Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 
Old 01 March 2009, 16:04   #1
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Bristol
Length: no boat
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Inflatable boat for diving and fun!

Hi all, I need some help please!

I'm looking at maybe buying an inflatable boat that I'd like to use for diving from as well as generally having some fun.

I'm a member of a dive club and have access to a 6.5m Humber Destroyer with a 140HP 2 Stroke. That's great fun and we often take 8 divers + dive gear but I'm looking for something a little smaller an more manageable for myself.

Ideally I would buy a RIB but I also have a caravan so can't tow both the caravan and boat at the same time. Hence why I've been thinking about an inflatable that I can put in the car or even in the caravan for travelling and inflate on site. We do a lot of weekend and week long trips to the coast so it would stay inflated while on camp site.

To be useful I'd ideally like something that can take say 4 divers or 6 people without dive gear. Something that will handle the weight of getting divers to a dive site but also something I can take the family out on for some fun. It wouldn't have to deal with very bad sea conditions as we have the club boat for that sort of thing.

The ease of setting up and folding it away is important as I'll need to deflate it for travel and storage.

So in summary I'm looking for an inflatable that's solid enough and powerful enough for diving from but that's easy (or as easy as it can be) to set up and put away. Budget wise I don't know yet and would appreciate ideas on what sort of money I'd expect to pay.

Any suggestions on boat size, type, engines, etc.. would be appreciated. I'm new to this stuff so I'm sure there's lots of things I haven't considered yet. Again, any help or advise would be fantastic.

Thanks in advance,

Mark
__________________

__________________
HelmGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01 March 2009, 17:57   #2
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Wilmslow
Boat name: Serotonin
Make: Quicksilver
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mariner 15
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 712
Life's all about compromises and I think you may have to make a few the smallest sib you will get away with is probably a 4.3m the problem with this is that they become quite heavy at this size the Quicksilver weighs 115kg so even if you can roll it up small enough to get it through the caravan door it will eat up a fair chunk of your van's loading capacity. Also you and a mate need to be strong enough, can you lift 2 bags of cement each? see here for quick silver specs. http://www.seamarknunn.com/acatalog/...ableBoats.html

Maybe if your car can take it you could put it on the roof!! makes a good wind deflector for the van

Then you have to consider the engine 25 -30 hp will weigh about 70kg

You will also need transom wheels so you will be talking well over 200kg for the outfit and then you have your diving gear that's a lot of weight

How about buying 2 X 3.4m sibs with 15hp on the back 2 divers in each and you have your own safety boat and your mates can buy one of them
__________________

__________________
fred bolton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02 March 2009, 03:39   #3
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Bristol
Length: no boat
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Thanks Fred.

I've been trying to do some maths and I think that 4 divers with kit should come in 500-600 kilos. 5 or so "normal" people come in at less than 500kg. The Quick Silver 380 that you gave me a link to has a max load of 760kg. The 430 has a max load of 980kg.

So do that mean that either of those boats would handle what I want or am I'm too close to the maximum weights for the boat to perform well.

I noticed that the 380 can only take up to 25HP but maybe that'll be enough? The benefit I guess is that it'll be lighter. The boat itself it about 15kg lighter and the engines will be smaller and lighter also.

Something like this maybe?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=180330677990

As you say it's about compromises. Even if I'm restricted to 2 divers and a driver to man the boat I think I could cope with that. I'm trying to work out what would be the best compromise to give me a boat that I'll enjoy.
__________________
HelmGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02 March 2009, 12:30   #4
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Santa Cruz, CA
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11
I'm a diver too. My first inflatable was a 10.5' avon. With a 25hp on the transom it would do 30+mph with 2 fully kitted divers. The problem was that it was just too much of a hassle to setup/tear down each time. It's been (and continues to be) my experience that every day of diving turns out to be a long one. The extra 30-40minutes to unload the boat, inflate it, get the motor mounted. get all the other junk into the boat and THEN get suited and geared for diving was just too much.

The after-dive workload was even worse because not only are you tired but everything is wet and cold. It's just not very fun. Size wise the 10.5' would fit 3 adults comfortable without gear, but totally crammed full with gear. It was a workable dive platform for 2 adult divers with gear. Still cozy mind you, but not uncomfortable.

After a while I just never used the boat again. It was more work than it was worth in most cases.

I've since replaced it with a 14' achilles that is trailered. This is a night and day difference in general utility. Gear is mostly setup and mostly loaded in the boat before it ever gets to the water. We get the boat wet, park the car, get suited and go.

