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Old 28 May 2011, 16:39   #1
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Proposed new SIB... worries about air floor and PVC durability.

To continue from my recent thread about chosing a new SIB around 3.4-3.6m...

I have two air floor models on the shortlist.. a Zodiac Cadet Fastroller 3.6 and a Honwave 3.8IE. Despite reading old threads I really can't make up my mind if the flexible nature of air floors while planing is an issue that would annoy me such that I should 100% rule them out. Any further experiences/thoughts much appreciated.

Also the only inflatables I've owned have been Hypalon and they've been very rugged and long lasting. Bit worried that most of the ones on my shortlist now are PVC. Again reading on the forum it seems PVC can have a shorter life and be puncture prone... is this really so? The only Hypalon model under consideration would be if I paid an extra 600 for the Hypalon version of the Fastroller.

Finally not sure which forum would be best to ask but I'd even wondered about a 3.4/3.6m rib and travelling/storing it with deflated tubes to save space. Pity the Avon & Walker Bay folding transom models don't go above 3.1m/3.2m.
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Old 28 May 2011, 18:12   #2
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The inflatable v-floor airdecks are fine when you're planing. The flat airdecks tend to flex quite a lot. Lightly loaded with a small motor, it's not likely to be a massive problem.

For example, I've taken a Quicksilver 3.4m airdeck (flat floor) with a 15hp motor across the Solent a couple of times in slightly bumpy conditions. It was OK, but you can feel the floor moving. On the other hand the Bombard airdeck is as good as a conventional hard floor SIB with an inflatable keel.

I'd guess that the majority of SIBs these days are not hypalon as they are produced in volume with welded seams. There don't seem to be any widespread problems with them.
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Old 28 May 2011, 18:41   #3
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PVC boats are fine and IMHO far better for a sib because the fabric is not stretchy. A Hypalon sib is as bendy rubbery as a rubbery thing can be whereas PVC makes a fairly rigid boat. I've also found PVC to be puncture resistant but it does cut easily on sharp stuff so best not to leave it alongside a barnacled wall without protection for any length of time.
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Old 29 May 2011, 06:26   #4
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Thanks guys. As I said in the previous thread we hope to find our 9.8hp sufficient but will wait until after our Scottish west coast summer hols to decide. At the very most I'd consider the lightest 2-stroke 15hp I could get for next year so still modest power. I see the air floor Zodiac is rated at a 15hp anyway compared to the wood floor model at 20hp.

Interesting about PVC being stiffer... hadn't thought about that... but the way it cuts was one of my issues and I guess that is a direct result of having less give.
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Old 29 May 2011, 07:41   #5
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Having taken a 3.4m SIB with inflatable airdeck across the Pentland Firth I can confirm that planing and durability is not a problem.

The airdeck models are lighter than the solid deck ones so are easier to transport and launch. They are also much easier on the bum when the boat is bouncing about!

Mine is PVC and I've had no problems. For the past 6 years it has been stored inflated outside on its trailer.

When I first had it I used to store it inflated in my garage but as I had no trailer I had to go through the painful rigmarole of deflation/inflation/deflation/inflation to take it anywhere - that's why I got the trailer.

If you are storing it deflated then the above will not be a problem.

Where and when will you be on the West Coast?

Keith Hart
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Old 29 May 2011, 09:17   #6
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PVC Durability

I reckon that if you keep PVC out of prolonged direct sunlight it should be fine.

We've just had a few (boatless!) days in Jersey and I had a chance to look at boats in Gorey and St Aubin. Each has a rack where tenders are stored bows upward. It was obvious which boats were left there all year round and which were PVC. Some of these were very brittle and sticky. Avons were seemingly unaffected.

The worst ones seemed to be those with outboard- related names.

However, having said that, I've just sold my 1989 Zodiac Series 131. It was PVC/ Strongan. It came out into the sun when it was used, and lived under cover when it wasn't. The fabric was probably as good as the day it was built.

Don't know what you think, but I'd be happy with a secondhand PVC boat if I could be sure it had lived under cover.
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Old 29 May 2011, 11:29   #7
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Thanks guys.... probably best to get the right boat without worrying too much about the PVC vs Hypalon issue then. If we buy new I know it will be mostly out of the sun so no worries given what you're saying. If it was a used model I'd just try and ensure it was an inside stored one to max out its future life.

Keith we've booked a cottage above the north shore of Loch Duich in August... guess we'll launch at the slips either side of Duich bridge and look around Loch Duich and Loch Alsh. Also hope to take the boat in the car to Sky and find somewhere interesting to launch there.

Any thoughts on interesting places to launch/visit much appreciated.
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Old 30 May 2011, 05:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Hart View Post
Having taken a 3.4m SIB with inflatable airdeck across the Pentland Firth I can confirm that planing and durability is not a problem.

The airdeck models are lighter than the solid deck ones so are easier to transport and launch. They are also much easier on the bum when the boat is bouncing about!

Mine is PVC and I've had no problems. For the past 6 years it has been stored inflated outside on its trailer.

When I first had it I used to store it inflated in my garage but as I had no trailer I had to go through the painful rigmarole of deflation/inflation/deflation/inflation to take it anywhere - that's why I got the trailer.

If you are storing it deflated then the above will not be a problem.

Where and when will you be on the West Coast?

Keith Hart

Keith,

I'm brand new to Sibbing, and I've also gone through that pain of

inflation/deflation/inflation/deflation !!!!!

But on top of that, it's the packing/unpacking/packing/unpacking !!!!

I have 3.4M SIB with an ali floor, and an inflatable keel, any suggestion on what trailer is best?


Regards

Popeye1
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Old 30 May 2011, 05:56   #9
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Popeye is your Tohatsu 9.8 a 2-stroke and how do you find it pushes your boat?
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Old 30 May 2011, 06:03   #10
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Popeye is your Tohatsu 9.8 a 2-stroke and how do you find it pushes your boat?

Hi Fenlander,

No it's a four stroke. I think it's a lovely piece of kit. It pushes the boat along nicely on the plain, very quite and smooth and not that heavy either, 37KG! I would thoroughly recommend them.
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