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Old 22 January 2021, 18:46   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Falmouth
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 10
Ali floor - is it optional?

I'm looking at a Honwave 4m flat rib with an aluminium floor and inflatable keel.

Likely to be opting for a 10hp engine

We are on the river in Cornwall and this boat will never see the mouth. Its purely for mucking around in the creeks and then running up onto a beach by a pub for a picnic.

I want to inflate and go - so my question is, could I get away with not putting the aluminium floor in, if I want a quick setup?

Thanks in advance

P.S if there are any other 4.0m ribs that offer better value then I'm all ears. Honwave just seems a solid bet.

Also, any engine brands to steer clear of?
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Old 22 January 2021, 22:21   #2
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Country: Australia
Town: Brisbane
Make: Zodiac
Length: 7m +
Engine: inboard 200hp diesel
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 27
Zodiac FC470 complete floor Kits

I have 18 x Zodiac FC47 complete aluminium floor kits, if one is suitable.
(new) never used in original factory sealed package. Boards and stringers.

Willing to trans ship to USA, UK, etc Safe boating
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Old 23 January 2021, 05:17   #3
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Country: UK - England
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Welcome to the forum... I think Angus would have the answer. Either fit the floor or get a different SIB/boat type.

The outer floor fabric isn't designed for you to stand on and the inflatable keel as well as the outer material needs the floor to tension it to a hull shape. Even in an estuary and for pulling onto the beach you need it the correct shape.

You need to buy a model with an air floor or several canoes.

All mainstream outboards are pretty reliable these days... and have been for the past 20yrs.
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Old 23 January 2021, 10:42   #4
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Country: UK - England
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The floor is part of the structure of the boat, it isn't just something to stand on. Without the floor, the boat will lack rigidity, the soft floor will flap about, and the prop will be operating in turbulence. You wont be able to carry heavy hit such as an anchor.

For quick assembly, choose a boat designed to be assembled quickly rather than making a potentially dangerous compromise like this.

Simple option for a small boat is a slatted floor or an air floor. 4 metres is quite big (bigger than any of the 3 SIBs I've owned) and I don't think "slatted" is an option.

Fitting and removing a plywood floor adds maybe 15–20 minutes to a day's boating, including putting it in and out of the car, fitting it at the start of the voyage and removing it at the end of the voyage.
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Old 23 January 2021, 11:53   #5
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: RedNeck
Make: Excel SD360
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mercury EFI 15HP
MMSI: 235924407
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Hi and welcome.
As previous answers, you have to fit the aluminium floor every time you use the SIB.
2 questions for you - why have you chosen 4 metres and why an aluminium floor?
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Old 23 January 2021, 13:36   #6
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Country: UK - England
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Basically we are wanting a 3.5-4m river boat.

We've decided that we are going to leave in the water April-Sept so the alu floor is no problem now.

I've been looking at Honwave but there's also the cheaper Chinese ones that the likes of Boat World are peddling. Any good?

Seriously... Advice is welcome!
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Old 23 January 2021, 13:57   #7
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Country: UK - England
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I like the statement "the cheaper Chinese ones" - that's where the Honwave is made!

If it's around the 4 metre mark that you need and you definitely need/want an aluminium floor the Honwave t40 is a good choice. A good alternative would be the Excel Vangaurd XHD, they do a 385 and a 435. Excel are really good quality and good value. Run a search on the forum for Excel to gain some member info.

Can't comment about leaving the SIB in the water from April - Sept as I don't have any experience, however I'm sure a few of the members on here will be able to give some advice.
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Old 23 January 2021, 14:27   #8
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: Spy-sea-one
Make: Excel 435
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Engine: Suzuki Outboard/25/4
Join Date: Oct 2011
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RIBase
April to September it'll be full of seagul shite green and fury on the hull.
Excel made in Korea as good as any I've owned in PVC that is
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Old 23 January 2021, 14:54   #9
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Country: UK - England
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>>>going to leave in the water April-Sept

As Jeff says re top and bottom "growth".

Get a hard hull grp or allu boat with antifoul coating and a cover.
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Old 23 January 2021, 16:05   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Some people who leave their inflatables afloat invert them to keep seagull droppings off the topsides, and to stop them filling with water. That would mean removing and refitting hte engine every time you use it, though.

An inflatable left afloat may be subject to extremes of temperature and therefore changes of pressure in the tubes. You'll probably need to top up the pressure before every trip.

I'm not sure how much time and effort will be saved by leaving the boat afloat unless you are using it a lot.
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Old 24 January 2021, 04:22   #11
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So in simple terms... Use the floor as intended
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Old 25 January 2021, 08:51   #12
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Country: Ireland
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Make: Honwave 3.5-AE
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Posts: 92
If you have the room to park it a small trailer would be the best solution if you are going with the alu floor
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