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Old 13 October 2013, 13:21   #1
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Country: UK - England
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Need advice about which SIB inflatable boat to buy.

Hello, I hope you guys can help.

I work with the Thames Auxiliary Marine Service on the River Thames in London.
We want to start using Soft Inflatable Boats which have an inflatable hull.

We were going to try and buy an ex RNLI, Y class inflatable but thought we would check with you guys first and ask advice.

I see the Sea Search inflatables are going for around 700-800. Are they any good and do they have an inflatable V hull?

We are a voluntary unit and funds are poor but we are fundraising at the moment for such a craft. We should have the money in a month and we do want to spend it wisely.

Our only criteria is that the SIB must be abled to be carried and launched by two people and be powered by a 15hp outboard engine.

So any helpful advice would be great and if anyone also knows of a good 15hp outboard for sale then please just leave a post here.

Thank you.

Alex.
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Old 13 October 2013, 14:18   #2
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Our local search and rescue team uses a SIB with launch wheels on it. Any reason you would be adverse to using launching wheels? Why carry, when you can roll!
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Old 13 October 2013, 15:34   #3
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Hi peter,
No reason at all why we should not use wheels to launch. It's a great idea. Thank you.

Do you know what make of SIB they use?

Thanks, Alex.
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Old 13 October 2013, 18:01   #4
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They use a Zodiac, although I am not sure of the model it is about 2ft shorter than my 14ft, so it is about a 12 footer. My friend just got the removable Beach Master launching wheels and I am very impressed with them.

A hard deck boat is better in many ways than an air floor, but the air floor travels better in the boot, and is lighter weight. How will this future boat of yours be transported over the highway?
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Old 13 October 2013, 22:30   #5
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We will launch off a slipway in Greenwich usually. If we have to launch in other locations then we will put it in the back of an ambulance that we sometimes use. If personnel on the day can't drive or find a driver we will hire an estate mini cab to get us as close to the launching location as possible. It may have to be carried the last few hundred feet or even meters by hand and inflated on the foreshore or riverside.


We were thinking of using a ply board with carpet to use as a launching ramp to be placed in the sib and sat on afterwards.


As we say, there's no T in " Can Do!"

I hope we can pick up a Y Class sib. We do like the look of them. : )
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Old 14 October 2013, 03:31   #6
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Anything is possible but the Y Class with a (lightweight 2 stroke) 15 on the back and some kit will be approaching 125kg upwards. The Y CLass has a 1" thick and very heavy duty mahogany ply floor. Not easy to lift and carry. Lots of Y Class info here:

RNLI Y Class - show and tell please!

As I posted in your 'wanted' ad they are not easy to find, had a 'wanted' going myself for years...
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Old 14 October 2013, 04:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thamesvolunteer View Post
We will launch off a slipway in Greenwich usually. If we have to launch in other locations then we will put it in the back of an ambulance that we sometimes use. If personnel on the day can't drive or find a driver we will hire an estate mini cab to get us as close to the launching location as possible. It may have to be carried the last few hundred feet or even meters by hand and inflated on the foreshore or riverside.


We were thinking of using a ply board with carpet to use as a launching ramp to be placed in the sib and sat on afterwards.


As we say, there's no T in " Can Do!"

I hope we can pick up a Y Class sib. We do like the look of them. : )
How big is your ambulance? A Y-Class is heavy, 2 people wont be able to carry it far even without the engine fitted. Launching wheels are difficult to fit due to the drain trunks either side of the transom.

Don't expect to be rolling it up either, the hypalon tubes are double thinkness in most places, and the floor is a mission to fit, and is heavy and doesn't split into sections. It can be done, but they don't fold down very small, and you will soon get fed up of putting it together.

They are great boats, but you really need a trailer.

The SeaSearch boats you mention are good value for money. But no where near the quality of an Avon or zodiac work boat, but then they are a fraction of the cost new. They have aluminium floors with an inflatable keel.
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Old 14 October 2013, 05:17   #8
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Thanks for the good advice guys. I really appreciate your experience and knowledge of sibs.

I think I might go with the Honwave 380 air bed then.

Am I correct in thinking they are slightly better than the seasearch?

Thanks again for putting me straight regarding the weight and folding of the Y class.

Cheers, Alex.
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Old 14 October 2013, 06:02   #9
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Hi Alex, the Honwave is a nice boat for leisure use but not up to everyday utility/rescue use. I would have a good search back through the SIB section of the forum in general as there are a huge number of 'which SIB?' topics etc which will give lots of pointers to consider. There are so many factors to consider in your use - ie transport, capacity, weight, power etc. A SIB may well not be the best choice.
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Old 14 October 2013, 08:46   #10
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Yes, I am going to do plenty more research.

I know in my heart of hearts the honwave won't stand up to every weekend on the Thames annualy.

Thank you for the sage advice.
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