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Old 27 January 2021, 12:46   #1
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Complete beginner - Which craft + legal questions

Hi all,

I'm a complete beginner at all this and I hope this is the right section to post in. I couldn't find any other threads on beginning and legal questions, but my partner and I are looking for an inflatable boat or a RIB to have some relaxing cruises on lakes and maybe shallow sea waters e.g. coves near Bournemouth.

Firstly, our budget for the craft plus necessary mount and engine is around £400 total. The craft that catches our eyes the most is the Intex Excursion 5. I understand that, while it's sturdy, it's not technically a RIB. We would be looking at attaching a motor (we understand a mount needs to be purchased first) and would probably eventually mod in a hard floor and collapsible canopy. Eventually we'd like to put in a coolbox and have some friends on it. We have also noticed the Bestway Hydro-Force Mirovia Pro but it doesn't look as comfortable.

What are your opinions on this? We would probably start on the River Hamble, near where I live, but would like to take it to the beach as well e.g. West Wittering or Durdle Door area.

Is this a suitable craft for these areas?

Secondly, we're completely unsure where we stand legally. As far as we know, if we're just going to use it on quiet lakes and rivers, we don't need anything but the boat itself. It would be sensible to somehow store life vests onboard too. Looking at guidance on navigating the Hamble, I believe we'll need a VHF radio. We don't really know anything about the etiquette of communicating with these nor what we're allowed to do other than that I've seen in the archives that we'll need a licence for it. The last thing we want to do is inconvenience other waterway users or put ourselves or them in danger.

I simply cannot find any concrete sources on what specifically we can and cannot do in UK waters with a craft such as this.

Ideally, in the future when we have more experience, we'd love to set out from Hamble and go all the way up to Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, but as it's a very busy waterway with very large and fast craft, we doubt this will be doable or even legal. Another starting point that's possible for us is Swaythling (Woodmill).

Probably laughable to ask but could we get to the IoW with it?

Something else I've seen is that you often need to get permission to use boat launches, but considering we could just inflate this and plop it in the water, we don't even need that I assume. Does this mean that, even if the launch is off limits, can we just inflate it and put it in the water on the shore nearby?

Can you give us any advice on this?
And, if you can think of another craft or setup that is suitable for where we want to go (assuming the Excursion 5 isn't) and isn't too far out of our budget, what would you recommend?

Many thanks,

Matt
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Old 27 January 2021, 13:35   #2
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Hi Matt and welcome.

Well, where do I start! I suppose it has to be with one word - "DON'T".

The Intex Excursion 5 isn't a RIB and it isn't a SIB. It's more akin to a decent quality lilo with sides and a couple of blow up seats.

It may be OK on a lake on a very calm, windless day, but not on a tidal river and definitely not on the sea.

Unfortunately to do what you want to do, you would need to at least double your budget and buy a 2nd hand SIB.

I have to ask the question:-

Have you been on a small boat in the sea, whether it be a kayak, canoe, hard hull, SIB or RIB?
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Old 27 January 2021, 13:38   #3
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Spend your £400 on some training via the RYA would be my advice.
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Old 27 January 2021, 14:04   #4
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Hi Matt and welcome.

Well, where do I start! I suppose it has to be with one word - "DON'T".

The Intex Excursion 5 isn't a RIB and it isn't a SIB. It's more akin to a decent quality lilo with sides and a couple of blow up seats.

It may be OK on a lake on a very calm, windless day, but not on a tidal river and definitely not on the sea.

Unfortunately to do what you want to do, you would need to at least double your budget and buy a 2nd hand SIB.

I have to ask the question:-

Have you been on a small boat in the sea, whether it be a kayak, canoe, hard hull, SIB or RIB?
Hi!

Many thanks for your candid advice, it was pretty much what I expected - I do get the impression that the Excursion 5 is a glorified lilo, but I'm a little confused because it's frequently used as a fishing vessel when you add in a hard floor. There's even someone who modded it and added a cabin with solar power.

If what it takes to do what we want to do and be safe is up our budget, then we may well do that. Either that, or we'll get the Excursion 5 and stick to lakes, but I can't think of many interesting ones down South. Surely sticking to the confines of a cove would be okay?

If we did double our budget and buy a used one, which model would you recommend?

