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Old 10 August 2016, 09:06   #11
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Can anyone speak to how roomy the forward bench seats are in the Bayrunner 550? I keep getting conflicting answers from dealers. Some say "we don't get complaints", others claim there really isn't much room and you'll be "knocking knees" with other passengers on the opposite bench.
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Old 14 August 2016, 13:01   #12
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Bayrunner 550 vs. Futura MK III vs Classic MK II

You had better be close friends . The forward seats offer " intimate" seating with no room for your legs. Might be good for shuttling kids at a yacht club but not much else in my opinion.
I worked at a large dealer until the past April. We never sold a single 550 BAyrunner but sold dozens of other versions of the Pro 550 and numerous 550 Opens as well.
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Old 15 August 2016, 13:41   #13
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Originally Posted by cgoing View Post
You had better be close friends . The forward seats offer " intimate" seating with no room for your legs. Might be good for shuttling kids at a yacht club but not much else in my opinion.
I worked at a large dealer until the past April. We never sold a single 550 BAyrunner but sold dozens of other versions of the Pro 550 and numerous 550 Opens as well.
Thank you for what sounds like the most honest opinion on the BR550. I can go ahead and nix that from the list.

I've pretty much come to the conclusion that the Pro Open 550 is what I need for the kind of boating I want, which is cruising comfortably in Lake Michigan's rather choppy 4-foot seas. The PO 650 looks like a great boat too, but the layout is pretty much the same, leaving me wondering the the higher cost and weight is even worth it.

My only real concern with the PO 550 is the size of the fuel tank. 18 gallons for a 115hp outboard doesn't seem all that generous, especially for what Zodiac considers to be their offshore boating line. Is there any way to get a larger tank, or add an auxiliary underdeck tank that ties in with the main?
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Old 15 August 2016, 14:25   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kestrel452 View Post
Thank you for what sounds like the most honest opinion on the BR550. I can go ahead and nix that from the list.

I've pretty much come to the conclusion that the Pro Open 550 is what I need for the kind of boating I want, which is cruising comfortably in Lake Michigan's rather choppy 4-foot seas. The PO 650 looks like a great boat too, but the layout is pretty much the same, leaving me wondering the the higher cost and weight is even worth it.

My only real concern with the PO 550 is the size of the fuel tank. 18 gallons for a 115hp outboard doesn't seem all that generous, especially for what Zodiac considers to be their offshore boating line. Is there any way to get a larger tank, or add an auxiliary underdeck tank that ties in with the main?
Big differences, Pro Open 550 vs Pro Open 650
Pro Open 650 has a 53 gallon tank for the US market
Pro Open 550 has a 20 gallon tank for the US market
PO650 = max 175 hp
PO550 = max 120 hp
PO650 = Category B rated / C rated (5 / 13 passengers)
PO550 = Category C rated only (11 passengers)
PO650 = Max 1477 lb load
PO550 = Max 970 lb load

The interior space on both boats is similar, but not exact. The PO650 basically has a stretched transom compartment over the 550, as well as little more space between the bow locker and the face of the console.

Beam on both boats is the same.
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Old 15 August 2016, 21:30   #15
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Big differences, Pro Open 550 vs Pro Open 650
Pro Open 650 has a 53 gallon tank for the US market
Pro Open 550 has a 20 gallon tank for the US market
PO650 = max 175 hp
PO550 = max 120 hp
PO650 = Category B rated / C rated (5 / 13 passengers)
PO550 = Category C rated only (11 passengers)
PO650 = Max 1477 lb load
PO550 = Max 970 lb load

The interior space on both boats is similar, but not exact. The PO650 basically has a stretched transom compartment over the 550, as well as little more space between the bow locker and the face of the console.

Beam on both boats is the same.
Interesting, would you say the PO 550 feels cramped with 5 or 6 people total aboard? What do you mean by "transom compartment"?

That's surprising the 650 jumps up to Category B, but I'm not really concerned about either boats' sea handling capabilities, they'd both probably solidly handle conditions much worse than I'd ever contemplate going out in.

Another question I have about these boats is what's the average life expectancy of the tube set before it needs to be repaired or replaced?
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Old 15 August 2016, 21:40   #16
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Interesting, would you say the PO 550 feels cramped with 5 or 6 people total aboard? What do you mean by "transom compartment"?

That's surprising the 650 jumps up to Category B, but I'm not really concerned about either boats' sea handling capabilities, they'd both probably solidly handle conditions much worse than I'd ever contemplate going out in.

Another question I have about these boats is what's the average life expectancy of the tube set before it needs to be repaired or replaced?
5-6 people, it'd be like having the same amount of people in an SUV with 3rd row seating. Everyone has space.

The category upgrade has a lot to do with the size of the boat and the wave durations in certain wind conditions.

Both tubes are constructed from Pennel & Flipo Orca 866 1670dtx CSM/neo fabric. Regular use, longevity would be approximately 10-15 years in the tropics. Great Lakes, the tubes will last as long as the hull (approximately 25-35 years).

The transom compartment is behind the rear space. It is a large empty area with a false floor in it. Stringers are located there, as well as the batteries with the bilge pump below. It basically forces the weight distribution forward so you cannot overload the stern.

Lots of storage space though for life jackets and such though!

