Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Which outboard engine for a 3.4m inflatable boat cont’d

Ok, so you have chosen your application, be it displacement speeds, planing speeds with a light load, planing speeds with a heavy load, or watersports. Next lets look at which brands of engine I would recommend you choose for each application. Now I know we sell mariner outboards, parsun and Tohatsu outboards. But I will try to be as objective as possible - although I will choose these ultimately in some of the applications but for good reason!
For displacement speeds: if you want a VERY portable engine then go for the honda 2.3hp, its light - 13kg, and better built than the Suzuki, we NEVER see problems with the honda 2.3! If you want max power go for the tohatsu outboards or mariner 3.5hp (its the only 3.5 on the market and its very light @ 17kg). If you want the best value 2.5 on the market go for the parsun 2.6hp, don’t be put off by the new name, we sell over 50 of these per season and they are RELIABLE as hell!
For light load planing go for the Parsun 8hp or 9.8hp, its the lightest on the market (35kg) and also very reliable. If you want a premium brand, the next lightest is the mariner outboards / tohatsu 8 and 9.8hp offering, its only 2kg heavier than the parsun, and 3 kg lighter than its other nearest rival.
For fast planing you have a good choice of 20hp engines. The best is the honda 20hp, its light and excellent (although quite old technology). Otherwise the tohatsu 20hp is only 50kg, as is the mariner outboards 20hp.
There we go - in a nutshell, you should know which one you want now, so give us a call for some prices!! 0161 790 7678 bill higham marine.

Which outboard should I fit to my 3.4m inflatable boat?

Its a question that people ask me all the time, so I thought I would address it here!
First of all what do you do with your boat? Is it a family runabout, do you need to pull toys with it? Does it even need to get on the plane? If you have a nice shiny new super yacht and you need a tender boat then you will be looking at 4 - 5 m ribs for sale. But if like the rest of us you just have a little inflatable boat for messing around with the family at weekend. Firstly we will look at the boat owner who does not need to get on the plane. The engine choice for this application is simple in my mind, 2.5hp - 3.5hp is all you need. Any more is over egging the pudding, you wont be going any faster, just using more fuel and making more noise, maybe making a bigger wave too. So stick to 2.5-3.5hp, this will push you at more than the boats max displacement speed of around 6mph.

Next up lets look at planing the boat, now with ribs for sale of the same size you will need slightly less hp, but with inflatable boats for this you will need a minimum of 6hp if you have only one light helmsman, and max 20hp if you want to tow wakeboarders etc. Asa rough rule for a 3.4m inflatable: an 8hp 4 stroke from tohatsu outboards will plane 1 adult and a couple of small kids. 10hp from mariner outboards will plane 2 adults, 15hp will plane 4 adults or tow kid on ringo etc. 20hp will fly and tow wakeboarder/skier as long as they aren’t over 10 stone. I will tell you which are the best engines to buy in my next blog.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The CMC power trim and tilt system

The CMC power trim and tilt system, after market ptt for outboard engines
There are a few after market power trim and tilts available these day, but the benchmark system comes from CMC in america. There are two models of power trims, the pt130 is rated to 130hp and is the most powerful system on the market rated at over 780l0b of pressure, it is suitable for all outboards for sale and almost any boat application, from ribs for sale to fishing craft. The baby of the bunch is the CMC pt35 power trim / tilt system, it is rated to engines upto 35hp and is VERY well priced and just as reliable as its big brother. The beauty and reliability of The CMC power tilt system is down to its construction, it is manufactured from barstock aluminum, 1/2” thick, there are no ferrous components and it is completely saltwater proofed and submersible. The CMC power tilt and trim has been in manufacture for many years and is the number one choice for racers the world over due to its amazingly fast rate of trim, in most cases twice as fast as those on new outboards for sale today. The system carries a 2 year part and labour warranty and is available from the UK through various outlets. For good efficient service you can buy from bill higham marine, we offer a next day mail order or in house fitting service to suit your requirements.

Whats new for the boating market in 2012?

