First post here!
I am after peoples reviews of the Zodiac Futura inflatables, in particular I am interested in the Mark 3 HD with 60hp.
Currently when I go away to my family's holiday home in Mallorca I have a Zodiac Yacht line 3.4m tender/rib with 2 stroke Yamaha 25hp outboard motor to play with. I have had this for about 8 years now, and it has served its purpose really well being great fun during long summer holidays, especially towing a rubber ring, we even managed to do skiing with it and with 2 people in the boat!
Its now time to upgrade, and I have always loved the idea of getting a proper sports rib, say about 5m long with proper seats/steering (I steer via the tiller handle and we sit on the tubes at present!) and a decent sized engine (100hp plus) etc etc. Unfortunately this wont be possible, well it is, but the problem is it will be far too much hassle. It all comes down to weight of the boat/engine. We are fortunate enough to have a slip way and crane in our apartment block, BUT unfortunately it would be VERY awkward to manoeuvre/carry a boat up onto the slip way, a trailer cannot really be used. We can only manage a boat that 2 people can carry/move together, so now you can see weight is a very important issue.
This is one of the reasons why I like the look of the Zodiac Futuras, the mark 3 HD is 4.5m long and can take 60hp. The boat weighs 116kg and can be dismantled, and roughly a 60hp 2 stroke engine would be 100kg hopefully less?! So in other words I think my father and I could just about manage it together. I can manage my 3.4m rib (75kg) and 25hp engine (50kg) just about on my own, but my father helps me when I need it.
I just worry about the weight of the 60hp engine, hence why I would prefer to get a 2 stroke! At present, when bringing the boat in at the end of the holiday, I remove the engine from the boat in the water just in front of the slip way and carry it out of the water myself, I do wonder if I could cope with a 60hp engine, I think I would struggle A LOT
but then I saw on the zodiac website you can get transom wheels for the Futura! Zodiac Marine - Accessories - Launching wheels
This will solve my problem assuming it can take the weight of the engine whilst on the boat? As then I could pull the boat up onto the slipway to below the crane and crane it up to the boat house, never needing to remove the engine!
Right I have waffled on far too much, the reason for me coming on here is because I think the Futura mark 3 HD ticks all the boxes at present, fast, fun and light for its size and has seats/steering! The only other thing I'm worried about other than engine weight is the actual design of the hull with speed tubes. I assume this will make the ride a lot more bouncier and harsher than a rib as it will not cut through the water like a rib will. I have watched a few videos on you tube and tried searching google for reviews but no real luck. Everyone using these inflatables are using them in very very calm waters from what I can see. Fortunately Mallorca is in the Med which is fairly calm, well it looks calm compared to the River Themes here! lol. But there can be a bit of swell/waves from big boats etc in Mallorca, which is why I normally stick closish to the coastline.
So how do these Futura inflatables cope in slightly rough/choppy water? I found this video
and would say the water looks like a good day compared to the water around where I am in Mallorca so I think I would just about cope on an average day, but I worry how the Futura copes in slightly rougher waters. I can imagine it bounces about a hell of a lot. Don't get me wrong, my little 3.4m rib bounces a lot in choppier waters and you have to hold on for dear life sometimes if trying to go full throttle! lol. But how would a 4.5m Futura fair? I guess being that much longer than my current rib will help, but still?!
So please tell me your reviews of the futura inflatables, and are there any other inflatables or very light weight ribs I should consider?! I'm looking for a manageable step up from my current boat without the need for a trailer!
Finally where is good/cheap to buy brand new (or 2nd hand even) Zodiac Futura mark 3 HD with 60hp engine or just inflatables/ribs in general?
Thanks very much for your time!