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Old 09 July 2021, 10:21   #1
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Honwave T38 or Elling 350?

Hi all,
First post on the forum here, but have been reading around for quite a while - informative site!
I've had big boats in the past, and currently have a kayak which I am finding it harder and harder to spend time in due to back issues - anything over an hour these days is simply not enjoyable. I'm also a bit more into the social side these days, would like to take people out, kids out etc.

With that in mind, I've decided to move over to a small SIB, to be used single handed and 2 up, for fishing inshore around the West Sussex coast.
We will rarely (never?) be more than a mile from shore, and avoid going out in bad weather - although of course this can change quickly on the water. I am not too concerned about flat out speed, but need something that can comfortably beat the tides in this area and get us back perhaps 2 miles along the coast to our launch site.

The biggest single criteria for me is being able to comfortably launch and retrieve on my own. I have a fair bit of experience on a mate's SIB, a solid floor 3.2m quicksilver with a 9.8hp 4 stroke, and to be honest the engine is just a bit too much for me to handle (until my back improves, at least).
My thoughts are to go for an airfloor with a 6hp 4 stroke (10hp 2 stroke would be nice, of course..) and with the help of this forum I have two candidates in mind: the Elling 350 and the Honwave T38 IE3. Both come in fairly light, both seem roomy enough (I'd prefer slightly bigger than my mate's 3.2 tbh), and I've seen videos of both performing creditably with a 6hp.

These boats seem quite similar in many ways, albeit the Elling is a little more money (about £250 more), although it does come with some useful extras that the Honwave doesn't. As far as getting hold of one, it looks like end of August for the Elling and (perhaps) end of July for the Honwave - I can certainly wait another month for the right boat.

Does anyone have any insights into how these boats compare? Build quality, ride quality etc, ease of putting together etc.
Am I on the right track with these choices, or are there other boats I should be considering?

thanks!
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Old 12 July 2021, 16:46   #2
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I had the same decision to make last year. I went for the Elling based on its weight. I have a 9.8 4s on mine and it flys with one or 2 people on it. It would be a good boat for 6hp, although I imagine both may struggle to get on the plane with 2 people and fishing gear. One of my pals has a t38 and 6hp but he only uses it if he’s going solo.
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Old 12 July 2021, 17:30   #3
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No real knowledge of either but was seriously looking at the t38 at one point before I had even heard of the elling on here.

Ended up with an excel volaire 390 eventually due to stock issues at the time, but that would be too heavy for your needs.

The one thing that really put me off the t38 when I saw it close up was the sloped floor which I thought could cause us issues for fishing and for the dog.

But saying that.......there's plenty of people use the t38 exactly for that purpose......and are quite happy with it.

My advice from someone who basically bought blind, is to go and see them both in person if at all possible ( even down to a local harbour or such like) and see if you think you could live with the floor?
And there's a few great threads on here from the elling or x elling guys to keep you busy

Personally by what I've read here along with the fact the elling comes with a load of mount options, padded seats as standard, the weight etc, I think I probably would have went for that if things had been different and I could make my choices again
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Old 12 July 2021, 21:07   #4
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The OP mentioning existing back issues, single handed use and fishing would probably tip me towards the Elling. They are probably the lightest and easiest to manage SIB around 3.5m. The T38 as it's all in one is heavier and loads more bulky. The Elling flat floor will also be an advantage... as will the fact the air floor is separate.

The Elling Borika mounts are great too.

The Elling will probably be the best performer with a 6hp. Note many 10hp 2-strokes weigh about the same as your mate's 9.8 4-stroke as they are based on the 15hp models and weigh the same as them.

BTW welcome to the forum.
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Old 13 July 2021, 08:10   #5
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Thanks for the replies chaps.

The point about the removable floor making it lighter/easier to pack is a good one. I had been a little worried that the removable floor might make it a little less solid than the built in floor of the T38, but is that worry unfounded?

I'm not sure how I feel about the internal V floor of the T38 - my first thoughts were that it probably wouldn't be an issue, but I'd be keen to hear how people find it in practice. I can imagine any clutter in the boat (fishing gear etc) finds its way into the centre of the floor, for better or worse, and that standing up might be a little less steady? Then again, it seems lower in relation to the waterline than the floor in the Elling, so maybe not?