Again we have seen other craft that look much more solid such as the HydroForce or the Boatworld 330 Pro. Would these not be sufficient? They look ten times sturdier.

As for the comment on training, I think that's absolutely right. I'd much rather get some training first than hurt ourselves or others. But for starters all we really want to do is take it on a river or lake and float there with some mates, which we didn't think would require training. Ideally within the limits of a cove as well. The getting to Ocean Village and IoW part would be an extreme scenario which I now understand is a little ridiculous.

In terms of my experience, I've been on several small craft at sea, yes, but I've only ever piloted a jetski, which of course is quite different. Kayaks I have used but only on lakes. Sailing boats too.

All of this aside, we would still like to know what the legalities are concerning what we can and cannot do.
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Old 27 January 2021, 14:30   #5
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If you notice in that video the Excursion 5 stays on the lawn. Best place for it. Put water in it... rather than it in the water.
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Old 27 January 2021, 14:31   #6
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If you notice in that video the Excursion 5 stays on the lawn. Best place for it. Put water in it... rather than it in the water.
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Old 27 January 2021, 14:37   #7
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If you notice in that video the Excursion 5 stays on the lawn. Best place for it. Put water in it... rather than it in the water.
I don't deny it looks topheavy and that such a drastic modification for such a simple craft, and that after the comments I will probably not be getting one, but as you can see it seems to work fine like that.
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Old 27 January 2021, 14:38   #8
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Seriously! Look at the video. On a lake, no waves, no current, no wind and didn't move further than 20ft from the shore.

Boatworld 330 pro is probably more suited to tidal rivers and calm coves.

However, from your questions I would agree with Pikey Dave, do some serious training with the RYA before you go any further. Power Boat 1 & 2 might be a good place to start.
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Old 27 January 2021, 14:43   #9
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All of this aside, we would still like to know what the legalities are concerning what we can and cannot do.
Luckily in the UK you can still do pretty much anything on the water without a licence. Joking aside, as Matt has mentioned getting some training should be up there.

Anyone can buy a hand-held VHF, but to transmit, and more importantly have it registered you need a licence which you can obtain via RYA approved centre, after you have sat and passed a short range certificate exam. Apply to Ofcom for the licence. Useful about understanding channels, how radio signal works, what to do in an emergency and distress call, rules, etc.

Boating wise, think the general consensus is to go straight to Powerboating Handling level 2. Will give you confidence on the water and deal with man over-board scenario over 2 days, anchoring, etc.

Launching and retrieving - then you'll pay at a slipway or harbour. Once you have a boat an annual launch ticket from a local council or marina would be the way to go, but right now with lock-down just sit tight.

Inland waterways - observe speed limit, potentially information on the boat being registered (such as Lake District if you venture North) and limitations on engines in some instances.

Your budget isn't practical, but I think you know that. Ignore most of the rubbish that's on YouTube.

There will be plenty others that can inform you about a decent SIB package so you have the confidence to enjoy being on the water.
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Old 27 January 2021, 15:18   #10
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This is Jeepster, right?

Even Plumby wouldn't have the nads...

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Old 27 January 2021, 15:19   #11
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Originally Posted by Metrotrekker View Post
our budget for the craft plus necessary mount and engine is around £400 total
You are unlikely to even find something suitable for what you want on the second hand market.

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What are your opinions on this? We would probably start on the River Hamble, near where I live, but would like to take it to the beach as well e.g. West Wittering or Durdle Door area.

Is this a suitable craft for these areas?
I think it's quite clearly a NO.
This craft isn't suitable for much beyond a swimming pool. I'm sure there are fishing ponds that are shallow enough to stand up in and small enough to wade home. That would be the limit of it's safe use.

There is no Recreational Craft Directive rating for this that I can see. For those areas, you need RCD area C. While there may be a reasonable arguement that if a boat doesn't have the paperwork it might still be safe. This boat wouldn't get RCD cat D, certainly not with the cabin added.

It claims three chambers. It also claims that it will float with just its 'inner tube' inflated. I struggle to see it doing that with 5 90kg people on board. And even less so in say 50cm waves (pretty minor)

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Secondly, we're completely unsure where we stand legally. As far as we know, if we're just going to use it on quiet lakes and rivers, we don't need anything but the boat itself.
Some inland waters require permissions (permits) +/- insurance. The sea while more dangerous, requires nothing.

