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Old 18 March 2014, 12:30   #1
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Country: Canada
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Looking for a better ride on Great Slave Lake

My two boats are both old 1970's vintage Zodiacs, one a MKI and the other a MKII. Both are in good shape but now that I live on the Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada (moved here last spring) I find that they are a bit limiting in the rougher sea conditions common to this large lake.

How much better would a Bombard Aerotec 380 be in chop and waves compared to traditional SIBs like my Zodiacs?

Could I use my 2 stroke short shaft OMC 15 and 30 hp motors on an Aerotec 380?

How is the fabric on the Bombard with UV? The local coast guard units says that the UV at this latitude is very hard on PVC boats and that I sould only consider Hypalon if I want a boat to last up here.

Ideally I would get a 5ish meter RIB but that is not practical due to costs and storage space at this time though I might hold out for this option down the road.

Thanks.
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Old 18 March 2014, 14:05   #2
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If you store it indoors you won't have a big UV issue. Also can use a UV protectant which helps keep PVC looking and feeling newer. How many days would you plan on using it a year, I'm guessing maybe 30-40? With that kind of occasional use it would last 20yrs.

I don't think you will find the air floor a ride improvement. Its still only 3.8m long and very light (bouncy). To get a better ride in choppy water you need to go up into the 15ft range IMHO. Although a 4m RIB would also be an improvement since it will be heavier with a proper V in the hull able to (slightly) part oncoming waves.
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Old 18 March 2014, 17:53   #3
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Headdamage,

On wavy & choppy waters you won't have a confortable ride on any alum or air deck sib. On choppy waters will have too much sea bumps for sib & passengers. On those conditions you need to throttle enough to achieve fast displacement speeds or slow plane for passenger's riding confort, specially the ones sittting on tubes near bow.

If alone or with extra mad boater you could throttle at whichever speed you like going along excessive uncomfortable jumping included; include periodic visits to the chiropractic after hard outing.

If sib will be living sheltered after use, not an issue with UV, buy a bottle of Aerospace UV Protectant and spary evenly on tubes once a month. At your pace use sib will last a lifetime. You could use any of both HP engines, will depend entirely on your boating mood for that outing.

If you want max Aerotec performance you must inflate all tubes and V keel to it's recommended working parameters with gauge to achieve best tubes and keel rigidity.

Happy Boating
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Old 19 March 2014, 11:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locozodiac View Post
If alone or with extra mad boater you could throttle at whichever speed you like going along excessive uncomfortable jumping included; include periodic visits to the chiropractic after hard outing.
I once took a 3 mile ride in a borrowed 11' or so Zodiac with the dive shop owner driving. Never had so painful a ride in my life. Swell was running 4 to 5 feet, with decent chop, and I suspect we were airborne more than not. The return trip was worse, as I knew what was coming.

He is not allowed to pilot boats anymore.

jky
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Old 19 March 2014, 11:18   #5
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I'll likely have to make do with the SIBs for now and try to get a RIB down the road then.
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Old 19 March 2014, 16:02   #6
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Having driven my 14ft SIB next to a 16ft RIB, in heavy chop, I can say without a doubt there is a 80% difference in how they ride. For those kind of conditions a RIB is the only way to go.
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Old 24 March 2014, 11:25   #7
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Im curious to hear this as well. I havent been in anything to choppy and I man a 13ft Saturn Ocean Kayak
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Old 29 March 2014, 12:39   #8
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Would adding a two man jockey console and remote controls help much with comfort in chop compared to the current tiller operation?
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Old 29 March 2014, 13:03   #9
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Would adding a two man jockey console and remote controls help much with comfort in chop compared to the current tiller operation?
Definitely, and it would make it more secure. Plus the more weight you add will make the ride smoother. Still a RIB will blow the out perform a SIB.
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Old 16 April 2014, 14:50   #10
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Might be buying this boat to replace the MkII:

440 Zodiac Hurricane



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