Of course it would be great to be able to see both of these boats in the flesh (and any other contenders in this weight/size range?), but I think that is going to be nearly impossible given current stock levels etc - hence trying to get the decision right before taking the plunge. Having said that, if anyone does have either of these boats and ever launches in the Chichester/Selsey/Portmsouth area I'd love to take a quick look at one.

Given the responses, I think I am erring on the side of the Elling now - especially given the weight difference of 8kg (I had it in my mind the T38 was similar, but now see it is 48kg).

I'll let you know how I get on!
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Old 13 July 2021, 08:23   #6
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Both very capable, PM Chipko or search his posts. He's had both these boats, currently enjoying the Elling which is a catamaran and also gets my vote.
He made a review here:
Elling KB350….Initial Impressions

The Elling 350 is actually 3.6m and quite roomy according to Fenlander.

Problem with a V floor is that's where everything bounces to and where water collects. Not so good for pets either.
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Old 13 July 2021, 08:30   #7
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The true weight of the Elling in its red bag is 35.3kg (just the boat 34kg) so if the T38 bag weighs similar there is a 14kg difference when carrying and moving about in the packed state.

The Elling flat floor feels sturdy underfoot when standing up.
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Old 13 July 2021, 08:40   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlander View Post
The true weight of the Elling in its red bag is 35.3kg (just the boat 34kg) so if the T38 bag weighs similar there is a 14kg difference when carrying and moving about in the packed state.

The Elling flat floor feels sturdy underfoot when standing up.
Wow, OK - that really is very light, even lighter than the quoted 40kg. Any idea if the quoted 48kg for the T38 is accurate? Also curious to know where the extra weight in the T38 is coming from, given that both boats are air decks of a similar size. It does give me some confidence that I will be OK single handed with this setup, coming in at around 60kg compared to the Quicksilver 3.2/9.4 4 stroke combo (90kg odd?) that I often fish from.

Probably the only thing I am still wondering about is relative ride quality, since the T38 does seem to have more of a V keel v's the tri-hull style of the Elling. Having had hard boats in the past, I am aware of the general trade-offs with deeper v's - better ride, less stability at rest, more power needed to push them - and wonder how these principles translate to SIBs? Also, given I am only going to be powering with a 6hp, locally and (hopefully) in generally good conditions (albeit open sea), perhaps ride is of lesser concern anyway, especially if it is at the expense of stability at rest?
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Old 13 July 2021, 09:53   #9
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Probably a fair bit to take in re who's who on here and which SIB they have currently or have past experience of... however a load of scattergun stuff that might help....

Re weights that weight of 35.3kg in its bag for the Elling is of course with floor out which is how they are designed to be packed. The second bag with air floor, seats and cushions weights 13.5kg. This flexibility with the pack spread between two bags makes the Elling the lightest and easiest SIB I've owned (of ten in total) to handle into and out of the car etc. Once inflated and set up of course the weight is 48.8kg so similar to the Honwave's claimed weight which I've not personally checked.

Re ride quality... You mention hard boat experience and V hulls. Broadly speaking with the exception of one model all SIBs have a similar hull profile with a modest V at the bow flattening to the transom. The V floor of the T38 looked at externally has little more V than many alloy floor SIBs with a "sausage" keel under the floor. However because the air V floor of the T38 can flex it gives an easier ride than many alloy floor SIBs.

I mention the exception which is the Bombard (part of the Zodiac group) Aerotec I and a few others on here own. They have a much deeper V which is uniquely carried through bow to transom so have a very soft ride even in difficult conditions. The downside is a narrow SIB with very pointy bow reducing room even further and a sharply sloping floor. They are a niche SIB no longer made but we fit that niche so well that's why I briefly owned an Elling but decided to keep to the Aerotec.

If I was fishing a little offshore and easy carriage/assembly was important I'd 100% go Elling... if I wasn't fishing but making longer passages in harsh conditions and where weight ashore was less of an issue I might look at the T38 but a larger outboard (think cost/weight) may be needed ideally.

Either way both will be impressive.
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Old 13 July 2021, 10:11   #10
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Thanks Fenlander, the weight makes sense now with the floor removed, and as you say much easier to pack in the car as two separate bags, especially as this will be going into a Ford Cmax with the seats down.

