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Old 07 October 2013, 16:15   #1
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Inflatable boat and outboard for UK waterways?

Hi all,
I am a complete novice at all things boating. I'm a keen outdoorsman, and ex military so consider myself to be relatively practical, and love exploration but have never had much experience of boats, short of several raft races, and day's on the river wye in canoes. I did go to a kayak club some years ago but not for a particularly long time.

I'm interested in maybe getting myself a second hand inflatable dinghy, with a small outboard, that I can put in (or on top of) the land rover, and use for a days zipping up and down the river. Potentially even the odd trip stopping at certain points, and camping on the riverbank, if that's the done thing.

Firstly, what do I need in order to do this? Do I legally need to have insurance, or a certain license, or anything like that? or can I just buy a dinghy and go play. (If so, would this be pretty irresponsible without proper training?)

Secondly, any ideas on what I should be looking at. Finding a used dinghy and small outboard on ebay for under 500 quid seems just about possible.

Any answers would be very welcome, as this is outside of my comfort-zone, but something I'd love to get involved in.
Thanks
Dan.
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Old 07 October 2013, 16:23   #2
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Hi Dan

I was new to all this in June, having a dinghy on the water is great fun, I can only advise on what I have found
Insurance is recomended and required to use Canal and River Trust Waterways
I pay about 8 for a day licence to use the local river (Tees) about 14 miles clean none tidal water
Your budget is probably right to get started (I paid 800 for boat/engine/trailer) but you might get an end of season bargain.
It is adictive and you will want a bigger / faster boat soon.
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Old 07 October 2013, 16:41   #3
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As well as the boat you need (for need interpret that if you don't the RIB.net possie will eat you alive rather than the law requires it)...
  • Lifejacket / Personal Floatation Device
  • VHF Marine Radio (and an operators licence)
  • Anchor & Warp (need to be able to 'park up' safely if your engine fails)

The RIB.net possie may also recommend some additional kit such as dry suits, flares etc.
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Old 07 October 2013, 16:47   #4
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Hi Justin,
Thanks for you info.

This may seem like a stupid question, but how does getting a day license work?
Presumably you have to call the council or the particular trust and pay for each day you intend to use the boat. So for example, I couldn't just decide one afternoon to take the boat to the river for a bit of a blast, as I'd have to arrange insurance etc beforehand?

I must admit at the moment I'm thinking the smaller the boat the better, as it should be cheaper, but will be easier to transport, especially if it's collapsible and I can inflate in before use?

With regard to engine, I'd be after a 2, 4 or 5hp, 4t engine. Does this sound about right? Also what are the limitations to transporting the engine? I'm assuming if 4t it must be kept pretty much upright in transit? and would you suggest buying a dinghy without motor, and buy a motor separate or trying to find somebody selling the two together?
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Old 07 October 2013, 16:49   #5
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PS I am reasonably savvy with radio equipment, but I imagine a VHF marine radio would be an expensive bit of kit. Could somebody please give me an example of a basic starter model so I can research their price?

Also, I imagine they're standalone bits of kit that require batterys etc.?
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Old 07 October 2013, 16:57   #6
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The day licence (for me) is dead easy, there is a manned office at the Tees barrage, you go in show your insurance, pay your money and your away. I presume similar arrangments for other waters, the canal and rivers trust do have a web page where you can pay online.
VHF, you can get a cheap handheld for about 50 but need a licence to legally operate, would not bother for inland water though.
Engine wise depends on weight/size and what you want to do, I have a 9.9 2s (which is light enough to carry) and planes 2 up on a 3m SIB, anything less I think would struggle. 4S wuold have to be careful not to spill engine oil when carrying in car.
Lifejackets a must though with a kill cord on the engine.
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Old 07 October 2013, 17:01   #7
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Some people would try and kit you out for the arctic just to go for a bit of pleasure cruising.

If on a river, forget the VHF. It probably won't be close enough to anyone to work anyway as a handheld probably has a range of couple of miles at best. A mobile phone and set of oars would likely be better, IMHO.

Different story if out on the sea.

Don't worry about 4 stroke dropping oil. They have big stickers on them to show which sides/ends up for storage/transport just incase you forget. Follow the sticker and it shouldn't leak anything.
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Old 07 October 2013, 17:02   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
As well as the boat you need (for need interpret that if you don't the RIB.net possie will eat you alive rather than the law requires it)...
  • Lifejacket / Personal Floatation Device
  • VHF Marine Radio (and an operators licence)
  • Anchor & Warp (need to be able to 'park up' safely if your engine fails)

The RIB.net possie may also recommend some additional kit such as dry suits, flares etc.
He's going up the river!! He needs:

Life jacket
Paddles
Insurance
Killcord
Flask and sandwiches
Tartan Rug
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Old 07 October 2013, 17:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willk View Post

He's going up the river!! He needs:

Life jacket
Paddles
Insurance
Killcord
Flask and sandwiches
Tartan Rug
And a copy of three men in a boat!!
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Old 07 October 2013, 17:25   #10
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Some areas make it harder than others. On the Anglian waterways (Nene, Ouse, Welland etc) you have to apply and have the day certificate posted to you... and it has to be for a specific day which makes planning around the weather hard... and blows out impromptu outings.

I would use our SIB on local Eastern rivers if the licence was a more sensible price but as our Honwave has a 15hp motor the yearly licence is over 250. At 50 I'd use the rivers but 250 is too much.
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