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Old 23 June 2020, 08:27   #1
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Quicksilver 420 Alu Hull inflatable

Hi Folks ..(and Highland Haggis)

My beloved Quicksilver 4.3HD is now 15 years old. It has not had an easy life as it was used a lot in the 6 years that I owned her. Going round much of the Scottish Coast and islands in all sorts of conditions and she has not let me down once ..even in conditions pushing the limits of a CAT C boat.

Rumours are that inflatable boat glue only lasts so long. She is still firmly glued with not a sign of a peeling seam ... yet ..but Im sure her day will come and she will need replaced ..which gives be a bit of a dilemma.

I have new boat money and concerns that as I’m in the vulnerable age for Covid 19 to give me a hard time .. wondering if now is not the time to enjoy a new boat before the coff gets a chance to carry me off.

I admit Im a tight ass with my money although Im usually happy to buy a round in the bar. As such, I want to keep my 2005 Mariner 25HP short shaft two stroke as we have been through a lot together and again ... its never once let me down. . I have a new unbraked trailer for a 4.5 meter lightweight outfit ..so thats taken care of.

I like the size of 4 to 4.5m boats for my multi day trips round the inner hebrides. I want a lightish hull. . so 2 people can carry it (on its side) into the back yard in the winter.. in summer its in full view of the public sat on my drive but long light nights deter thiefs ?

So I have been watching all the latest lightweight boats on the market. I think?? I would prefer a lightweight hard hull this time round ..obviously with tubes around its rim to give it buoyancy and stability.

I love the looks of the Excel Virago 420 with its deep V Ali hull ..nice price for the boat alone and I would keep it as tiller steer as Im used to that kind of boating and like the room aspect without a console. Its only issue for me is it is a long shaft outboard it uses. The thought of the cost of a new boat and a new outboard makes me gasp and could kill me off quicker than the coff .. Most small RIBs are long shaft too which rules them out for the same reason.

I have watched the Highfield Classic series for a year or so and the largest size is their 3.8 size which has made me resist temptation in the past. I really like the 4.3m size of my inflatable. Ribeye did the TS series at 4m size but a narrower hull.. and Im not sure if they still do them ? It was a toss up at the time between which I would prefer when considering them...but never got much feedback on how they performed at sea...so not pursued them.

However I now see another contender on the market ..its the Quicksilver Ali hull 4.3 meter boat and in the photos that I have seen..it looks the same as the Highfield Classic series but in my preferred size .. and at 3k cost new would only choke rather than kill me. It would also love my 25HP short shaft

https://www.quicksilver-inflatables....20-350-380-420



So my question is.. can anyone tell me what these type of boats are like compared to my 4.3 meter SIB ? I know it will be faster and manoeuvre much better. Its the hard flattish hull Im concerned with. Tiller steer I would think would lessen the amount of thump..than a console driven one as the boats seems to pivot on or near the transom going through chop ? My SIB soft bottom absorbs a lot of the crashing that the hard hulled flattish bottomed boast such as F ribs do. I don’t have remotes for my Mariner OB either..so another reason for keeping tiller steer

Any feedback on these types of boat would be much appreciated.. (I know Highland Haggis has the Highfield Classic 3.8 ..which is why I mentioned you in my first line. You have not given any feedback on it yet ?.) Would I be better keeping the Quicksilver 4.3 and leaving the 3K to my daughter if the ventilator fails to blow my lungs back up ?

Speed means little to me.. a harsh ride hurts my head as much as spending my ever dwindling pension stash. Thanks for any thoughts ..and if it helps..I have possibly another 5 years left to enjoy the boat..but nothing is guaranteed in these unprecedented time.
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Old 23 June 2020, 08:38   #2
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Hi Donny..Hope you're well Mate
Matt h just bought one and paired it with a 20hp Merc...I saw it recently and it looked well made and very serviceable/utilitarian
The only thing I thought needed changing were the seat mounts which looked very high to me especially whith so much depth to play with in the Hull ....but I'm sure they could be modified (maybe as part of the deal??)
He's only been out a few times but really likes it by all accounts with the Merc 20 being plenty of HP and makes it all a pretty light weight but capable combo.

