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Old 13 March 2006, 17:27   #1
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New SIB experience

So, my problems are solved, so what do I now think of my new little Zodiac Classic 3.8m Mk2C SIB with the Mariner 15HP 2 stroke? Frankly, I'm chuffed to bits. Here are a few thoughts in case it helps anyone else ...

The SIB purchase was a down-size from a Ribcraft 4.8m with 60HP 4 stroke, for family fun around the Solent with 2 adults and 3 children (3 seasons happy use terminated by scumbags cutting the engine off the back, and trashing the RIB in the process). My initial concerns included: would the SIB be big enough (yes it is, fairly comfortable for us, but we won't be taking extra passengers). Would the 15hp Mariner be enough to get us on the plane (yes it is, but only after changing the standard 9" pitch prop for an 8" pitch). Would we have as much fun as we did with the Ribcraft (yes, we seem to be doing so, but the missus insists it's not so comfortable, and we're going more slowly).

Other SIBs we considered (following recommendations on Ribnet), and rejected: anything without an air floor (too much hassle assembling those panel floors), the Quicksilver aerodec (can only get this up to 3.4m, too small for family of 5), the Zodiac Futura Fastroller (allegedly better performance that the Classic, but it weighs in at 70kg rather than 50kg, which is quite a difference).

Other engines we considered, and rejected: any 4 stroke (want max power to weight ratio, 4 strokes too heavy), anything bigger than 15hp (too heavy to lug around easily), anything smaller than 15hp (duh!). I guess the Yamaha 15hp 2 stroke would have been good, but I'm quite happy with the Mariner.

Other tips: yes, the LVM high volume pump is very good, but it doesn't do the high pressure floor. I can't be doing with pumping this up manually, so bought a Bravo HPP pump, even more expensive than the LVM, but certainly worth it.
Just dial in the pressure and the floor's pumped up in a minute or so. Here: http://www.polymarine.com/products/index.cfm?p=1744
Yes, you need a pair of launching wheels. I didn't fancy drilling my own holes for a pair of up-and-over Trem wheels, so bought the standard Zodiac ones, which are just fine. Attaching/detaching them on land is easy, so too if the boat is floating in deeper water, just don't try and do it if the boat is standing in shallow water.

Final thought: perhaps it doesn't really matter what you have, as long as you can get out on the water somehow ...

cheers,
Simon
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Old 13 March 2006, 19:36   #2
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Country: UK - England
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Having a similar time to you Simon down here in Cornwall .

Just got a new 3.8 honda with a honda 20 . Very pleased with it indeed .
Ended up with that same Bravo pump after footpumping once , good innit

Sorry to hear about your rib , one of the reasons I went for a sib .

Now here is my current dilemma , and I have a had a few

Here is the scene I imagine like last weekend we are out playing off a local headland in some fairly rough sea . All seemed very safe and the boat didn't even feel challenged . However I have this vision we hit a big wave get thrown out of the boat . Ok engine stops because iam wearing my safety strap and Iam only a few metres from the boat but due to winter gear wind or current I just can't swim enough to get back to the boat ,

Iam tempted to atach myself to the boat with a longish line , maybe a small throwline through velcro belt or wrist strap etc . I can see problems here but that vision of the boat blowing away from me is not good .

Opinions please
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Old 13 March 2006, 22:58   #3
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Old 14 March 2006, 02:55   #4
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Hi Simon,

Sorry to hear about the incident with the engine theft, that's a bit of a shocker.

The new SIB sounds great. I've just returned to SIBs after a three year absence too. Slightly different approach to yours, I've gone for a smaller boat thar I can almost throw over my shoulder (2.3m weighs about 23kg), similar inflatable floor. And powered with either a 2hp or a 5hp - I'll see how that goes! Likewise I haven't been too impressed with the LVM inflator, although I have a cheap one I found on Ebay, but on the basis that I'll need a foot pump anyway, I'll stick with that I think... I can inflate the boat in seven minutes by foot pump.

