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Old 11 May 2013, 06:21   #1
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Zodiac 3.1m, motor advice for kids.

Recently dusted off an old Zodiac Serie 1 3.1m inflatable. Intended use by 13 to 15 year old kids. They have good experience of family 6.5m Humber, twin 70hp but are not being let loose in it on their own. Inflatable has removable steering console, all controls etc in mint condition.
I don't think they will be happy with walking pace. Fishing, bit of exploring. Relatively sheltered coastal use.
2 or 4 stroke?
Wheel or tiller?
Crucially....engine size?
Length of shaft?
Built in fuel or remote tank?
Thanks in advance,
Colin
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Old 11 May 2013, 07:24   #2
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Let my two of similar age loose with a 4.5 hp two stroke last year in Carradale when conditions were suitable. The most important question you have to ask is how confident are you about their ability to be sensible plus how many other people are in the immediate area to possibly cause an issue and of course safety/safety & safety !!!!!
This year I'm taking a 15hp 2 stroke ( max for boat) as I found with me (17stone) and the kids in it was painfully slow. If you feel it's too quick just give the kids a damn good lecture ( forgetting completely what you were like at their age) plus being more modern has a kill cord fitted which I like !!!
Two strokes generally seem lighter and deliver more acceleration than four strokes although you have to premix the fuel !!
Good luck & fingers crossed for a proper summer
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Old 11 May 2013, 07:29   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allanmore View Post
Recently dusted off an old Zodiac Serie 1 3.1m inflatable. Intended use by 13 to 15 year old kids. They have good experience of family 6.5m Humber, twin 70hp but are not being let loose in it on their own. Inflatable has removable steering console, all controls etc in mint condition.
I don't think they will be happy with walking pace. Fishing, bit of exploring. Relatively sheltered coastal use.
2 or 4 stroke?
That is just personal preference; a 4 stroke is going to be quieter and more smooth as well as more economical. But a 2 stroke is going to be quicker, lighter and a much more simple engine. Also depends if you are intending on removing the engine regularly to launch or not.
Wheel or tiller?

that is very tricky. A 3.1m is not going to have very much space at all with a console but it is going to be more comfy when moving. If you are intending on upgrading to a larger rib for them as they get older I would go console so they can get used to it.
Crucially....engine size?
somewhere around 10hp. The 9.9hp mariner 4 strokes are nice engines. If going for a 2 stroke an 9.8hp 2 stroke tohatsu would be a nice option
Length of shaft?
depends on the boat (what it is designed for) generally a craft of that size will be a short shaft
Built in fuel or remote tank?
remote. It is only a small engine so you won't require more than 25L of fuel if that. Means you can be a bit more flexible
Thanks in advance,
Colin
If it was me I would got for a 9.8hp tohatsu 2 stroke with a console. you certainly won't be too slow with that on the back!

there is one on ebay now:http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/tohatsu-ou...item4ac45b52c0
but it is long shaft. You might be able to build up the trasom a few inches to take it though.
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Old 11 May 2013, 08:49   #4
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I had exactly the same boat as a kid (Its was the ZED 31 then ).

Mainly used by myself (11) and 8 year old brother, 1st engine was a 4hp 2 stroke Yamaha. It would happily plane with 2 of us onboard. It was used on tiller steer for a year or so till Grandad built a incredible forward steering/throttle position using bits he found in the garage and old beer line as accelerator cable.

By age 13 I needed more power (we were bigger and heavier) and managed to buy a Yam 8hp to go on it, great performance and would happily plane with both of us on board again.

My advice, find a lightweight 2 cylinder 2 stroke, Yamaha 8hp or - the holy grail- Tohatsu 9.8. The boat takes a short shaft. If you go too small the kids will soon get bored of it. Since its already got the console and the weight is further forward I would also look out for a 10hp Mariner/Mercury or Yamaha 9.9, both 2 strokes. At this size, and driven flat out, a 4 stroke wont be much quieter or use much less fuel, but it will be heavier, more difficult to transport and probably less reliable if abused.

You responsibly have concerns over safety, but try and put some trust in your kids you will be amazed how much boat craft they have picked up from you. Make sure they are aware of your rules or even better get them to do a powerboat qualification.

For comparison with my sons boat history:
Age 6 - Suzumar 2.3 & oars (At 1st still tied to my boat with floating ski rope)
Age 8 - Suzumar 2.3 & 2hp
Age 10 - HonWave T24ie & 5hp (1st Planing boat)
Age 12 - Quicksilver 270 & 8hp
Age 13 - HonWave T40ae & 20hp

I think its time to upgrade this year to the Ultimate Sib for me, I mean him I have a Yamaha 25hp in the garage, just need a Bombard 380 to go with it
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Old 11 May 2013, 10:10   #5
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If you are concerned about safety, you may want them to do the RYA power boat level 2. I did it last weekend and it was really helpful, just a thought!
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Old 13 May 2013, 14:06   #6
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If kids are already driving twin 70's on a 5.60 mtr rib, would go straight for a 15 HP short shaft engine if 310 sib's tech plate permits. Tohatsu 2 strokes engines are very simple and fast to limit full throttle operation. You could detune that engine to perform as a 9.8/9.9 by playing with just 1 internal screw.

If needed can restrict that engine untill the boys have tammed the beast, then pass it again to 15 HP operation. You can grow to a larger 350/360 sib/rib by just keeping same engine. But if light weight portability when placing, retrieving engine from transom is a must have, it's a different story.

Happy Boating
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Old 13 May 2013, 15:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locozodiac View Post
If kids are already driving twin 70's on a 5.60 mtr rib, would go straight for a 15 HP short shaft engine if 310 sib's tech plate permits. Tohatsu 2 strokes engines are very simple and fast to limit full throttle operation. You could detune that engine to perform as a 9.8/9.9 by playing with just 1 internal screw.

If needed can restrict that engine untill the boys have tammed the beast, then pass it again to 15 HP operation. You can grow to a larger 350/360 sib/rib by just keeping same engine. But if light weight portability when placing, retrieving engine from transom is a must have, it's a different story.

Happy Boating
+1 and enjoy
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Old 15 May 2013, 13:54   #8
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There's a company on the channel Islands that sells the Tohatsu 9.8hp 2-stroke new, for about 1500.
They will happily ship it to the UK and they say it's all above board etc.

However buying one may once again open the "is it legal to buy one for use in the UK" Hornet's nest!

I've got one on my Zodiac 2.85m and it goes like stink.
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