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It would be sensible to somehow store life vests onboard too.
NO. A stowed lifejacket on that boat is as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Lifejackets should be worn.

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Looking at guidance on navigating the Hamble, I believe we'll need a VHF radio. We don't really know anything about the etiquette of communicating with these nor what we're allowed to do other than that I've seen in the archives that we'll need a licence for it. The last thing we want to do is inconvenience other waterway users or put ourselves or them in danger.
VHF. You need a license (free)
Certificate of Competency (not free) unless an emergency.
I wouldn't normally say this. A mobile phone in a waterproof bag is more than adequate for anywhere that boat SHOULD be going.

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Probably laughable to ask but could we get to the IoW with it?
Technically, on the right day, with no wind, the right tide, a lot of luck...?
(Possibly)

Or...

On a planned day, in the midst of summer?
(Hint: NOT SAFELY)

Quote:
Something else I've seen is that you often need to get permission to use boat launches, but considering we could just inflate this and plop it in the water, we don't even need that I assume. Does this mean that, even if the launch is off limits, can we just inflate it and put it in the water on the shore nearby?
Depends who owns the water/land?
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Old 27 January 2021, 15:37   #12
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Conclusion

Thanks all for your help.

I do now realize that my initial suggestion was a bit silly, but I did post this to learn, and I'd rather get laughed at doing that than do something stupid.

We were indeed aware that our budget was small, we just wondered what we could actually do with something like that and how far we'd have to go to do something more adventurous with it.

What we've decided to do is get the Intex Excursion 5 and use it on quiet lakes only, with the exception of the upper area of the Hamble, that is say Northbound past the country park jetty and nowhere near the M27 bridge or marina. We've seen plenty of makeshift craft around there with no difficulty, no matter the tide.

We would also likely use it in Lulworth Cove, near Bournemouth, but no further out than 10-20m or so, and definitely not beyond the mouth of the cove or on a beach without some tidal protection. Considering we've seen paddle inflatable boats in these settings I don't see the issue. We'd use it more as a leisure platform than anything.

I think it's important to clarify we don't mean to do this as a regular hobby, just something to sit in with mates and chill for a bit when the weather's nice and drive it around a small, safe area. I understand this forum is for more something a bit more serious than that, but I thought I would get some decent advice on its limitations here, especially as I was dubious of claims made elsewhere.

If we ever wanted to do anything more adventurous we would definitely take your advice and get the relevant training and save up enough money for something safe and seaworthy.

ShinyShoe That was an excellent summary of information that I could barely find elsewhere. You are right that lifejackets should be worn at all times, I referring to keeping them attached when it was moored or stored away. The mobile phone in a bag is a great idea and something I do regularly when openwater swimming, albeit I have dedicated watertight bags for it.

If anyone sees any issues with my dumbed-down summary of what I'd like to do, please let me know.

Many thanks again

Matt
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Old 27 January 2021, 17:25   #13
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It sounds like you’ve decided what you’re going to buy and want justification for it, which is fair enough, but please only take this anywhere that you and everyone on board can happily and easily swim to shore.

You’ve done the right thing asking for advice here but just to be clear, this is lilo not a seaworthy inflatable boat, despite what the marketing says or others have attempted on YouTube.

Sorry if I and others sound harsh, but we don’t want you setting off on some adventure and getting into serious trouble.

Some RNLI Lifeboat crews have an excellent habit (in my opinion) of sticking their knife through dodgy inflatables that have carried people out to sea who they’ve then rescued. Just to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I’ve started out with a new setup: Excel Volante 330, Suzuki DF6A and 2x Seago seaguard auto inflate life jackets. We’ve been exploring Ullswater in the Lake District and covered miles in the St Mawes & Falmouth harbour area. It cost us about £2000 all in, but after reading loads of advice here we decided to spend the money on something that would be as safe as possible and allow us to have the best possible adventures. We could have got the same setup second hand for less than half the budget, but we could afford new and took the risk. Second hand is the best option if you’re not sure if you’ll use it or like it or need a bigger boat.

Read “Which SIB” thread pinned at the top of this section to start with. And as others have said definitely get training if you have no experience with motor boating.

