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Old 12 October 2020, 05:17   #1
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Iím new, need advice.

Hi all. For over 30 years Iíve wanted a boat but for various reasons, mainly financial I never got my wish. When my mortgage ended I seriously looked into buying a boat and having weighed up all the pros and cons it appeared that with our British weather Iíd probably only use it about 2 or 3 times a year, so with mooring fees and having the engine serviced it wouldnít work out economical for me to have one. I didnít want to have the hassle of a trailer so decided against buying one.
My brother recently moved to Polperro in Cornwall and having stayed there my thoughts were on buying a boat again, problem this time is that launching a boat in Polperro is very tide reliant. So once again dismissed the idea. Then a coupe of weeks ago I read an article in sea angler magazine about the excel Volaire 390 inflatable. I always thought that sibs were not practical for fishing as a hook could easily puncture the tube, but, having read through different threads on this forum Iíve realised Iíve been totally wrong. So now my interest has rekindled again. Iíve spent hours and hours researching the different sibs and have narrowed my choice down to 3.
Elling KB350
Boatworld fisher pro 380
Excel volaire 390
At just under £1400 the elling is the most expensive but Iím ok with that as the elling has its oars on the inside which is what I would prefer and also has a lot of borika mounts already on it.
I would mainly be using it in and around Polperro as it could be stored at my brothers house and Iím not interested in speed although I do prefer things to be overpowered rather than underpowered. It would also mainly be used for catching a few mackerel as my missus loves to catch them ( but can be a bit dangerous with hooks flying everywhere ) it would also be used for a bit of pleasure boating for 2 but sometimes 4 adults approx weight of 4 would be around 320kg. Iíve watched a 20 minute video of the elling in action and thought it looked quite good. Having looked for more information, there does not seem to be many people here that have one and the only place to get one here is at boatworld.
I did however price it from elling direct and their price worked out at £745 so I thought it might be worth a drive to the Ukraine if I did decide that was the one for me. Iím not thinking of buying until February next year so I have plenty of time to make a decision. Iíd like to hear from anyone who already has an elling or anyone with any thoughts about what sib to buy. My main concerns are for
Stability and strength as Iím not the most balanced of people on the water.
As to the outboard, I thought maybe a 6hp would be ok but maybe underpowered, Iíve also considered the 6hp propane but there seems to be no reliable way of telling how much lpg is left in the bottle and donít really want to carry a spare bottle. A 9.8hp would probably be better for me but, if I had an electric start Iíd need a battery and a fuel tank, unless I could use one of those power packs for jumpstarting a car? So any thoughts on a decent engine would be appreciated as there seems to be a lot of choice out there. My price range for an outboard I guess would be between £1000 - £1500. So Iím looking to spend around £3000 for sib and engine and a further £500 on the essentials. Or would I need to up my budget on the essentials? As Iíd want to make sure that not only am I safe and secure but also my passengers.
Many thanks in advance for any replies and useful information.
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Old 12 October 2020, 06:46   #2
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Welcome. Don't worry about hooks, just get yourself a big floppy builders bucket and bait/unhook in that.

Engine wise, provided you can lift it and the transom's rated for it the bigger the better. On that size of sib minimum that I personally would be happy with 10-15 hp especially if you're more than two adults (I'm 20 stone, my Wife's 10 so even the term adult's a lottery). A bit of extra's always useful in the engine power department.
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Old 12 October 2020, 07:05   #3
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Hi Tel and welcome to the forum. Good first post setting exactly what you know so far and what you need the SIB for.

Some random thoughts...

Re SIB choices you've mentioned...

I assume you will be storing packed away at your brother's and setting up each use/visit?

The Elling is nice and light and will be a doddle to set up with the air floor. As you say... and despite a few owners on here this year... feedback and info is still a bit lacking compared with other makes/models which have hundreds of posts about them. It is a boat that really interests me though.

The Boatworld 380 Fisher is what I'd call a bog standard alloy floor SIB. It is about 50% heavier than the Elling so portability will suffer and the hassle of fitting the alloy floor each time may not appeal. It's cheap though.

The Excel Volaire is an unusual design and still under represented on here but what reports there are seem positive. Quite a lump to haul about despite being an air floor it weights almost the same as the Boatworld 380.

Re outboards...

I wouldn't consider a propane outboard... they're a rare oddball thing and their use is almost unknown on the forum.

At this outboard size manual start is absolutely fine and elec start rarely seen... weighs more too.

Re outboard size the Elling goes so well that an 8hp or 9.8/10hp will probably suit when mostly 2-up... the other two SIBS probably needed 15hp to go as well 2-up. When you are 4-up with an average weight of 13st per person that is going to pull performance right down unless you went for a 20hp on the two bigger boats... perhaps 15hp with the Elling.

For me if I was choosing for your stated use and mostly 2-up I'd get the Elling and a nice used 2-stroke Yamaha 8hp or 2-stroke Tohatsu 9.8hp which are both a very portable 26/27kg.

