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Old 15 June 2011, 07:44   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Macclesfield
Length: 5m +
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
Newbie advice welcome on medline 550 etc

Hi Everyone

I am new to this forum and would like to introduce myself and ask for any advice people want to give.

About me
I am in my late 40's and have lived around boats all my life, mainly the sailing variety and used small inflatables as tenders.

I have attended the 2 day power boat course on the river Mersey and have used the cert to hire boats abroad.

My wife and I live on a Narrowboat near Macclesfield and we have a 20ft day sailer on a resevoir in Derbyshire.

Whilst I am an experienced sailor/boater I know "not a lot" about RIBs and large outboards.

What I am about to buy....
We spend some time each year at lake Garda in Italy and have decided to buy a RIB to keep there - storage and mooring is sorted. The boat will be used for harbour hopping and as our own private beach afloat. We will only tow very occaisionally and then only a doughnut, we are talking maybe one day a year.

Because Garda is a sunny place we think a Zodiac Medline 550 (hepalon) will be a suitable boat - any comments/advice welcome - We also like the SACS S530 and have been told that the SACS is a much much better boat than the Zodiac - like comparing a Ford with a BMW??? We don't know - but as SACS is made in Milan maybe that would be a better choice.

I would welcome any comments or other sugestions of similar layout boats under 6m - we like the idea of 2 sunbed areas as she likes sun and I like shade under the bimini.

When it comes to engines I have probably decided on a 90hp - and I like the evinrude etec - mainly because of the technology allowing it to 'self winterise' and only requiring a service every 3 years or 300hrs. Remember we will be keeping it in Italy and I am sure the local 'costa mint' engineers won't use the same 'mates rates' I am used to in england with my lifelong contacts. Anything that keeps unnecessary expense down is good.

Any other engine suggestions are also welcome. Is a 90 the right choice or do I need to go to the Boat Max of 115?

All help is welcome - just a note - we are in Europe at the mo and internet access is sporadic - til we return next Tue.



Royboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21 June 2011, 05:34   #2
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,538


I'm afraid I'm going to be a bit useless with the whole exotic climate thing, but I can offer an opinion on the engine.

There are two trains of thought wrt horsepower. The decision basically boils down to "enough to push you along" vs "you never know when you might need the extra".

Having run with an Avon SR4 / 25Hp (max rated 50) I only once wished I had a tad more grunt, but all I did was drive appropriately to my craft & conditions. The other way of looking at it is that the bolt holes to fix the 90 & 115 to your transom wil lbe the same regardless of engine make (one fgood thing about standardisation!), so if you go for a 90 then decide more gee gees would be better, it's a relatively simple job to upgrade.

I've not had a chance to look at the two proposed power plants, but sometimes the extra few horses are nicely offset by a crew's worth of extra weight, which starts to become significant at the "five & a bit m" size of boat. (to put it in perspective I uasd to have a Yam on my transom, weighed in at about 110-ish KG. The Merc clocks in at 83Kg, and it now planes at 15 knots without needing the extra "throttle blip" to get it over it's own bow wave. 18 was about the minimum with the Yam.....

I'll now hand you over to the Medline owners for talk about seating layout & sunbathing!

9D280 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 June 2011, 19:42   #3
Country: UK - England
Town: Macclesfield
Length: 5m +
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply

Thank you for your comments.

Anyone got experience of both etec power plants?

difference in fuel consumption etc?

any other comments?

Royboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07 August 2011, 15:17   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: Wirral
Boat name: Yachtline 530DL
Make: Zodiac
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzuki DL140
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 40
Hi Roy,

I own a Zodiac Yachtline 530. This is the same hull (virtually the same boat) as the medline 550 (despite the 550 tile the medline is infact 5.30 meters).

I bought the boat in 2006 (after 20 years of owing ribs). I can confirm that this boat has surpassed all of my expectations and is in my opinion unbeatable. Nothing has gone wrong with it at all and its perfomance in all sea consitions is exceptional.

I would advise going for max power (115hp) as the hull easily handles it. I actually have a 140hp Suzuki on ours.

I use the boat mainly off Hoylake and the Mersey, but have towed it to St,Tropez twice and often circumnavigate Anglesey. All in all a great package, buy it, enjoy it.
Mrdeli is offline   Reply With Quote

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