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Old 05 May 2021, 22:32   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Newark on Trent
Boat name: River Song
Make: Lomac
Length: 3m +
Engine: Tohatsu 20HP
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 20
Is it time to move on

Hi, I have had a SIB now for 5 years or so. I have thus far done my boating on a strict budget. I have what some would call a retro or classic boat, a 1978 Lomac 350, Hypalon with Plywood Keel and floor. Until recently I have run a succession of period 2 stoke outboards, including Chryslers and Mercs. I have spent many hours messing and resurrecting them. In truth spending many more hours in my workshop than out on the water. This has changed recently when my Dad bought me a new Tohatsu 20 HP EFI, which is truly excellent and a welcome revelation to our boating experience! I did realise shortly after taking delivery of this motor, that at some point I would be keeping the motor and changing the boat, a new experience for me!
This thought has very much come to the fore as last weekend when I used the boat on the local river I noticed that I am leaking air between two of the chambers. The boat is 3 chambers, port and starboard tubes and a bow tube. I am defiantly leaking air between the port tube and the bow. This has to be a dreaded baffle leak and I know it compromises the designed safety of the vessel.
so I now have a few questions.
firstly, in the short term, how likely is it that I can fix this with some tubeseal or something like that? The valves for these two chambers are very handily either side of the suspect baffle and I am going to see if I can borrow some form of endoscope/viewing rig to have a look what is going on in there. I suspect it is the seam coming away, and I do wonder what that indicates for the general integrity of the boat structure; though there are no other signs that it is about to fall apart. Especially given its age it is very good and sound, holds air indefinitely and has never been patched.
If I could fashion a repair to buy some time I could then maybe afford to get another boat... It would be ridiculous to have this shiny new outboard and no boat to put it on!

Looking further ahead I wonder what I should be looking for as a replacement.
We are a family of 5, 2 grown up children and one 12 year old. We rarely all go in the boat together but it has been known. We use it to potter about and explore, look at wild life, a bit of sea fishing and dolphin spotting. We live just about as inland as it is possible to be in England so we also use it to explore local rivers and waterways. We like to noodle about, but it is important to us to be able to plane as we like to cover some ground too. Chances are our Older children are going to spend less and less time with us in these pursuits, but our 12 year old has just taken up sailing. It would therefore be handy if our boat was suitable to be used as a safety boat perhaps?
We have a caravan and this accompanies us to the coast, so towing a boat trailer is out of the question. Our tow car is a LWB VW transporter T5 though with 100kg roof carrying capacity, so roof topping is an option.
So the thing is, I don't want to be changing my motor, 20hp 4 stroke short shaft tiller. I don't want to go smaller than 3.5m maybe a little bigger. What do I go for. I am inclined to go for another SIB, but If there are any RIBs that I could roof top and that would suit my motor I would be interested. The budget restraints mean I could possibly look at a new SIB but I would almost certainly be looking at a second hand RIB.
I believe the motor could easily be converted to R/C and it is something that I would maybe like to do in the future. I would like to be able to use my future boat with the tiller if we were popping it in the river for a quick Sunday afternoon trip to the pub. But if we were taking it down to Cornwall for a week and paying to keep it at the harbour it would be nice to have the options of fitting a steering console and maybe a little more civilised cruising.

I would very much appreciate, views, opinions and experience on all these aspects. I guess the most urgent is what I do with my boat right now! we are booked to go to Cornwall at the end of the month, I can't countenance that without the boat!

Many thanks

@ndy
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Old 06 May 2021, 04:02   #2
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Country: UK - England
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Make: Excel Volante 330
Length: under 3m
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Is it time to move on

Hi Andy,

While you probably can repair your current boat (Iím very much a ďwhere there is a will there is a way!Ē Kinda guy!)...

Iíve been in a similar situation with my old Avon that burst a baffle. I loved that boat and wanted to save it for sentimental reasons.

Then I realised that Iím also a ďsafety firstĒ kinda guy, and I also was fortunate to have the cash saved to buy a new boat. So it was a no brainier.

It all comes down to personal means and use case, but it sounds to me that with your lovely tohatsu 20hp and lovely new boat to go with it, youíll be having so much fun you wonít look back.

Iím not in your exact situation but suffice it to say a few of us on here have Excel SIBs and absolutely love them. I think theyíre amazing value, really well built, and I like the flat floor for family comfort compared to the V of a honwave for example. But thatís personal preference of course.

I have an excel Volante 330 with 6hp (so not compatible to your needs) but I love it.

Steve on here has a Volante 360 with 15hp.

Pikey Dave has a Volaire 390 and Jeff has a HD 430 I think.

Terry at excel is very straight talking and helpful.

Iím sure theyíll be along shortly to share their thoughts, plus others more qualified on VW transporters and the rib vs sib option.


But, to summarise, if you have the budget, Iíd get a new SIB. Seems like itíll offer you the best flexibility and most fun!

Whatever you decide, enjoy it!
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Old 06 May 2021, 04:09   #3
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Country: UK - England
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Make: Aerotec 380
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Well here we go with some random thoughts...

