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Old 18 January 2015, 21:15   #1
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Portable 2-3 Person Boat

I've been browsing around the Internet over the past couple weeks looking at relatively inexpensive inflatable boats. So far I haven't really found anything that truly makes me go "I want to spend $1k to $2k on that". I've seen the Saturns, but I am convinced there have to be better built boats out there, and I need help finding them.

I have no idea if the wish list I have for a boat is feasible or not, but I want a boat that: comfortably seats 2-3 adults for a few hours to just tool around (no serious diving or anything that'd require a lot of gear to be aboard), have a relatively wide beam of at least 3' (I'd like a spacious interior), be portable and easy to assemble then disassemble to pack away each time it's used, and can get up on plane to a pretty decent top speed with a 20HP engine.

I also should mention I'd need a good availability of service and parts for the U.S. market since my place of residence is well within the borders of the USA
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Old 18 January 2015, 22:33   #2
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I would try to get a ride on one of these. They look cool.

Folding RIB first impressions part one
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Old 19 January 2015, 00:50   #3
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The F-ribs are neat but the companies selling them don't seem to have much in the way of a support structure in the US.

Right now I'm sort of looking at the Zodiac Fastroller 360 and Azzurro Mare AM365. The AM365 is Saturn's line that's supposedly more ruggedly built, but I haven't heard much about them except what's on Boatstogo's website. The FR360 is basically the same boat as the Azzurro, except is only rated for a 15HP engine and the threads about it on here are less than stellar. Saturn used to make a larger 14.5' Azzurro Mare that was also a bit wider and still had an air deck, sadly they stopped making it, though probably they did so because I've heard air floors quit being rigid enough at that size.

I can't see having 4 adults on either the AM or Zodiac being comfy, which would be nice to accommodate.
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Old 19 January 2015, 04:35   #4
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bombard/zodiac typhoon 4.2 ali large tubes 25 hp max engine selling over here in the uk at 1700 GBP

regards jeff
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Old 19 January 2015, 08:08   #5
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I would probably recommend a Zodiac Futura MK2C FR (Fastroller). They have a high pressure air floor and are quite portable. They're kinda on the top end of your pricing though. It's tough to find a boat that can support a 20hp. Most cap at 15 or 10.
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Old 19 January 2015, 12:30   #6
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I would probably recommend a Zodiac Futura MK2C FR (Fastroller). They have a high pressure air floor and are quite portable. They're kinda on the top end of your pricing though. It's tough to find a boat that can support a 20hp. Most cap at 15 or 10.
It seems the Futuras represent what is the most you can ever get out of an air deck floor, but darn expensive at $4-5k. Why do you recommend the MK2C over the slightly larger MK2?
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Old 19 January 2015, 13:06   #7
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It seems the Futuras represent what is the most you can ever get out of an air deck floor, but darn expensive at $4-5k. Why do you recommend the MK2C over the slightly larger MK2?
I'm pretty used to dealing with customers who have size restrictions, so it was the closest one to your 2-3 person requirement!

If you've got the space, go for it. Hearing "I wish I had a smaller boat" is rare.

However, pay attention the weight. I chose the Futura MK2C FR to keep the weight low enough for 2 people. The bigger the boat is, the harder it will be to perform a beach launch without wheels.

The Bombard C3 or 360S would also be okay choices.

I do like the Futura hull boats though. They're a lot of fun.
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Old 19 January 2015, 13:59   #8
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I'm pretty used to dealing with customers who have size restrictions, so it was the closest one to your 2-3 person requirement!

If you've got the space, go for it. Hearing "I wish I had a smaller boat" is rare.

However, pay attention the weight. I chose the Futura MK2C FR to keep the weight low enough for 2 people. The bigger the boat is, the harder it will be to perform a beach launch without wheels.

The Bombard C3 or 360S would also be okay choices.

I do like the Futura hull boats though. They're a lot of fun.

I'm really liking the Futura MK2. I certainly would install launch wheels, I just want to be sure that a boat I'm spending $4.5k on will last me a good long time. I think the non compact version would be the way to go, it's not much heavier and can probably fit 4 adults a bit better. The only aspect of weight I'm concerned with is being able to lift it into and out of my car trunk alone, since my girlfriend probably won't be able to help me do it :-)
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Old 19 January 2015, 15:18   #9
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The only aspect of weight I'm concerned with is being able to lift it into and out of my car trunk alone, since my girlfriend probably won't be able to help me do it :-)
Get the lighter boat then. I have the larger 4.2m MK2HD aluminum floored boat. With the floor boards out it is the same Futura model as the air floor. I can barely move it, but will admit I have never tried folding it. There is no way I would own a 4.2m boat if I had to put it in my trunk, but mine lives on a trailer. Even a 20hp is heavy, as they are awkward. I would recommend going and physically picking a motor up and a folded boat, before making any decisions. FWIW I don't mind hard work and bucked a 200 year old oak tree yesterday. Point being you better be really strong to routinely hand launch a boat that big, or you won't use it.

The 4.2m version with an outboard is either past or at the weight limit of most launching wheel setups. I couldn't find any to handle my boats weight, but I have an aluminum floor and a 40hp, and am pushing 500lbs when going into the water.

Read this, as there is a lot of good information.
Which SIB, which SIB, which SIB!
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Old 19 January 2015, 16:16   #10
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Get the lighter boat then. I have the larger 4.2m MK2HD aluminum floored boat. With the floor boards out it is the same Futura model as the air floor. I can barely move it, but will admit I have never tried folding it. There is no way I would own a 4.2m boat if I had to put it in my trunk, but mine lives on a trailer. Even a 20hp is heavy, as they are awkward. I would recommend going and physically picking a motor up and a folded boat, before making any decisions. FWIW I don't mind hard work and bucked a 200 year old oak tree yesterday. Point being you better be really strong to routinely hand launch a boat that big, or you won't use it.

The 4.2m version with an outboard is either past or at the weight limit of most launching wheel setups. I couldn't find any to handle my boats weight, but I have an aluminum floor and a 40hp, and am pushing 500lbs when going into the water.

Read this, as there is a lot of good information.
Which SIB, which SIB, which SIB!
How durable are these Futuras? How many years of use can I expect to get out of it? It would just be casual use a few times per month up north in the Great Lakes. I just want to make sure that a boat I spend $5k on will last.
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