With the new 4hp 5hp and 6hp from mariner outboards launched at the end of 2011, the 2012 will see some new advances in inflatable boat technology also, Seapro inflatables will launch the all new one for all range of boats incorporating a newly designed deep V air hull using technology from the inflatable surf board world, it will also use a new aluminum deck system to allow the boat owner to choose whether they want to use the boat as a pure airdeck, and ALSO to fit an aluminum floor to the boat for extra rigidity and heavy duty use purposes. This inflatable boat should become one of the most popular around next year, and early tests suggest that the new deep V keel of these inflatables is very seaworthy, allowing the boat to corner more like a rib and absorb the chop much better than its flat bottomed cousins. To complement the deep V keel the transom has been made with a deep V also, this should be a new inflatable boat that everybody is talking about in 2012.
Also look out for the new 4 stroke 150hp from mariner outboards to make some waves in 2012, it’s the lightest 150hp 4 stroke ever built!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Tohatsu 15hp outboard review 4 stroke on inflatable boat

If you are thinking of re-powering your 3.5m inflatable boat, or buying a new inflatable boat package then you will doubtless be considering which is the best engine of choice for this application. Here you will have a quandary, because most of the major manufacturers have a good quality offering in this hp category. Some are a little lighter than others, the lightest 15hp outboard engine is the Suzuki at 44kg, then its the honda 15hp outboard engine @ 45kg, after that the Parsun 15hp 4 stroke comes in at 47kg. Then they get a bit on the heavy side really! The mariner/mercury/
tohatsu outboards offering is 52kg and the new yamaha 15hp outboard is also 52kg which one would say is not competitive, until one looks at the displacement figures:
Mariner/merc/tohatsu 15hp 350cc
Yamaha 15hp 360cc
Suzuki 15hp 300cc
Honda 15hp 350cc
Parsun 15hp 330cc
So if you have an airdeck lightweight, portable inflatable boat then you will want to go for the Suzuki, honda or Parsun. Whereas if you are looking for something that really packs a punch for a larger heavy duty boat then the merc/mariner/tohatsu outboards will be on the cards.
If you want the best UK prices on new outboard engines or if you are looking for a used outboard engine then check out bill higham marine in manchester, north west england, we have consistently the best deals on cheap outboard engines and inflatable boat packages. or call 0161 790 7678 or email

Monday, 21 November 2011

Have you been wondering which outboards for sale around the 90hp mark you should buy?

Well its a good question, there is a lot fog choice and it depends on what your application is. I will list the various options:
  1. Mercury and Mariner outboards 90hp optimax, direct fuel injected 2 stroke - light weight (well 170kg so not that light actually), biggest cc of any 2 stroke in this range at 1.5L providing easily the most torque of the bunch - ideal for over laden ribs carrying divers. For a 4 stroke outboard engine to provide this much torque it would need to be over 2L!
  2. Honda 90hp 4 stroke, tried and tested engine based on the civic car engine, this one has VVT and now EFI with BLAST technology so expect EXCELLENT fuel economy from these outboards for sale.
  3. Yamaha F80 / F100hp 4 stroke outboard, yam dont make a 90hp so I grouped these together as they are hewn from the same block, both outboards for sale are 170kg with EFI, I would plumb for the F100 to get the most bang for the weight!
  4. Suzuki DF90 lean burn on paper looks the best choice, it’s light - 155kg, its efficient too. But at only 1.5L it’s the smallest displacement for the 4 stroke outboards for sale so will be very ‘peaky’. Good for racing around, but not much good for pulling skiiers or getting a heavy or laden boat up on the plane.
  5. Tohatsu outboards 90TLDI, the lightest engine of the bunch - just 141KG, to put things in perspective it’s the same weight as the 1993 mariner 90hp carburetted 2 stroke!! 1270 cc is a bit on the low side, but it’s a ‘stroker’ which means it will generate more torque than most of the 4 strokes above!

Which 5hp outboard should I buy??

