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Old 21 October 2021, 08:24   #1
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Zodiak Cadet 350

Hi folks, new on here so please go easy on me! Iím upgrading my SIB that I used when the kids were young for pottering the estuaries and creeks of Cornwall, Devon and inland stuff. Need something a bit bigger now and weíll, more exciting! Havenít got lots of storage in my garage as full of other stuff so going for another bigger roll up SIB.

I think Iíve narrowed my search to Zodiak 310 or 350 Cadet, with Alu floor. And a choice of 15 or 20 HP respectively. Iím erring on the 350/20 combo.

The boat will be used for a bit of inshore coast hopping (itís cat C) and estuary stuff, understand the limitations of this small craft, but would like to know if anyone else has this type of combo or indeed any advice before I pull the trigger?

Cheers, Bill
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Old 21 October 2021, 08:38   #2
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Hi Bill and welcome to the forum.

Many folks on here either use similar size alloy floor outfits or have in the past. My experience is with an alloy floor 3.5m Honwave which would have been near identical to the Cadet in use.

Found it a sturdy, roomy and stable SIB. Changed it as I found its weight and faff of daily assembling the alloy floor a bit of a nuisance so went to air floor models after that. But you may not mind the assembly and weight.

Re outboard many of us find for a portable SIB used out of the back of the car around 36kg is the sweet spot for weight which is either a new 4-stroke 10hp or a used 15hp 2-stroke. Again you may be happy carrying a 15/20hp which if new will be 44kg plus.

David
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Old 21 October 2021, 09:32   #3
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I believe weight would be your limiting factor.

Get something too heavy, and you'll hate the setup, launch, and teardown process.

Get something too small, and weather, safety will limit when you'll want to go out. The bigger the boat, the better it can handle chop.

Between aluminum, wood, and high pressure air floors. I prefer air floors. They're lighter . Easier and faster to setup and pack up.

Between a 310 and 340/350 . I prefer a 310 simply because I can lift the entire boat with one arm. If you can comfortably carry a 340/350, then choose that one. Whatever the boat weighs in the showroom, it's going to be heavier when you pack up because of water.

A 15HP 2 stroke is my engine of choice. 80LBs is the sweet spot of what I can comfortably carry around with one hand. In and out of my vehicle, and on and off of a transom. Yes, its possible to lift more. And I can do it. But I tried and I hate doing it. Get the size you're comfortable with.

When you're comparing Cadets. Try to find the models with heat welded seams. I believe the newer ones made in China don't use the same process they use in France. The seams will fall apart. Pretty much trash if you ask me.
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Old 21 October 2021, 09:54   #4
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Thanks David, appreciate your advice. I’m looking motor wise at about 43 kilos and the motor is same platform for 15/20 hp. I’d prefer 4 stroke (can you still buy new 2 strokes?! From an emissions POV) as I want to just fuel up and EFI will give good economy. But I know it’s a weight penalty. There’ll be most like two of us so hopefully the lad will do his share of lifting! I’d looked at the 10 hp options but feel it might be a bit underpowered for when on the sea…? And hence the 350 Alu as it should as you say handle the chop better. Really considered the 310 Alu but it’s limited to 15 hp and therefore same weight as the 20. And wondering if the 310 is big enough for me the lad and our day kit plus fuel tank etc… good advice and I’ll take a ponder on it…
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Old 21 October 2021, 13:28   #5
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Hey Bill, welcome aboard.

Not a Cadet but a good few years ago we ran a Zodiac Zoom 350 Alu which was the budget cheapo glued seam version of the current Cadet. Same shape, design and weight.

Ran it for around five years, three of those with a 44kg efi Suzuki 20. Cracking little boat, no issues at all and with the Suzi good for around 21 knots solo and easily able to pull the teenage kids on kneeboards/toys. Very capable and fond memories of that little Zodiac.


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Old 22 October 2021, 09:12   #6
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Hey Bill, welcome aboard.