Drop him a PM and I'm sure he will be able to tell you more....he managed to get a good deal on it too!
Or bell me and I'll send you his mobile.
Look after and hopefully see you in August!!
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Old 23 June 2020, 08:48   #3
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Thanks Maximus ..and yes ..Im doing great heath wise. I should perhaps clarify..I will be just over 70 in 5 years time..and not sure I will be able to go round Skye on my own in a force 5 at that age .. hence my last remark.

I will give Matt H a PM..thanks for that info.. and yes..I have seen them for sale at a good price just now.

My 25HP would be the goods for it too as it motors my draggy SIB the same size along..Its the harsh thump of a flat bottom lightweight boat Im worrying about ... I guess I need to be nice to HH so he gives me a shot in his ..and also see how the Ali hull stands being dragged or left to dry out on falling tides on rocky beaches..that was the strong points of my SIB
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Old 23 June 2020, 09:09   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gurnard View Post
Thanks Maximus ..and yes ..Im doing great heath wise. I should perhaps clarify..I will be just over 70 in 5 years time..and not sure I will be able to go round Skye on my own in a force 5 at that age .. hence my last remark.

I will give Matt H a PM..thanks for that info.. and yes..I have seen them for sale at a good price just now.

My 25HP would be the goods for it too as it motors my draggy SIB the same size along..Its the harsh thump of a flat bottom lightweight boat Im worrying about ... I guess I need to be nice to HH so he gives me a shot in his ..and also see how the Ali hull stands being dragged or left to dry out on falling tides on rocky beaches..that was the strong points of my SIB
Good to hear it Donny!
I don't think the Alloy Hull will give you any issues being left to dry out..dragged .... Probably outlast everyone on Ribnet!!
There are some nice touches like a raised deck for any electric cabling for electronics ect and some nice fixed (moulded) anchor points that caught my eye...and decent storage in the two bow lockers
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Old 23 June 2020, 14:05   #5
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This is quite exciting Donny... I say time and again if the daily setup becomes too much of a faff yet we still feel fit enough to keep on boating then such a craft will be in my sights.
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Old 23 June 2020, 14:23   #6
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Hi Fenlander..yup..Im excited and its also impulsive buying. I have spoken with Matt H and he has sent me a wee video of his boat in action and given his opinion.

Thanks for the contact info Maximus ..its appreciated.

As you are possibly aware..reviews of this type of lightweight ali hull boat example highfield classic 3.8 … ribeye TS 4.0 and now the Quicksilver 4.2 ali hull are few and far between despite being asked for before. ?

If I can get an order in before my impulsive mood changes again.. I hope to rectify that ..and you can be absolutely certain there will be plenty videos of it on my YouTube channel if all goes to plan

So hopefully..watch this space ..and I will update. If you hear nothing more from me then you can presume The Coff carried me Off
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Old 24 June 2020, 07:10   #7
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Well here's a rough idea on how my Highfield 3.8 is going so far I have been very impressed by the handling of the boat with the Suzuki 20 but for me I wanted a bit more power so optied for the Yamaha 25 I have been impressed even more by the handling of the extra power it is stable and it's much quicker than my previous boat the Honwave T40 it seems to be very versatile so far as for leaving the boat overnight with the tide going in and out and for scratching the bottom it seems ok so far as I had the keel guard put on time will tell how it handles ware and tare with the glue on metal I have heard some people say it does peel in certain areas but have not had this issue it can easily be made to fit into a rib style boat or can be left as tiller steer if I could change it now I would definitely go for the 4.2 for the extra room and the price difference. Fantastic we outfit should have got it sooner hope this helps you Donny best of luck in what ever you choose HH
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Old 24 June 2020, 07:36   #8
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it will be better in most respects but will slam with a jar especially from a good height, ive owned a 4.5 osprey kestrel medium v hull wasn't a comfy ride unless flat calm. definitely get a ride in one to see if it's for you mate before shelling out
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Old 24 June 2020, 11:37   #9
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Hi guys … .just a wee update.