Its a common question, so here’s my thoughts on the matter, I will go through each engine in turn:
  1. Suzuki 5hp 4 stroke outboard, it weighs 25kg, and is 138cc, retail price is £1000 so its the benchmark in every way really, bang on the money, a good little engine.
  2. The 5hp 4 stroke from Mariner outboards (and mercury) (oh, and tohatsu outboards), this is a tried and tested engine, recently given a face lift with a front mounted fuel tank, and an industry first front mounted gearshift - excellent idea, expect other manufacturers to follow suit soon!! This is the best buy just because of this advantage
  3. Honda 5hp 4 stroke, most expensive engine on the market, noisy, and un-changed for nearly 20 years. Not one I would recommend.
  4. Yamaha 5hp 4 stroke. Heavy engine at 27kg, but reliable. Not sure about the white engine cowling but hey ho, its all down to individual taste! Too expensive to be a credible option in my opinion. Yam have some nice little ribs for sale too.
  5. Parsun 5hp 4 stroke. New kid on the block, but has a lot going for it, the lightest engine on the market - 24kg, and by far the best buy as far as price is concerned at £699 retail!! Is it any good? Well it had a re-vamp in 2010 and since then any little niggles the old engine had have faded into distant memory. A VERY reliable performer!!
So in conclusion, the top of the bunch is the new mariner outboards 5hp just because of the front mounted gearshift. But if you have a budget to stick to, make sure you consider the Parsun 5hp, it’s a cracker.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Mariner & Tohatsu outboards new 4hp outboard test part 3

After the run in period was completely I lifted the engine out of the test tank, and came to realise that the new carry handle on the front and the grab handle on the back are well designed, if you carry your Tohatsu outboards using the front grab handle it is great, I have always liked to carry 4hp and upwards on the shoulder though, and this is also aided by a nice smooth underside to the back lower cowling. I went to pop the engine into the boot of the one series, which was already fairly well laden with the seapro 240 airdeck that was to be the test bed, and here we came across the stumbling block with this new engine design, the thing just would not fit in the boot as the tiller was in the way at every angle, its just too long, ideal if you need to keep the bow low on your inflatable boat but thats what tiller extensions are for!! At least they can be removed after use to reduce the dimensions of the engine. After a lot of jiggery pokery I managed to get the outboard motor into the car. At the lake, the trusty little seapro inflatable boat was deployed and inflated in 4 minutes with the genovo digital inflatable boat pump and the engine was fitted to the boat. The engine performed well, but it was identical to the old model other than the gearshift which I thought was excellent. If you have been looking at ribs for sale with a view to getting a tender of around 2.5m - 3.5m then this engine will be ideal to power it.

Tohatsu, Mercury & Mariner outboards new MFS4C D S L engine test part 2

I have a little trick to get around this either fully or partially and it is performed thus: open the fuel tap but leave the vent on top of the cap closed, then hold the tiller and shake the engine from side to side vigorously for about 5 seconds, this releases gasses in the petrol and thus pressurises the fuel tank, pushing fuel through the system and filling the carb in the process. This done the cold engine will usually start 3rd pull. The new F4M from mariner outboards did exactly this and after a little initial choke it settled down for a few minutes at idle speed, it sounded fairly quiet, but no more so than the old model (of which I had one in the tank next to it for comparison) so not sure where this new induction system comes in - maybe just a sales ploy?
Ok, time to test the new fangled gearshift, tickover nice and slow, into forward gear, nice, not quite as positive as the direct gearshift handle on the side but not at all shabby, out of gear, positive again, into reverse (these have automatic reverse lockdown which is handy), all good so far. Now try to get the gears to crunch - I always do this on the tests as many laymen owners will not know to change gear quickly and positively on an outboard. A little clunking and grinding before dropping in positively, so about par for the course there. Run in at 2000rpm under load for 30 mins now, then off to the lake for a proper test!! ..... Continued in my second blog ......