I think I'm pretty much convinced to go with the Elling, so off to see if any of the next batch in are still available for delivery at the end of August - and to try and source an outboard!
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Old 13 July 2021, 11:14   #11
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Bit late to the party and second all Fenlanderís comments.

Currently running an Elling and a previous T38 owner. Both good little boats, both different and difficult to recommend one over tíother to be honest.

Based on your criteria Iíd also say the Elling is probably better suited by a whisker. Itís about 7 kilo lighter, goes slightly quicker with smaller motors, has mahoosive dia. toobs, stable at rest with a flat deck, comes with lots of Borika base fittings for fishing accessories and feels roomier.

Both are eminently capable of handling typical UK swell and chop and give a fairly dry ride. The T38 is more suited to larger motors, we had a 20 on ours, and think slightly more capable/comfortable pushing on in bigger seas where the high shear rise feels more confidence inspiring particularly in following seas. Having said that donít think the Elling is just for plodding. Itís a catamaran and you can work that air cushion to smooth out the ride if you keep the power on and let the bows ride a little high. It corners pan flat, grips very well in the turns and is great fun playing in the surf zone.

As said, both good boats with similar sea keeping abilities but also very different in their approach.
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Old 14 July 2021, 03:52   #12
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Thanks Chipko, another vote for the Elling then, albeit only just. Glad that these two boats seem to be the standout contenders in this size/weight range, and I think the 7kg saving by the Elling could probably be worth it on its own. Having said that, the fact there doesn't seem to be that much between the boats means I still might be tempted if the t38 does become available in the next week or so, as I am on a list of interested parties for a "second half of July" delivery, and the chance getting an extra summer out of it (vs end Aug/early Sept for the Elling) might just sway me! Or just wait until the madness has died down a bit and buy this autumn after trying to see both in person.. (maybe at the Southampton boat show in Sept?).

The other similar boats I have come across are the Boatworld own brand - they do a 360 airdeck that is a bit heavier (51kg) than the Elling and a 380 V airdeck, which looks like a bit of a knock off of the T38, and actually a bit lighter (43kg). The price is certainly right, but I haven't been able to find mention of either on this forum or elsewhere (outside of the BW website). Has anyone got a good view of these? I think I'd rather stick to quality and am not super price conscious, but am curious.
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Old 14 July 2021, 04:55   #13
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I think I'd rather stick to quality and am not super price conscious, but am curious.
In that case you might want to reconsider Honwave which are having what are now becoming long-standing quality control issues, for example:
honwave transom plate alignment
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Old 14 July 2021, 04:57   #14
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In that case you might want to reconsider Honwave which are having what is now becoming long-standing quality control issues like the transom not being screwed on centrally.
I've read some threads on this about earlier models, but I was under the impression that things had improved somewhat?
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Old 14 July 2021, 05:14   #15
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I've read some threads on this about earlier models, but I was under the impression that things had improved somewhat?
Honda Marine - Honwave Air Floor Range- (Quality Control Issues)
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Old 14 July 2021, 05:25   #16
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Thanks. As I mentioned, I have read a few threads on the issues, and would be very interested to know if these problems are continuing with the IE3.
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Old 14 July 2021, 05:28   #17
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Thanks. As I mentioned, I have read a few threads on the issues, and would be very interested to know if these problems are continuing with the IE3.
Yes that transom plate issue was on the latest model and was posted May 2021
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Old 14 July 2021, 05:45   #18
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I wouldn’t give quality control issues on current Honwaves a second thought. That transom plate was a non-issue to me and the floor problems were on the old model. Most important was that in every case apart from one that went bust mid complaint the dealers have stood by the product and replaced/refunded where the customer wanted. That’s a great reassurance if you had any significant problems.
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Old 14 July 2021, 05:54   #19
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Most important was that in every case apart from one that went bust mid complaint the dealers have stood by the product and replaced/refunded where the customer wanted. Thatís a great reassurance if you had any significant problems.
Yes Chipko returned two and was not completely happy with the third. None of these things really affects the boat overall.
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Old 14 July 2021, 06:01   #20
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And if Matt was considering Boatworld for whichever sib they could get the quickest in my dealings I rate them highly in their response to any problems found.
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