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Old 20 November 2007, 09:43   #1
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Zodiac? Avon? Quicksilver? Excel? Honda?

Help!

I've been given so much help and advice on Ribnet - what a brilliant forum this is!! - and I've read so much useful stuff in the postings, that I think I've now gone full circle.

I know I want an inflatable - which I wasn't sure about before - and I know what size - +/- 4m - and I'm even pretty close on the outboard. I didn't have a clue about any of this until I visited Ribnet.

But all the brands I look at seem to have their positive and negative points. That's life - I know!

So, is there a sort of a 'What Inflatable' magazine, sort of like What Car, that has all the brands grouped together so that I can compare them all like-for-like, on the same scale so to speak!

Please don't get me wrong - everyone has been really helpful, honestly - I'm just suffering from a bit of TMI, as my kids call it!

Thanks all!
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Old 20 November 2007, 09:51   #2
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Simon,

As you know I've just been through the same dilema....

Firstly, the Excel / Quicksilver and Honda boats are all about the 1000 mark give or take for a 4/4.3m boat, the quicksilver has a 3 yr guarantee, Honda 2 years and Excel is 5 years.

The Zodiac and Avon, all be it lovely boats - will be double if not treble the price.

A quality outboard (new) 25-30hp will be about 2k as far as i can see.

Add on 500-700 for a trailer + lifejackets / incidentals maybe 3/400.

Cheers,

Steve.
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Old 20 November 2007, 10:57   #3
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Originally Posted by Shed78 View Post
Simon,

As you know I've just been through the same dilema....

Firstly, the Excel / Quicksilver and Honda boats are all about the 1000 mark give or take for a 4/4.3m boat, the quicksilver has a 3 yr guarantee, Honda 2 years and Excel is 5 years.

The Zodiac and Avon, all be it lovely boats - will be double if not treble the price.

A quality outboard (new) 25-30hp will be about 2k as far as i can see.

Add on 500-700 for a trailer + lifejackets / incidentals maybe 3/400.

Cheers,

Steve.
Thanks Steve

Yes - I finally had a quote through today for an Excel HD430/20hp 4 stroke Mariner for 3050. the Quicksilver option was about 150 more. (I think I prefer the Excel as I think it's less likely to show fading.) Was yours a similar price? I don't know if prices vary alot in this market.

Since then, though, I've been told that a 3.8 or even 3.4m boat would suffice, with a 15hp. So now I'm looking around again.

In the process I've got bogged down in the hull theories. Is a v-shaped hull better on choppy water? Which boats have a v-shaped hull? Should I go aero-deck or wooden/aluminium?

And if I go a bit smaller, I won't need a trailer? I can inflate on-site and carry the boat in my boot?

Did you use a magazine to help you make your choice?

How did it go with your trailer chap, by the way?

Cheers,

Simon
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Old 20 November 2007, 10:59   #4
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Will you be using a trailer or setting up & taking down with each use? I found that for me going from 4.2m to 4.7 m was the tipping point. With my 4.2m and 1100 dtx hypalon zodiac with a 25 hp 2 stroke, setting up and taking down each time was quite managable. With my 4.7m inflatable with heavier hypalon (1660 dtx) and a 40 hp a trailer is a must for practical useage.


Edit: just saw your last post. With my 4.2m zodiac a pickup truck is still needed to fit the rolled up boat, floorboards, motor & fuel tanks in the vehicle. There is no way it would ever fit in the trunk of a car. I could however, get my 11 foot (3.4 m) zodiac, outboard & fuel into the trunk of a large car with the rear seats folded down.

Airdeck vs. floor boards; unless you are using the inflatable strictly as a tender, absolutely go with floorboards - they are far more useful.