Not a Cadet but a good few years ago we ran a Zodiac Zoom 350 Alu which was the budget cheapo glued seam version of the current Cadet. Same shape, design and weight.

Ran it for around five years, three of those with a 44kg efi Suzuki 20. Cracking little boat, no issues at all and with the Suzi good for around 21 knots solo and easily able to pull the teenage kids on kneeboards/toys. Very capable and fond memories of that little Zodiac.


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Thanks Chipko, sounds like the set up I need. ��
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Old 22 October 2021, 09:40   #7
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Hi Bill and welcome.

A 310 may be lighter but in terms of space I think you would find it a bit tight, especially as your lad grows! I have a 360 and it's comfortable with 2 adults, dog and kit. Any smaller and I don't think I would enjoy using it as much as I do.
I run a 15 EFI (only because I couldn't get a 20 at the time) and at around 45kg it's just about manageable.
One thing to consider, is packed away size. You don't mention how you'll transport everything. There are a few threads on here where people have underestimated the space a SIB, OB and kit take up and have ended up with trailers, towbar racks etc.
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Old 22 October 2021, 10:02   #8
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Hi Bill and welcome.

A 310 may be lighter but in terms of space I think you would find it a bit tight, especially as your lad grows! I have a 360 and it's comfortable with 2 adults, dog and kit. Any smaller and I don't think I would enjoy using it as much as I do.
I run a 15 EFI (only because I couldn't get a 20 at the time) and at around 45kg it's just about manageable.
One thing to consider, is packed away size. You don't mention how you'll transport everything. There are a few threads on here where people have underestimated the space a SIB, OB and kit take up and have ended up with trailers, towbar racks etc.
Thanks for the advice…my old OB has an integrated fuel tank so I have to consider the new bigger one will be sitting on the floor. Eldest lad is an adult so think you’re right with three of us plus gear the 310 might be too tight. I don’t want to get a trailer so this lot will need to go mostly on my roof and in the boot of the estate car I’m thinking OB inside with seats down and boat on the roof, plus PFDs etc. Then I’m thinking, it won’t be often all 3 of us will be in the boat. Decisions,decisions!
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Old 22 October 2021, 11:47   #9
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How big is the estate car?

I have owned three Mondeo size estate cars while sibbing and without folding the rear seats I could get in a 3.5-3.8m SIB, 10-20hp outboard plus 12/25lit tank, transom wheels, large anchor/ropes holdall, PFD's, oars, boathook and much more. Everything in the image below except the bow trolley which was not always used but when it came with us it could sit in the middle of the rear seats so the car still took 4 folks.... and the OB trolley which stayed at home.
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Old 22 October 2021, 11:50   #10
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You must pack really neat David

Saying that, I've always got all the caravan gear with me as well.
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Old 22 October 2021, 12:01   #11
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Over a decade of refining the pack.

Might have posted this pic before but I'm always amused with bystanders comments like "you'll never get all that back in there".

When our Mondeo size estate was an old 5-series.
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Old 22 October 2021, 23:04   #12
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Nice setup



Here's a direct comparison of my Zodiac Cadet 310



Versus my Zodiac Cadet 340

As you can tell, the 340 is has a lot more floor space because the transom is positioned further back. Plus the beam is much wider with an additional 6 inches. That's a lot of extra floor space and extra aluminum. And a lot more weight.



Ignore the prices. This list is 15 years old.

You can fit more people in the 340/350 comfortably. If it's a crew of 3, I'd pick this size.

But if it's just 2 of you... you might go out more often with a 310.

You'll get better stability (safety) and performance from a solid floor

But you might go out more often with an air floor because it's lighter. Easier to setup and pack away.



Here's my 285 against my 310

Go too small and you'll find yourself on the water all the time because of convenience, but at the expense of safety and comfort.

On a small boat, chop will be your worst enemy. And on some days downright scary. Be prepared to get wet because you will take in water.

