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Old 22 October 2009, 16:53   #1
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Seapro vs Zodiac; Opinion on Lifters

Good evening to everyone,

We are interested in purchasing a 3.6 m inflatable, it will be our first boat and as novices we would value opinions from those with more experience. We will use the boat for exploring rivers, lakes and perhaps, when more confident, short inshore trips. Our children, now 7, would be interested in wakeboarding etc when older I suspect. We are somewhat limited by our requirement that the inflatable can be packed in our box trailer and so we have a maximum packed dimension of 1.2 m. Hence, we are looking at 3.6 m air deck boats made by Zodiac (Fastroller Acti-V) and Seapro (Honda/Excels/Quicksilver would need to be shorter boats to fit). It is likely that we wil opt for a Susuki 15 hp outboard.

The Zodiac is significantly more expensive than the Seapro (almost double!), both have V-hull, but does anyone know if there is likely to be a significant difference between them? For example, Zodiac advertise that their inflatable decks and keels are higher pressure than the competition and hence more rigid but I cannot find any data on this.

A second question concerns Lifters made by Maxi-Marine (http://www.maximarine.com/products/lifters/index.html). There are some very supportive testimonials, but what do you think? Are there better alternatives? We are most interested in improving comfort and control rather than speed.

With thanks for your help.

David B

Manchester UK
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Old 22 October 2009, 18:06   #2
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... Our children, now 7...
Are you in competition with JSP?








Oh, welcome to Ribnet, by the way.
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Old 22 October 2009, 18:28   #3
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Are you in competition with JSP?








Oh, welcome to Ribnet, by the way.
I thought exactly the same thing.
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Old 22 October 2009, 23:49   #4
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How many of the little ones were you hoping to put in the boat at any given time?
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Old 23 October 2009, 14:06   #5
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360 & 380 sibs has same width approx 1.70 mt. comes packed in 1.2 mt width carton, when inflated/deflated it's very difficult to achieve the factory packed sib original measurements, would need to vacuum the whole sib out. The best way is to take some pictures of how the boat comes factory folded and go that way when deflating/folding.

Is the box trailer a little wider than 1.20 Mt ? So not to be so width tight ? About air decks, a matter to compare in reality to the eye and touch, Zodiac vrs other brands, Deep V keel would be better than standard horizontal air deck + keel. V keel and flat air decks range from 10 min to 12 max psi for correct inflation and best sib/engine performance, the only tech issue would be : how thick are floors compared between brands, from experimentation, thicker fabric + max high pressure will give max sib performance.

About engines, is it a 2 or 4 strokes 15 HP engine you plan to buy ? You could go for a Tohatsu 2 or 4 strokes 18 HP engine, same size and weight to 15 HP engines + 3 aditional HP for a better hole shot, slight more weight sib carrying capacity & much better for towing inflatables along with kids.

All mentioned brands are pvc, so you could opt for Sea Pro, save some cash and invest in a 18 rather than a 15 HP engine.

Happy Sibbing
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Old 23 October 2009, 14:15   #6
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I assumed he meant his children were 7yrs old rather than he had 7 of them (cos that would just be silly wouldn't it John!).

Does the boat need to fit IN the box trailer. Some people leave the boat inflated but put it on top of the box...

Personally if you are novices I would suggest you go on a course first (try to find somewhere that will include tiller steered boats in the hands on training). A good course, with a good instructor will give you a better idea of your needs/wants.
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Old 25 October 2009, 19:13   #7
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I assumed he meant his children were 7yrs old rather than he had 7 of them
Me too - I was just taking the pi$$
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Old 27 October 2009, 23:50   #8
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Where did he go?
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