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Old 15 July 2015, 13:35   #11
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How do you find the engine Chipko? - WOT/pick up/fuel consumption etc? That DF20 seems to be the default choice now if going for a 4 stroke.
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Old 15 July 2015, 18:53   #12
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Interesting re splash guard and storage bags ... thanks guys.

Main reason for buying the old Aerotec was to take it on holiday with our Zodiac 340 Acti-V for a back to back test and find out which suited us best. In another thread Max and I mulled over how the comparative performances might work out.

Today we mostly used the Zodiac so now have the figures.

Flat out the Zodiac with a light load recorded 19.1kts so 0.5kt up on the Aerotec but broadly very similar. What was very noticeable was the Zodiac in comparison had a far more pronounced "getting over the hump" period to get on the plane. The Aerotec would hop on the plane in a second or two as it passed through the transition speed but the Zodiac (as with all flat floor SIBs I've used with 15hp) would hang in the pronounced bow high position for several seconds before it flattened out to a true plane. It was very noticeable the Aerotec would passs through this transition both to and off the plane with an almost level attitude.

With the full family load this difference was even more pronounced and the maximum speed was down a little over the loaded Aerotec at 16.1kts.

Of course no transom splash issues with the Zodiac.

Today quite a bit of our time was as "safety boat" to our daughter sea kayaking for the first time. There is no doubt the flat floor of the Zodiac made it very suitable to a more family based activity with the dog able to stretch out in various places on the floor and similarly more space to put our kit about the place.

Nothing to do with the boats as such but the Zodiac has superb HD Trem folding type wheels which I find so useful and well made... but they remind me how much I like the clean look of the Bombard with its bolt on non-folding ones removed and left in the cottage.

Yep... really interesting to be able to properly compare the two boat types.
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Old 16 July 2015, 04:13   #13
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Max putting this here as I don't like to clutter sales/wanted threads...

From my current experience with the Aerotec/Mercury 15 combo I think you could discount the 8" pitch unless you were going to take our a far far heavier load than your usual. I think even with your full family and kit plus full fuel load an 8" would serve little purpose.

A 10" though would be interesting because it was obvious with ours the outboard would be capable of a faster boat speed when our people load was only myself plus light daughter.
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Old 16 July 2015, 04:27   #14
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Cheers David, will bear that in mind, and nice comparison. Do you think you will keep both boats? As we all know the perfect SIB is a combo of Avon Hypalon build, Y Class mahogany ply floor, Zodiac Fastroller lightness and Aerotec V hull/handling but it's wishing for the impossible.
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Old 16 July 2015, 07:10   #15
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Originally Posted by Max... View Post
How do you find the engine Chipko? - WOT/pick up/fuel consumption etc? That DF20 seems to be the default choice now if going for a 4 stroke.
I've had the engine 2 years now and has been faultless so far.
Main reasons for buying was lightest at 44kg and the only 20hp with battery less EFI - 2 years on these benefits still apply.
Run mine on both 3.5 Zodiac and 3.8 Aerotec and often towing 18 year old son on a kneeboard. Solo will power both boats around 24/25 mph and two up towing kneeboard 21/22 mph. Very good hole shot and has no trouble quickly pulling kneeboard on to plane. If we didn't tow regularly I would up the prop pitch, as with the standard 9.25" x 10" it easily hits the rev limiter even two up. We briefly had an F-Rib 375 and really felt underpropped on this!
Not sure how economical it is compared to other 20hp four strokes but 10 litres will last a good 3 hrs for general hooning around - not towing but using lots of throttle!
Only downsides so far is 1 year less warranty at 5 years and slightly more vibration noted at low to medium revs.
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Old 16 July 2015, 07:39   #16
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>>>We briefly had an F-Rib 375...

Oh do tell!

>>>Do you think you will keep both boats?

Decisions decisions! There's been much chat at the moment over an evening meal after our days out. Back from hols on 25th and in truth if we're going to sell anything it needs to be soon after to catch the season. But there is a fair chance there'll be a nice 340 Acti-V with Mercury 10hp and Trem wheels up for grabs.
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Old 17 July 2015, 04:41   #17
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A new Aerotec experience yesterday evening... a solo run while I again carried out safety boat duties for daughter in kayak..

Wind was building to around force 5/6 (we had 8 overnight) so perhaps not the best situation for a solo trial. Anyway it felt far more lively than I was comfortable with so not the time to undertake speed trials... I was pleased when daughter gave up on the kayak and joined ship as ballast and we had a whoosh about until it became too wild and even the windsurfers had gone in.

We've refined where fuel tank and kit are best placed to get the perfect balance now and I'm increasingly impressed by the way it hops on and off the plane so easily with such an easy level transition.

I forgot to bring my tools to think of lifting the outer transom wooden pad and inner metal which would need doing in I added another shim so don't really want to go above a 26mm so it seems we'll have to live with the splash... but we do get the water to about the level of the floor panel joining piece after an enthusiastic hour out.
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Old 17 July 2015, 04:45   #18
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Have you got a tiller extension on it? Makes a huge difference, I think they are essential for weight balance and control on pretty much all SIB's but especially these circa 40 kg airfloor models - as is essential ballast up front (fuel, passenger, anchor/gear/pelicase etc). Certainly in a strong head sea, F4+.

PS, are you now an Aerotec convert?
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Old 17 July 2015, 05:46   #19
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Aerotec convert... ha ha. I have always appreciated them for their performance and it was only respect for Mrs F's previous difficulty with the angled floor that has kept them off the list until now.

So this release into a position to try one in proper conditions for two weeks was very welcome.

Overall we can offset the minor annoyances of a less than practical floor shape for dog and family... plus the splashing of course... for the ability to plough through more difficult conditions with confidence. We do not seek any more speed so the 15hp is still... for us... the best motor so I'm pleased to be able to keep this Mercury as finding a new engine is almost harder than the boat.

So yep... have to admit it's all worked out to be the best combo for the next "X" amount of years.
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Old 17 July 2015, 10:27   #20
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>>>Have you got a tiller extension on it?

Missed this. No I have one here but in extreme conditions I find the slight remoteness of an extended tiller offsets the benefit of balance... in truth it was too windy to do any experiments... to get back to the pontoon the right way up was enough.
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