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
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.