Wood vs. aluminum floorboards; Both have advantages, aluminum being that they are lighter more maintenance free and damage resistant. The advantage of wood floorboard is extra rigidity, they are easier to modify (anchor rings etc..), also easier and less costly to replace. The wood floors on my 4.7m boat are much more rigid (3/4" marine mahogany) than the aluminum floorboards on my 4.2 m boat, but they are very heavy.
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Old 20 November 2007, 12:01   #5
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Originally Posted by prairie tuber View Post
Will you be using a trailer or setting up & taking down with each use? I found that for me going from 4.2m to 4.7 m was the tipping point. With my 4.2m and 1100 dtx hypalon zodiac with a 25 hp 2 stroke, setting up and taking down each time was quite managable. With my 4.7m inflatable with heavier hypalon (1660 dtx) and a 40 hp a trailer is a must for practical useage.


Edit: just saw your last post. With my 4.2m zodiac a pickup truck is still needed to fit the rolled up boat, floorboards, motor & fuel tanks in the vehicle. There is no way it would ever fit in the trunk of a car. I could however, get my 11 foot (3.4 m) zodiac, outboard & fuel into the trunk of a large car with the rear seats folded down.

Airdeck vs. floor boards; unless you are using the inflatable strictly as a tender, absolutely go with floorboards - they are far more useful.

Wood vs. aluminum floorboards; Both have advantages, aluminum being that they are lighter more maintenance free and damage resistant. The advantage of wood floorboard is extra rigidity, they are easier to modify (anchor rings etc..), also easier and less costly to replace. The wood floors on my 4.7m boat are much more rigid (3/4" marine mahogany) than the aluminum floorboards on my 4.2 m boat, but they are very heavy.
Thanks Prairie Tuber - you make some very interesting points there.

I had hoped not to have to use a trailer, though on reflection it may be useful to have one if I were going to use it frequently in town during the summer. On holiday I'd just keep it moored in the sea.

As regards the tipping point, I suppose that depends on just how fit you are? In my case, not at all! There's a boat show on in London soon, so maybe I'll just sneak around trying to lift boats and find my personal tipping point!

Re. the deck, does your boat have floorboards AND a v-shaped hull? I definitely want to use it as more than a tender, so suspect I'll need a v-shaped hull for the waves?

Thanks again for your advice!!
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Old 20 November 2007, 12:24   #6
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The 4.7m boat has an inflatable catamaran hull with wood floorboards. My 4.2m boat is a Zodiac Grand Raid MK II with an inflatable 'v' keel and aluminum floorboards. The inflatable 'v' keels on fully inflatables are very shallow and not like the deep 'V' keels that can be had on RIBs. The performance and comfort advantage of the inflatable catamaran hull over an inflatable 'v' keel is huge. Sent you a PM.
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Old 20 November 2007, 12:28   #7
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With an inflatable I am not convinced that the V-hull makes very much difference in most waves - you are still going to float on top of the waves rather than cutting through them (which is where the rigid hull of a RIB scores so highly).

What does make a huge difference to an inflatable are speed tubes/ hijackers on some Zodiac/ Gemini etc (additional high pressure tubes underneath the sponsons) - they are only a half way house however.

If the waiting time was under a year then the Gemini that Prairie tuber has just bought would be an ideal half way house for me.

I would suggest that you have to take some demonstration rides on inflatables + something with speed tubes + a zapcat/ thundercat to get an idea of what it feels like in even moderate conditions. Then compare that with a 4.5m Avon (for example) to feel how a RIB cuts through the waves ...
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Old 20 November 2007, 12:29   #8
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Old 20 November 2007, 15:08   #9
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for near to the kind of money you are talking about you could get a Zapcat with a 30hp I fancy that would be a lot more fun. Don't forget they can go slowly quite well if need be
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Old 21 November 2007, 04:12   #10
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Having owned a Zodiac futura for a few years I would go for the full inflatable
so much more versitile than the ribs , but alot depens on the use you have in mind. I keep mine inflated on the trailor in the garage for most of the summer but come winter when not used much it will pack away in the corner with the trailor stood up on its side. I have no problem with the sea worthiness of the boat it has handled anything ive been out in regulary doing 25 to 60 mile in the day fully loaded with two people and camping gear, we can land it almost anywher with the aid of landing wheels. A 25hp mariner is plenty to cruse all day at 15mph loaded and about 22 wot with two people on board and fuel. If you dont mind an slightly uncomfy ride in chop and you want to land it anywhere go inflatable
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