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Old 05 October 2011, 03:49   #1
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Honwave T35-AE review

Hope this review might help anyone making an inflatable choice. I bought the Honwave to replace a Zodiac 3.6m Fastroller. First thing I noticed taking delivery was its boxed weight. 160lbs after the Fastroller’s 97lbs, a Zodiac Cadet 340S hard floor is only 115lbs. Thankfully the floor sections go in a separate bag… floor, stringers and seat weigh around 80lbs.


By fenlander2 at 2011-10-05

We now use transom wheels so weight isn’t a problem once set up. There’s obviously more effort getting the alloy floor assembled compared with an air one. I’ll be honest… initially it took a 15min struggle to fit the stringers and I wondered if I’d made a mistake getting this model. Now with practice they take 2mins.

The Honda transom is 1.5x thicker than the Cadet range and far better finished in GRP. Seat is 2x the thickness of the Zodiac and strong GRP. It has two positions and I’ll get a second seat soon but this is 90 compared with 55 for the Fastroller. On the Honda you have to deflate the boat to change seat position, with strong fingers the Zodiac’s could be done fully inflated.

Due to the chunky transom it isn’t possible to pack down to fit in my estate car without dropping one side of the split folding seat. The Fastroller made a neat package and fitted the loadspace perfectly. This will need thought for holidays as the boat bundle plus lifejackets will probably have to go in a roof box with the floor, outboard etc in the car.

I like the Honwave all round grab rope, I’d added an extra section on my Zodiac as it had nothing near the bow. The Honda has handy lift straps inside the rear tubes so you can stand behind the transom between the tubes and lift the rear single handed. There are also outer lift handles front and rear plus a pair of chunky handholds inside near the bow. Glad the bow handle on the Honwave is metal. The plastic one on the Fastroller felt close to breaking when pulling the loaded boat up a slip on its transom wheels.

I think the weight of tube material is supposed to be the same as the Zodiac but its texture makes it feel a fraction less robust. Overall though the provision of fittings and transom/seat strength make the Honwave seem equal or better quality than the Zodiac… with one exception. It has plastic outboard pads which feel flimsy, I’ll change these soon.

I like the Halkey valves. Sometimes the Zodiac push in connector would pop off during inflation, twist and lock is better. The Zodiac gauge was designed to be used during inflation but not really suited to checking mid voyage. The Honda gauge can’t be fitted at the same time as the pump but is perfect for checking on the water.

There’s a stopper for the transom baler which is a step back from the neat lever of the Fastroller. After an air floor the alloy one seems uncomfortable to sit or kneel on so I’ll probably get a rubber mat cut to shape. The Honwave has a very practical protection buffer the full length of the keel area and underneath its cone ends, this was absent on the Zodiac.

The fitted cover is good quality and has a Velcro section so it will fit round an outboard. The seat bag is OK but I probably won’t use the bow bag/dodger as it takes up too much space. I’ve fitted my Zodiac transom wheels and the existing lift-eye holes were the right place for the leg top bolt so just had to drill bottom bracket holes.


By fenlander2 at 2011-10-05

Only been on the river so far but it’s looking good in terms of room and stability. Called at our local riverside eatery to see a 360S Yamaha already on the pontoon, I’d seriously considered a used one of these before deciding on the Honwave. Never met the owner but it looked good with 25hp and steering/remotes.


By fenlander2 at 2011-10-05

Overall this Honwave has more user friendly features than a Zodiac Cadet, a stronger transom and no real negatives. I don’t know how they do them for the money as a package of boat, bow bag, seat bag and fitted cover cost 600 less than a similarly packaged Zodiac Cadet 340S.

Roll on the Scottish sea lochs.

http://www.honda.co.uk/marine/downlo...les/T35AE2.pdf
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Old 05 October 2011, 05:44   #2
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Hi David,

That's a really useful review, well done. As you know I was impressed with the Honwave's - build seemed really good and nice finish to fixtures and fittings as you say (transom etc).

Surprised you still take yours down each time though! Even with an air floor it's too much faff for me - bunging it on the roof takes seconds and is so much easier in all respects, instant launching, ready for cleaning, no wear and tear etc.

