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Inflatables Question...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
Jun 26, 2003
Inflatable Boat Question...


I am currently looking for an inflatable (Zodiac/Avon type) for a spare 25hp johnson I have laying around, but I have virtually ZERO experience in these. Anyone have any input? Any help is appreciated...Thanks!!!
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get the one with fiberglass center section abotu 4m long.
Hi Wabo,

I've spent a lot of time in inflatables, but my brand info is pretty old. Generally, inflatables are very light, carry a huge load, are very stable and easy to get in and out of, great characteristics for a lot of types of diving. They have significant disadvantages, primarily in durability. Spears and fish spines do not mix well. Under heavy use, the fabric wears pretty fast. These things don't last like a hard dingy, although the best of them will take much punishment. A hard bottom helps a lot, but the basic principal still applies. Good inflatables are quite expensive relative to a used high quality hard dingy.

For durability, you get what you pay for or less. The relatively inexpensive stuff sold in the discount houses (Boat US, etc) is quite expensive on a per use basis. We completely wore out a Boat US inflatable in one year of hard use. An Avon would have been in pretty good shape after the same use and the best, like a Novarania, would be much better. Zodiac made complete junk for years, don't know what they make now. The best brands look and feel the part. The material you want is hypalon, absolutely NOTHING else.

If you are set on an inflatable, look for a used boat of very high quality that is in very very good cosmetic shape. Sometimes you can get a real deal like that. Be careful of buying anything else used. It is too easy to hide major faults in an inflatable.

Good luck

Re: Inflatables Question...New pic for old thread.

This is a pic of my inflatable Bladrunner.


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I looked at some boats like that but I could get a better regular boat for the price of one of those .There nice though.The navy has some boats like that and some are sent to the depo to be sold at auction .The ones they use have inboard motors and have a weird seating arrangment.The pontoons bolt on /off and there are a couple of places that make pontoons for all rib inflatables so if I can find one for a decent price i'd buy it.
The trouble with the RIB is that they are quite heavy and a 25HP engine isnt really the ideal unless its tiny. The pure old fashioned inflatable however is ideal for use with a 25HP, you can get quite a big boat for use with that :)
They are really good for diving with, easy to get in and out of the sea as they're not that heavy, or can be launced on slipways while still hutched up to the car as they float in very shallow water; you can even deflate the thing and shove it in the back of your car to take home and store :)
Many come with aluminium floors these days so they are quite durable, though Im not convinced about the aluminium seats that they have, besides they get in the way and its more comfortable to sit on the side tubes.
wouldnt bother with those launching wheels that clip onto the transom if you have a long way to pull it (if you live near the beach that is) they are to far back and make the boat really heavy to lift :( a cheap launching trolly is better
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As the responses above has pointed out, inflatables are probably THE BEST diving boats. You basically get two types of material that they're made of, HYPERLON or PVC. Hyperlon is supposed to be the better of the two, but is also more expensive. My 4.7m Gemini had hyperlon tubes, was a semi rigid and originally had a single 40hp motor. That boat would plane with 4 BIG guys on board, plus kit, plus fish, with-out any problems. Wasn't a speed demon though!!!:D

My currect semi rigid is a 6.5m Hysucat with pvc pontoons and i'm quite happy with it.

A 25hp motor would be ideal for a semi-rigid of up to 4m and for a crew of 3. The downside to a semi-rigid is that you're going to need a trailer to tow it with. Fully inflatables work well too and don't need a trailer. Most of then can fit in your cars boot with-out a hassle.