Good luck with it all, stay safe!
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Old 27 January 2021, 17:35   #14
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I'd rather get laughed at doing that than do something stupid.
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What we've decided to do is get the Intex Excursion 5 and use it on quiet lakes only,
You might get laughed at for asking for advice and ignoring it! What are you going to power your lilo with?

Quote:
We would also likely use it in Lulworth Cove, near Bournemouth, but no further out than 10-20m or so, and definitely not beyond the mouth of the cove or on a beach without some tidal protection. Considering we've seen paddle inflatable boats in these settings I don't see the issue. We'd use it more as a leisure platform than anything.
you won't decide to be 10-20m out, the wind and tide make that decision.

Quote:
I understand this forum is for more something a bit more serious than that, but I thought I would get some decent advice on its limitations here, especially as I was dubious of claims made elsewhere.
and you certainly will find good advice here from people who are very serious, people who are much more laid back and some who have never been serious in their life! You'll also get advice from people who have wasted more money than you have of bad boat choices, and from people who have taken boats not much bigger than that on much more extreme adventures. It will be your choice whether you ignore that advice or not. I think distance selling regs mean you should have 14 days to return it.

Quote:
If we ever wanted to do anything more adventurous we would definitely take your advice and get the relevant training and save up enough money for something safe and seaworthy.
training is not just for big trips. its to stop the easy trips becoming major adventures involving a lifeboat!
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Old 27 January 2021, 17:54   #15
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You might get laughed at for asking for advice and ignoring it! What are you going to power your lilo with?

you won't decide to be 10-20m out, the wind and tide make that decision.

and you certainly will find good advice here from people who are very serious, people who are much more laid back and some who have never been serious in their life! You'll also get advice from people who have wasted more money than you have of bad boat choices, and from people who have taken boats not much bigger than that on much more extreme adventures. It will be your choice whether you ignore that advice or not. I think distance selling regs mean you should have 14 days to return it.

training is not just for big trips. its to stop the easy trips becoming major adventures involving a lifeboat!
We're not ignoring the advice at all, we're taking it into account and we're deciding not to take it anywhere dangerous. Our decision is changing constantly and we may skip directly to a Boatworld 330 as someone suggested that may be a good base just to make sure we're okay in tidal waters. We've gone from asking about going to Ocean Village from Hamble to sticking to the upper area of Hamble where people wade and swim.

As for the tide deciding where we go in a cove, yeah of course, we can't control nature, certainly not from something like this anyway. We'd probably tie it to a buoy if we felt we're going to drift. Again, we plan to whizz around a bay in it and then just sit there. This is why we'd like to use it in coves only, especially in ones where there are tidebreakers like just round the corner from Durdle Door.

Haha I'm aware the Excursion 5 is a glorified lilo, but I do get the sense that there's a bit of a grudge here against something that might be able to do a little more than they think even though it's cheap. I don't think fishermen would mod it to have flooring and seats with storage if they thought it was a lilo bound to sink. Have a look at this family taking it out across a bay without even modding it first (skip to 23:33):



Though, it is extremely calm and I don't think kids should be on there.

As regards the engine, it would be this:

https://intexcorp.com/products/sport...rolling-motor/
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Old 27 January 2021, 17:59   #16
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It sounds like you’ve decided what you’re going to buy and want justification for it, which is fair enough, but please only take this anywhere that you and everyone on board can happily and easily swim to shore.

You’ve done the right thing asking for advice here but just to be clear, this is lilo not a seaworthy inflatable boat, despite what the marketing says or others have attempted on YouTube.

Sorry if I and others sound harsh, but we don’t want you setting off on some adventure and getting into serious trouble.

Some RNLI Lifeboat crews have an excellent habit (in my opinion) of sticking their knife through dodgy inflatables that have carried people out to sea who they’ve then rescued. Just to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I’ve started out with a new setup: Excel Volante 330, Suzuki DF6A and 2x Seago seaguard auto inflate life jackets. We’ve been exploring Ullswater in the Lake District and covered miles in the St Mawes & Falmouth harbour area. It cost us about £2000 all in, but after reading loads of advice here we decided to spend the money on something that would be as safe as possible and allow us to have the best possible adventures. We could have got the same setup second hand for less than half the budget, but we could afford new and took the risk. Second hand is the best option if you’re not sure if you’ll use it or like it or need a bigger boat.