Re budget you will be at about £2500 for an Elling and nice used 8/10hp (better bought this time of year for a bargain). £500 is a good start for kit.

David
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Old 12 October 2020, 07:26   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I’ve read on here before about the floppy buckets. Great idea and I’ll definitely be buying some.
I will be keeping it flat packed at my brothers in his garage. I love the idea of using a sib there because I’ll be able to launch it at talland bay and I don’t have to think about tide times which can be quite a pain down there. I think the elling is the one that I have set my heart on because it’s light and manageable ( the lighter the better with my sciatica ) engine wise I was thinking more towards 9.8 hp because they are around 27kg which is quite alright for me to lift on my own if need be. I could get a new 2 stroke if I wanted as I know someone in the canal boat trade who could say it was for his use, but, I’ve heard that 2 strokes are noisy and can be unreliable. My thoughts were to get a 4 stroke ( quieter and no mixing )
I’m going over to Excel next week as they are not too far from me hopefully they will have the volaire on display. I’m not sure if it’s split into 2 bags which would ease the weight a bit. But. As you say, the more weight the bigger the engine required. I thought of electric start because I guessed it would be easier to start, but, if the manual starts are easy enough then I’d be quiet happy to pull a cord. It’s just in days gone by everything I’ve had with a pull cord was always a problem to get going. Maybe these days things are a lot better.
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Old 12 October 2020, 07:34   #5
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>>>I’ve heard that 2 strokes are noisy and can be unreliable.

4-strokes are quiet at idle and very low speed but my experience is once under load at higher speed they are little quieter than 2-strokes... just a different sound character.

2-strokes are potentially more reliable as they are simpler and need less servicing.... I have absolute trust in taking a 2-stroke out to sea.

A well serviced decent condition outboard will usually start second pull from cold and first pull from hot. Anything 10hp and under is a doddle to pull over.

I believe the Volaire floor is a bonded in part of the boat so you need to shift it about as one lump. The Boatworld 380 could be a 2 bag job.
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Old 12 October 2020, 07:53   #6
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Do not be concerned about a 2 stroke as fenlander says they just sound a little different. They are far simpler and also lighter. In my view it is 2 stroke all the way still. If you can get a new one a 9.8 tohatsu would be ideal.
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Old 12 October 2020, 07:54   #7
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Thanks fenlander, I’m definitely being swayed toward the elling as it’s only 40kg whereas the volaire being 65kg maybe a bit heavy.
Whichever outboard I choose, if I were to only use it say once every 2 or 3 months would I need to drain the oil every time? It will be stored upright if that makes any difference.
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Old 12 October 2020, 08:27   #8
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If you have a 2-stroke there is no oil to drain... if a 4-stroke changing once a year will be fine.
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Old 12 October 2020, 08:40   #9
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So if I had a 2 stroke all I would have to do is flush the engine with normal water after every use?
I’ve been looking at the 2 strokes the tohatsu 9.8hp is around £1600
The similar parsun is only £1000 both are 26kg
The 4 stroke version is around £1300 but 38kg or I could get a parsun 15hp 2 stroke at £1200 and it would be almost the same weight as the 4 stroke 9.8hp.
Not sure if parsun are reliable though so I’d love to hear from someone who has been using one for a while.
I think I’d go for the 9.8hp as it’s fairly light at 26kg.
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Old 12 October 2020, 08:49   #10
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Stick to a big name engine, if buying new like many things in life you will lose less come resale than you pay at purchase (ie you pay more but depreciation and ease of sale is so much more beneficial) and you have the enjoyment of a superior product at the same time.

As in the Which Sib sticky though my advice (unless you really have to buy new) is to go used first time at least and see how you get on. Lots of lovely new outfits come up on eBay every week from people who bought new and did not get it right or take to it. Let them take the hit and pay the depreciation for you.
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Old 12 October 2020, 09:00   #11
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RIBase
you'll get a good deal at excel the volair is a good well made boat ive been on a long trip with one perfect boat stable and performs well go for a 15 hp IMO
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Old 12 October 2020, 09:36   #12
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Max, I prefer to buy new simple because I know how it will have been treated in the past. I’m the same with cars. I can understand that you can get a better deal buying used but have no idea of how it’s been treated unless you actually know the person your buying off. So in my eyes I’d be far more confident in buying new as I would be in buying second hand. I’m not worried about depreciation as my intent is to keep the boat and engine as long as possible.
I’ll be checking out the volaire next week as they are only a few miles away from where I live.
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Old 12 October 2020, 10:05   #13
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Two and four stroke both the same... after a trip flush with clean water. Service yearly just with a bit more to do on the four stroke.

Fully appreciate the new buying thing... my OB at the moment is 17yrs old but equally I've bought new too in the past few years... whatever suits the thoughts of the time.

