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Old 29 June 2022, 18:39   #1
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Boat size and capacity

Hello! Thanks for such an amazing forum. I've read so many threads and made so much progress in working out what I want.


I was hoping for some opinions on boat size. I'm currently eyeing up a honwave T32 with 3.5hp outboard for about £1k. The only problem is the honwave T32 is a 39kg boat which I'm concerned is too heavy. I want to be able to take this out on my own and that feels like a lot of boat and weight for a single person trip.


But I don't want to go lighter, because at a squeeze on a flat calm river I want to be able to fit 4 adults and 2 kids. The 3.2 seems like the smallest option for that.


So- how manageable is a T32 on my own? Will something lighter be able to fit 4+2? Do I buy a 2.0/2.4 and a 3.2??


And is 3.5 hp enough power to pootle with 4+2?
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Old 29 June 2022, 20:48   #2
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A 3.2m SIB with 4 adults and 2 children on board is going to be low in the water, it won't sink but it will feel like it is with any slight waves hitting the side of the boat and soaking anyone that's sitting on that side of the SIB or the other for that matter.

Many years ago I went across to Brownsea island on a 10ft C-Craft inflatable, 6hp, It was akin to having buckets of water thrown over us every slight wave, 2 adults and 2 children.
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Old 29 June 2022, 22:49   #3
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Country: UK - England
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Hi Andy, firstly welcome to the forum.

A bit more information about where your going to use the SIB and how you're going to transport it will help members give you better advice.

However, I think you're trying to fit a quart into a pint pot. I would not feel comfortable and/or safe with 4 adults and 2 kids in my 3.6 metre sib, the max I'm happy with is 3 adults and a dog.
I also think with that you would struggle with such a small OB. 4 adults & 2 kids with a 3.5hp will probably move at 3 - 4 mph or less, wind or current at 5 mph will mean you will be going backwards.
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Old 30 June 2022, 06:07   #4
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Thanks guys! The boat is going to be predominantly used in local river and canals (This is when I would max it out to 4+2), but I would love to head out to sea occassionally- though definitely not 4+2 for this! I would have to see how the sea is.



We have no trailer and at the moment getting one is off the table so it'll be in the car boot, hence looking at getting a SIB.



We've done inflatable dinghies and kayaks a few times thus far on the river and want to try something out that's a bit bigger and powered, but also want to be able to share the experience with friends hence hoping for 4+2 on totally flat calm water.



I note max payload is listed as 735kg for this boat- 4 adults would weigh basically half that at 360kg plus two kids to bringing it to 440kg leaving me nearly 300kg of spare capacity / kit weight. Are the listed max payloads a bit similar to tent sizes then and you can't really achieve what's stated?
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Old 30 June 2022, 07:44   #5
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Depending upon health and fitness, any sib under 50kg is manageable by one person. My SD360 is 58kg and I can just manage it on my own. The things to think about are deflated size - will it fit in your car? Weight and size of OB? then you have all the other stuff you will want to take with you.
Forget about max payloads of your sib, think space! a 3.2 sib is just to small for what you want to do. A good way to judge this is to get 4 adults and 2 kids, with a couple of rucksacks and any other stuff you will want to take, sitting cross legged on a 5ft x 3ft rug for 30 mins!
A T32 will be, IMO, maxed out at 2 adults and maybe 2 small children.
Take a look at this review, it will give you more of an insight re: size and OB

https://www.rib.net/forum/f50/sib-re...330-84136.html
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Old 30 June 2022, 08:17   #6
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If your willing to get wet then it will manage the weight but even the slightest wave or wake from another boat, narrowboat included, will make it uncomfortable. Imagine 10 litres of canal water lapping around your feet. My car can do 170mph but I wouldn't want to be in it, that sort of thing.
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Old 30 June 2022, 09:34   #7
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Hi Andy and welcome to the forum.

I'm a bit more supportive of this idea than most but with a big proviso at the end.

Yes you can fit your 4+2 in... vey tight but doable. Seat in forward posn with two adults side by side. You on tiller sitting on right side tube next to outboard with one kid opp side to you. 4th adult sitting on tube at bow offset to one side and 2nd kid beside them on tube. In this I assume kids neither small toddlers or teens/near teens. I would have the kids wear life jackets regardless of how benign the water you are on.

The big proviso is that this is only on a true inland waterway not any tidal river or estuary. On such a river I don't believe a Honwave with its decent size tubes will be affected by the wash of other boats.

Re the 3.5hp it will power you OK in this scenario easily up to the 4kts or similar speed limit on many rivers.

My uncle lived by the river when I was a young lad and then my parents when I was in my 20s. In those two different time periods we all piled into stupidly small boats mucking about and the inflatables were the ones with the greatest buoyancy reserves.

Re the boats weight 39kg is fine solo... the small outboard and no extra heavy fuel tank being a great help. Just have transom wheels on the boat and you'll be fine.

The sea though needs lots more thought. Two adults or 2+1 (kid or dog) at maximum for comfort and safety in a 3.2m. 3.5hp starts to feel a bit weak at sea and you would need to be very aware of estuary currents and tidal flow. But again back in my young days we did similar with Seagull outboards rated at no more than 2hp.

David
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Old 01 July 2022, 13:42   #8
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Hi, and welcome!

Much good advice here already.

IMHO the key to boating being fun, is to find the right balance between safety, comfort... and levels of faff.

Go too big, and things get heavy/unwieldy. Too small and passengers/crew do not feel at ease, there's little enjoyment for anyone and it ceases to be worthwhile. If you get it wrong, as I did, you wind up changing later at more cost. That said, I'd recommend that you should buy with your primary usage in mind, and 'make-do' on the other occasions (whilst keeping it safe).

I used to run a 3.6m SIB with 2+2, and agree with others that 4+2 in a 3.2m is likely to be uncomfortably tight.
I invested in very good transom wheels from SeaMax and the unladen boat was never difficult to manage whilst inflated, and I would go for this size or perhaps larger again, even if most of my usage was solo or with +1. In fact when I now view smaller 2.0m SIBs, they just seem crazy small, almost like Coracles or something!
SIBs are at their most difficult to handle whilst deflated and rolled up, and the only damage I incurred was from dragging mine around on tarmac in a flimsy bag. So just buy a better bag with increased protection and more handles and/or even a small folding sacktruck and you'll be fine with a bigger SIB.

However I went for a 20hp EFI, which turned out to provide both one of the biggest benefits in terms of power - surprising how much you need sometimes in certain conditions - but also the biggest hindrance in the sheer weight af a 47kg lump + fuel tank/pipe + O/B trolley, etc.. just so much to lug around, that no-one else in the family/crew could lift, and they got fed up waiting for Dad to assemble and dismantle everything each time. Plus it all takes-up valuable space in the car/boat.

In a few years I'm hopeful that the electric outboards will become more accessible in terms of price, as their simplicity makes them really attractive.

For now, if I were going back to a SIB and with your use in mind, I'd get the largest O/B with integrated tank, which I think is around the 6hp mark - Manageable at perhaps 25kg, roughly half the 20EFI weight - yet the extra ~7kg over the 3.5hp is well worth having a bit more oomph at your disposal.

All the best, Steve.
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