Read “Which SIB” thread pinned at the top of this section to start with. And as others have said definitely get training if you have no experience with motor boating.

Good luck with it all, stay safe!
Hi! Many thanks for your message. I did write a long response but the page timed out. Yeah, we have decided on it for now but are not adverse to going one step higher (Boatworld 330), but in theory we'd just like to get this and stick to safe areas and see if we can have some fun with it.

Thanks for the setup description, it looks great. Did you go the the VHF radio licence too?

Me and my partner open-water swim so we'd be using this as a platform as well to have one of us on while the other swims. We're used to swimming back to shore from a little way out if one of us has an issue. Plus we wear wetsuits that have built-in buoyancy which helps a lot.

Totally understand the safety concerns, don't worry, those who are rude for rudeness' sake I ignore. Those who have provided advice I am genuinely grateful to. I have heard about the RNLI doing that. My partner is an engineer so he'd probably see it as a challenge to repair It's also why he's keen to get something with an engine and so keen to mod it, too.

I totally get this is flimsier than an actual RIB, but as I've said to the other commenter here, why would fishermen mod this if it was such a lost cause? People seem to be avoiding this part and just bashing it when you've gotta hand it to these modders, it's pretty cool what they've done. I would love somewhere to actually point out structurally why this wouldn't work rather than acting all superior because they think it looks stupid. I don't care if it looks silly, I care about what physically makes it stable or unstable so I can then look for these qualities elsewhere or mod it accordingly.

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Old 27 January 2021, 18:20   #17
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Wow never seen a thread like this since Jeepster left
Good effort in livening things up during a quiet spell
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Old 27 January 2021, 18:26   #18
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Wow never seen a thread like this since Jeepster left
Good effort in livening things up during a quiet spell
Aha glad to be the evening's entertainment. Not really my intention to cause any drama, just asking simple questions and trying to learn.
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Old 27 January 2021, 18:36   #19
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As for the tide deciding where we go in a cove, yeah of course, we can't control nature, certainly not from something like this anyway. We'd probably tie it to a buoy if we felt we're going to drift. Again, we plan to whizz around a bay in it and then just sit there. This is why we'd like to use it in coves only, especially in ones where there are tidebreakers like just round the corner from Durdle Door.
And that's why people are suggesting you get some training. You don't just "tie it to a buoy", nor will any boat just sit there in almost any conditions at sea.

Quote:
I do get the sense that there's a bit of a grudge here against something that might be able to do a little more than they think even though it's cheap.
I suggest you read the 815 thousand posts on here and come back and tell us if you really think the people giving you advice have a grudge against low cost boats. You'll find biases on any forum and certainly some on here - but by and large people don't want you to waste your money or risk your life.

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I don't think fishermen would mod it to have flooring and seats with storage if they thought it was a lilo bound to sink.
I don't think anyone said it was bound to sink. There's much more to a safe boat than in remaining on the surface. If you want to get the views of fishermen on how reliable it is as a platform I'd pop over to worldseafishing and ask there. There's people who fish on here, but I've never seen anyone using anything like this for fishing in a loch or the sea.

Quote:
As regards the engine, it would be this:

https://intexcorp.com/products/sport...rolling-motor/
Yeah, I was worried you were going to say that. Search the forum for electric outboards, and then make sure you can row.
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Old 27 January 2021, 18:43   #20
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And that's why people are suggesting you get some training. You don't just "tie it to a buoy", nor will any boat just sit there in almost any conditions at sea.

I suggest you read the 815 thousand posts on here and come back and tell us if you really think the people giving you advice have a grudge against low cost boats. You'll find biases on any forum and certainly some on here - but by and large people don't want you to waste your money or risk your life.

I don't think anyone said it was bound to sink. There's much more to a safe boat than in remaining on the surface. If you want to get the views of fishermen on how reliable it is as a platform I'd pop over to worldseafishing and ask there. There's people who fish on here, but I've never seen anyone using anything like this for fishing in a loch or the sea.



Yeah, I was worried you were going to say that. Search the forum for electric outboards, and then make sure you can row.
Alrighty, noted. We'll take this all on board and have a look at training then, thanks everyone for your answers
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