I am looking at the Tohatsu ribs at the moment, the 4.2m rib Tohatsu Marine
seams to be identical to the Seapro 4.2m rib SEAPRO :: Seapro Ribs
not only in dimensions but the actual pvc material used!
I spoke to a Seapro dealer today, I was only calling them to get a price on a 50hp Tohatsu engine as I saw online they sold Tohatsu engines at a reasonable price. They asked what boat it was for so I said I was looking into the Tohatsu 4.2m rib and the guy said don't touch it, utter rubbish! He said the inflatable tubes are ok, its the hulls that are the problem, but he also said Seapro are ever so slightly more expensive but much better, so why not go for one of them. He said originally Seapro was made in the same factory in china as Tohatsu, but they stopped using them and moved (cant remember where he said, but I certainly thought to myself that it was a similar country! May have been Korea) to a another factory in a different country.
Reading from above, it seams Tohatsu obviously have changed suppliers (I know from my local Tohatsu dealer that the ribs sizes have changed), but it also seams to me that the ribs (Seapro/Tohatsu) are the same. Can anyone confirm this? Are Tohatsu and Seapro indeed made in the same factory, and just different badges etc separate them?!
I cannot imagine Tohatsu putting their name on a boat that is lets face it, is crap, but obviously this has happened (to yoyo!) and from the research I have done it seams Tohatsu engines are really up and coming and are holding their own with the big boys nowadays, so more reason not to ruin their name/brand!
I asked the Seapro dealer what he thought of the Tohatsu engines, and he said "bulletproof" which made me laugh, I said complete opposite to their boats then, he said yes. Maybe he is just saying this because he only sells Seapro ribs and Tohatsu engines?!
Now from my limited research and from me guessing, I think Seapro are the same as Tohatsu and the fact the guy said they used to be made in the same facotry but then Seapro moved due to quality, well I think Tohatsu must have followed suit as the Tohatsu's new range of ribs are identical to the Seapro ones, well the 4.2m one is!! Too much coincidence here I think!
Can anyone confirm this?
And more to the point, are either of these ribs any good? I understand they are PVC material, which is fine by me as I am on a tight budget and my current 3.4m zodiac (PVC) rib has been spot on for the last 12 years of holiday use.