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Boat review seapro ribs

Seapro have been around for 6 years now and in that time they have made some interesting models, but what is the quality like and where are they from? I caught up with simon higham, the designer and researcher for seapro to find out, and he came up with some interesting comments.
Q.There are a lot of new ribs for sale on the market, why should we buy a seapro?
A.Its a fair point, the new rib market is saturated, but seapro offer something unique, british designed boats, manufactured to exacting standards, using the best british GRP, german fabric, and italian fittings, at a price that UK built ribs can not approach.
Q.So they’re made in china then?
A.NO, we had some boats built in china by supposedly the best manufacturer out there, but the quality was just not up to british standards, so we now have out boats built in Egypt by tiger marine. They have been building ribs for 15 years and their workmanship and QC is excellent. So no, they aren’t chinese!!
Q.Seem to have touched a nerve there?
A.The chinese owe me a lot of money still as I had to replace 5 boats for customers who were rightly not satisfied with the end result, dont buy a chinese rib, they’re scrap in a year or 2.
Q.What boat do you use?
A. I am in the lucky position to test a new boat every season, last year my family and I were using a seapro 500 divemaster with 50hp from tohatsu outboards, this season it has been the seapro 600 divemaster with 125hp optimax from mariner outboards. These are new ribs for sale @ £10,000 and £18,000, they really represent the best buy to the UK public!

Boat review, interview with seapro inflatables designer simon higham

Seapro not only make new ribs but they also manufacture a well respected  inflatble boat range, I asked simon higham what makes seapro inflatables better than the rest, and what’s round the corner?
Q.Seapro inflatable boats have been around for 5 or 6 years now, what sets them apart from other inflatables on the market?
A.Well two things really, firstly each boat is designed by an avid inflatable boat enthusiast (me), I have probably spent more time in inflatable boats being whizzed along by mariner outboards throughout my life than a helmsman on a D class lifeboat! And secondly the company motto of never settle for anything, period, there is no such thing as perfect, everything is always being tweaked and improved.
Q.Give an example.
A.Ok, 3 years ago I was sick of the hull hook and wave follow on our airdeck range, a customer at the london boatshow said to me, my seapro 340 airdeck inflatable and 9.8hp from tohatsu outboards package digs in at the back end when its at full speed periodically and it slows us down. I replied that all airdeck boats do, from any manufacturer, and he said well thats a design fault waiting to be fixed. I agreed with him. The next season we were the first inflatable boat manufacturers in the world to put a series of under mattress pressure plates along the length of our boats, this completely eliminated the problem. I gave the complaining customer a free boat as thanks for his kick up the arse!!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Outboards for sale review: Tohatsu outboards 50hp TLDI review part II

So last week we had run in the tohatsu 50TLDI at loch Lomond and we were just about to start testing, we were moored at Inchmurin island and had a full day of watersports to look forward to, the seapro 500 divemaster RIB was ready to undergo some serious stress testing!! I thought I would ease the engine in gently so my son William was first up on the kneeboard, he was a newbie so I held the board in the water whilst my wife Caz helmed the boat with an experienced observer at her side, the engine pulled the boat out of the water easily and the speed was controlled to perfection, no flat spots at unwanted times like old school carburetted 2 strokes. After Will had his fill I decided to try the double ringo’s these should test the torque of this little lightweight 2 stroke to the max. So with me at the helm, one observer, and 2 adults in the rings (20 stone in the boat and 22 stone behind) I gunned it, the engine labored under full load at 3500 rpm, I thought this was too much for the engine, and I thought I may be about to regret not fitting a new mariner 60hp 4 stroke from our inventory of new outboards for sale, but the little plucky 50hp from tohatsu outboards kept on pulling and after 20 seconds or so the rings had emptied their sluices and up they popped. I was suitably impressed! After this stress test we decided to take some speed readings and I will tell you about this and fuel consumption in the next blog.

Mariner outboards 125hp optimax review part II

Ok so in my last post I was up to the running in period of the new mariner 125L optimax outboard engine that I had fitted to my 6m seapro rib. The fitting process had gone well and we were in anglesey running the engine in. All went smoothly, engine sat nicely on the transom and the boat sat well in the water, I think 125hp is the perfect choice for a 5.5-6m rib, balancing weight with power. Once the new mariner outboards engine was nicely bedded in (this takes around 3 hours to do properly) we decided to take a trip up the straits from Menai bridge to puffin island, I asked the helmswoman (my wife Caz) to open the throttle and see what she could do. I was expecting around 40mph (39kts) at WOT (wide open throttle) with the 19” pitch propeller which is the standard choice from mariner outboards giving around 5500rpm. The weather was fair, 20 degrees C and a neap tide on the low slack with very little wind. I followed the speed on the GPS - 10 seconds 40mph, 13 seconds 44mph, 15 seconds 46mph, 20 seconds 50mph at 5800rpm - ooh yeah we are really motoring, engine trimmed perfectly (well the helmswoman was well taught if I do say so), slight rooster trying to erupt from the wake, boat was right on the planing pad and flying. Well above expectations, now i’m glad I didn't fit the 115TLDI from tohatsu outboards. I will tell you all about the fuel consumption figures and torque curve next blog!!