I'd be with Max on the Parsun motors. Tiny dealer network to rely on for spares/warranty and advice etc. Some folks on here have had them and got on OK but not much love for them in general. In some ways if buying new I'd strive even more for main brands.
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Old 12 October 2020, 10:16   #14
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So basically pay the extra £600 and have the tohatsu 9.8hp 2 stroke ?
If I remember correctly on the 20 min video they used the 9.8hp and got to about 25kmh with 2 adults and a small child, but that was on a very still lake. Would the 9.8hp have enough power on the sea? I doubt very much if I’ll be going out on choppy waters.
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Old 12 October 2020, 10:40   #15
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Hi Tel and welcome. My advice for what its worth, is:-
I would really concentrate on how you are primarily going to use the SIB, where you intend to use it the most and where you are going to store it.
I've launched sailing dinghy's from Talland Bay in the distant past, and hauling back up to the small car park across the beach and up the small slip isn't easy, so I wouldn't be looking at a very heavy SIB. IMO anything over 60kg + OB and kit would need 2 people to haul it back up unless its on a launching trailer.
Also, unless your brother has a fair amount of room to store the SIB, I would carefully look at the packed away size.
I wouldn't be too concerned about an Airdeck floor and fishing hooks. I think you would have more chance of snagging a hook on the tubes rather than the deck. You can always cover the floor with light weight EVA mats to protect it from hooks as I do to protect it from the dogs claws.
As others will confirm, everything is a compromise. The choice of SIB for myself would have been the Excel Volaire 390, but it was just a bit too big and heavy for me to manage on my own without having a trailer - hopefully Terry at Excel will think about introducing a Volaire 360!
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Old 12 October 2020, 10:45   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tel1965 View Post
...I’m not worried about depreciation as my intent is to keep the boat and engine as long as possible.
Point is *very* few of us have ever got the right engine (and/or boat) first time and unless money is no issue (which it cannot be if you are considering a Parsnip... ) then it is something to consider.

Regarding engine size - there is one general rule - buy the most powerful engine your boat is plated to AND you (+ crew) can comfortably manage from car/garage/storage/parking to launch place.
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Old 12 October 2020, 10:54   #17
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The 9.8 Tohatsu will serve you fine on the sea in relatively calm conditions provided no more than 2 people and moderate weight on board. The 15 hp would be good in almost all condition. It is just the trade off against weight that can be a problem.

I have a Tohatsu 9.8 2 stroke and also a 15 hp Merc 2 stroke. I can lift both ok but the 9.8 is much easier. I also have a 20 hp Merc 4 stroke. I can lift it but it is very hard and you have to get it right or you could hurt yourself.

When I use the 20hp it is not noticibly better than the 15 hp to be honest. I am using them on a Honwave T38IE
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Old 12 October 2020, 11:46   #18
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I don’t have any problems with the space to store it as it’s a double garage that’s not used much. In fact an idea I had was maybe to leave it inflated while I was there and just use the roof of the car to move it around to the bay as it’s only 1 mile away at most. I do agree that the volaire maybe a bit too heavy for me on my own. If there were 4 of us on the boat I’d be looking at a combined weight of about 48st max if it was just my wife and I then I’m looking at 22st for both of us. The extra hp of the engine increases its weight by about 13kg and also would make it harder for me to lift, therefor I think I’d be quite happy with the 9.8hp especially as if I go for the Elling KB350 as it’s only 40kg for the boat. I’m not too bothered how much an engine costs but I do believe in value for money. Some of the big names get to price so much for their engines just because they are the big name. I’ve heard that some of the unknown names are using big name parts in their engines so should be just as reliable. A long time ago I bought a Skoda Felicia, everyone laughed at me until they looked under the bonnet and everything was stamped VAG, never ever had a problem with it and I kept it 10 years. For the boat and engine I was looking at an initial cost of about 3K but I don’t mind upping that for the right package. The right package for me as I suffer quite a bit with sciatica is lightweight in every way. Hence the reason I’m looking so closely at the Elling. I like the idea of adding an extra layer on the floor just in case of a little accident. Does the Eva come in a roll or separate pieces?
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Old 12 October 2020, 12:29   #19
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The EVA mats come in a pack of 6, look on Amazon under Caravan Awning EVA mats. Make sure they have holes in them so the water drains through.
As for putting the Volaire on the roof of the car. I can just manage, and I mean "JUST", put my SD360 on the roof of the Navara. I would not be able to put a Volaire on the roof on my own.
I had 4 adults in my SIB with a 15hp 4 stroke a few weeks ago on Coniston. Its ok, but not something I'd want to repeat often.
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Old 12 October 2020, 12:51   #20
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>>> not too bothered how much an engine costs but I do believe in value for money. Some of the big names get to price so much for their engines just because they are the big name. I’ve heard that some of the unknown names are using big name parts in their engines so should be just as reliable.

I'd look at it the other way. The big names compete with each other at the quality end of the market. They are "the" price. The Parsuns and Orcas etc are the cheapies. They do not use the same parts as the major brands but Chinese copies of said parts.

To take the Skoda comparison you had a Skoda when they were taken over by VAG and the quality and design rose massively. The Cheaper OB brands are where Skoda were before the VAG takeover which was a very very different motor.

Anyway wait until you've had the full Terry experience at Excel... you may return with some very unusual ideas!
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