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Old 05 November 2019, 07:32   #1
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Country: UK - England
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Small inflatable/engine choice

Hi everyone

I'm new to this forum but have 30 years on/off experience with inflatables and RIB's as a scuba diver. However, I find myself doing less diving these days but still wish to be out on the water hopefully exploring the fresh/sea lochs of Scotland.

I'm looking for something around 3m long that will get on the plane and do 8/10 mph but carry 250kg (two people, engine, boat kit etc). I have been offered a SeaGo 270 and can source a Mariner 6hp 4 stroke to go with it but will that combo fit the bill?

I'm on a fairly tight budget this year to start with so I'm not too bothered about an inflatable that is quick to assemble or fast speeds, just something that is solid and dependable. I have read others recommendations for combos but at this stage they may a touch too much for me to buy.

If I have a good season next year then I will feel more confident in upgrading to something bigger and better and probably something on a trailer. So, if you have any thoughts on this matter please share as I will be grateful for all contributions.

thanks Brian
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Old 05 November 2019, 07:54   #2
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Country: UK - England
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Hi Brian and welcome to the forum.

There are no hard and fast rules in all of this but in general 3m+ feels a lot more roomy for two than under 3m.

Regarding speed with two folks and a bit of kit you are in a bit of a crossover situation regarding getting on the plane. If you were both heavy and your kit weighty you might struggle but if weight and circumstance is in your favour then you should plane.

In my experience 8-10mph falls in the upper end of the displacement-plane speed range and ideally you would hope to get nearer 12mph for a decent plane.

If looking now you should be able to grab a winter bargain for sure.

I guess boat/outboard weight isn't a problem for you?

David
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Old 05 November 2019, 11:07   #3
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Scuba diving equipment is heavy, 2 sets will equate to having a third boater on board. Personally would't dare going for any size under 320, if can find a 330-350 inflatable will be much better along a 10-15 HP motor.

The shorter the inflatable along added extra weight as in yor case the worse it will perform, too much hull drag to overcome fast specially with a underpowered motor say 6-8 HP ones, only good for boating at boring fast displacemenet speeds and extra time to get there...

Happy Boating
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Old 06 November 2019, 05:55   #4
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hi & welcome
what's your budget Brian?
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Old 06 November 2019, 12:30   #5
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The D I posted on the ebay topic is a killer deal for a dive boat.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/163931206953?ul_noapp=true
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Old 08 November 2019, 01:42   #6
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The OP appears to be saying the SIB will be for two people to explore the lochs, and not for diving.

Although I have not been up there for a few years, I used to spend a lot of time on the sea lochs, mainly Lochs Long, Ghoil, and Fyne, as well as off the coast of Oban. I used to take dive gear and either dive solo or go with my then partner and 2 lots of dive gear in a SIB that was around 330 or 34o0 long.

My current SIB set up is ideal for 2 people and anchor box, picnic, snorkelling (not diving) gear, etc.

It will take 3 people with kit comfortably in calm conditions. It would be a struggle with 2 people plus dive gear for 2.

My current SIB is a 310 Zodiac with a 9.9hp engine. It is big enough to feel safe, can be used as a relaxing platform for swimming, snorkelling, or picnicking, and is light enough for one person to assemble and launch/recover.

I would not go smaller than 310 for 2 people if I intended to use the boat for exploring: that is, as the primary boat for a day's activities.

Of course you can get 2 or 3 people in a smaller boat if it is a tender for a bigger boat, for a short "wet bottom" hop out to your yacht, or for a bit of a play on the river on a nice day.

However, "exploring" implies being an hour or two from the slip way, the possibility of a change of weather and sea conditions, and so on. Build in some safety margin.

If budget is a constraint, then the two things I would look at for the hull are length (310 minimum) and tube diameter (as fat as possible) rather than brand. There are plenty of 2nd hand SIBs out there. Look on sites like Apolloduck.co.uk .

Next choice is the engine. I used to spend whole days out on the sea lochs relying on a 3 hp 2 stroke. I regret selling that engine. My 9.9 is far more powerful and pushes me faster, but it is heavy and bulky and needs a remote tank that takes up space in the boat.

At the end of a long day, there is much to be said for an engine you can carry back to the car with one hand, and easily put up in the garage roof space out of reach of thieves. I could do that with the 3 hp, and it would push the boat quite briskly.

It was also psychologically less frustrating to obey speed limits on rivers or go slowly in choppy conditions with a small engine working quite hard, than to have a larger engine not far above tick over.

So in answer to the OP, look for something around 310mm with an engine you can carry one handed, with an integral fuel tank.
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Old 08 November 2019, 04:58   #7
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plus 1 for the 310 we have one at work doing bridge inspections gets loads of stick plated for 4 people 15 hp max very light set up ideal for coastal adventures in the right conditions and experience
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Old 10 November 2019, 11:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstevens763@g View Post
hi & welcome
what's your budget brian?

£1500....
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Old 10 November 2019, 11:46   #9
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Thanks guys for your input..... the search continues
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