The all new mercury and mariner 150hp 4 stroke

Brand new for 2011 is the mercury 150 4 stroke mariner engine. It purports to be the lightest 4 stroke 150hp engine on the market at just 205kg - for those not listening, that’s 205kg!! That is almost 2 stroke outboard weight - planting this 4 stroke firmly in the realms of optimax and etec weight range. Not only that but it’s a 3 liter powerplant, thats the biggest cc 150hp on the market by some margin!
Great strides have been made over the past few years in tightening the waistband of the once obese 4 stroke outboards, usually spurned by Suzuki, this time it’s the time of mercury and mariner outboards to raise their hand and deliver a honed, chiselled 4 stroke engine. They will hit the outboards for sale market in early 2011 and pics are around now if you root around, it’s not only super lean, but a bit of a looker aswell - if you like american overstatedness!!
Tohatsu outboards only make 4 stroke engines upto 30hp as they think the weight gain of 4 strokes over that hp is not acceptable - well right back at ya tohey!! It certainly promises to swell the already bulging market of outboards for sale for 20 footers in a very positive way.
So why is the mariner 150 4 stroke outboard so light yet powerful? It comes down to the design, it’s so simple, it has a single overhead cam with just 2 valves per cylinder, no fly by wire so it is going to be cheap, really cheap. Initial figures suggest it will retail at under £10,000 inc vat. Roll on 2012!!

All new mariner 150hp 4 stroke

It has not yet been unveiled but we have seen the first few sneak peeks at the new beast from mercury marine, the 3.0L (yes 3000cc) mariner 150hp 4 stroke. Light weight at only 305kg it promises to be a world beater. The engine is the biggest AND the lightest 4 stroke 150hp outboard on the market. It will be marketed in the UK under the brand of both mercury and mariner outboards. Its price is really impressive too, it looks like it will retail for under £10K AND its cheap to own. I’m a mariner dealer so this isn’t what I want to see but ALL the routine maintenance is designed to be DIY, so there are decals under the cowl to tell you what to do, there will be youtube clips to show you how to do it, and they will make it easy for you with all service parts marked in yellow on the powerhead.
The engine has a single overhead cam with 2 valves/cylinder and its chain driven so you don’t have to change it.
So in summing up its cheap (under £10,000 inc VAT), powerful (generates 165hp), very light (205kg), cheap to run - self service. So expect to see lots of new ribs for sale with the all new 150hp 4 stroke from mariner outboards on the transom next season, I know I will be testing one on my trusty seapro 6m rib!!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

New 50hp tohatsu TLDI review

As a outboard engineer of 15 years and somebody who does more than his fair share of boating, I thought you may want to know my thoughts on the tohatsu 50TLDI that I have been using for the past 2 seasons. This isn’s an advertisement for tohatsu or this motor, just an impartial review of the engine.

Firstly why did I choose the 50TLDI from tohatsu outboards? Well I always try to match the engine perfectly to the boat and type of use it will be required to do, in this case, skiing, cruising, and a little trolling. The boat is one of our trusty seapro 500DM divemaster series ribs, its light weight required careful consideration when choosing the outboard, now we at bill higham marine have a lot of outboards for sale, but my options were narrowed to 50 etec from evinrude outboards, mariner F60ELPT-EFI 4 stroke, and the tohatsu 50TLDI. Each of these have their merits, but the weight of the tohatsu - 93kg, the price (£500 less than its nearest competitor) and the brute power I’d get from a 2 stroke won me over. Decision made!!
Engine fitting and rigging was easy, the extra oil for the run in period is taken care of by the ECU, so 1hr of idle to 3000rpm, and 2 more hrs of varying the throttle with minimal WOT were the order of the day. Then it was off to loch loomed for a weeks holiday and to take some snap shots and video of the rig for advertising purposes. I will tell you how we went on and my thoughts of the engine in next weeks blog!!

