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Old 10 May 2016, 05:36   #1
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New boat - few questions

Finally got out in the Aerotec, yesterday evening and on Saturday, both times were brief outings. I've been comparing the Aerotec to my old Zodiac m2c in my mind.

Setting up, my new bravo pump doesn't kick into HP mode (Seamark Nunn seem on the ball with getting it sorted, though I'm no longer within straight exchange terms as Zodiac took so long supplying the boat). I'm still getting used to setting up, hopefully it'll be quicker once I get used to it and have the correct pump. I think I found the ally floor zodiac quicker and easier to set up but this could change. The Bravo gauge that comes with the boat only seems to work when you pump air through it (meaning you can't just check the pressure, you have to get a pump out) Is there a gauge that people can recommend, one that doesn't need to be pumped up to give a reading ?

The bow bag didn't make it into the water, I tried attaching it to the boat but in the process the seams all came undone. Could be a manufacturing fault but I expect Zodiac are using cheap thread that isn't up to the job. More shoddiness from Zodiac, considering the cost of their accessories.......

I need to find some storage (Zodiac have offered to send me a new bow bag but from what I hear these are pretty crap), I want to use the the fuel tank straps for the fuel tank (this seemed to work well) so will be looking for a way to neatly store anchor etc, any ideas ?

On the water - As my two outings have been brief, I didn't check the pressures after being on the water for a bit (I over filled before hand instead) so may not have had the correct pressures. Very different to the old Zodiac, you can feel the waves through the floor, felt much slower, not as stable. I think I may have been getting some flex in the floor, hopefully rechecking pressures will cure this. I need to read up on ventilation and cavitation and start some experiments with shims for the outboard. Something was going on at WOT not sure how to describe it though, the splash didn't seem that bad to me but will try to get some pictures or a video when out with an extra person (hanging on, whilst driving, whilst filming, wasn't possible). Yesterday had some reasonable chop, once I'd been out for a bit I plucked up the courage to give it some going into the waves, jumped a few but then a gust of wind made me think twice as that boat is very light !

Pulling it out of the water is where this boat comes into it's own, the old zodiac was hard work to pull up a shingle beach on your own, the Aerotec is easy, this is the only advantage I've found so far. It's quite a big advantage to be fair, used to dread the thought of getting out of the water with the Zodiac on my own.

I've found it a pain to clean, taking out the air floor, drying etc. With my old boat I'd often leave it in the back of the van, wet, salty and rolled up. I'd use it a couple of times during the week (after work) then maybe on a Saturday and then give it a good clean on a Sunday. Am I likely to reduce the life span of the new boat doing this kind of thing ? I've been told not to leave it rolled up wet but it started to rain as I got out of the water yesterday evening and has been raining since (I wash off and dry in garden as the shed isn't big enough). Will a few days or a week be a problem ? I've assumed when they say don't put it away wet, people mean packing up for a couple of months ?

I'm undecided with the Aerotec (too late to change now) guess I need to spend some more time using it, interested to see how it performs with an extra person and whether engine shims make it more stable feeling.
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Old 10 May 2016, 06:27   #2
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Check out the "rigging an Aerotec" thread, kind of answers the questions about how to best stow stuff. Multiple dry bags lashed to the tubes/bow area seems to work well for most (me too if the entire family and kitchen sink aren't onboard)...

Others are better placed to address your Aerotec woes than I but I think most have been covered in various threads, shim height, splash guards, floor/tube pressure and fitment, etc.

It would be a shame if the only plus point was beachability/movement on land... Missed the point everyone raves about with the Aerotec I feel.

Good luck...
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Old 10 May 2016, 06:27   #3
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Re' storage - see the rigging an Aerotec for ideas or the what kit do you carry sticky. Anchor needs to go in a hard box ideally.

If the floor was flexing then it was not to pressure. I put minimum 11.5psi in the floor and 3.6 in the tubes this time of year to allow for cold water effect. The last 0.5 to 1psi make ALL the difference.

Mine stays inflated all season unless going down to Devon - I always wash off the salt and any grit etc each time. Only taking the floor out if lots of sand and debris has got in there. Just stand the boat up and hose it out using a hand brush if needed.

If you have no-one upfront in F3/4 then jumping waves go easy in a head sea or you are at risk of flipping in such a light, rear heavy set up, you should at least get a tiller extension so you can get midships.
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Old 10 May 2016, 06:33   #4
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Re' storage - see the rigging an Aerotec for ideas or the what kit do you carry sticky. Anchor needs to go in a hard box ideally.

