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Old 18 March 2021, 15:58   #1
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How much risk of flipping over is there?

Hello all!

Pretty excited as tomorrow is the maiden voyage of my Saturn ZK330 with Tohatsu 9.8. My first time ever for an inflatable boat. Seas will be about 3-5ft according to the forecast but Iíll try to go in the morning when itís calmer.

My main fear is doing a backflip if the wind catches me. I plan to put the fuel tank all the way up front. Plus, Iíll only be at half throttle for the break in. Any tips or pointers before I head out?

Thanks!
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Old 18 March 2021, 16:11   #2
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Just keep at displacement speed into a head sea and don’t let it broach when turning, following seas let them overtake you but keep the power on for steerage. You can plane between waves in the trough if long enough but ease off before you catch up and prevent stuffing the bow. Weight distribution is key too.
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Old 19 March 2021, 04:11   #3
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Originally Posted by rcflyyer1 View Post
Hello all!

Pretty excited as tomorrow is the maiden voyage of my Saturn ZK330 with Tohatsu 9.8. My first time ever for an inflatable boat. Seas will be about 3-5ft according to the forecast but I’ll try to go in the morning when it’s calmer.

My main fear is doing a backflip if the wind catches me. I plan to put the fuel tank all the way up front. Plus, I’ll only be at half throttle for the break in. Any tips or pointers before I head out?

Thanks!
Maiden voyage? First time ever? 3 to 5 ft seas?

Stay away from the sea unless it's a mill pond and find another puddle to dunk it in - ie a lake or gentle river.

Work out the basics in a safe, gentle environment at least for the very first time.

The situation you describe is not one I'd recommend when so many have issues first time out, least of all engine issues due to user error or whatever.
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Old 19 March 2021, 08:31   #4
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Maiden voyage? First time ever? 3 to 5 ft seas?

Stay away from the sea unless it's a mill pond and find another puddle to dunk it in - ie a lake or gentle river.

Work out the basics in a safe, gentle environment at least for the very first time.

The situation you describe is not one I'd recommend when so many have issues first time out, least of all engine issues due to user error or whatever.
Ditto what Max said....
Start off somewhere nice and flat, preferably in company of another boat or if not then within paddling distance of shore.
Build your experience and confidence in your boat from there.
Happy boating
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Old 19 March 2021, 10:35   #5
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Hello all!

Pretty excited as tomorrow is the maiden voyage of my Saturn ZK330 with Tohatsu 9.8. My first time ever for an inflatable boat. Seas will be about 3-5ft according to the forecast but I’ll try to go in the morning when it’s calmer.

My main fear is doing a backflip if the wind catches me. I plan to put the fuel tank all the way up front. Plus, I’ll only be at half throttle for the break in. Any tips or pointers before I head out?

Thanks!
There's plenty of places to take it easy before venturing out in to open sea's where you are.

Take it down to the Tikki Bar at Marina Jacks, plenty of parking and rig it on the beach, you can potter about in the bay, then head down the ICW if you're feeling comfortable.

Get to know it a bit before heading out into the Gulf.

Have fun and take some pics, I miss Sarasota.
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Old 19 March 2021, 11:00   #6
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Yep - I'm with Max and Jon on this one!

MGx
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Old 19 March 2021, 13:36   #7
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I would not recommend going out in that for a maiden voyage. But the excitement of a new boat is very strong.
If you "have to" make sure you wear a life jacket at all times and use the kill cord (I have been reading it's now a GC law). Stay close to shore and have a cell phone in a plastic bag or water proof case.

It would be easier to go to a lake or something like suggested above to break in the engine and putter around and get used to it.
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Old 19 March 2021, 14:32   #8
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Take it steady for first time out AND if engine needs breaking in. Stay sheltered and just practice slow speed manuovering and get the feel - half throttle won't get you onto the plane... its annoying but be patient.
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Old 19 March 2021, 15:12   #9
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Yep echo all above but would add while getting the fuel to the bow is a good thing if it's just a 12l tank then that 25lbs is nothing like as useful in keeping the bow down as the movable ballast of a 150lb person.

I'd vote for a quayside press gang.
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Old 19 March 2021, 16:08   #10
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Just to maybe add some weight to my comments, I’m sure others could back some of this up - I grew up with a boat owning Dad and waterskiing from 11 or so but the first time as ‘skipper’ of your own vessel however small with responsibility for your own crew (ie the young family) feels very different.

And my maiden voyage in my first own boat (a SR4) ended up in an emergency tow in from the sea with fuel issues.

My first SIB voyage (in a river) ended in...getting nowhere except wet as I couldn’t even start the engine!
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Old 19 March 2021, 17:28   #11
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Thanks everyone for the advice! I've made the decision to stay for today, but it looks like Monday will be a good day. I spent about a week getting everything set up and, of course, beautiful weather that week. When I was ready to launch, some of the worst winds I've seen show up.
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Old 19 March 2021, 17:31   #12
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Originally Posted by Ribtecer View Post
There's plenty of places to take it easy before venturing out in to open sea's where you are.

