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Old 02-21-2018, 01:04 PM   #1
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Inflatable Rubber Boat

Looking to buy an inflatable rubber boat 8' -10' long with a 6HP or so outboard. Don't want a folding boat or kayak or canoe or boat on the roof of the toad. Looking for something I can deflate and store in a compartment when not needed.

Anybody have any suggestions of what to look for or avoid?
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:41 PM   #2
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They make roll up inflatables. West Marine and Defender are 2 dealers. There are many more.

PVC is fine if you don't store it outdoors in the sun. My PVC lasted 5 years in Florida without covering it.

Hyperlon is much more resistant to sun light but costs more.

I have an old PVC rollup that still holds air but its showing a lot of wear and seams starting open up.

As far as outboard, 4 stroke ones have oil in them so you need to be careful how you store them.

2 stroke use an oil-gas mix so you can stand it on its head, to store, if you want. I'm not sure you can get them in the US anymore, but used ones are everywhere.

Make sure if buying used that it is a fresh water motor, older salt water motors have a lot of corrosion and are hard to get apart.

Carefully of the cheap ones that have little motor mounts, they are more a pool toy then a real boat.

Something like this will serve you well.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...able--14272488
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:50 PM   #3
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Thanks. Hadn't thought of the 4-cycle oil issue. That could be a problem.

How about inflatable floor vs metal floor vs slat floor?

I was wondering about PVC vs Hypalon. Sounds like PVC might be ok if I store it covered or in a compartment.

Looking to use the boat mostly in Florida bays and harbors around Ft. Myers Beach and Marco Island. Other places from time to time.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:06 PM   #4
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I have a 8' and had a 10'. 6hp is more than enough on the 8', with one person it scoots along pretty good, the 10' is much more comfortable for 2 people whereas the 8' is a little cramped with 2. Lots of fun on the flats in the keys.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:55 PM   #5
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I never rode in an inflatable floor boat, but knew a guy with a leaky one. Big pain. That and its a few inchs thick, so your knees are closer to your chin.

Aluminum may be OK but you need to keep the tubes pumped up tight, otherwise the floor flexes a lot. I guess its the same with the wood roll up too.

The two I used while cruising had 3 piece wood floors, so less flexing. The 8 ft was crowded when picking up groceries. The 10 ft was OK, but both were a wet ride in the chop.

We now have a 10ft3" RIB and 9.8 hp 4 stroke. Used it last year and this year in the Keys and just pulled into Ft Myers Beach today. Its not what your looking for, but when you hang on the hook for 3 to 6 months, you want a dry dinghy to get to shore.
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:07 PM   #6
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Ditto for the RIB. Having had a heavy fiberglass dingy, an inflatable with wood floors that we had to set up, and then finally getting a RIB with a 10 Hp motor.
What a difference. Just like having a good small boat. The 4 cycle motor is the way to go. No miss mixing of oil and gas and having to deal with that.
RIB is the way to go.
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:08 PM   #7
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Saw one the other day on Craigslist
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:27 PM   #8
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Look at Sea Eagle. They have several configurations that accommodate OB's.
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBDISCOVERY View Post
Ditto for the RIB. Having had a heavy fiberglass dingy, an inflatable with wood floors that we had to set up, and then finally getting a RIB with a 10 Hp motor.
What a difference. Just like having a good small boat. The 4 cycle motor is the way to go. No miss mixing of oil and gas and having to deal with that.
RIB is the way to go.
JimB
Is there a RIB that can be stored in a motorhome compartment? I haven't considered them since I want something that fits a compartment. Also, I'm not sure where I'd store a 4 cycle outboard. Doesn't it have to remain upright?
What happens when you store them on their side?
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:16 PM   #10
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Is there a RIB that can be stored in a motorhome compartment? I haven't considered them since I want something that fits a compartment. Also, I'm not sure where I'd store a 4 cycle outboard. Doesn't it have to remain upright?
What happens when you store them on their side?
No the 4 strokes can be layed on the side, but it must be in a specific position. The manual will demonstrate it.

There is one RIB that has a folding transom, making it 13" thick, but it still going to be 7 1/2 ft long, on a deflated boat.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...boat--14460885
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:15 PM   #11
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Zodiac are top of the line but can be pricey. As far as four stroke versus two-stroke lots of Inland Lakes and reservoirs are requiring 4-stroke only due to pollution standards.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:19 AM   #12
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Having owned a couple of these, you want Hypalon, the problem with older PVC boats, no mater how you care for them, the glue fails and there is no way to repair it. They literally fall apart at the seams. I have one in my shed right now, overall looks fantastic has probably never been in the water, stored indoors, etc., except it is 20-25 years old and falling apart at the seams.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:16 AM   #13
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I have an 8 ft hypalon and like others recommend it.
Mine has 3 section floor and also recommend it as its more stable getting in / out and if out fishing I can stand to stretch.
I have a 3.5 HP 2 stroke and like how light wt it is. I also have a 6 HP 4 stroke Honda on a fishing boat and it is too heavy for me to consider frequent on / off & storage.
I am not racing mine so a smaller more convenient HP engine is a plus. You'd be surprised how little HP it takes to move these things.
Some use elec trolling motors and an AGM batty for short fishing trips.
There are also propane outboards available.

You haven't said what intended use will be... frequency.... distance.... duration.

There are basically 4 types of floors with various +\-
RIB most stable but larger size folded
Hard section floor next best and allows removal for storage & cleaning under
Roll up slatted floor reasonable compromise but sand and grit in all the joints causes wear over time
Inflarable floor. Easy fold & set up but kind of like standing on your mattress. Soft on knees but you kind of roll in / out vs stepping.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:51 AM   #14
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You haven't said what intended use will be... frequency.... distance.... duration.
I'll mostly be using it for puttering around in harbors and such. Going to restaurants and sight seeing. Maybe exploring a few islands. Some fresh water lake usage too. In general, just the two of us riding around with a cooler and watching the sunset. I don't see us going more than a few miles.
No fishing or anything specific like that. A lot of the places we'll be using it are populated by some large vessels so significant wakes are likely.

Thanks to all for the insights.
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