HH thanks for that info and also the phone call and offer to get a shot in you Highfield Classic 380 Ali hull ..which is a smaller version of the newer 420 size under the Mercury Quicksilver badge.

Also to my conversations with Matt H who is absolutely delighted with his new Quicksilver 380 Ali Hull

Jeff..yes your thoughts are a mirror of mine ..and is why I put off getting the Classic 380 or Ribeye TS400 a couple of years ago. I appreciate it is a flat hull and very light RIB. I suspect keeping it tiller steered will soften some of the slam as Im sitting at the rear and in the “pivot” of the boat with the front slamming the most and transom the least. This has been confirmed by both HH and Matt H who indicate its not as bad as they thought it would be.

Unfortunately my enquiries today found that there is only one new Quicksilver 420 Ali hull left in the UK distribution list and because of Covid and production problems of any item from around the globe.. no one really knows when the next batch will arrive. ?

I had to think on my feet this morning ..and took a gamble ..I have reserved the boat and now only waiting conformation of delivery as I would prefer not to drive all the way to SW England under the present restrictions.. to collect it.

I don’t have a fork lift to lift the crate off at my house.. so its taking a wee bit of searching for a courier. But when I get the boat..you can be sure I will give a full report and there will be lots of video footage going round the Inner Hebrides etc over the coming months

I don’t think I will regret the purchase .. I will make the most of it regardless its capabilities. Its the last boat I will ever buy as im 65 now and tend to keep my possessions. I took an old 4.3m SIB to far flung place and had a ball and at 15 years of age the old boat deserves to retire. Hopefully the new boat will get a hard life of usage too

Here is a short video I found on youtube ... of the Quicksilver 420 Ali Hull



And some photos sent by Matt H.. his is the 380 size and not the 420 size.











Thanks again Maximus, Matth, HH, JeffStevens for the feedback

And Fenlander ..hopefully if you ever decide on a lightweight ali hull boat in the future ..you will have more info to help decide if it is for you..as you can be sure ... I will give my usual feedback.

Best Regards
The Gurnard (Two)
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Old 24 June 2020, 13:48   #10
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its a nice boat for sure Donny hope it suits you, you'll get better fuel consumption too. will you get the auxiliary engine on the transom with it being narrower?
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Old 24 June 2020, 13:58   #11
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That is gonna be a sweet boat for you!
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Old 24 June 2020, 14:14   #12
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Thanks Peter ..Im certain it will.. and as in the past.. I will share her customisation and adventures with RIBNET forum

Jeff ..I used to have an auxiliary on my wee seago slatfloor 2.6m SIB.. So Im certain I could get two on this one. You also know me and know I never take chances ..its the only way to survive the sea cos it will kill as sure as Covid ..if you don't stay alert !!!



If anyone is wondering what I will be doing with “The Gurnard” ..she will be recycled in my normal fashion and Im sure quite a lot of her will end up as “fittings” on the new purchase.

I couldn’t sell her on as its just my way. Although ... at 15 years old .. and looking in great condition .. its now not too hard to separate the tubes from the transom joints.



In past adventures I often watched the almost frightening torsion forces exerted on the transom under big seas and stressed by the weight of a 52KG outboard at full power. She might have got another year older but I was not prepared to chance a transom failure somewhere like ... the middle of the Corryvrechan in full flow..and she was there last year.

