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Old 14 January 2019, 19:31   #1
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Hello from South Wales!

Hello all!

After being an occasional lurker to Ribnet through the years, I've finally decided to "break cover", now that I've finally taken the plunge to purchase a SIB - a Spearfish 550 Pro, together with an ePropulsion Spirit electric outboard!

Perhaps a slightly unconventional choice, but it seems to fit the bill for me and my family. I married into a sailing family (everything from high performance dinghies to cruisers) from Cornwall, so it was inevitable that we'dspend plenty of time in and around the water. With the out-laws always having various boats to play with in Falmouth bay, but living in South Wales but with family in Scotland, we were looking for something to comfortably throw in the back of the car and be able to get on the water quickly, whether that was in Cornwall, some Scottish lochs, Cardiff Bay or "ditch crawling" on the MonBrec canal.

While we're less than a mile from open water, said water is one of the fastest flowing tidal section of the Severn, so we need something flexible for rivers/canals/lochs & coastal waters that was easy to move, inflate and comfortable with the wife, 2 kids, a dog and a couple of kayaks in tow!

Saw the Spearfish at the Beale Park Boat Show with an electric outboard on, and was thoroughly impressed. Looks like the ideal package for us to "grab and go" without worrying about all the hassles of keeping oil-burners running smoothly (though we've got access to a few petrol outboards if we need a bit more range/speed) - and the better half gave it her seal of approval, so it just had to be done!

Will be picking it all up in a couple of weeks, so looking forward to getting it out on the water and having some fun! Will post pics/videos in due course no doubt!

In the meantime, keen to hear from anyone else with a Spearfish and/or ePropulsion with thoughts/tips - or any general SIB suggestions to someone more used to kayaks and cruisers!
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Old 15 January 2019, 06:16   #2
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Welcome to the forum CF. Boating wise you have it all covered with relatives from Cornwall to Scotland!

There is almost no experience of these Spearfish SIBs on here so it will be great to hear how it suits you. Electric propulsion is under-represented too so another aspect we'll be interested to hear about.

Thirty years ago with the need for a somewhat similar concept (light to transport and efficient on the water) for inland use I had a 16ft stitch construction ply canoe which I modded by cutting off one end and fitting a flat transom so I could power with a 2hp Mariner.

This produced a craft that was easy to pop up on the roof rack for transport and moved so well through the water with low power.

What are the battery arrangements with this outboard... integral or any generic leisure type?

Found this great video of the very similar 450 model. 360deg too so you can drag the view about to look the boat over...

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Old 15 January 2019, 07:26   #3
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Hi Fenlander, and thanks for the welcome. I had a feeling there might not be too many other Spearfish users yet - still a relatively new product, and certainly "niche", but I have to say I think it is one which ticks a lot of boxes! Interesting to hear your modded canoe - I did toy with the idea of a kit-build, but in reality I think the kids would have long since flown the nest before I finished it!

As to the ePropulsion - the battery is removable, mounts directly to the motor, 1000Wh (so slightly more than equiv Torqeedo), and the battery floats! No particular desire to test it, but nice to know if it is ever dropped, I won't be diving to retrieve it. It is a direct drive motor, unlike the current Torqeedos, so it is also much quieter - although Torqeedo are bringing out an equivalent later this year.

Hopefully the battery will be sufficient for most of our "pottering", but will get a fast-charger too, so it can be topped up over a pub lunch. Toyed with getting a spare battery, but they are too expensive to justify at this stage - if I need a range boost, I may just get a conventional leisure battery as an auxiliary via the DC charger/input.

Will do a bit of a write up once I've had a chance to play with them a bit - can't wait!
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Old 15 January 2019, 08:42   #4
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>>>toy with the idea of a kit-build, but in reality I think the kids would have long since flown the nest before I finished it!

Ha ha... a very salient point.

Back then when I was quite stressed in the fast paced 60hr weeks and 30k miles yearly bit of my career... and having just bought a large 1950s detached house that I planned to renovate by myself in the evenings... what did Mrs F surprise me with for my birthday... a blooming 16ft ply canoe kit!

OK good intentions behind it but I was close to boiling over with everything on my plate so after a relationship testing situation I sold it un-built and just bought the identical model ready built. I cut the end off that and glassed in a cut down oak table top.

Prior to chopping the actual boat I built a scale model for bath testing and I still have that... pic below.

I'm early retired now and have the time for such a project... but I've just looked and the kits are £800.
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Old 15 January 2019, 09:04   #5
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Love it! I was seriously tempted by a few of the Angus Rowboat designs - especially the Sailing Rowcruiser, but I know it would end up languishing. I'm tempted by one of the week-long courses up in the Lake District with Fyne Boat Kits, perhaps as a "father son" holiday - at least there is a fighting chance of completing something that way! But I think we'll enjoy the Spearfish for a year or two first.
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Old 15 January 2019, 10:00   #6
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With a broad interest/background in boats... similar to yours seemingly... I get tempted by all sorts but for now manage to stay on course with a SIB that will bundle in the back of the car.

Sorry to take this off track a little... look forward to news of your first outing.
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Old 15 January 2019, 16:25   #7
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Hi CF welcome are these like the kaboat long & narrow beamed
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Old 15 January 2019, 17:03   #8
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There is some lovely coastline to explore outside the realms of Cardiff bay..... from flat and steep holm on its doorstep to fantastic beaches along the vale coast to Porthcawl, Swansea bay often see porpoises on a summers day and you can stop for an ice cream at Verdi’s or chips and pint, down to the tower and it’s amazing scenery 3 cliffs the worm, oxwich, and further to Tenby, Saundersfoot, and the joys of the west wales coast.....