The end goal is to spend as much time on the water as possible, while being safe and comfortable, without your gear being too much of a burden.

Good luck
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Old 23 October 2021, 03:19   #13
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How big is the estate car?

I have owned three Mondeo size estate cars while sibbing and without folding the rear seats I could get in a 3.5-3.8m SIB, 10-20hp outboard plus 12/25lit tank, transom wheels, large anchor/ropes holdall, PFD's, oars, boathook and much more. Everything in the image below except the bow trolley which was not always used but when it came with us it could sit in the middle of the rear seats so the car still took 4 folks.... and the OB trolley which stayed at home.
It’s a Volvo V60 so similiar size to Mondeo I think. My current Mercury F5 fits on the roof in a small roof box but I don’t think the bigger OB will. I might look at a bigger box. Thanks for the pic it really helps understand pack sizes.
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Old 23 October 2021, 03:34   #14
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Nice setup



Here's a direct comparison of my Zodiac Cadet 310



Versus my Zodiac Cadet 340

As you can tell, the 340 is has a lot more floor space because the transom is positioned further back. Plus the beam is much wider with an additional 6 inches. That's a lot of extra floor space and extra aluminum. And a lot more weight.



Ignore the prices. This list is 15 years old.

You can fit more people in the 340/350 comfortably. If it's a crew of 3, I'd pick this size.

But if it's just 2 of you... you might go out more often with a 310.

You'll get better stability (safety) and performance from a solid floor

But you might go out more often with an air floor because it's lighter. Easier to setup and pack away.



Here's my 285 against my 310

Go too small and you'll find yourself on the water all the time because of convenience, but at the expense of safety and comfort.

On a small boat, chop will be your worst enemy. And on some days downright scary. Be prepared to get wet because you will take in water.

The end goal is to spend as much time on the water as possible, while being safe and comfortable, without your gear being too much of a burden.

Good luck
Thanks for this, very useful. My dilemma is I live in the English Midlands so some of my boating will be rivers, canals etc where a 310 would be fine with my little 5 hp Merc. Then we regularly go to the coast for holidays and love exploring the creeks, rivers and inlets down there. My current boat is only 2.5 metres and way too small for me (6’ 2”) and rapidly growing 14 year old. It’s not a seaworthy boat of course. So I’m thinking go over 3 m and be able to do a bit of coast hopping in the right conditions, with a 15/20 OB. I’m erring towards the Alu floor for better rigidity and it will take 5 extra hp too. But then on local rivers etc use it with the little 5 hp I already have. Agree then the extra faff of bigger boat and heavier engine and Alu floor will take more time…I could go down the route of 310 with Alu floor and 15 hp when it’s just me and the youngest lad, which is what it will be most of the time…
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Old 23 October 2021, 03:46   #15
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Thanks for this, very useful. My dilemma is I live in the English Midlands so some of my boating will be rivers, canals etc where a 310 would be fine with my little 5 hp Merc. Then we regularly go to the coast for holidays and love exploring the creeks, rivers and inlets down there. My current boat is only 2.5 metres and way too small for me (6’ 2”) and rapidly growing 14 year old. It’s not a seaworthy boat of course. So I’m thinking go over 3 m and be able to do a bit of coast hopping in the right conditions, with a 15/20 OB. I’m erring towards the Alu floor for better rigidity and it will take 5 extra hp too. But then on local rivers etc use it with the little 5 hp I already have. Agree then the extra faff of bigger boat and heavier engine and Alu floor will take more time…I could go down the route of 310 with Alu floor and 15 hp when it’s just me and the youngest lad, which is what it will be most of the time…
Forgot to ask what size OB are you running on your boats?
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Old 23 October 2021, 04:30   #16
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Forgot to ask what size OB are you running on your boats?



I run 15's (zoom in to see the 9.9 conversion and factory 15)

Click here for more info
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