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Old 12 June 2007, 06:05   #1
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This any good as a first boat?

Would this be a suitable first craft, for getting the basics sorted and before shelling out on something more expensive/serious?

http://chastheboat.boatsandoutboards...18/?xreferer=1

It packs up small enough to go in the back of my car... but without a trailer, how would you launch something like that? 64kg is quite a weight to be lifting about... would I need a slipway to launch it?
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Old 12 June 2007, 06:25   #2
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A slipway nooo you can launch a small boat like that on your own from any beach with one hand tied. Seriously though a small inflatable like that is a doddle to launch and retrieve, wouldn't recommend one though because its like a ride in a bouncy castle with anything other than a pond like sea and practicably unusable in anything close to a moderate sea, why not look for a proper rib second hand for the same money. A rib around 4 meters would be perfect for your first boat, something that is easy to launch, good fun but will handle a moderate sea as well, i'm sure lots of members will give you sound advice on which rib to buy, something like an Avon 4 meter searider would be perfect for your first rib and you could probably pick one up cheaper than a new inflatable.
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Old 12 June 2007, 06:38   #3
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Cheers for the advice... I do like bouncy castles - but maybe not simultaneously while trying to fish or navigate :P

If I go for a small rib though, I _have_ to have a trailer right? And also have to use slipways?

Oh also - what sort of annual maintenance figures are we talking about for a 4m rib? Ie engine and trailer servicing?

Would I need a new driving licence add-on to put a trailer on my vehicle for that - I passed my driving text about 5 years ago.

Thank you!
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Old 12 June 2007, 06:51   #4
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A SIB like that will get you out on the water and zipping around when its calm.
Put a 25hp 2/stroke on it and you'll be able to waterski and wakeboard off it and it'll be fast enough to put a smile on your face.

Ours was great on lake windermere and great on the coast when we we're just blasting around an estuary and safety boating for a few cats.
If you've got plans for cruising up the coast to other harbours and things then skip the inflatable and get a RIB. It makes a huge difference.
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Old 12 June 2007, 07:36   #5
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A second hand Rib will almost certainly come with a trailer, as for maintainence most of the work is fairly straight forward i.e wheel bearings once a season, engine checks such as impeller and gearbox oil are all simple tasks. A 4 meter rib is best launched from a slipway but you can get away with some beaches and hard banks, although not recommended for a novice, as for the cost it will cost more to run in fuel but that is all worth it in my view up keep and servicing shouldn't cost much more though. As far as i am aware you will not need anything added to your license for towing a craft of that size, i think the law allows you to tow up to 3.5 tonnes combined vehicle and trailer weight before any special license is needed and 750 kilos unbraked provided that the trailer does not exceed 85% of the towing vehicles weight.
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Old 12 June 2007, 07:58   #6
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No because he's got his license within the last 9 years I think it is, then strictly speaking he needs to do a B+E or 'trailer towing' test.
A right pain in the arse. And wallet, they are expensive.
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Old 12 June 2007, 08:18   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffsnox View Post
Would this be a suitable first craft
Yes, something like that would make an excellent first boat.

It wouldn't be suitable for offshore cruising, but in sheltered waters they are great and lots of us here have started with something similar. Launching isn't a problem if there are two of you; if you get some launching wheels to attach to the transom then it's seriously easy.

The Zodiac is at the top end of the price range, but there are cheaper options. The Quicksilver range seem to be very popular at about half the price.

My personal preference would be an inflatable floor like this one, rather than wooden or aluminium floorboards, for ease of assembly (at the expense of a bit of performance). In my experience it can be a real aggravation getting the boards in and out, and the easier it is the more often you're likely to want to use the boat. For the same reason I'd recommend investing in a really good electric inflator like the LVM Hi-speed.

Although this Zodiac will take up to 25hp, a 15hp motor is probably a better all round choice. It will have plenty of power for most use (and if you get seriously into skiing then you'll be changing boat quickly anyway!), but is much easier to manhandle than a 25.

Have fun and let us know how you get on!

John
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Old 12 June 2007, 09:19   #8
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A dissenting voice...

Unless you're certain you'll carry almost no gear in the boat, I'd steer clear of an air floor. For the extra minute it takes to set up a SIB with floorboards and the extra 30-40 lbs of weight, a floor board configuration will be capable of handling about 50% more power, the boat will feel more solid, and will be much more durable than an air floor.

However if you want the absolute least weight possible, and will be bringing absolutely minimal gear the air floor may be the ticket, but you will lose a fair bit of versatility.

With launching wheels, the boat is just that much easier to launch from just about anywhere.
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Old 12 June 2007, 09:54   #9
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I'd steer clear of an air floor
I know that other people agree with you too, but I've just had enough of struggling with floorboards with cold hands at the end of the day. Maybe my Zodiac was particularly bad - it was a real fight to disengage the aluminium stringers from the floorboards.

I've not owned an air floor inflatable, but that will be my choice on the next one I buy. Maybe I'll change my mind again after actually living with it for a while!

John
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Old 12 June 2007, 11:16   #10
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No because he's got his license within the last 9 years I think it is, then strictly speaking he needs to do a B+E or 'trailer towing' test.
A right pain in the arse. And wallet, they are expensive.
I was led to believe that was only the case if the combined vehicle and trailer weight is in excess of 3.5 tonnes?
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