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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys i'm in the market for a small inflatable for inshore work ideally would like something between 3.3 and 4.0 m with a v keel and alluninium floor . I am currently in contact with a dealer in south wales who have a new 3.6 m craft for £ 700 would just like to know if any of you boys were in the know on this type of thing and could tell me wether it is a god deal or could point me else where thanks for your help
 

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ive got the 3.8m honda wave with the inflatable keel, inflatable floor tho( rock hard when inflated tho, good, stable in swell takes uptd 25hp, i had a 5hp on it but would def advise uping to a 10hp at least, the 5 struggled against tide,
 

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Keith that price depends on the make of the boat as quality varies greatly with price, the french boats are great (Avons and zodiacs and to a lesser extent bombards), at the other end of the scale are boats made in former soviet states. There are often second hand boats out there with barely any use (one or 2 summer holidays) that go for a great price, especially between Oct and Jan. Often they are sold with engines and if its the setup you want will be much better value than buying seperately. For instance I brought a 3.3m avon rib with a 8hp 2 stroke engine just as I wanted the engine a few years back. I sold the Avon 3 month later in late spring for the price I got the whole lot for, so I have a free engine in effect!

My knowledge is as an owners of both a 3.1 zodiac airfloor and a 3.1M small ribs over the past 13 years. Whether you choice is the ideal one depends on what you plan to use it for however, if (like me) you want to avoid either the need to trailer it to where you plan to launch or the need to base it at a single place, then the airfloors (like the aluminium floor) are great as they pack into your average family car easy. The airfloor however pack up much smaller and weigh significantly less than the aluminium floor craft and therefore you dont need as much HP in your outboard to power it, saving money on the engine, and making them more portable and increasing the range of places you can launch from. The small RIB I keep on the harbour in the place in Cornwall I spend much time in summer, at that length (and upto about 3.3) you can top it on the roof if you have an estate, but its a hell of a lot heavier than the airfloor. If you are a bass member there is a fair amount of info on the forum there on this subject. You havent even mentioned engines yet but the 3.1 airfloors fly (well 20mph) with 8hp 2 stroke (2 stroke = significant weight saving) and one onboard, and plane (14mph) with the same set up and 2 on board as long as you both dont weigh more than 13 stone each - trim tabs for the boat help performance greatly in this regard.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Cheers guys i have seen one on ebay the number is 230504618045 i would appreciate it if you would give it a look at also what does certificate tuv,gs mean thanks guys
 

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Looked at it but as I said before - it realy depends what you want it for? It might be inexpensive but I would not but this for the stuff I do - though it would probably do the job - as its double the weight and I havent go a clue how well made it is. The fabric on the zodiacs is superior and seams better bonded. Decide what you want it for, decide what characteristics are needed in your boat to best do this, then buy.

GS - is a Geraman Safety standard acreditation. TUV is another form of product certification from what I can make out?

Good luck Keith

Matt
 

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No idea about the boat, though reading with interest as it is something I am thinking of at the moment. TUV is a certification thing, another German one - link here.
 

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I'm also looking for something like this but smaller, like the one on "the fishing adventurer"... A one man rib.... Has anyone seen anything like this? I did a quick bit of googling last night but couldn't find a thing!
 

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I am going to get a small rib int eh new year - not quite the inflatable route but a bit more robust

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RIBEYE-TS-370...782?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item5adda1b806

Ribeye do a 3.7m with a twin skin alu hull and small centre console ...

Go with the big brands - Avon, Zodiac, Ribeye, Honda and Humber as at the end of the day you will be on the sea - I wouldnt personally trust a chinese or russian clone inflatable :/

Or here;

http://www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk/category/RIBs+for+Sale/Rib+Tenders
 

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Hi Keith,

I can vouch for Matt - he really does know his stuff about this kind of fishing. He's been doing it for years, and the advice he has given is spot on. Unless you are resigned to using a trailer and therefore restrict yourelf to easy-launching sites, follow his advice and go for something thats small, light and of proven quality.

Cheers,
Ian
 

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How far offshore are (or aren't) inflatables that size coded to Alex?

