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Old 13 December 2014, 20:56   #1
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newbie ignorance...boat and engine choice with a twist.

Hello all,

So next month my wife and I are moving to the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Everything is done by boat. As such we have a 23ft panga. But everything there is two stroke including the 75 I will put on the panga. So basically a hole for fuel. Therein lies the problem...many folks use a skiff and small engine to get around while not hauling gear or a crowd.

So that brings me to this thought. A skiff (john boat shaped)in the ocean just feels sketchy to me. As such I started thinking of an inflatable. I am also thinking of a four stroke I can ship there once again for fuel savings.

My journey town is about 7 miles. These are inner islands not open sea, though the swells could be 2' or so. The boat will be in constant use, not a weekend thing. 2-3 adults.

So I am considering a Zodiac 310 with a yamaha F6 or F8. The F6 is much lighter. There are no 4 stroke parts in Panama so a solid reputation for reliability is a must.

I am concerned it may be too slow but maybe not. Price is an issue as this is a second boat. Fuel consumption is the main factor, but it still has to be viable transport.

I am completely new to power boats. Sorry for the long post but there are some factors that stand out from a casual user.

Thanks for your time and patience in putting up with common newbie post.
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Old 14 December 2014, 00:41   #2
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7 miles each way..... so 14 miles a day often with three adults. A 3 meter inflatable with a 6 or 8 hp sounds like it will be too small for this kind of use... I would think you would want something bigger with at least
20hp on the back... If it were me I would be thinking small rib 4-5 meters
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Old 14 December 2014, 01:16   #3
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Let me amend my statement about passengers. It would rarely be 3 people, sometimes 2 and often 1 person. I would use it to go to work. My wife pointed out if we had 3 we would likely take the panga just for comfort...and as usual, she's right.
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Old 14 December 2014, 01:31   #4
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I would still want something a bit bigger...
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Old 14 December 2014, 03:14   #5
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Why not a small RIB + 20/30 HP engine ?
Even 3.8, 3.9 m
This one mentioned below is 3.9m

It is OK for 3 adults but you have not a lot of room for bags.

If you use it for shopping or need some equipment maybe a little bigger be better ...

[yt]=
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Old 14 December 2014, 05:33   #6
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Hi & welcome 👍
There's been several posts on here just of late regarding a folding Rib.
From what your saying , it sounds ideal for you, it'll push along at a good speed, run forever with a small 4stroke on its back.
Have a look at the F-Rib threads.
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Old 14 December 2014, 05:47   #7
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Hi & welcome 👍
There's been several posts on here just of late regarding a folding Rib.
From what your saying , it sounds ideal for you, it'll push along at a good speed, run forever with a small 4stroke on its back.
Have a look at the F-Rib threads.
Just what I was thinking
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Old 14 December 2014, 06:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggy View Post
Hi & welcome 👍
There's been several posts on here just of late regarding a folding Rib.
From what your saying , it sounds ideal for you, it'll push along at a good speed, run forever with a small 4stroke on its back.
Have a look at the F-Rib threads.
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Originally Posted by philpot View Post
Just what I was thinking
Srsly?!?

This guy has to travel 7 miles to work over two foot waves? What kinda shape will he arrive in? And why would he need a folding RIB? Is he transporting it in an automobile?

OP:

What price is gas in Panama? Is there a supply issue? You'll find that the jon boats/skiffs are very fuel efficient and likely OK if handled properly. That said, they look a bit on the light side to me! You might be better to consider a GRP/Ali hard boat with slightly more freeboard and some integrated buoyancy. Keep the weight in mind and spec an engine that you will be running at around 70% revs for your required speed. Personally, I'd go for whatever 2 stroke brand the locals are using and make sure it's not too small - they're not THAT bad on fuel unless you run them flat out all the time. Be aware that SIB and RIBs tend to be heavy compared to hard boats of a similar size and thus need a bit more power to push them.
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Old 14 December 2014, 07:11   #9
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Quote:
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You might be better to consider a GRP/Ali hard boat with slightly more freeboard and some integrated buoyancy. Keep the weight in mind and spec an engine that you will be running at around 70% revs for your required speed. Personally, I'd go for whatever 2 stroke brand the locals are using and make sure it's not too small - they're not THAT bad on fuel unless you run them flat out all the time. Be aware that SIB and RIBs tend to be heavy compared to hard boats of a similar size and thus need a bit more power to push them.
I'd agree with this I wouldn't expect a rib/sib to last very long given the intended use

I don't think you could go much better than an aluminium hulled dinghy with some built in buoyancy

Light easily repaired & tough & I'd definitely go with an engine you have local back up for.

There is a reason old two strokes are so sort after over here & that's simply they are very good engines for small boats
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Old 14 December 2014, 09:54   #10
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Ok guys I am hearing what you are saying and apparently what I am considering is not a good combo.

Most people who have a skiff tend to run a 10-12 foot fiberglass skiff with a 15hp yamaha enduro 2-smoke. The Indians there have dugout canoes and will often attach a small outboard on those. But all of the expats I speak to want a four stroke in a bad way because of the fuel consumption.

Fuel runs about $2 liter I guess, I haven't checked in awhile.

But fuel is everyone's concern all the time. It literally locks some people at home because they can't afford to leave whatever island they live on very often. This is the reality of living in an island chain.

I am just searching for a solution like everyone else there for a very fuel efficient boat we can mess around in and use for transport when the bigger boat is not needed. I know the small two strokes aren't as bad on fuel but a four stroke would be very fuel efficient.

I am not trying to get too big of a boat or engine. That would defeat my objective here.

Keep it coming guys I am learning a lot.
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