If the floor was flexing then it was not to pressure. I put minimum 11.5psi in the floor and 3.6 in the tubes this time of year to allow for cold water effect. The last 0.5 to 1psi make ALL the difference.

Mine stays inflated all season unless going down to Devon - I always wash off the salt and any grit etc each time. Only taking the floor out if lots of sand and debris has got in there. Just stand the boat up and hose it out using a hand brush if needed.

If you have no-one upfront in F3/4 then jumping waves go easy in a head sea or you are at risk of flipping in such a light, rear heavy set up, you should at least get a tiller extension so you can get midships.
I put 12psi in the floor and 4psi in the tubes (supposedly) as have been told that the gauges are a guide and that its impossible to over fill with footpump.

I guess you get away without taking the floor out as you store it inflated, I'll have to store mine rolled up in the bag and guess the only way to get it dry is by taking the floor out, or is dry not as important as I've been led to believe ?

I have a tiller extension, I found it unresponsive and a pain (maybe I'll try again). It felt on the limit of safety to be honest, good fun though
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Old 10 May 2016, 06:36   #5
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I would not trust your gauge to be honest - getting 12psi in with a footpump is not possible is it?


Make a simple but highly accurate gauge for a few quid:

Adapting a pressure gauge for a SIB...

If the tiller extension was unresponsive there must have been some flex or looseness somewhere?
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Old 10 May 2016, 06:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stigomery View Post
Check out the "rigging an Aerotec" thread, kind of answers the questions about how to best stow stuff. Multiple dry bags lashed to the tubes/bow area seems to work well for most (me too if the entire family and kitchen sink aren't onboard)...

Others are better placed to address your Aerotec woes than I but I think most have been covered in various threads, shim height, splash guards, floor/tube pressure and fitment, etc.

It would be a shame if the only plus point was beachability/movement on land... Missed the point everyone raves about with the Aerotec I feel.

Good luck...
Do you mean I've missed the point ? I hope that theres more to the Aerotec than this too. Maybe I just need to get used to it, maybe comparing to my ally floor Zodiac is not a fair comparison.
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Old 10 May 2016, 06:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max... View Post
I would not trust your gauge to be honest - getting 12psi in with a footpump is not possible is it?

Think the pump says it goes up to 14psi, who knows though, I just pumped till it got really hard to pump it anymore


Make a simple but highly accurate gauge for a few quid:

Adapting a pressure gauge for a SIB...

If the tiller extension was unresponsive there must have been some flex or looseness somewhere?
Not sure I only tried using it once and it was a while ago now.
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Old 10 May 2016, 07:07   #8
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Do you mean I've missed the point ? I hope that theres more to the Aerotec than this too. Maybe I just need to get used to it, maybe comparing to my ally floor Zodiac is not a fair comparison.

That was a typo, should read "misses the point", I.e. The Aerotec is famed for handling chop and cutting through the waves better than any SIB more than being famed for being a handy boat on land/easy to set up etc... If it was ease of transport, ease of setup, non-splashy transom etc. then a different inflatable floored SIB may have achieved this. That's all I was saying.

Anyways, you have what many believe to be the ultimate SIB so I reckon you just need some practice time, water time, experimenting time and a Bravo that works and you'll be singing its praises before long...
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Old 10 May 2016, 07:11   #9
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I would not trust your gauge to be honest - getting 12psi in with a footpump is not possible is it

I think I managed once with my Honwave foot pump... My quads are still recovering ;-)
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Old 10 May 2016, 07:21   #10
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Originally Posted by Stigomery View Post
That was a typo, should read "misses the point", I.e. The Aerotec is famed for handling chop and cutting through the waves better than any SIB more than being famed for being a handy boat on land/easy to set up etc... If it was ease of transport, ease of setup, non-splashy transom etc. then a different inflatable floored SIB may have achieved this. That's all I was saying.

Anyways, you have what many believe to be the ultimate SIB so I reckon you just need some practice time, water time, experimenting time and a Bravo that works and you'll be singing its praises before long...
Completely agree, also wonder whether the experience of buying the boat has left me with a tainted feeling. I feel like a magnet for every bit of defective boating equipment currently in the UK lol I've even wondered whether Zodiac have the chuckle brothers working in the factory !
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