, will degrade PVC much faster.

2-Generally speaking all sibs & ribs are very stable compared to traditional boats, all have low gravity centers, the Saturn W is specially designed for fishing, bit roomier. Some issues about air floor is that need to be top inflated to high pressure in order to perform as expected as the floor tend to flex when under inflated. It's portability, less weight against rigidity, can't have both at same time. Do you plan to keep the sib inflated at all times, where do you intend to be kept ?

3-All sibs/ribs are rowable but at a slow speed, too much hull drag issue.

4-If going for an air floor, can't place a central console, must have preferibly alum panel floor to bolt against. Center consoles takes too much available deck space, are adequate on 420 and larger sibs.

5-Go for a 2 strokes instead of a 4 strokes, same HP models weights about 10 Kg less, more friendly to carry, place and retrieve. You can still find in the Caribbean 2 strokes Tohatsu 18 HP, one hell of a motor, go for one if available. Very reliable, simple, well built and with punch, will beat any 15 HP and weights same.

6-If you intend to go boating when you retire, would sugest best to buy a larger sib, next is a 380 which is an alum panel floor sib, ideal for 4 passengers and the 18 will plane it superb. That boat/engine combo will not cost more than 4.5 K, will have lots of fun. Saturn sells nice light weight portable canopy too.

7-Or roll the dice and invest on a 420 sib with a Tohatsu 30 HP 2 strokes engine, fab combo, will handle all your future fishing, cruising, passenger needs.

PD : If going for Hypalon fabric nice alternatives check Defender.com for Mercury or Defender Hypalon sibs in 380/420 sizes. Cost more than Saturn but will outlast them.

Happy Boating
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Old 02 March 2013, 09:35   #4
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Great Info

Thank you so much for your response Loco. Some great info there.

Knowing how lazy I am and reading how other people tend to end up keeping their boats inflated to avoid the hassle or deflating/reinflating, I will probably have to be honest with myself and say I will keep the boat inflated. As a result I will probably go for an ali or wood floor.

I will not be keeping the boat out on the water in the sun - I intend to store it under the house (at just a little under full pressure) in the shade plus it's a little cooler there.
This leads me to think I can get away with pvc - at least for my first boat.
My plan is to strap it to the top of Escudo and as I said I am only a short distance away from the beach. I think fitting the transom wheels also is a must if you are on your own.

As for the motor I will certainly go for the Tohatsu 18hp if I can find one locally. I see from your avatar details you have the engines yourself, so it's comforting that you are recommending them.

Could you advise on the best way to transport the engine in the jeep? From what I've read there is a particular way to transport if you are laying the unit on its side. However, if I can get away with it upright I'd like to do that. I can get a frame or whatever made out of metal as my father in law is a welder/ironmonger.

I agree with your comments about a console - a bigger boat is a must - plus it will probably make my wife feel a little safer - Vincentians tend to have an innate fear of water. However, that's a year or two down the line.
I am English and from a naval town (Portsmouth) so I learned to sail at school and grew up on the beach, so I love it.

Thanks for allaying my fears about the stability. I told my nephew that I have read extensively on the various forums out there and no-one seems have posted anything about 'bobbing' being a problem when fishing. In any case, it's not like I'll be going out in force 10 gale.

I will certainly consider other boat manufacturers as I appreciate going out to sea is not to be taken lightly. If I can get away with a brand name hypalon within my current budget I will.

Again, thanks for your reply.
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Old 02 March 2013, 10:08   #5
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Hi Gaz56 - welcome to RIBnet.

Loco gives good advice - the 18hp Tohatsu is solid and light for it's HP. Light is relative though! Look at the weight of the SIB you are considering lifting onto the roof of the jeep. You're going to need a light trailer for that outfit, IMO.
SIBs of that size can't be rowed against any wind or current for meaningful distances so you may want to consider adding a 2hp "egg beater" to the shopping list. That combo will cost/weigh the same as many 15hp four strokes and give you both piece of mind in an area that may not have wall to wall SAR.

