Cyanide and Magellan Alpha will be spending the night at Milford Haven on the first leg of our UK Circumnavigation on the way to the Orkney Expedition. Check out the website for the dates.
Well my comments on RIBs are worth sod all, but I CAN speak with some experience on the Quicksilver 340 Airdeck.
The 430 QS is not available with an airdeck so it will be a lot heavier, probably too heavy to launch by hand.
The airdeck models are quicker to pack away and to reassemble as there is no fiddling with the wooden deck. They are also more fuel efficient because they are lighter. I can launch mine single handed from a sandy beach by dragging it into the water. Where there is a slipway or stones it can easily be lifted into the water by two people. I now have a De Graaff trailer for mine but I still launch it by hand.
My 340 is certified catC and to carry 5 people. Well it can, but it's a lot more fun and comfortable with 3. It is even more fun with 1 or 2 people!
They are very stable and can scoot along at up to 20 mph, with my 15hp Mariner 2s engine (well 19.5 mph registered on my hh gps). The 2s engine is recommended as again it is lighter and when the fuel is emptied out you can tip it on it's side.
Mine is usualy kept at my house in Scotland on the Moray Firth. It gets cold and choppy but QS still gets out there. Yes, in the choppy seas it is a wet boat, but who cares, I've got a drysuit. However it copes with the chop very well and feels safe.
Ask Aging Youth about QS's sea keeping abilities in Plymouth. In fact take a look at QS in the choppy water on any of the gallery threads about the plymouth weekend.
I take QS all over the place. I spend a lot of time exploring in the Scottish Highlands and Islands in my QS. Take a look at the article 'Going Soft' in Rib International Feb 2003 edition for photographs and an article about 'extreem sibbing' and see QS in action.
As I have said before...if the RIB is the 4x4 of the sea then the SIB is the Quadbike of the sea.
In the end it all depends on WHAT you want to use the boat for. Of course the 430 is 90cm longer and a bit wider, you can put a bigger engine on it.
If you tell us more about your course we can tell you more about which horse. (you know 'horses for courses' etc.)
Oh yes, did I mention that in August my QS340 is being sailed across The Pentland Firth to the Orkney Islands, now THAT's real faith in a small boat....
Keith (do you get the impression I like the QS340AD) Hart