Take it down to the Tikki Bar at Marina Jacks, plenty of parking and rig it on the beach, you can potter about in the bay, then head down the ICW if you're feeling comfortable.

Get to know it a bit before heading out into the Gulf.

Have fun and take some pics, I miss Sarasota.
Sounds like fun! I plan to launch from the Ken Thompson boat ramp on City Island. Seems like a well protected launch area, although the shoaling is really bad just outside the ramp. I'll head down to Marina Jacks to scope out a launch site. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 19 March 2021, 18:16   #13
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Thanks everyone for the advice! I've made the decision to stay for today, but it looks like Monday will be a good day. I spent about a week getting everything set up and, of course, beautiful weather that week. When I was ready to launch, some of the worst winds I've seen show up.
Good decision
Knowing your limits is key to successful and safe boating. If you need to run in a new engine you need to take it slow & steady as you can't rely on power to get you out of any situation. Take the run in as a way to learn how the boat handles and gain confidence
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Old 20 March 2021, 17:26   #14
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Just to maybe add some weight to my comments, Iím sure others could back some of this up - I grew up with a boat owning Dad and waterskiing from 11 or so but the first time as Ďskipperí of your own vessel however small with responsibility for your own crew (ie the young family) feels very different.
Absolutely! And things which would have been insignificant hic-cups in a day at sea suddenly have all eyes looking to you to solve and seem competent so they are reassured all is well...

...but if you really want to feel pressure that's when you hand the kids the keys and stay ashore!
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Old 22 March 2021, 08:40   #15
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Good decision
Knowing your limits is key to successful and safe boating. If you need to run in a new engine you need to take it slow & steady as you can't rely on power to get you out of any situation. Take the run in as a way to learn how the boat handles and gain confidence
About to head out today. A bit cold out for my taste, but should be fun. Iíll update when I get back.
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Old 22 March 2021, 16:30   #16
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About to head out today. A bit cold out for my taste, but should be fun. Iíll update when I get back.


Hope you made it back...!
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Old 31 March 2021, 15:02   #17
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What a treat this little boat is to ride! Thanks for getting me to stay on shore during that windy week. With what I know now, I definitely would've regretted it. With the better weather, I've been having quite a bit of fun the past week. Engine has around 10 hours now so break-in is all complete. I will change the oil, gear lube, get a valve check done, then it's off to exploring more areas.

First day was moderate chop and, for break in, I only went about quarter-half throttle for that day. The boat performed well but I was feeling a bit beat up upon returning to the ramp due to the chop. The next day, I went out in the bay with smooth waters and opened the throttle a bit more. I can get to around 17 kts at full throttle with the stock prop and me sitting in the middle. Getting on plane takes around 2 seconds.

The only problem I have is the dreaded water spray above half throttle. Fortunately, it's not coming over the transom much but it's really spraying onto the aft-transom tubes and it's getting onto the motor cowling. There's some salt residue inside the motor cover towards the bottom so water's definitely getting in there in small amounts.

My transom is around 15.5 in (39.3 cm) from top to bottom and my motor (short shaft) is around 17.5 in (44.5 cm) from top of the clamps to the ventilation plate. I realize I need to get my motor up higher, just wondering what's best for my setup. I'm not expecting much of a speed increase as I am a reduction in the spray volume.

I've seen lots of people on here use wooden shims under the clamps to get a 20-40 mm increase. Is everyone just placing the wood under the motor or are they screwing it down? I would prefer not to increase the number of holes in the transom so if I can get away with double sided tape or velcro, I'll go that route. I do have rubber weatherstripping over the top edge of the transom. Hopefully I can just stick the piece of wood to that. I also have a little bit more room on the interior metal plate that the clamps screw down onto.

Just thinking out loud here so hopefully someone can catch me before I do anything dumb.
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Old 31 March 2021, 15:38   #18
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Glad you're having fun with the boat.

With a wooden shim around 15-20mm often yes it can just be slipped in but once you get towards 40mm then the outboard clamps may not be properly gripping the transom. I prefer to find the correct height then make a more permanent job of fixing the wood down. And because I'm a belt and braces type of guy I bolt the outboard on.

Just a little tip re your outboard and a heavy spray situation.

I had the Mariner version of this outboard and it was bad for spray from the leg just as you describe with salt water inside the cowl. Have a look at your carb and see if you have a rubber breather pipe off the top that disappears down behind the leg shroud.

I had terrible problems with this excess splash being sucked/driven up this tube into the carb and then causing congealed salt deposits and corrosion to block the jets. I re-routed the pipe so it ended under the top cowl and was away from any possibility of water ingress.
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Old 01 April 2021, 12:09   #19
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Following this with interest, I keep eyeing up the 4 stroke 9.8 Tohatsu or 9.9 Suzuki as the next upgrade for my 3.3m...
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Old 01 April 2021, 12:48   #20
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Following this with interest, I keep eyeing up the 4 stroke 9.8 Tohatsu or 9.9 Suzuki as the next upgrade for my 3.3m...


The 9.9 suzi is the same as my 20hp, itís going to be a heavy lump for a 9.9. Dunno what the difference in price is, Iíd be tempted to buy the 20hp & some 9.9 cowl stickers
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