Originally Posted by Fenlander
EC yes all but the most basic of SIBS (mainly those for use as a tender to/from a yacht on a mooring) have the floor fabric stretched into a V to soften the ride into waves, to stifen the material for planing performance and to give directional stability. The degree of this V varies according to make/model but by and large a SIB will never cut through waves like a larger heavier RIB with a GRP hull and very pronounced V.
Those of us who've owner/used a few SIBs often realise we have differing needs... from those that undertake extended trips and need lots of storage space, those that fish and prefer a hard floor, those that daily inflate so need the easiest inflate/deflate and minimal space taken in the car... and there are some of us who need neither a hard floor to fish nor lots of storage and have found through experience with our own particular use the deepest V gives a more comfortable ride.
But as Gurnard often says all SIBs will get you where you're going and it's down to personal preference.
The Aerotec I and others use has the deepest V so the potential for the softest ride in rough water, the Honwave air floor models (with the tabs that stick out the back) have the next deepest V, the Zodiac Acti-V models follow on next and finally most alloy/wood hard loor models with a LP inflated keel are all about the same in V shape.
The preferred type depends on your use and most important really is the choice between air floor and hard floor. The hard floor Honwave models (as with other hard floor makes) are really quite heavy to move about both when packed and inflated but they are well made and a great roomy SIB also making a brilliant fishing platform. They can be fiddly to assemble in regards to getting the floor fitted and that does put off those of us that daily setup.
The air floor Honwave models are much lighter and far easier to setup as it's a case of unroll and inflate. They have a V about halfway between Aerotec and normal hard floor types so seem a good compromise of performance and usability.
Honwave don't do exactly the same lengths in air/hard floor models but as an example of weight comparisons...
Honwave air floor 3.2m 86lbs, alloy floor 3.5m 160lbs.... air floor 3.8m 106lbs, alloy floor 4.0m 189lbs... the differences are very significant unless you are using a trailer.
As Mickhitch says one of their downsides is the transom tabs force the use of one (expensive) design of transom wheel. They also interfere with fitting a transducer for a depth sounder.
Again, thanks for another reply.
I intend on using it for recreational use. Take the family out ( the Mrs and the wean) but also for camping and bothy trips with a couple of friends. So I'd likely be looking at 5 person minimum to allow for camping gear etc.
I like the sound of the simplicity of the air floor, less faffing about, especially if only going out for a few hours. Plus as you have pointed out, the weight difference is quite a bit.
I'm not a fisherman so the solid floor wouldn't be required.
I think my most ambitious venture would be to Islay and Jura.......I've seen the tide races between the two. But wouldn't need to pass through the narrows.
I read a great SIB trip report on here regarding a camping trip, looked great.
I've looked at the Bombard but there's not many second hand ones about.....especially in Scotland.