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Old 28 October 2023, 13:43   #1
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Review of the brand new Excel Scout 400

Join me on a first look and water test of the brand new Excel Marine Scout 400! I was very pleasantly surprised just how well this boat handled on the water.

Would love to hear your thoughts and im happy to answer any questions!

https://youtu.be/KYGFRGOHx0s
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Old 28 October 2023, 16:18   #2
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Good initial review Jason.

I'm still intrigued as to why Excel have introduced this model, are they going to phase out the Vanguard and Volante?

Apart from the things you have pointed out ie: oar locks, rope etc what are the other differences between the Vanguard and the Scout?
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Old 28 October 2023, 16:39   #3
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Good initial review Jason.

I'm still intrigued as to why Excel have introduced this model, are they going to phase out the Vanguard and Volante?

Apart from the things you have pointed out ie: oar locks, rope etc what are the other differences between the Vanguard and the Scout?
Hi Steve, thank you. There are 2 significant differences between the Vanguard/Volante and their new scout:

- Cones/Sponsons are now centrally coned vs the flat-bottom Vanguard/Volante. I believe the original owner Terry, designed the Vanguard/Volante based on emergency services and "working" boat-use feedback. Offering a more stable platform.

- Bow design. The new Scout has a bow that curves upwards similar to a Honwave but not quite as aggressive. This absolutely improves in-transit performance for me (I had a Volante and Vanguard). The flat bow design of the Vanguard and Volante was again (I believe) based on the above-mentioned feedback in the boat design.

As far as I know, there are no plans to discontinue either boats and it seems the new Scout and Explorer models are being targeted more to us recreational users who don't want to sacrifice the in-transit performance these changes bring.

https://excel-leisure.co.uk/cdn/shop...5051&width=700
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Old 28 October 2023, 18:28   #4
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I wonder why they didn't think of a hybrid of the two.
The flatter more stable cones, the all round rope, oars & oar locks and the choice of colour of the Volante /Vanguard, combined with, the slight up swept and squared off bow of the Scout. I think that would have produced an excellent sib.
Personally I've never experienced any problems with the flatter designed bow of the volante but I do know some people don't like the look of it.
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Old 28 October 2023, 18:30   #5
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I must say I'm not a great fan of the Honwave style sharp kinked up bow. However if I otherwise needed a Honwave model it wouldn't stop me buying.

BTW Jason thanks for posting that review. I'm going to look at it in more detail later... I like a bit of detail.
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Old 28 October 2023, 19:33   #6
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Fenlander, thank you - much appreciated.

It's very very similar to the Boatworld Carbon Pro, and Excel have been very busy since changing hands - with timelines of production I wonder if they chose a more standard offering from their factory vs tying up resources into research and development. They have said this boat is still being refined so I'm almost certain we'll see modifications for their next batch next year. If anything, this has been a good test or the hull design.
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Old 30 October 2023, 15:03   #7
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Review of the brand new Excel Scout 400

Enjoyed watching your video/review. Looks overall to be a decent bit of kit, despite a few detail niggles, thanks for posting.[emoji106]

Must admit curious of your choice, over other similar makes/models, with the lack of rowlocks/oars, grab handles, lifelines etc. etc. Individually not much, but added up these constitute a considerable number of niggles. Interested to hear what don’t you like about the inflation valves…aren’t they just generic Halkey Roberts jobbies.

Also slightly alarmed with the impression Excel seem quite content to let customers provide R & D feedback on production models. Pre production testing is the time to tweak any little niggles. Makes me wonder if the Excel team ever get out on the water.

PS: We’ve had a few small boats in the past supplied with only ‘up the creek’ paddles and not oars….bleedin’ annoying and useless solo. This also included the legendary Aerotec, so can happen to even the best!
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Old 30 October 2023, 15:23   #8
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Must admit curious of your choice, over other similar makes/models, with the lack of rowlocks/oars, grab handles, lifelines etc. etc. Individually not much, but added up these constitute a considerable number of niggles. Interested to hear what don’t you like about the inflation valves…aren’t they just generic Halkey Roberts jobbies.

Also slightly alarmed with the impression Excel seem quite content to let customers provide R & D feedback on production models. Pre production testing is the time to tweak any little niggles. Makes me wonder if the Excel team ever get out on the water.
Thank you.

Regarding my choice to buy this boat, I touch on it briefly but I had a warranty claim on the previous boat I owned. I didn't want a straight-swap, so I instead waited a while for these new boats to be ready (there wasn't any public info at that point) and I paid to upgrade to this model.

When asked about the design decisions, they'd said that earlier feedback/research indicated a strong market for plain tubes. That no longer appears to be the case.

