Originally Posted by Jelly
That looks like the Zodiac inflatable air drop version, I had the MK5 HD with the aluminium floor. When you are checking it out items to look for are the compartment valves abd the engine mount height.
The brass vale outers rotate so you can select to put air into either tube section either side of the baffle or both at the same time and you can shut it off to avaoid leaks also. They are also pressure relief units. One thing to check is that some people put all the valves to free flow between chambers and then attach an air line to fill it up.
With the Futura hull (tubes under the main tubes like runners) make sure they hold air the valves can be fun is some one cross threads them abd check the engine hieght as once on the plane they run on the futura tubes and you can often find if the engines been mounted to the transom. Thus being the wrong height to put the power on when on the plane.
They are bomb proof but if left in the sun the black tubes can be rather hot on the old bottom!!
Specifically, it is the Zodiac FC470 (Furtura Commando). A friend acquired some through a U.S. government auction. The valve system works just like you described. Apparently the main sponson & and speed tubes are all holding air very nicely, but the floorboards and inflatable keel need some work. Given that I should be able to pick one of these up for a fraction of it's new price, I can deal with that.
The transoms on these 4.7m are designed for short shaft outboards with maximums of 40-60hp, depending on the floor configuration. From what I understand my current 25 hp motor will move it quite nicely under moderate loads. I might eventually get a 40-50 hp Honda outboard for it. It has a maximum payload of 2756 lbs (1250 kg) so it should be great for 1-2 week moose hunting trips. As for the fabric, it is an 1880 weight hypalon. I might paint the tops of the sponsons grey or a camo pattern to minimize burning my bottom on hot days.
What are your impressions of the futura hull system? Is it a major improvemnt over a conventional SIB inflatable keel? (There is a boat manufacturer in Brittish Columbia who has built aluminum hulls specifically for these sponsons to convert them into bonafide ribs. However that would necessitate a trailer - which I'd rather not be committed to since it would drastically reduce back country lake/river access).
Apologies for the thread hijack.