I know you are set against something on a trailer but if it's possible borrow a boat from a friend for a day. Actually do a test run with it. I can relate to the appeal of the IDEA of a boat that fits in the trunk. Unfortunately the reality is far harsher. Lug that thing to the water a couple of times. Get it set up. Tear it down. Dry everything off. Repack it. Repeat.

Oh and lots not forget about the unpacking again when you get home to rinse everything free of salt, flush your motor, etc.

SIBs are infinitely adaptable to the activities they can support, just need to consider the work that can go along with it.
__________________
nexus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02 March 2009, 15:31   #5
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Wilmslow
Boat name: Serotonin
Make: Quicksilver
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mariner 15
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 712
Hi Helmguy

I've no experience with bigger sibs so I can't really advise you However my 340 which is less than half the weight of a 380 is very lively one up, two up she goes really well, three up performance is ok so you can see how performance tails off with more weight. If it was me I'd ditch the van and get a tent then you can trail a boat. As Nexus says you need to try before you buy how about a trip to the local sib shop and see just how easy/difficult they are to manhandle, inflate and deflate. I can just about manhandle my sib solo but i would prefer to trailer it and avoid the hassle

the 3.8 on ebay looks good not sure about the price have a look at this - http://www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk/view/EML407 and ignoring my own opinions on weight i like this - http://www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk/view/F201631
__________________
fred bolton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03 March 2009, 11:45   #6
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
Quote:
Originally Posted by nexus View Post
I've since replaced it with a 14' achilles that is trailered. This is a night and day difference in general utility. Gear is mostly setup and mostly loaded in the boat before it ever gets to the water. We get the boat wet, park the car, get suited and go.
I'd pretty much agree with Nexus. 4 divers on a 14' Achilles is at about the crowd limit (though I did, on occasion, carry as many as 7 divers, but that was fully kitted, ready to splash, we weren't going very far, and couldn't go anywhere fast.) You can carry more than 4 but it gets uncomfortably cramped pretty quickly. Not to mention that your time to plane gets rather long, expecially after the dive when you've got a bunch of water in the boat.

jky
__________________
jyasaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03 March 2009, 11:58   #7
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Bristol
Length: no boat
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
At the moment getting a boat that travels on a trailer isn't something that I can handle - purely because most of the trips I'd want to use the boat I'd be towing a caravan so would have to rely on finding someone else to tow it for me. So maybe I'll have to stick with our clubs 6.5m rib for diving and get a boat that's for fun.

If that's the way I go what sort of boat size/engine sizes would people suggest for something that can take up to 6 people up and down the river on a Sunday afternoon and also take 4 out to sea. Obviously bigger is better but I'm looking for something that's small enough that travelling deflated in the car or caravan isn't too much of a hassle. Maybe something like a 3.8 with up to a 20HP engine?
__________________
HelmGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03 March 2009, 12:50   #8
Administrator
 
John Kennett's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Brighton
Length: 3m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 6,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelmGuy View Post
Maybe something like a 3.8 with up to a 20HP engine?
Sounds like a good plan. Do a search here for for "airdeck" to see the pros and cons of different floor types.

Two to consider are a Bombard 380 Aerotec (inflatable floor) or a Quicksilver 380 Sport (floor boards). Both take up to 25hp, but a 20 would be fine. Either way try to get a 2-stroke as it will be much lighter.
__________________
John Kennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03 March 2009, 17:31   #9
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Suffolk
Boat name: Parker380
Make: Parker
Length: 3m +
Engine: 30HP 4st EFI
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 58
........If that's the way I go what sort of boat size/engine sizes would people suggest for something that can take up to 6 people up and down the river on a Sunday afternoon and also take 4 out to sea.......
.....I'm a member of a dive club and have access to a 6.5m Humber Destroyer with a 140HP 2 Stroke. That's great fun and we often take 8 divers + dive gear but I'm looking for something a little smaller an more manageable for myself......

Just watching the thread develop. If you are interested in a boat for fun, that is at home on a river and at sea, capable of 6 plus people with storage capacity see mine for sale on RIBS FOR SALE - Avon ex RNLI D Class with 40hp 2st 1500. See details and if interested I can send more photos/details. If not suitable for you, how about your dive club?
Apologies for the plug - "but if you don't ask you won't get"
GerryP
__________________
GerryP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04 March 2009, 02:39   #10
Administrator
 
John Kennett's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Brighton
Length: 3m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 6,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by GerryP View Post
see mine for sale on RIBS FOR SALE - Avon ex RNLI D Class with 40hp 2st
He's unlikely to have much luck rolling that up and trying to get it into his caravan!
__________________

__________________
John Kennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 22:43.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.