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Old 08 February 2007, 07:51   #1
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Country: UK - England
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Cat vs RIB

I have owned a Tohatsu SIB with a 5hp Tohatsu outboard for 3 years now - used to beach hop (South Hams in Devon) with the children. However, now that they are getting older (7 & 11) they would like to travel a little further and waterski - but predictably the 2.9m SIB is not great in anything other than a flat calm sea (and not powerful enough as a tow boat).

I don't have huge storage space at home and a trailer is a pain to park when we visit friends in Salcombe, so although I was going down the route of a 5.8m RIB with a 90hp, I spotted a couple of catmaran designs which could possibly be deflated for storage and transport (back of an old 110 Land Rover). Therefore I'm interested in any comments from the huge experience available on these forums (I have lurked and read with interest here for a couple of years) on the Ceasar Thunderbolt or Gemini Surfcats :-

- I do not expect them to slice through huge seas like a monohull, but I don't expect the family to want to go out in anything larger than a 5ft swell anyway
- The tubes appear to be PVC not Hypalon (which worries me slightly)
- There is very little information on the web about either of these catamarans
- I have seen one post on here about the Gemini Surfcat, but would ideally like to get 4 adults and 4 children on board so suspect that the 5.3m Thunderbolt would be better than the 4.1 Surfcat

Anyone ?
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Old 08 February 2007, 08:11   #2
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I should have added some links :-

http://www.ceasarmarine.com/ceasar_thunderbolt.aspx

http://www.gemini-inflatables.com/in....asp?boatID=36
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Old 08 February 2007, 10:04   #3
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Country: Canada
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Bumbleabout,

The Gemini Dive 470 might suit your requirements very well. It is basically a larger version of the Gemini Surf and is available in not just PVC, but also in double skinned PVC, 1100 dtx hypalon, and in 1670 dtx hypalon (Orca 866). The 24 inch diameter tubes on the thing are huge & beneath them are very large hijackers. The transom is 2" thick.

http://www.racing-inflatables.com/diving.htm


I have one on order in the 1670 dtx hypalon. I test drove the double skinned PVC version off the coast of Vancouver Island this past summer, and it is an extremely well built boat. The dealer also has had some PVC Gemini Surfs & zapcats, as well as a Gemini RIB (either 5.05 or 5.5 m -don't remember).

He likes the zapcats for the pure adrenaline rush and says that the performance of the Surfs (basically a round nosed version of the zapcat) comes pretty close to the zapcat. But he finds the Dive 470 to be the most versatile of all of those boats because of it's huge capacity while still being extremely high performance.

He says he rarely uses the RIB any more since the performance of the Dive 470 is so close in the chop and it weighs considerably much less - making it much easier for beaching & relaunching. Hope this helps. From what I've heard, Gemini hasn't really marketed it's Dive series to the European Market.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08 February 2007, 10:09   #4
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By the way,

That Thunderbolt also looks great too, but what did it for me was the option of heavy hypalon with the Dive 470.


Also, this is what I'm about to order to speed up the setup/takedown process which I would do each time I use the boat;

http://www.scoprega.it/or4/or?uid=SC...29&levelid=133
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Old 08 February 2007, 11:16   #5
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Country: UK - England
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Very interesting thanks - I can't work out why they make this information so difficult to find for prospective customers !

I use a high volume, low pressure pump on the SIB and it makes inflating/ deflating very quick (although I had to modify the pump nozzle with a thin bar across the mouth to depress the valves when deflating).

- What engine are you looking at on the Gemini 470 (I found my Tohatsu to be utterly reliable and very easy to service) ?
- Do you know what the approximate deflated dimensions (excluding outboard) are ?
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Old 08 February 2007, 11:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prairie tuber View Post
By the way,
Also, this is what I'm about to order to speed up the setup/takedown process which I would do each time I use the boat;

http://www.scoprega.it/or4/or?uid=SC...29&levelid=133
I have (and occasionally use) a Bravo 12. It's an electric dual-chamber rocker-type pump; works very well. Unfortunately, it has been pulled from the market (at least the model I have was - I think it's been re-designed and re-released) after several of them caught fire. My only complaint about it is the noise. Pretty loud (don't know how the others, such as the one PT ordered, end up being.)

jky
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Old 08 February 2007, 12:19   #7
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Country: UK - England
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"LVM Hurricane" is the one that I use - and yes it is noisy, but a lot quicker than a footpump !
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Old 08 February 2007, 13:52   #8
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Country: Canada
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Make: Gemini Dive 470
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BumbleAbout,

I hear you about the availability of information about these boats on the net. Boath Gemini and Ceasar do an atrocious job about providing adequate pictures (no videos) and information on their websites. It's almost like they don't want anybody to know about their products. I spent many hours searching the net, many phone calls, and made a 3000 mile round trip to Vancouver Island to test drive the boat (and visit family, LOL).

I haven't completely resolved the engine issue yet. The Dive 470 is rated for up to 60 hp. Right now + just have a Mercury 'classic' 25hp 2 stroke (which is actually Tohatsu built). It is a very durable and reliable little motor, and with light loads should move this boat along at a reasonable speed. I am on the lookout for something more powerful. My first choice for this boat would be a tillered Tohatsu/,
Nissan M50D (about 150 lbs). My 2nd choice would be a Tohatsu/Nissan M40C (about 130 lbs) or maybe a Yamaha 2 stroke carbed 50 hp. It is very difficult to come by these motors here in North America anymore.

All of these new EFI 2 strokes and four strokes are ridiculously heavy and complex and aren't going to be repairable by a backwoods mechanic, let alone field repaired.
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Old 08 February 2007, 14:26   #9
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Thanks for the info on the pumps guys.

While I was on Vancouver Island, I test drove another round nosed cat hulled fully inflatble from a Washington based company (AMI). These were made of PVC and manufactured in China. The boat I tested from them was a 3.8 m airdeck (I don't care much for air decks) since that was the only model on hand (although they make up to 4.6 m hard floor models). I think these boats might suit someone well for light duty tender use if weight and price are the main concerns. But in terms of construction, the Gemini products are far more robust in every way.
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Old 08 February 2007, 16:33   #10
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Country: UK - England
Town: Ilfracombe
Boat name: Ceasar P850
Make: Ceasar
Length: 8m +
Engine: Twin Honda 225s
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Posts: 10
Ceasar Thunderbolt

I appreciate that there are not enough photos or videos on the site. We will work to rectify that over the summer.

The boat is works very differently than a deep V hull but nonetheless works incredibly well in virtually any sea state. I have been out in far bigger seas than 5ft in a Thunderbolt and it is great fun.

We tube the Thunderbolt with the same quality PVC as we do the Thundercat. These boats are built to last and are subjected to huge amounts of abuse as you have probably seen in the race circuits. As long as a good quality PVC is used, it is more than strong enough and the other advantage is its cost. It is less labour intensive to glue PVC and it is cheaper than Hypalon. This keeps the price of the boat down as the boat itself is very labour intensive to manufacture.

These boats can be deflated and folded length ways. This will become a bit less practical if you have a large engine on the back. However, it can definitely be disassembled for storage over winter periods or times when you do not expect to use the boat.

The other benefit of the catamaran design is the large amount of deck space available. This means that you will be able to fit yourselves and your children on there with ease.

I have attached the price sheet and a few photos here for your interest.

If you would like any further information then please call on 01271 869101 or email info@ceasarmarine.com.
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