Mercury 125 optimax review

I have been an outboard engine mechanic for 15 years and an avid rib enthusiast for even longer, so I thought you may be interested to have my review on the all new mercury and mariner 125 L OPTIMAX. I fitted this engine to one of our ribs for sale - a seapro 600DM divemaster. A heavy boat for her size, especially with the consoles I fitted to her, she has a large centre console and 2x jockey seatpods, along with a 90l under floor fuel tank, all this was going to take a little pushing, did I go for the F100 4 stroke from mariner outboards, or a V6 150 optimax outboard from mariner or mercury. Or the tohatsu 115 tldi. All good engines, but I decided to plumb for the 125 opti, its based on the 115 optimax which I have used before, but with an extra 10hp I thought I would see what it was like.
Rigging went well, the only thing I dont like about the mariner range is the junction box which has to be fitted within 6 inches of the remote control box, but I got away with this by fitting a witches hat right next to the box through which I sent the control cables and the ancillary wiring harness. Other than that it was a straight forward fit out. Then it was off to anglesey for a long weekend and demo of the new 600DM along with some video and picture shoots. I’ll tell you how the test went in my next blog.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

What outboard shall I buy?

Its a good question and one that goes through most peoples mind when they look at the price of new mariner outboards, or the latest offering form yamaha outboards. There are so many different outboards for sale today that you as the buying public can be truly overwhelmed by choice!
The first thing to do is know exactly what size and type of engine best suits your boat and your needs. This will take a whole blog/article in itself so I wont get into it here. Next set your budget, this is different for each person, but be realistic, and (if you can afford it) don’t be a miser!! You gets what you pays for...
To a degree your budget will decide on whether you can afford a new engine, but not entirely, as yamaha and honda outboards are about 10% more expensive than mariner outboards or tohatsu outboards. And a used honda will be similar in price to a new tohey.
If you are in the used outboard realms but really wish you could afford a new engine then these days there is light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of Parsun outboards. You can get a parsun outboard for about the same price as a 5 year old yammy or mariner. So there are a lot of outboards for sale, and all have their price. If you cant afford a new big brand engine, buy a Parsun, it wont let you down.

Shall I buy a new or used inflatable boat?

It comes down to budget AND preference for shiny new, or built to last used. Only you can decide on this so I expect you will have made up your mind on that one.
If you have chosen shiny new, stick to a good quality brand - honwave, avon, bombard, zodiac, seapro, with one of these brands you will have a boat designed and built right.
Choose your outboard carefully too, I have written articles and blogs on this so look at these. Mariner outboards are a very good choice - middle of the road price wise, and VERY reliable.
If you are thinking of a used inflatable boat then you need to go for a premium brand - avon inflatables, zodiac, bombard, Seapro in that order would be my choice. Make sure you can see the inflatable boat blown up and if possible test it on the water, look at the transom for cracks, look at the tubes for abrasion, cracks and leaks, also look for patches and or wear to the underside from beach launches etc.
You need to check the seams for fraying/wear, and the fixtures and fittings for over use - oars and oar locks, transom pad, grab lines and d rings will all give up their story of the type of use the boat has had. If it’s done a lot of work then walk away. Age is also a consideration, but this should be the last thing you look at, amount of use is way more important.

