Wednesday, 21 December 2011

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.

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