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Old 12 August 2020, 16:10   #1
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Newbies Maiden Voyage - Excel SD360

Iíd had a couple of dry set ups in the garden and had the outboard running for a few minutes in a bin full of water, but now this was not only the Excel SD360ís maiden voyage but it was my first time in a SIB.
I have to be honest a few nerves were starting to creep in when I turned into the car park at Glenridding. But the boating Gods must have seen me and were being kind, a car parking space right next to the slipway with a nice green piece of land next to it.
The set up couldnít have gone smoother, faster maybe, but I was double checking everything. I think the dry runs in the garden helped a lot.
The packed SD360 was lifted out of the back of the truck, itís very heavy. I can just about manage on my own, but I wouldnít want to carry it far. I inflated it using the 12v Sevylor pump, which I found to be efficient and reasonably quick. I did notice that the pump stopped at the set pressure but the pressure then dropped a little, switching it back on again brought the pressure to the exact setting. When the SIB was fully inflated I fixed and put down the C-TUG transom wheels, which are light but appear to be robust. Fuel tank, anchor, ropes, extra fuel, life jackets etc into the SIB. Now for the part I was least looking forward to, fitting the 45kg outboard.
Again, practising in the garden really paid off. Awkward, cumbersome, heavy and doesnít go where you want it to go first or second time I eventually got the outboard clamped and tethered to the transom and connected the fuel line. Should I have opted for the 9.8HP OB which is much lighter? Maybe, but Iíd only know in a few days time.
Life jacket on, lift up the bow, wheel it down the slip and into Ullswater, and yes ďitís got wetĒ!
Relief must have been written all over my face. Setting up for real with 20 Ė 25 onlookers for the first time isnít something I particularly wish to experience again.
Out into slightly deeper water, I lifted the transom wheels, wife and dog aboard, primed the fuel and after 3 pulls started the outboard. Maiden voyage has started, Glenridding to Pooley Bridge Ė 1st hour no more than 2000 rpm, next hour no more than 3000 rpm, return journey no more than a couple of minutes at full throttle in every 15 mins or so Ė I agree steady and sedate, but I was very happy. The primary purpose of the first day was to get use to the SIB and to run the outboard in. The AV plate was undoubtedly too low, but that could wait until day two.
The SD360 performed better than my expectations on the first day. Stable, solid, fairly responsive, roomy and surprisingly comfortable, even the dog started to enjoy it! Hopefully I would be as pleased on subsequent days.
Back at the Glenridding slipway, it was much quieter which was ideal for me. OB stopped, coasted close to the shore, lifted the OB and jumped out. Transom wheels down and trundled the SIB to the truck. Unloaded everything including the OB into the back of the truck, which is much easier to take off and get it back into the truck than it was to take out and fit to the transom.
AS we were staying for the week and relatively close by, I had already decided to put the SIB on the roof of the truck. Between me and my better half we managed quite comfortably to get it onto the roof. After strapping the SIB to the truck we went for a celebratory pint.
What a great 1st day. I knew Iíd enjoy it, but I didnít know Iíd enjoy it so much!
Iíll post a review of the SD360 and the Mercury 15HP in a few days time.
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Old 12 August 2020, 18:05   #2
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Great report, looks a smart outfit. Really adds to the usability when you can have the option of the SIB on the roof.

From the images just need to check the forward tubes are only part inflated before you do the others?
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Old 13 August 2020, 00:37   #3
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Originally Posted by Fenlander View Post
From the images just need to check the forward tubes are only part inflated before you do the others?

Fenlander If Iím understanding your comment correctly, there a recommendedsequence for inflating the tubes, if thatís right what is the sequence please?
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Old 13 August 2020, 01:43   #4
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Morning, the sequence as recommended by Excel is:-
1. Inflate bow tube to half pressure
2. Inflate both stern tubes to half pressure
3. Put in Airdeck and fully inflate
4. Fit seats
5. Fully inflate bow tube
6. Fully inflate stern tubes
7. Fully inflate keel
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Old 13 August 2020, 02:03   #5
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Morning, the sequence as recommended by Excel is:-
Morning, thanks Steve, Thatís helpful and makes sense to me now.

Iím sometimes slow on the uptake and was applying Fenlanders comment to inflating my T38 and wondering if I should be following a sequence of partially inflating the tubes, hadnít thought about it being because of the solid deck.
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Old 13 August 2020, 02:19   #6
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Yep.... it was just Steve's tubes that were inflated looked quite well pressured adj to the yet to be inflated ones. Obviously go by excel guidelines rather than mine but I fill each chamber to volume just before it registers any pressure then go round them in turn to add pressure in two stages.

Extra cautious I guess.


>>>T38 and wondering if I should be following a sequence of partially inflating the tubes

Yes regardless of floor type tubes should always be inflated in stages to avoid straining the internal baffles.
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Old 13 August 2020, 08:24   #7
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Thanks for posting such a great expierience in such detail ,Absolutely shows how to get yourself started for some great times in the future ............Enjoy
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Old 14 August 2020, 06:40   #8
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Nice write up. Congratulations.

Just one obvious mistake: the correct time to lift the launch wheels up is about 5 minutes after you leave the slipway, when you've spent the intervening time wondering why the steering feels sluggish, why water is splashing over the transom when the motor's at full revs, and why the boat doesn't get onto the plane easily.

Lifting them straight away is missing half the fun.
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Old 29 August 2020, 12:52   #9
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Out on the big blue sea today thinking the swell was affecting the SIB much more than I expected, difficult to get on the plane, lack of engine power.
Yep, you've guessed it, 10 mins with the transom wheels down!!
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Old 29 August 2020, 14:20   #10
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Originally Posted by Steve509926 View Post
Out on the big blue sea today thinking the swell was affecting the SIB much more than I expected, difficult to get on the plane, lack of engine power.
Yep, you've guessed it, 10 mins with the transom wheels down!!
Well, you learn something new every day. i didn't even know it was possible to make that mistake.:
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Old 29 August 2020, 15:23   #11
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We’ve ALL done it!
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