Regarding the valves, I actually meant the one-way drain valves - they very often allow water to slowly seap in. I find they're best kept closed, and with them being so slow to drain water, I'd prefer just your typical bung in truth.
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Old 30 October 2023, 17:59   #9
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Okay thanks, sorry I misunderstood, makes sense now. Currently have a couple of boats with these sliding transom drains and also not a fan. Not noticed any leaking in but painfully slow to drain so have supplemented with a couple of extra drains.
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Old 30 October 2023, 18:21   #10
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Okay thanks, sorry I misunderstood, makes sense now. Currently have a couple of boats with these sliding transom drains and also not a fan. Not noticed any leaking in but painfully slow to drain so have supplemented with a couple of extra drains.
Hi chipko, extra drains of the same sliding type or something different?
My SD360 doesn't ship that much water but when it does it is painfully slow to drain unless I stop get it ashore and tilt it at an angle with the silly little rubber one way "thing" out!
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Old 30 October 2023, 19:19   #11
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Steve, Popped in a couple of small Ribstore sockets & bungs in the Elling as a test. Work a treat and shift a surprising amount of water for their modest 22mm bore. Going to wack in a couple of their 42mm jobbies on the Kolibri for some seriously rapid drainage.

https://www.ribstore.co.uk/collectio...s-trunks-socks


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Old 30 October 2023, 19:34   #12
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Thanks chipko

Ordered sockets and bungs.
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Old 30 October 2023, 20:09   #13
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Some random thoughts...

Watched the YouTube video on the TV Jason, useful review. That does look a really smart SIB but as you identify this move to lose some of the practicality re rowlocks and hand holds in favour of sleek looks is a bit odd. However it's nothing that can't be sorted by adding what you need if you are otherwise happy with the SIB and see it as a long term keeper.

The attached image is our our Aerotec and the mods I made after a few years of ownership...

I disliked the standard plastic bladed paddles so replaced with 5ft wooden oars mounted in velcro holders I added to the tube tops. These are long enough to use as a paddle for a single person sitting centrally on the seat, perfect for two paddlers and if I decided a longer emergency row was appropriate I would quickly tie rope rowlocks to the grab rail.

There was only one mid located seat so I added another for me at the tiller on those sliding fixings.

I also added grab handles inside the tubes/cones for ease of one person lifting at the transom area.

Gluing on accessory patches for these things is quite easy and it's great to get the SIB spot on for an individual's use.

Regarding the issues with your previous Excel Jason it's understandable that most on here went back to basics with advice re pressures, loading, OB trim etc. But it seems you know what you are up to and none of those worked. Thinking on it more the behaviour you describe, as seen in a video of the issue on your YouTube channel, is that of a hooked hull. About all I can think of is that the floor outer material is not tight enough in running conditions allowing flex and a hook to form. We tend to think of SIB floors as tightened by sausage keels or air floors but I bet were underwater cameras used at 10-20kts the deflection of the outer floor fabric might be surprising. Years ago I read a technical paper from the 60/70s which was the result of RNLI research on the suitability of SIBs as rescue craft where they considered just this aspect of water flow over the tubes and floor.

Re the water drains we've never found the standard ones much use on any SIB and leave the bungs in at sea just removing to drain once ashore. The Aerotec never collects water to a degree it needs draining during a trip but I tend to helm for a dry ride.
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Old 13 November 2023, 12:39   #14
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Fenlander, apologies I missed your reply - very useful information. The term "hooked hull" sounds translatable to the behaviour i was experiencing - it just wanted to push water above a certain speed. The more you try to accelerate through it the more it wants to veer violently. Strange, and was happy to move on to the Carbon Pro which performed much better.
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Old 13 November 2023, 12:40   #15
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Small update regarding the Scout row locks, oars, grab handles etc. Excel listened to the feedback and are now offering the following, separately:

Accessory kit: https://excel-leisure.co.uk/products...-accessory-kit
Oars: https://excel-leisure.co.uk/products...-165cm-oar-set
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Old 13 November 2023, 13:26   #16
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Small update regarding the Scout row locks, oars, grab handles etc. Excel listened to the feedback and are now offering the following, separately:

Accessory kit: https://excel-leisure.co.uk/products...-accessory-kit
Oars: https://excel-leisure.co.uk/products...-165cm-oar-set
It is excellent when a company listens to feedback. It amazed me that there were not fitted as Standard.

I am hoping that the weather will have a bit of a window so that I can give my new Honwave T40 a little runout with the 20 hp Mercury on the back. Very similar boat I think
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Old 13 November 2023, 18:35   #17
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Originally Posted by ManxJason View Post
Small update regarding the Scout row locks, oars, grab handles etc. Excel listened to the feedback and are now offering the following, separately:

Accessory kit: https://excel-leisure.co.uk/products...-accessory-kit
Oars: https://excel-leisure.co.uk/products...-165cm-oar-set
The extra cost and hassle of fitting wouldn't necessarily put me off, however it would make me look at other makes a lot closer.
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Old 03 December 2023, 18:33   #18
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I've all the additional items on order, since about 3 weeks ago. Once they arrive I'll post an update.
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