Monday, 26 September 2011

A little about tohatsu outboards

If you have a tohatsu then your engine has the potential to last a lifetime, these outboards, originally designed as commercial engines have grown to become amongst the most reliable ever made. Most tohatsu engines are 2 strokes, having only branched into the 4 stroke market in 2003 with the 4/5/6hp single cylinder 4 stroke outboard engine, and the 9.9/15/18hp twin cylinder overhead cam motor which was exactly the same powerhead as the yamaha of the same era. Tohatsu manufacture all small engines for brunswick marine who own mercury outboards and mariner outboards, brunswick marine also have shares in tohatsu themselves (around 40%), tohatsu and brunswick have factories around the world, but the majority of tohatsu engines are manufactured in japan and china. Brunswick have a large factory in china where the mercury / mariner 40hp 4 stroke is manufactured. Tohatsu outboards branched into the public sector in the UK in around 1995/6 and although they were less than well received initially with a few models that were less than bulletproof - namely the light weight 9.8hp 2 stroke which was very mechanically noisy, and the 40C twin cylinder and 50D 3 cylinder which also suffered from the same problem. Tohatsu soon got their act together and the 9.8 and the 50D became some of the most sought after and reliable used outboards around buy the mid noughties. Best known for their light weight and brutish power delivery!

Looking after your rib boat

There is lots of information out there about how to look after your outboard engines, but very little about actual rib maintenance, ribs are reliable 4x4’s of the sea, they are very rugged, and so long as you find the right ribs for sale, your boat will last you a lifetime. General boat maintenance procedures apply to the hull of the boat, keep eyes open for any damage to the gelcoat caused by abrasion and impact, these chinks in the armour of the boat need to be attended to as soon as possible to avoid possible water ingress into the fiberglass beneath. Gelcoat repair kits are available from all good boat and yacht chandlers where you will also find good deals on mariner outboards and a myriad other enticing goodies for your boat from icom VHF through Garmin G deals to tohatsu outboards! If you didn't want to buy a new rib and instead decided to plumb for a used rib for sale, then you will also need to keep a look out for some problems that come a little later in the boats life, these comprise transom flexing (first signs are star cracking in the gelcoat at the corners of the transom), micro-blistering to the hull (small bubbles caused by water getting between the fiberglass and the gelcoat due to osmosis of water through the hull. For these last 3 faults you should contact a boat repair company to seek their advice as to whether the boat is worth repairing.

Friday, 16 September 2011

What’s the most popular used outboard for sale?

Well it has to be yamaha outboards, everybody wants a yam. But of all the yamaha outboards for sale which is the most popular? I think the most occurring request we get at bill higham marine is for a 50hp yamaha 4 stroke. They are very well sought after, even more so than the mariner outboards favorite - the 60hp bigfoot, or tohatsu outboards 50TLDI. All of these are good engines and when looked after carefully will give years of great service. We have around 300 outboards for sale at any one time, and in a season we manage to sell around 500 - 800 units both new and used outboards together. If we could get our hands on more good quality used engines of between 2 and 8 years old we would be millionaires by now!
But as it is, we have to make do with what we can get, this season we have noticed that there are a lot of used outboard engines on the market and this has dulled our normal sales advantage, we always buy up lots of outboard motors in the winter when the prices are down a little (and we have time to repair and service them all), and then when nobody has any used engines to sell in the summer we still have stocks. This year we still have stocks now in September!! What will 2012 bring? I can’t wait to find out.
Happy boating

How to look after an inflatable boat

So you have done your research and hopefully have made a wise investment. With a little luck you have steered away from the chinese cheapo brands and have plumbed for something reassuringly substantial like one of the french makes - bombard zodiac inflatables, or a british avon, or maybe one of the high quality korean boats like Seapro. You have bought your new outboard engine to match the boat perfectly, possibly one of the offerings from Mariner outboards. Well if you have bought carefully there is pretty much no maintenance required of a good quality inflatable boat. If you use it in salt water then its a good idea to rinse it down with fresh water after you holiday is over, you can clean it with soapy water and for more stubborn greasy stains I find one of the modern “searching” spray on lubes is really good, try GT85 or wurth ultra, wd40 will do as a second best. Alternatively you can plumb for one of the specialist inflatable boat cleaners such as is made by farecla.

At the end of each season when you are ready to store your inflatable it is a good idea to remove all moisture from the boat if you can, some people use talcum powder to effect this. Another useful material is silica crystals, this also stops milldew appearing on your bow bag, boat bag too. Look after your kit and it will look after you! Happy boating.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

How To find the best new rib for sale to suit you!