I used to use one (a Vanguard) with a friend for spearfishing but we never went further offshore than we could swim, it just got us there more easily. We used a Merc 10hp and it was fine.

Only problem for me, if I hadn't had a 5mm wetsuit and long fins on to reassure me, would be getting back in the event of engine problems. Rowing one into any wind is a pain (literally) and there isn't room for an auxiliary!
 

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Paul

My 3.1 m boats are category C Inshore (from memory to 5 miles) - I suspect the above 3.7 ribeye might be the same though its probably on the cusp with the next catagory up.

RE going further offshore: The engine is more important than the boat in my oppinion. If a tube fails they float fine, even filled with water and you still can get back OK (not that I have put this to the test). They row well but they also blow well! If the engine fails your in trouble if there is an offshore wind - therefore an anchor and long rope, safety kit and a waterproof VHF are essential. There is rarely any reason to go miles offshore to catch bass, they want shallow water and a good rip of current /wave action so unless there are ofshore reefs to fish or visible signs of bustin fish why go away from the coast. For me they get you to coast inaccessible to other anglers and bigger boats, alowing you to cover many places, and unpressured places.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for all the replies lads, my reason for wanting one of these is as matt says getting to inexcessible places close in borrowed a mates in the summer and had a great time they really do open up lots of options for you .
 

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i'm just gonna tack this on and see if anyone might know the answer.
i have just got ,on a long term loan, a 3.8 m inflatable with an ally floor insert. i just wanted to know what kind of anchor to carry, ideally something small and stowable . i'll be picking my days weather wise and staying very in shore or even within the estuaries.
 

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i'm just gonna tack this on and see if anyone might know the answer.
i have just got ,on a long term loan, a 3.8 m inflatable with an ally floor insert. i just wanted to know what kind of anchor to carry, ideally something small and stowable . i'll be picking my days weather wise and staying very in shore or even within the estuaries.
Make sure you have 6-10' of chain so the anchor lies correctly. Type depends on the bottom I prefer and use a kedge anchor on my boats
 

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We had a similar discussion last year. It is here if you have not seen it:

http://www.thelureforum.com/showthread.php?t=5014

You will get what you pay for and 25 years+ of small boats has taught me to be very careful. You need to understand what the inflatables are made out of. The toughest are Avon and Bombard, Honwave are ok but I would stay away from Chinese and Russian branded makes. I would offer the following observations:

- Beware inflatable keels if they burst the boat will lose much of its rigidity - I would advise a hard keel/floor in aluminum or GRP
- Most small inflatables are designed to be used in sheltered waters
- Min engine size 8-10 hp - you need enough power to get of a lee shore (tends to be where Bass feed in my experience)
- Buy a good make of engine for reliability - Yamaha, Honda, Mercury, Mariner are all good. In an emergency it needs to start first time

I stay away from inflatables because a number (more than 5!) have burst when i have been in them. Have you considered an aluminium or plastic boat. One of my boats is a Rigiflex link as follows:

http://www.rigiflexboats.co.uk/Rigiflex-Range.html

It is unsinkable and all but indestructable but needs a trailer. I use it for wildfowling and have taken it 3 miles off shore fishing in the right conditions. I have a Yamaha 20 on the back of mine. Aluminuim version would be lighter and you could put on a roof rack.
 

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Just to update - a chance conversation with a friend over dinner last night has seen me inherit a nearly new Zodiac inflatable and a 4hp Yam with literally 5 hrs on it in - intended for strictly estuary work and I will more than likely wear my yak gear - wetsuit and bouyancy aid ...

The motor is in great shape having been used in fresh water only ... only downside the boat is small at 2.4m but enough to get me started ... plus I will most likely keep the engine as an aux going forward

other downside - it isn't black :(
 

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Tell me to bog off lads... but please wear a pfd ....at the very least it buys you time if your worn out from the cold... if you end up in the drink!!
You slip under much faster without...

I wear one ALL the time fishing now... even off the shore and i can swim well.....be carefull..:???:
 
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