Ian - another consideration for you is getting back on board. I would suggest keeping a short loop of rope attached to the lifelines (or another attachment point, you may like to experiment with your setup) to use as a "stirrup" - I think Meme has something similar attached to his RIB. http://www.rib.net/forum/showthread....der#post134776. When you're in the water and tired, it's a long way up...

As for attaching by a lanyard... hmmm, not sure! Supposing the engine lanyard doesn't stop the engine and you're dragged along attached to the boat...

One thing I prefer for SIBs is a manual life jacket rather than an auto. There's less likelehood of knocking yourself unconscious, and if/when you need to swim back to the boat you woun't have the inflated jacket to hinder you, or have an extra task to deflate it. This assumes that you're a strong and confident swimmer. If not, either keep with an auto or take up knitting instead!
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Old 14 March 2006, 10:39   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian parkes

Here is the scene I imagine like last weekend we are out playing off a local headland in some fairly rough sea . All seemed very safe and the boat didn't even feel challenged . However I have this vision we hit a big wave get thrown out of the boat . Ok engine stops because iam wearing my safety strap and Iam only a few metres from the boat but due to winter gear wind or current I just can't swim enough to get back to the boat ,

Iam tempted to atach myself to the boat with a longish line , maybe a small throwline through velcro belt or wrist strap etc . I can see problems here but that vision of the boat blowing away from me is not good .

Opinions please
Ian,

That's why you wear a lifejacket, isn't it?

cheers,
Simon
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Old 14 March 2006, 10:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard B
Hi Simon,

Sorry to hear about the incident with the engine theft, that's a bit of a shocker.

The new SIB sounds great. I've just returned to SIBs after a three year absence too. Slightly different approach to yours, I've gone for a smaller boat thar I can almost throw over my shoulder (2.3m weighs about 23kg), similar inflatable floor. And powered with either a 2hp or a 5hp - I'll see how that goes! Likewise I haven't been too impressed with the LVM inflator, although I have a cheap one I found on Ebay, but on the basis that I'll need a foot pump anyway, I'll stick with that I think... I can inflate the boat in seven minutes by foot pump.
Hi Richard,

I think the worst part of the whole incident was the reluctance of the insurer to pay out in any reasonable way. Took 9 months of letter writing, next one was to the Financial Services Authority, I think that's all that persuaded them. Suffice to say, I'm now with a different insurer.

Anyway, I'm now seeing many attractions of a smaller boat ... as are you, it sounds. (Are you selling Blue Ice, then?)

cheers,
Simon
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Old 14 March 2006, 13:21   #7
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Simon,
come on then, dish the dirt. Who was the unhelpful insurer? Just so the rest of us don't send them our money!

Cheers,
Tim
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Old 14 March 2006, 13:21   #8
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Would you be willing to name and shame the insurance company?

No plans to sell Blue Ice - have just bought the SIB to use as a tender.
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Old 14 March 2006, 13:58   #9
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If you folks have a dive shop nearby, see about getting hold of an old but serviceable cylinder and regulator. A buddy of mine uses this to top off his Pro 16.

jky
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Old 14 March 2006, 15:12   #10
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Not my favourite insurer ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard B
Would you be willing to name and shame the insurance company?
Well, my policy was underwritten by AXA Insurance UK (TG), managed by Towergate Marine. I'm not quite sure of the relation between Towergate and AXA, but it was the claims office at Towergate who I had to deal with. I didn't think I was asking for too much by demanding to be put back into a financial position equivalent to that before the incident, but Towergate did not agree, and stonewalled for months.

Anyway, I finally got a fair settlement by writing to the Head of Customer Care at AXA, threatening to take the case to the ombudsman, mind you.

Obviously this is just one man's story. However, information like this is never available when you're choosing your insurer, is it?

cheers,
Simon
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