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Old 12 May 2014, 07:27   #1
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Which SIB, which SIB, which SIB!

There are a few 'which SIB' questions doing the rounds - the old lurkers will know this is the number one question and most of us advise the same old stuff, might be useful to sum up from the many years of topics a few handy observations:

1. In all practicality (capacity, convenience, compromise, UK seas) 3.1m to 3.4m is the size to go for (exception being the 3.8m Bombard Aerotec which really is like most 3.4s in practise).

2. Airfloor is much lighter and best suited to those inflating/deflating at launch, hauling up a beach, carrying on roof, packing in boot etc but may wallow a bit *even* with 100% correct pressure especially the larger sizes (very notable exception being the 3.8m Bombard Aerotec). With all airfloor SIB's pressure is *critical* - the last 10% in the floor especially makes all the difference.

3. Hard floor gives a much improved solidity and 'real boat' feel, is more hard wearing, easier to attach 'stuff' to, handles a bit better, is a faff to take apart/put together but the main issue is it will be *much* heavier and certainly with larger sizes really needs a trailer.

4. Flat floor, V floor etc: NO SIB will handle like a Searider - they just don't have the weight or deep V. In anything other than the merest ripples you will bounce about. General consensus is (forgetting the old truly flat floor Avon types) a solid floor/inflatable keel SIB is a slight improvement on an airfloor/inflatable keel. The airfloor Honwaves have a *slightly* more pronounced V than maybe a typical Zodiac/Quicksilver aifloor etc but deep it ain't. All SIB keels with the very notable exception of the 3.8m Bombard Aerotec (notice a pattern here ) are almost flat at the stern, the Aerotec is unique in that the V extends all the way to the transom and makes it ride/perform all on it's own and bridges the gap between a SIB and a RIB. It's still not a Searider though.

5. Engines: Two holy grail groups - the Tohatsu 9.8 2 stroke (weight 26kg), suitable for SIB's up to 3.4m, will fly with one adult, plane with two slowly, struggle with two and a half upwards. Then the 15hp 2 strokes - Mercury/Mariner (lightest at 34kg), Yamaha 15 (around 36kg) and Tohatu/Suzuki etc 15's.

The 8 to 10 kg of a 15 over a 9.8 makes a *real* difference when lugging it up and down a beach but a 15 will fly with two and should plane with three or four (if not too heavy) and add a couple of knots to the top end over the 9.8. Expect typical top speeds at WOT around 16 to 20 knots depending on combination. The above figures are all wide generalisations and dependant on the individual outfit - some kids/adults are a lot heavier than others!

If you have a heavier solid floor boat it will be a bit more sluggish. Small engine/small SIBs are very weight sensitive and may need distribution changes when driving to get best performance.

6. Which make? Plenty of great generic 'small brand' Chinese SIBs available (Honwave are Chinese and many others are cloned Honwaves) but a known big make (Honwave, Zodiac, Quicksilver, Suzumar, Avon, Tohatsu, Yamaha etc) may cost more initially but will certainly hold it's value much better and be much easier to sell. Many of us will have gone through two or three (or many more) SIB's before finding the ideal compromise for each individual's needs. Best advice (unless you really must have something brand new and know what you need) is to buy a used big brand complete outfit on eBay, dozens appear each week, you will save a packet over buying boat/engine separately and can always sell the other component on getting a very cheap boat or engine in the process. Buy right and you will not lose money when changing outfit. Example here:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1613030530...T#ht_63wt_1152

7. It's all a compromise!
Convenience/weight/cost/portability/handling/performance/capacity etc - all factors affect the others but nothing beats a SIB for the fun per ratio in the boating world.
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Old 12 May 2014, 14:37   #2
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Good idea posting this. I think the tohatsu 18hp deserves an honourable mention... Same block as the 9.9 (so light!) but almost 20hp on tap. Great engine.

Probably the single best accessory to get for an airfloor sib is a bravo hp pump - it will get the pressure perfect every time without having to work up a sweat.
Thanks again for the post.
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Old 12 May 2014, 14:53   #3
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Thanks Rik (and to whoever 'stickied' it). Totally forgot the Tohatsu 18, a rare grail for sure.

Should also say for most of us the 'perfect' SIB just doesn't seem to exist - I'd like the build quality and material of a classic Avon, the weight of an airfloor Zodiac, the performance of an Aerotec, the capacity of a square bow Suzumar 360 and all for the price value of a brand new Honwave...but it's not possible!

Please add general tips or advice as it would be good to have input in one place but without specific questions so it doesn't get too cluttered.

If Locozodiac is on you're the master of SIB engine height/cav plate water flow etc, can you post some of those great pics showing how to check optimum height?
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Old 12 May 2014, 16:02   #4
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Great summary. I'll add my experiences.
Max's summary saves hours of reading which I did for my SIB and motor.
My Excel has a very deep V and is as well made as the Avons, Bombards, Honwaves etc often recommended on Ribnet.

I have no connection with Excel, I just wanted the best kit for the lowest price as I only use it a few weeks a year.
My 9.8 2 stroke Tohatsu will easily plane my 3.3M Excel with 2 adults, 2 kids and some kit/picnic. On flat water 16 knots is my best fully loaded.

With me and 2 kids I have done 20 Knots.

When considering outboards weight, its not only the dead lift weight but the carry to boat and fasten. Often with wet feet or the boat in the water. The 9.8 2S Tohatsu is IMHO the best all rounder SIB engine there is.
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Old 14 May 2014, 18:24   #5
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Hi Max,

Nice summary, congrats, thanks for those undeserved kind words, if new or old boaters are interested on proven starting boating guidelines be my guests :

ABC Sib-Rib Installation Guidelines.-

The 2 stroke Tohatsu 18 HP is the top grial of portable outboards. Has nothing to do with 9.9-15 HP, both 250 CC, the 18 is 300CC. Same block, same engine size and weight, just with bigger pistons. A 18 will plane just about anything that floats...

Happy Boating
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Old 22 May 2014, 13:23   #6
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Don't want to bring up the old "right or wrong" argument, but Mainbrayce in the Channel lslands are still advertising the Tohatsu 9.8 two stroke engine new.

Plus they claim it is fully legal to "import" to the UK. Never got to the bottom of this when l bought mine a couple of years ago.
But they are still trading.
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Old 22 May 2014, 15:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightning View Post
Don't want to bring up the old "right or wrong" argument, but Mainbrayce in the Channel lslands are still advertising the Tohatsu 9.8 two stroke engine new.

Plus they claim it is fully legal to "import" to the UK. Never got to the bottom of this when l bought mine a couple of years ago.
But they are still trading.

When I enquired about buying a 2st Tohatsu the dealer said your not allowed to buy one unless its commercial use or for racing, I tried to tell him I would be racing in my SIB to beat the tide but it just didn't work ,
he did say if you get one of ebay its no problem even if its new, so whats the difference ?
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Old 22 May 2014, 16:54   #8
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Loophole in the law l would guess.
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Old 23 May 2014, 09:54   #9
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Tohatsu 9.8 & 18 are the best in it's own super class. Beats any 8 any 15 of any brand any day. If still available in UK new or used in good cond go for them.

Happy Boating
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Old 24 May 2014, 04:06   #10
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This is a really useful topic to add to his sticky:

What kit do you carry on your SIB?
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