Plenty of storage on both platforms. The bow lockers are awesome.
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Old 15 August 2016, 23:15   #17
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Don't know about those old fashioned gallon figures but my 550 pro tour came with a 100 lt underfloor standard tank. My trip offshore at the weekend chassing tuna was 45 km offshore at 40 kmh before trolling for a few hours then heading home. The 120 km round trip used 38 lt of fuel which equates to close to 300 km range.

I too have looked at the 650 pro but the added cost and not being able to put in in my garage due to width would mean leaving it out in the harsh sun. My tow vehicle doesn't even notice towing the little 550.

The 550 is also rated for up to 12 people but at times it's crowded with just two of us, that's part of owning a rib ( there isn't much room).

Jon
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Old 17 August 2016, 09:37   #18
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5-6 people, it'd be like having the same amount of people in an SUV with 3rd row seating. Everyone has space.

The category upgrade has a lot to do with the size of the boat and the wave durations in certain wind conditions.

Both tubes are constructed from Pennel & Flipo Orca 866 1670dtx CSM/neo fabric. Regular use, longevity would be approximately 10-15 years in the tropics. Great Lakes, the tubes will last as long as the hull (approximately 25-35 years).

The transom compartment is behind the rear space. It is a large empty area with a false floor in it. Stringers are located there, as well as the batteries with the bilge pump below. It basically forces the weight distribution forward so you cannot overload the stern.

Lots of storage space though for life jackets and such though!

Plenty of storage on both platforms. The bow lockers are awesome.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, I appreciate the info a lot.

If I can ask you some questions from a more subjective standpoint...

1) Do you think the 650 Pro Open has enough additional open space to justify the $10,000 increase in price? The seating and "elbow room" behind the console looks pretty much identical. I really only see a difference forward of the console, as you said.

2) How many people can be aboard the Pro Open 550, and be comfortable for a half or full day of boating? Does that increase at all with the 650? I ask because the seating layout doesn't look more spacious. I'm not sure you could even install a seat in front of the console seeing as how there's an access hatch right there (plus, the console itself is on hinges and opens forward).

3) Does the helm seat accommodate two people? Dealers apparently have no idea how to answer this question, no matter which one I ask.

4) Lastly, is anyone aware of a (safe) aftermarket solution for expanding the boat's fuel capacity? Such as an underdeck auxiliary tank that ties in with the main?

Thank you
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Old 17 August 2016, 09:58   #19
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On the Sea or "Sea conditions" we have been using only seats in front of console and rear seats. So both boats are comfortable for 5 people.

On the lake/river you can use seats in front of console but it really depends of persons "size". I do not have Zodica, but I do have 5,4 RIB having 2 jockeys, rear 3 seats, seat in front of console and some place on bow locker - very similar on Zodiac. 2,4m width 1,3-1,4 internal width.

I could make trip (3 hrs in total) having 9 people on board but 3 of them were kids.
So in total we had: me and my friend on jockeys (2 big mans), on rear seats my boys - twins (170 cm but only 60 kg). Between them 9y old kid, in front of console 2 women, and on the bow 2 kids.

Lakes not very big (I think 20 km x 20 km and some channels between them)


In the Greece (Med Sea) we use ONLY jockeys and rear seats.
Any other seats I will propose my enemy maybe.


I have chosen 5,4m RIB because:
- my Family is slim (except me 190 cm x 90 kg)
- I tow my boat to Greece (2500 km) or Croatia (1400 km) or Baltic Sea/Lakes 400-700 km
- So I do prefer lighter, smaller boat not to be at my car tow limit

In other case I would prefer 6,5m boat and 150 HP engine

Please check internal width for both boat and deck space.
Check if 3 person will fit in such area on rear bench

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Many Suzuki modern 4T outboard users report reasonable fuel consumption. So if you have more than 2 km per 1 liter maybe standard tank be enough for you or maybe there is an option to buy Zodiac with bigger tank.

We always carry 20 l spare fuel in 2 cans keeping in console locker. Just in case if conditions be much worse than we expected and fuel consumption be much higher than we expected (It happens ones in Greece when we have to use them, we returned against wind and waves back)
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Old 17 August 2016, 11:10   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kestrel452 View Post
Thanks for taking the time to reply, I appreciate the info a lot.

If I can ask you some questions from a more subjective standpoint...

1) Do you think the 650 Pro Open has enough additional open space to justify the $10,000 increase in price? The seating and "elbow room" behind the console looks pretty much identical. I really only see a difference forward of the console, as you said.

2) How many people can be aboard the Pro Open 550, and be comfortable for a half or full day of boating? Does that increase at all with the 650? I ask because the seating layout doesn't look more spacious. I'm not sure you could even install a seat in front of the console seeing as how there's an access hatch right there (plus, the console itself is on hinges and opens forward).

3) Does the helm seat accommodate two people? Dealers apparently have no idea how to answer this question, no matter which one I ask.

4) Lastly, is anyone aware of a (safe) aftermarket solution for expanding the boat's fuel capacity? Such as an underdeck auxiliary tank that ties in with the main?

Thank you
The extra length and horsepower I think justifies it.

Keep in mind, the limiting factor for these boats will likely become the lack of a marine head if you have any classy ladies on board.

With modern 4 strokes, even the small tank on the PO550 should deliver 3-5 hours of boating. You won't be WOT all the time, nor is it wise to be WOT all the time... At cruise, you'll only be at about 5 gph.

2 x 5 gallon portable fuel cans will extend your range. There are many vented compartments where you could safely put them.

If you don't mind being a little cozy, the lean-post will accomodate two people.
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