When you get the SIB, treat the tubes with a protection product. This will help with sun damage and bleaching.
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Old 02 March 2013, 10:54   #6
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When you ask about 'bobbing' are you referring to while underway (on plane) or while still fishing or slow trolling (displacement mode)? With any boat that is in displacement mode, it will rise and fall with the waves regardless of the type of boat and the amount of bobbing experienced will be determined by the size of the boat in relation to the size of the waves. An inflatable will tend to have better side to side stability and be less sensitive to the weight distribution within the boat, but it will rise and fall with the waves just as much as other similarly sized boats.
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Old 02 March 2013, 11:21   #7
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#1 for the trailer idea , getting a reasonable size SIB with an ali floor on a roof-rack on your own would be a struggle. 2 stroke motors good too if you can still get them, yamaha 2 stroke were great motors.
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Old 02 March 2013, 11:37   #8
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Loco and Will are giving good advice. I'd would strongly recommend hypalon over PVC especially in very sunny regions.

Will's advice about a small back up outboard is spot on. I have an old 11' SIB with oars and a 16' SIB with two paddles. The oars will move the 11 footer (very slowly) if there is minimal or no current. With any significat current, forget it. The paddles on the 16 footer are useful for meeting legal equipment requirements, beyond that, I have no idea what their function is.

If you will keep the boat inflated, you may as well get a trailer for it. Some of the folding tongue styles take up no more space than the boat itself. Having the gas tanks outside of the cabin area of the vehicle is a very good thing.

If you take the jeep through trails rather than keeping it on road, you could remove the engine & partially deflate the boat (keeping the floorboards in place) and put it on an off road utility trailer. This would be safer for both you and your boat than hauling it on the roof where it would be much more likely to snag overhanging branches and increase the center of gravity on the vehicle.



Air decks are fine for taking groceries from the shoreline store back to the yacht. A good hard floor is what you want, whether marine plywood or aluminum (both have their advantages). Good thick marine plywood floor boards are more versatile, aluminum ones are lighter and a little less maintenance (although using a very high quality epoxy wood sealant will last for many years).

Console steering is something I wouldn't even consider on inflatables 17' and under. Tiller is the way to go.

If you shop carefully for something that has been lightly used, you can get a whole lot of boat, motor and trailer for the budgeted amount.
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Old 02 March 2013, 13:29   #9
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Thanks for all the responses.

'Hi' to you as well, Will - I must admit you have certainly made me think about the 2 hp back up. I would certainly have to rely on a passing good Samaritan if I broke down.
I assume you are recommending a gas powered engine rather than electric?
Although an electric motor would give a double insurance in case I ran out of gas...?? But at the expense of having to carry a battery?

I will be purchasing a cover for the craft to protect it.

Prairie Tuber - the 'bobbing' I am referring is in relation to is sitting on a stationary boat for hours. I think my nephew envisages we would be too buoyant and not deep enough in the water and therefore the boat would be more sensitive.
Thanks for the other advice - I appreciate your comments on the air decks - somehow it just does not sound right that it's 'solid. ' I will be looking for a wood floor, I just have it in my head it would be stronger than ali for some reason and probably easier to maintain & repair long term.

I will check out suitable trailers. If they can lightweight and fold down/up it would be great. I am trying to avoid having to put the whole affair in the front of house thereby drawing unnecessary and perhaps unwanted attention to it. At present I have the ground floor to build so I can store under there away from prying eyes. If I could get the trailer there also without too much bother that would be just dandy.

Whilst my budget is probably more than enough I want to start off modestly just in case circumstances change - you never know. Anyway, it will give me something to look forward to - everyone loves trawling the options on the net when you want to upgrade!!

camelgas (been there-a Tunisian zoo a few years ago) - I am looking for 2 strokes now.

Thank to all for your advice. Brilliant.
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Old 02 March 2013, 13:53   #10
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Inflatables are very stable at rest as they don't "rock" when you move in around in them. I had a small gas Tohatsu in mind - they make a highly regarded 2.5 that is sold by Mercury/Mariner in a different colour. If you go 2 stroke on the main, get the same. Be careful that the shaft lengths match the transom on the SIB. If you worry now about running out of petrol, then you're not the type it happens to. Carry as small reserve, 1L - the small Tohatsu has an internal tank too and this will take it for many miles.
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