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Old 06 July 2020, 13:15   #1
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Decision made! Excel Volante 330

Well, today Iíve been over to meet Terry and the team at Excel, and Iím very happy to say that Iíve come home with a Volante 330 and Suzuki DF6AS.

The showroom was busy, there happened to be a delivery when I arrived so I was asked if I could wait 20 minutes until the forklift work was done which was totally understandable from a safety point of view.

I came as a serious buyer and was treated as such, Terry is very straight talking but very easy to deal with, offering clear advice and was transparent on what he was offering.

Iím very happy with the price we agreed, I hope Terry is too. His team (sorry I forget their names!) were also very friendly and showed me around my new outboard while it was being commissioned and how to pack down the boat.

Iíll post some photos soon but I can not recommend excel enough. Iíll offer a full review when Iíve broken in the boat and motor next week!
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Old 06 July 2020, 16:26   #2
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Richard is the mechanic Paul is the extra hand what colour did you get
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Old 06 July 2020, 16:44   #3
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Always good to see what you are considering and purchase on that basis. Look forward to hearing how you get on when you can make the first setup and outing.
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Old 06 July 2020, 17:08   #4
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Enjoy
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Old 06 July 2020, 18:05   #5
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Thanks all, itís navy blue! Hereís one bad photo from today, more to follow.

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Up to Ullswater in a few days. Launching from Glenridding ferry car park I recon... any tips for that area welcome, I know the lake and surrounding area well but have never launched or helmed a boat there. I have downloaded the lake users guide.
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Old 07 July 2020, 07:26   #6
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Nice one a real beauty. Let us all know how you get on.
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Old 07 July 2020, 12:14   #7
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Hi Pumpkinking, I'm at the very early stages of deciding what sib/ob I would like/afford to get.
What made you buy the 330 instead of the 360?
Why Excel and not Honwave or Sunsport?
When are you going to Ullswater? I don't live to far away and would like to see you set up if you don't mind.
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Old 07 July 2020, 13:39   #8
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Brings back happy memories of two years ago when I first got my Excel Volante....a good choice. Enjoy your maiden voyage!
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Old 07 July 2020, 15:15   #9
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Meant to say "see your setup" ie:your new 330 & ob not see you set up, I'd hate to have someone watching me the first time out ��
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Old 07 July 2020, 16:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinking View Post
Thanks all, itís navy blue! Hereís one bad photo from today, more to follow.

Attachment 133975

Up to Ullswater in a few days. Launching from Glenridding ferry car park I recon... any tips for that area welcome, I know the lake and surrounding area well but have never launched or helmed a boat there. I have downloaded the lake users guide.


Thatís where Piglet had her maiden voyage. The slip is quite shallow & thereís a rock or two close in. Make sure youíre well out before you drop the engine, thigh deep should do it.
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Old 07 July 2020, 16:50   #11
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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...

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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!
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Old 07 July 2020, 17:19   #12
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Thanks for that insightful reply. Never gave "family-friendly inside with uneven floor" a thought until you mentioned it.
With a wife who would really like a 30 mtr Gin Palace with jacuzzi and sundeck, 2 grandchildren and a Golden Retriever, you have probably got Excel anothet sale - you should ask for commission!
As packed size isn't a problem (Navara pickup) I'm still edging towards the 360 just for the extra space, perhaps I need both side by side.
Enjoy your maiden voyage.
Steve.
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Old 08 July 2020, 03:54   #13
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Steve do bear in mind the longer you go with the flat air floor design... particularly with larger outboards with the intention to plane much of the time... then the more they flex and misbehave to a degree than can frustrate.
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Old 08 July 2020, 04:30   #14
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Decision made! Excel Volante 330

Fenlander reminds me that I had pretty much decided that if I wanted to go bigger than the Volante 330, the logical next step would actually be the Volaire 390 due to exactly Fenlanders point, the Volaire having a much more solid V air hull under a flat floor rather than the inflatable keel of the Volante. A google will lead you to a ďVolante 390 vs Honwave T38 - The ResultsĒ where the Honwave and Excel Volaire were compared at sea. In that persons opinion the Volaire won.

Worth a read, just remember that the Volaire and Volante are completely different boats and so compares differently to a honwave if you do go for the smaller models.
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Old 08 July 2020, 04:32   #15
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It does sound like I will have to live with a few compromises.
50% of the time it will be me and my wife pottering around the Lakes where I don't think a flat floor will be a problem, but the rest of the time will be around Liverpool Bay, Anglesey, South Wales and a few holidays on the south coast which could be problematic.
What are your thoughts on a Sunsport Arib 350 with a 9.8 Tohatsu? Would this make a family friendly outfit with a bit of omph for when I needed/wanted it?
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Old 08 July 2020, 04:50   #16
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Now after reading about the Volaire 390 it sounds like a good compromise. Do you think I would need to up the HP to 15?
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Old 08 July 2020, 04:59   #17
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Sunsport are imported by the same folks as Quicksilver boats, Mariner & Mercury outboards so they have a proper dealer network behind them... but they've never quite had the reputation of Honwave inflatables. Honwave have been slipping a bit over the last couple of years so perhaps Sunsport are worth a look. Last year in the dealers I did see a Sunsport where the transom had come unglued at just a year old... so they all have the odd duff one.

That specific Sunsport you mention is a near clone to the Honwave air floor models so should perform the same.

Is that a new Tohatsu 9.8 4-stroke you are considering? Should be OK as long as the load isn't too much when you'll lose the ability to plane... but self and wife will be OK. We've had the Mariner version of that engine on our 3.8m air floor and it maxed out at about 15kts and cruised nicely on teh plane just a bit over 12kts.
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Old 08 July 2020, 05:01   #18
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Ha ha you're on mission creep already... which in some ways save money as long as you creep in the right direction. That's why on here we usually say buy used first so you won't lose any/much money if a change is needed to something more suitable.
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Old 08 July 2020, 05:03   #19
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The Volaire looks really interesting but so far there is minimal feedback on them here... one member just got his bought, set up and a trial run before lockdown kept it home.

I look forward to seeing more about them in use.
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Old 08 July 2020, 05:08   #20
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See this thread of Pikey Dave's... stick with the drift because he goes through the whole build to the trial run.... then Covid hit us.
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