Other thing is the seats - don't two really get in the way? I find the boat much more usable without any seats and prefer the safety of the kids sitting in the boat itself.
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Old 05 October 2011, 06:36   #3
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To be honest Max I wasn't expecting the Honwave quality to be as good as it turned out but I was happy to order anyway at the keen prices.

Think I've said before the assembly on each outing really doesn't worry me.. I see it as part of the trip. Having said that we've already booked the first 2012 holiday in Scotland (Skye area again) at a cottage with its own private boat parking space and it's just 30sec by transom wheels to a nice smooth slip. So at least for that week it'll be just one inflate/deflate.

Our car with its modern design has a very short and narrow roof, plus I wouldn't want to lift up the 160lbs! A trailer is absolutely not an option for us either. Of course your LWB Land Rover with the air-floor Zodiac is ideal for your current use.

I know what you mean by the two seats taking up space but if you use them to sit on they don't. The Mrs suffers from knee joint problems so she choses to sit on the forward seat. In fact the rather high seat position of the Honwave suits her. I tend to swap from the tube near the transom to the rear seat as the mood takes me. Our girls 14/16 are a bit older than your children so there is a little less worry about them sitting where they want.
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Old 20 January 2012, 03:01   #4
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Extremely Useful - thanks. I'm after a Honwave 380 with the inflatable floor and a 20ho Honda on the til, should anyone know of one going. or wish to PX with my Yam 380 with Yamaha 15hp 4.
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Old 20 January 2012, 03:49   #5
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Hi MeMe

Happy to give you a v good quote if you call and say you are from this forum.
As you know Honda are doing this to sell engines and hence we get an extra 10% off if you buy an engine at the same time.

Fenlander

Glad you like it.

Dave
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Old 20 January 2012, 15:24   #6
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Originally Posted by MeMe
Extremely Useful - thanks. I'm after a Honwave 380 with the inflatable floor and a 20ho Honda on the til, should anyone know of one going. or wish to PX with my Yam 380 with Yamaha 15hp 4.
Hi meme

I have a T38ie for sale with a BF20. Boat has been used only once (it was replaced new under warranty from Honda) and the engine only a year and a bit old. Comes with launch wheels, bow bag, electric pumps, tiller extension and probably a few more bits but I can't remember at the moment! 2600. Pm me for more details
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Old 20 January 2012, 16:26   #7
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Have to say, the Honwaves give you a hell of a bang for your buck.........but before you go spending your buck, have a look at 3d Tenders, a bit more rufty tufty for the same buck.
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Old 04 June 2013, 15:41   #8
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Originally Posted by Lagerhead View Post
Hi meme

I have a T38ie for sale with a BF20. Boat has been used only once (it was replaced new under warranty from Honda) and the engine only a year and a bit old. Comes with launch wheels, bow bag, electric pumps, tiller extension and probably a few more bits but I can't remember at the moment! 2600. Pm me for more details
Hi Do you still have the boat and engine for sale
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Old 04 June 2013, 16:48   #9
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If possible test that air floor 380 sib before you buy, some manufacturers stopped producing them that long due to lack of floor rigidity. Consider that those are standard fabric air floors and not heavy duty ones which can be inflated bit more and consequently achieve more stiffness for better water performance.

If smaller air floor rocks at plane, imagine larger ones. Would like to see one riding on choppy seas...

Happy Boating
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Old 04 June 2013, 17:00   #10
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If possible test that air floor 380 sib before you buy, some manufacturers stopped producing them that long due to lack of floor rigidity. Consider that those are standard fabric air floors and not heavy duty ones which can be inflated bit more and consequently achieve more stiffness for better water performance.

If smaller air floor rocks at plane, imagine larger ones. Would like to see one riding on choppy seas...

Happy Boating
Thanks for the advice. I am just about to buy a Honwave and considered the boat for sale. However I think I will go for the T35 and Tohatsu 20 engine, does that seem about right? Also have you any advice on life jackets.

Many thanks
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