That’s without considering the far side of the channel weston, minehead, Watchet, porlock, ilfracombe etc.......
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Old 15 January 2019, 17:26   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstevens763@g View Post
Hi CF welcome are these like the kaboat long & narrow beamed
Hi Jeff, there are similarities to the kaboat in that they are long and narrow, but where the kaboat is flat bottomed and more akin to a long narrow raft, the Spearfish has a much deeper v to the keel as well as a decent canopy at the front, so sits higher in the water, and should be better (and dryer) in coastal waves.

If you're interested, check out the website at https://www.spearfishboats.com/spearfish-550-18

Or look on youtube for some of the videos.
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Old 15 January 2019, 17:30   #10
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Originally Posted by HDAV View Post
There is some lovely coastline to explore outside the realms of Cardiff bay..... from flat and steep holm on its doorstep to fantastic beaches along the vale coast to Porthcawl, Swansea bay often see porpoises on a summers day and you can stop for an ice cream at Verdiís or chips and pint, down to the tower and itís amazing scenery 3 cliffs the worm, oxwich, and further to Tenby, Saundersfoot, and the joys of the west wales coast.....

Thatís without considering the far side of the channel weston, minehead, Watchet, porlock, ilfracombe etc.......
Hi HDAV,

You're definitely convincing me - I'm in! I do hope to get to that "far side" from Cardiff where the coastal waters become more navigable - I'm the muddy shallow side, so not so inviting! I used to live & work in North Devon, so have some familiarity with the waters from Ilfracombe around to Westward Ho!, so will no doubt find an excuse to get round there at some point too...
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Old 15 January 2019, 17:58   #11
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With a shallow draft (sp?) once you are beyond sully it’s pretty clear apart from well marked hazards (tusker etc) just keep well clear of breaking water and take it steady in unfamiliar water Swansea bay is great, from the industrial landscape of the port talbot steelworks (you see it very differently from the wate rthan the M4) to the causeway round the lifeboat station and the small bay to the neath river there is plenty to explore.

Oxwich and round to the worm is stunning... just an hour in the car from Cardiff on a good day (on a hot summers day much better to arrive by water than stressed and hot having been stuck in traffic)
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Old 16 January 2019, 10:45   #12
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Sounds good - I'll definitely be giving it a whirl! True what you say about the shallow draft - I think for me the waters from Cardiff up to Chepstow and beyond with the strong tides and large quantities of mud are just not quite as inviting - but then I've been spoilt with the wonderful Cornish & Scottish coasts with more forgiving tides, lots of depth and nice sandy beaches! Will have to venture that bit further west and explore where you suggest.
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Old 16 January 2019, 11:41   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticfox View Post
Hi Jeff, there are similarities to the kaboat in that they are long and narrow, but where the kaboat is flat bottomed and more akin to a long narrow raft, the Spearfish has a much deeper v to the keel as well as a decent canopy at the front, so sits higher in the water, and should be better (and dryer) in coastal waves.

If you're interested, check out the website at https://www.spearfishboats.com/spearfish-550-18

Or look on youtube for some of the videos.
thats a brilliant alternative nice and long decent ride with that very portable spot on
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Old 17 January 2019, 08:10   #14
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Hi CF is that not part of the group who sell f/ribs when I was down at Southampton boat show they where working from same stand ??
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Old 17 January 2019, 08:32   #15
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Hi, Hielan' Haggis - yes, the company i called "Nestaway Portable Boats". They concentrate on all sorts of easily portable watercraft and engines - everything from folding kayaks to inflatable sailing boats, nesting dinghies etc. If I understand correctly, the Spearfish design is their own development, having spotted a bit of a gap in the market with SIBs. I have to say I think it is a great concept - I look forward to getting it out on the water!
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Old 17 January 2019, 09:32   #16
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I nearly bought one but the sales gay was to pushy and did not give me time to think I told him from start don't be pushy and let me look and think he almost had the box in my hand ready to go
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Old 17 January 2019, 09:42   #17
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Ah, no, I'm not a fan of pushy sales folk either! The chap I've been dealing with certainly wasn't - has been very helpful and happy to share pros & cons of the various options and generous with his knowledge. Don't know if it is the same guy, but I always think buying at shows is tricky - given how expensive it is to have a stand at those events for just a few days, many normally "sensible" salesmen go into a sort of manic overdrive to try and get as many "on the spot" sales as possible. It can be like running the gauntlet of a bad episode of "The Apprentice" sometimes...

I did some browsing of their stand at at the Beale Park Boat Show on the Thames - if you ever get the chance, I'd recommend it! Sort of a cross between a very chilled out summer festival, with a few bands, various food stalls and lots of families and outdoorsy-types mooching around, all set around a small lake just off the Thames. Lots of opportunities to try out a modest selection of boats, let the kids kayak and paddle board, have picnics and basically just chill. No chance of pushy sales in that environment!
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Old 17 January 2019, 09:44   #18
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Does drink come with that
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Old 17 January 2019, 09:49   #19
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You're talking to a fellow Scot - what do you think?!?
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Old 19 February 2019, 18:30   #20
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Celticfox, I'm considering the Spearfish 450. Have you run yours in significant wind chop or waves yet? I'm wondering how much the V hull helps improve the ride quality.
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