So, I recently sold my sea kayak (a Tahe Greenland - 5.4m of glassfibre rolling machine
) as it was just too impractical to store & transport, not to mention a bit antisocial with a family and always at risk of my 4 year old deciding to jump on it or trying to lift it off it's rack and dropping it. Not wanting to be completely boat-less, I started looking at inflatable canoes - Gumotex, Sevylor, etc. and in the process happened to notice that SIBs were much cheaper than I expected them to be...
After a couple of weeks of research, including many hours on rib.net, I decided on an airdeck boat, so long as it was a good solid HP airdeck, around 3.4m, capable of 2 planing with 2 adults and 2 children and able to be packed into the boat of a mid-sized teutonic autobahn cruiser (i.e. a 5 series estate). First I settled on a Zodiac 3.4 acti-v, next a Quicksilver 340, then a Honwave T38 finally the Bombard Aerotec 380. After a bit of trawling around, used 380s sold without an outboard seem to be rare but I spotted a 420 which seemed in reasonable nick. As I wanted to get a boat before our holiday in 3 weeks time, I made an offer which I thought would be a good starting point and it was accepted(!) so I should be taking delivery sometime in the next week or so
Whilst I've paddled some fairly serious water in the past and have a healthy respect of the sea, I know next to nothing about powerboats and outboards (engines yes, but not in boats) so will be taking the RYA PB2 later in the year. Then hopefully I can pick up a tired 2 stroke outboard between 15 and 25hp which I can sort-out over winter ready for next season.
What that means is that for the coming holiday we'll be rowing/paddling only. We're going to Italy (Italian wife), to the Cinque Terre region north of La Spezia, so hopefully some nice coastal rowing in fairly sheltered waters from beach to beach. Italy looks to require an ICC so I wouldn't be able to get certified in-time even if I did have an engine available.
Couple of questions are:
I've seen people have retrofitted rowlocks to Aerotecs and I've found some different types available from ribstore and Ron Hale. There are some genuine Bombard ones which are quite cheap but they're basically plastic versions of 'old style' U-shaped rowlocks - are these any good or should I spend more on the captive types? I get the impression that the captive ones might limit rowing technique to more like paddling - can you feather the blade in the captive ones? That being said, I doubt a SIB is ever going to go to well with only oars.
Secondly, does anyone know if the ICC is just for powered craft, or put it another way, do I need any licence or paperwork for a 4.2m rowing boat in Italy?
Cheers, hope to meet some people on the water some day!