As far as I understand your Lomax (from Italy?) is a true SIB with outer floor skin and ply inner floor plus a ply keel as opposed to the usual sausage air keel?

Over my time I've messed about with old cars, motorbikes and tractors but for outboards prefer them to be all about reliable propulsion rather than their classic interest. With the Tohatsu 20efi you have jumped right up to date... great motors.

Re your baffle leak I'd say not a serious issue on an inland non-tidal river but for me at sea I'd not use it. There has been talk over the years of using sealant or inner bladders inserted through the valve hole but for me the only proper repair would be a pro repair shop deconstruction of the adj seams and a baffle re-glue or replacement... and then I'd perhaps struggle even more to trust it. So sadly I'd be thinking this is end of life for this SIB and your family use.

The problem with a temporary repair you might try yourself is how will you ever be sure it would hold if it came to that emergency with a tube damage/deflation?

Considering another SIB if you expect to be five up on the sea with any degree of comfort or safety you do need to go bigger... 4m or over and even then that number will be tight. If you keep to a hard floor SIB they are mostly alloy now and that ends up a very heavy/bulky SIB to move both deflated when travelling and when moving/launching. Not ideal to travel a SIB longer distances on the roof but fine for short hops from campsite to launch point. Also need to make sure your minimum crew would be able to lift it onto the Transporter.

If roof topping was a possibility and you were happy to do your longer runs in that way there are several lightweight alloy Ribs you could consider... Highfield, Quicksilver etc but of course you do add to storage issues at home compared to a (I assume) rolled up SIB.

Personally with a SIB or light Rib around or just over 4m I'd keep to tiller steer as it gives more passenger space and less faff regarding setting up at the launch point.

So that's just my starter thoughts.
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Old 06 May 2021, 09:36   #4
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Country: UK - England
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Thanks Both. There are no surprises in anything either of you have had to say and more or less echo my thinking.
Yes I am concerned about the safety of the current boat and how dependable any repair would be. We don't generally travel 5 up. We have in the Lomac, but in good conditions and for obvious reasons not on the plane! It wasn't such a squeeze really! generally we use it 3 up most of the time. I am thinking 380, 400, 420 sort of size. I have been looking at excel I know several people with them myself and they look dependable and value for money. I'm not so sure that an aluminium floor is that bulky or heavy compared with what I have. I have a damn great plywood keel for a start! I wouldn't rooftop a SIB. they roll up and go in the boot. I was just considering it a possibility for a RIB. but looking at the price difference I think I am going to end up sticking with a SIB. besides as my son is getting into sailing I can see us having to rooftop a dinghy before too long!
Re tiller, you are most probably right, I just fancy the option in the future to sit up front with a steering wheel, particularly when we are two or I am on my own..

while I think about it, does anyone have an opinion on the Bombard Typhoon 420?

@
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Old 06 May 2021, 10:44   #5
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Country: UK - England
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My two pence the excel Voltaire 390 or 435(500 mm tubes) same as my vanguard Ali floor. for ease of set up pikey Dave and Kaman have them in that order although Kaman is set up on a trailer Dave sets his up out of a box trailer both love them, performance is as good as an Ali floor, kaman says his is a softer ride than an Ali floor. For me Ali floors are a pain to set up at site. I had a Mercury 365 HD great boat before getting the excel only changed for a bit more room. Mercury are now back under the quicksilver brand and lighter I guess a new fabric saving a good 20 KG. Bombard are good boats but most sibs are much the same in terms of spec in my experience. Money wasn’t an issue when I bought the excel but little things like seat adjustment, pressure relief valve, floor colour choice, twin drains as standard and good accessory list
http://www.ronhalemarine.co.uk/super...luminium_Floor

Have a look on this site to compare quite a few boats be aware too thar some 420 boats are long shaft transoms
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Old 06 May 2021, 11:14   #6
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Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 20
Thanks yes I was aware that some go up to long shaft as they get bigger. I guess it is probably related to tube diameter?
I was thinking solid floor really. I have been putting a solid floor solid keel together now for such a long time. I must admit I am sceptical of air floors and even inflatable keels! (I know without reason!!).
Maybe the Excel Volante SD390 is worth a look.
What is the deal with the Volaire? I have seen the pictures and I must say I don't quite understand how that works. I get that you just have to pump it up and you get on the water quickly. I have never seen one of those in the flesh though.
@
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Old 06 May 2021, 11:52   #7
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What do people think of Honwave T40-AE3. my local marina has in stock for £1300...
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Old 06 May 2021, 12:19   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy w uk View Post
Thanks yes I was aware that some go up to long shaft as they get bigger. I guess it is probably related to tube diameter?

I was thinking solid floor really. I have been putting a solid floor solid keel together now for such a long time. I must admit I am sceptical of air floors and even inflatable keels! (I know without reason!!).

Maybe the Excel Volante SD390 is worth a look.

What is the deal with the Volaire? I have seen the pictures and I must say I don't quite understand how that works. I get that you just have to pump it up and you get on the water quickly. I have never seen one of those in the flesh though.