So I guess its true..SIB glue doesn’t last forever ..but my memories of “The Gurnard” will be with me forever. I loved that boat more than my ex..but then..I hated her cos she moaned I spent her dress money on it

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Old 24 June 2020, 14:47   #13
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I see lugs on the transom which might hinder but I have two outboard brackets that might help if you need one, let me know I can send pics and diamentions
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Old 24 June 2020, 14:58   #14
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I'm going to do a RIB.net classic... and throw in another contender...

3D Tender XPRO. 4.2 or 4.3 (not 100% clear on the difference - could be a different ruler!) (https://www.3dtender.com/ALUMINIUM-S...147-0-0-0.html )

Possibly pricier.
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Old 24 June 2020, 15:05   #15
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H Jeff .. I have lugs at the side of my head..so don't need more on the transom..

A hacksaw will make short work of it. I do look after my boats as you know. but I also make them functional and have no issues drilling holes in wooden transoms ..gluing bit to pristine looking tubes if I think its a benefit etc.

What I need to find out is how to secure my console from the Gurnard onto the Ali floor..its double skin. I know I have to be careful of screws as Ali is low on the sacrificial charts and could corrode easy in contact with higher metals etc. Thinking Sikaflex a wooden board onto the floor so I can secure things into the wood. I have plenty quality wood too..my old floorboards from the gurnard ae in good nick. Anyone any info on how to screw fixtures into Ali ? Perhaps nylon sleeving to bolts etc ?
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Old 24 June 2020, 15:20   #16
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Hi shinyshoe.. I just had a quick look..but those boats have long shaft transoms..and if I had a long shaft or the money to buy a new outboard ..there is not a question in my mind that it would have been the Excel Virago 420 and kept it tiller steer ..look at its V hull compared to these boats. A friend has one and they are great boats.. but boat plus outboard is too much for my pension pot at present



But I specifically wanted a short shaft and 4.2 meter boat as I have a good 2006 Mariner 2 stroke 25HP ..and it keeps my costs to 3k ..which is my budget for this year. That limited my choice. I may upgrade and get a new Yamaha 30HP with P&T for the Quicksilver in a couple of years though
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Old 24 June 2020, 15:30   #17
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Great news re the purchase. I'm going to be following this with real interest.

I wouldn't worry over much re the hull shape and slapping... you'll just get used to the appropriate way to helm through the rough stuff. As you say far less of a problem with a tiller setup than a steering position nearer the bow.

Before sibbing we had a Bonwito "fast dinghy" which had a near flat hull profile from about halfway back. That was a bit of a slapper but huge fun and never stopped us going places. Seen here below trespassing on your cruising grounds ten years ago...




Re console are there any of this fastener type with suitable materials that wont react with alloy... are they strong enough... just a thought.

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Old 24 June 2020, 15:49   #18
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Yup Fenlander..as we both know..all boats are a compromise .. The Quicksilver ticked most boxes for me. MattH has transom wheels on his 380 size now and says its no problem launching on wheels as these boats are very light. Admittedly the 420 is around the same weight as the Gurnard was ..which is 115KG..but I had a far less seaworthy small hard shell that was 250KG and could only take 6HP max as it was displacement boat ..but I still went round Skye in it...no problem..its what you get used too

As long as I not done what my late uncle did when he bought his last boat ..A Steady 400..lovely looking boat but it must be the most painful boat I have ever driven.. it had a heavy completely flat hull ..and yet it was described as a sports boat !!!!



Yup..thats the kind of info I am needing ..I can easily drill and tap the Ali double skin. According to Matt H its 3 mm thick ..its what I could use as screws I need to find out
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Old 24 June 2020, 15:54   #19
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I use threaded inserts stainless or aluminium I use stainless bolts in each but coat the treads in silicon grease never corroded in 5 years on the Mercury

I've also pop riveted on the 435 with Ali riviets
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Old 24 June 2020, 16:36   #20
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End of a ledgand the gurnard finally retires hope you make a wee video of her history Donny and have you decided on a new name for the new adventure boat look forward to her introduction maybe see you Saturday at queen's ferry bridge HH
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