Well you are ready to take the plunge, push the boat out, dive in (insert watery pun here). You have your hard earned cash in your pocket but you don’t want to waste it on any old dross. Its a big decision. My advice is to speak to somebody who knows what they are talking about, and no I don’t mean captain pugwash down at the sailing club who had mariner outboards twenty years ago. I mean somebody who can give you exact advice on the best ribs for sale. Get to a rib dealer and tell them exactly what you want to do with your new boat. He will not only have new ribs, he will have outboards for sale too, he will help you choose the package to suit your needs ideally. Stick to a good quality brand like Humber, Ribtec, Seapro, ribeye, osprey etc. Expect to pay £13,000 upwards for a decent quality 5m package. Or £15,000 and up for a 5.5m, and £18,000 and up for 6m. The best value of them all are probably Seapro ribs. They are over engineered, reliable and will last a lifetime. Osprey ribs are more expensive but still worth a look if you can afford the price tag. If you want to speak to me, call Bill Higham marine on 0161 790 7678. Good luck and happy boating!!

Why choose mariner outboards?

Lets face it, you as the boating public are spoilt for choice these days when looking for new outboard deals. Whether you’re looking for mariner outboards to put on your inflatable boat, your new rib package, or your warrior fishing boat, you have a mind boggling selection to choose from. Every outboard dealer will tell you his brand of outboards is the best. Well, the real truth is all new outboard brands are pretty good these days, sorry, with the exception of the chinese cheapo’s - Hidea (or Hideous) and Vector with their crappy carbs and cheap chinese electrics. The rest are very good.
Parsun outboards are the new kid on the block, manufactured by an American company called Genovo they are what Tohatsu outboards used to be - reliable, no nonsense, well priced and dependable. Of the big brands it seems that mariner outboards have the edge on the rest as regards price, the build quality is un-questionable, the range is concise, and the warranty is the best in the business. But if you can’t afford the price tag of a new mariner, before you start looking for a used engine, get a look and a listen to a Parsun outboard engine, don’t be put off by what so called professionals have posted online, they have either never seen one or are intentionally slating the product. Look for the posts written by ENGLISH people who actually own one, you wont find anything negative there.

Friday, 2 September 2011

What next for the inflatable boat?

What next for the inflatable boat?
Well inflatables have retained their integrity for the past fifty years or so, the odd new innovation here and quirky add on there, but to all intents and purposes they have remained unchanged. With so many brands vying for their little cut of the pie inflatable boat manufacturers must look to new horizons to turn their inflatable boat for sale into an inflatable boat sold! They can no longer rely on special offer deals to dazzle the punters with seemingly irresistible arrays of extras: free bow bag with every boat, extra seat worth £45 with every inflatable for sale this week etc.etc. This stuff has all been done. What the discerning and forward thinking manufacturer needs is something to set their inflatable boats out from the crowd, a true innovation that will either increase the enjoyment of the boating experience or help them save time getting the boat either together or down again. Well at Seapro boats HQ in korea they think they have cracked it, an innovation for 2012 which will set seapro inflatables ahead of the rest, zodiac inflatables will be running back to the drawing boar to try to better the most common sense invention since the airdeck!! Want to know more? Then watch this space...

Tohatsu outboards have taken the top spot!

A sign of the times?
Well its approaching end of season silly sales time again at bill higham marine, and as I look back on what appears to have been a very busy season I am left with the facts and figures that don’t lie: namely sales of new Tohatsu outboards, Mariner outboards and Parsun outboards. Coupled with the used outboard sales, but these are more of a constant than the new sales, the new engines are a barometer for the health of the marine trade. Tohatsu outboards have in their own right been on the rise for the past ten years due to their recent entrance into the outboard arena. With more brands of outboards for sale, tohatsu outboards have taken the top spot as being the largest outboard manufacturer in the world (this is largely due to the fact that tohatsu make all the outboards of 2.5hp through 30hp for mercury marine (of which mariner outboards is a brand name of).
For the past ten years or so we have had a steady increase in our new outboard sales which I suppose reflects the hard work we put in with each and every customer and the money we spend on advertising. Tohatsu outboards have played a large part in that increase. And now we are seeing the mantle of budget brand taken by Parsun. What will happen next year? Well hopefully we will sell a few outboard engines!!