@


The Volaire is a medium pressure floor, 0.7bar. Imagine a LiLo with a V keel. The top is flat to provide a flat floor for the boat with a decent keel underneath. Much simpler than Iíve explained it. Itís a very solid arrangement, we were sceptical at first, but itís surprisingly rigid. It makes for a comfortable ride with no hard corners. Itís a heavy beast though, the floor/tubes are all one piece, so deflated itís a big lump to lug around.
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Old 06 May 2021, 12:56   #9
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I had the Honwave T35AE a few years back and really rated it as a solid well equipped (handles etc) SIB. Fantastic value. Heravy though. Sold on as we were doing a daily inflate and often I was single handed with family wandering off elsewhere. So went for a lighter and easier to set up air floor.
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Old 06 May 2021, 13:39   #10
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Hi Andy, can't comment on the feasibility of repairing your old SIB as I don't have the experience, but by the sound of it, it's time to move onto pastures new.
I have limited experience with SIBs but I can recommend Excel, really good quality. I got my SD360 last year and for my wants and needs it has been great.
I would have liked to have got the Volaire 390 but it is just a little to heavy for me and Mrs T to put it on the roof of the truck, which is what we do when we are in the same location for any length of time, and to be honest, I think I would struggle to inflate/deflate if I was on my own, just lifting 68kg out of the back of the truck would be enough.
If I would have been a few years younger /fitter and still had family at home, I would have had no hesitation to buy the Volaire 390.
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Old 06 May 2021, 16:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy w uk View Post
Thanks yes I was aware that some go up to long shaft as they get bigger. I guess it is probably related to tube diameter?
I was thinking solid floor really. I have been putting a solid floor solid keel together now for such a long time. I must admit I am sceptical of air floors and even inflatable keels! (I know without reason!!).
Maybe the Excel Volante SD390 is worth a look.
What is the deal with the Volaire? I have seen the pictures and I must say I don't quite understand how that works. I get that you just have to pump it up and you get on the water quickly. I have never seen one of those in the flesh though.
@
I'm over Nottingham/Derby way and have a Volante 390. you are more than welcome to pop over for a brew and we can set it up.

an alloy floor (vanguard) and Air floor (Volante) are like this..

https://static.wixstatic.com/media/e...t%20floor.webp

a intergated floor is like this..

https://static.wixstatic.com/media/e...g%20floor.webp

alot faster to setup but more vulnerable like a Honwave v air floor.
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Old 06 May 2021, 16:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy w uk View Post
Thanks yes I was aware that some go up to long shaft as they get bigger. I guess it is probably related to tube diameter?
I was thinking solid floor really. I have been putting a solid floor solid keel together now for such a long time. I must admit I am sceptical of air floors and even inflatable keels! (I know without reason!!).
Maybe the Excel Volante SD390 is worth a look.
What is the deal with the Volaire? I have seen the pictures and I must say I don't quite understand how that works. I get that you just have to pump it up and you get on the water quickly. I have never seen one of those in the flesh though.
@
My 435 is short shaft didnít want you to get caught out with other makes going long shaft at that size
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Old 09 May 2021, 01:03   #13
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Here's more on my leaking Baffle

For anyone interested, here are some pics taken of my leaking baffle from inside the tubes. I don't know quite what this tells me but it doesn't look half as bad as I was expecting! I can see that in places the re-enforcing tape has come away and this must be where the integrity of the seam has been compromised. As this is structural I suppose that a sealant would only affect a temporary repair and would likely fail again quite soon. Probably failing immediately should the agent tube sustain a puncture!! ��
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Old 09 May 2021, 01:15   #14
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Just for completeness, here are some pics of my boat from the outside.
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Old 09 May 2021, 04:14   #15
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IMO it’s buggered if it were me I would try the sealant for what it costs you might get lucky and just for the experience
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Old 09 May 2021, 05:05   #16
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Country: UK - England
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I think Jeff's first few words sum it up! Re trying sealant my worry would be the only true test of the sealant was that sudden unexpected loss of tube pressure at sea in lively wave conditions when the baffle was then exposed to maximum stress.

Yes it's a great classic looking SIB but you now have that lovely motor capable of punching a boat along at a good pace when there don't want to be any doubts about the structural condition.
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Old 09 May 2021, 05:13   #17
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Yeah, totally feel your pain (that boat looks awesome!) but youíre going to have such a blast with a new or new to you (and safe) boat.

Look at us all egging you on to part with your hard earned cash but seriously, as Fenlander says it sounds like the sensible option.
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Old 09 May 2021, 07:54   #18
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What are people opinion of the Bombard Typhoon 420?
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Old 09 May 2021, 08:06   #19
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A capable decent quality but large and heavy SIB for anything other than trailer use.
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Old 09 May 2021, 08:23   #20
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IMO SIBs don't go on trailers. If I had room and was a le to use a trailer I would have a RIB and be done with it.
Looking at the spec it is only 14kg heavier than what I have now.. I do t think that or the hard floor wod put me off.. Bigger tubes, and 700mm extra length.
Thing is, it isn't a "proper" Bombard is it? What is the quality like? £400 more than a Honwave.. Worth it? Will it go OK with my Tohatsu?
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