Thanks all, great good to know PD!
Steve - your second post was well received haha, I was trying to work out how to politely say exactly what you said about the first setup! As for meeting Iím sorry but it might be tricky this trip for various reasons, but rest assured I will be taking plenty of photos and will do a thread on setting up, first launch, and general all round views of the boat. I couldnít find much of this for the excels when I was considering options so Iíll make sure I document it well.
As for my decision, I have another thread from last week (Decision Time) which goes through my thought process, but to expand on that...
The upgrade has been several years in the making - Iíve grown out of my much loved flat bottom Avon and 2.5 2 stroke. I love that boat, see photos... Iím selling both if anyone is interested?! One for another thread...
The 2.7m Redcrest is perfect for summerís pottering around places like st Mawes harbour and the Percule river in Cornwall and was super easy and portable, but I now want something that can handle a longer trip around lakes and rivers with two or three in more comfort while still fitting boat and motor etc in the car with a large suitcase or two. I also wanted room to expand engine size, I knew that 6HP was the max I could afford and carry in our car, and knew it would be Suzuki from recommendations.
Honwave has weight and a sturdy V hull in its favour, but was ruled out by price, recent quality control issues with wonky bits and slightly smaller and less family-friendly inside with the uneven floor.
Seasport and similar were great on price, but to be honest... I just liked the look of the Excelís better! If I was tighter on cash I would probably be driving to Bill Higham to take a look...
The Excel was right in my price range and after a LOT of googling I found several users who seem to share my kind of usage - gentle boating with family and friends in calm waters.
Why not the 360? Frankly, when I turned up at Terryís showroom yesterday and saw the boat, my first reaction was ďOH WOW thatís a lot bigger than it looked in the photos!Ē Which was great from a value for money perspective, but it was only once Iíd made sure I could lift the damn thing (well... drag) and fit it in the car that I was comfortable making the purchase.
If youíre a lot stronger than me, have a huge car and/or are able to store a boat trailer if you needed, then by all means go bigger - a longer length will make for a faster and more seaworthy boat with more comfort, but I absolutely could not handle anything bigger from the boot of our VW TRoc. Itís right on the limit.
Hope that helps... keep an eye out and Iíll go into plenty of detail on using boat in the coming week or so!