For me, the greatest advantage is the sea-worthiness of a inflatable. I've gone out in seas with my 21' semi rigid when guys running 28' mono hull fibreglass boats would turn around, and not ONCE have i felt unsafe in my boat. Many people still believe that inflatables are not serious sea vessels, but the current generation of rib's are supremely sea-worthy. The GREATEST testament to their ability is that OUR coast guard/ Sea rescue (NSRI) will despatch a 5.5m Gemini rib if you get into trouble!! 'Nuff said!!:D:D

Inflatables are seaworthy but too expensive for what you get or atleast here in the states.I did a google search to find some prices and a found a 15'7 with a fourstroke yamaha 50 and aluminum trailer for $ 17,500 and it's a 2002 with a 2001 motor.You can get a new boat of that size or bigger for that price.There just not common enough here to have reasonable prices.There is a boat at the place where I rent a storage unit and everytime I drive by it I think about your old boat Miles.Those catamarans are pretty sweet.This one has two 50hp and looks like it could handle some decent seas.Since you owned both could you give me some feedback on each ones pluses and minuses.One thing I notice about my inflatable is it has a higher weight capacity than a fiberglass boat.I took mine out in two foot swell and had no probs but one foot wind chop wasn't so fun.As a future boat owner I would like to know what you think about them.
Check out www.duarry.com the Brio series.

i wouldn't buy anything less than 5meters with a 60hp 4 stroke. center console/jockey rig. Make sure the hull has a deep V with lots of "Chine"

No boat is a cheap boat.

have fun :wave

Ive had quite a few small fishing/diving boats and can help you out on their pro's and con's. My past boats include:
Fibreglass Boats:
4.3m (14'1) Cat with 2x30hp Mariners (Yamaha's)
4.6m (15') Cat with 2x50hp Mariners
5.5m (18') Monohull with 2x85hp Yamaha's
7.3m (24') Monohull with 2x115hp Yamaha's

3m (10') Mako fully inflatable with 15hp Yamaha
4.7m (15'4) Gemini Semi Rigid with a single 40hp Mariner, later converted to twin 40hp Mariners
6.5m (21'3) Hysucat Semi Rigid with 2x50hp Yamaha 4 strokes

Fibreglass Boats:
There are generally two groups, monohull followers and cat followers. Monohulls carry-ing capacity is greater, turn easier (very important if you're launching through large waves). Cats on the other hand are more stable, gives a softer ride and generally require less horsepower.

Fully inflatables are generally cheap, easy to store, easy to transport and easy to launch. Two guys should be able to pick up a 3-4m fully inflatable boat with engine and carry it to the waters edge. Very nice if you're diving in remote places where launch sites are not available or access to the beach is not allowed with 4x4 vehicles. Semi rigids are more hardy vessels. They're less likely to get damaged but they do require a trailer. Since your pontoons will be resting on the water, there's very little difference between monohull and cat hulls. Many people fear puncturing their pontoons. By law ALL South African inflatables MUST have at least 3 air compartments. The boat MUST still be able to float with 2 COMPARTMENTS FULLY DEFLATED. Tommy Botha ran with a 6.5m mako rib with 2x50hp yahama 4 strokes, 40nm back to land after a crew member gaffed a large hole in his pontoon. He came back with 300kg+ of fish plus crew WITH-OUT any hassles. Remember, when a rib is on the plane, its pontoons are barely touching the water, therefor a deflated pontoon will have very little effect on the boat!! I've only once had a inxperienced spearo punture my pontoon with his tri-cut RA spear!!! Never had any problems with fish spines. If it really bothers you, you could fit another layer of "rino-hyde" over your pontoons. Makes it VERY difficult to puncture!!

The downside to ALL inflatables are: they have less deck and storage space comparable to the same size fibreglass boat. They require more maintanance, they HAVE to be parked under a cover or in a garage. Sunlight will destroy your pontoons VERY QUICKLY. The plus side: soft low pontoons allow for easy access to the water and easy getting back in. They are very light boats and can therefo use smaller motors which in turns makes the rig more economical to run and cheaper to purchase. Becuase they're lighter a large 4x4 isn't needed to tow them. I've towed my 6.5m Hysucat with a 2.0ltr VW with-out any hassles. They are MUCH more sea-worthy than a fibreglass boat of similar size. They tend to give a softer ride than fibre boats.

Lastly, remember, no matter what boat you buy, the bigger the boat the softer the ride and the more sea-worthy it'll be.

Miles. I tried to find the pics of the new boat you have but couldn't find the thread they were in. Does anyone make a bi hulled rib?

Nevermind .I found there website.
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