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  1. #1
    TDF Member Alex Denny's Avatar
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    Anyone still dive from inflatables / zodiacs?

    Iíve been thinking about boats for a while. My club sold its RHIB a while back as it was not used enough, expensive and not enough people could tow it. But as a result we donít do enough sea diving unless we charter a hard boat. Personally, I quite fancy getting a small boat for inshore use only. A run out to the end of Brighton pier or Durdle Door from a nearby beach etc. A zodiac is lighter, can be stored in my garage and transported in a 4x4 or van with no trailer (or could be put on the roof).

    As I understand it, it was pretty common in the 80s and 90s but I never see anyone do it any more. Or do they?? Is it a terrible idea or just unfashionable?

    I think it sounds fun and for a small club like ours could be great...

  2. #2
    Pedantic Pig Divemouse's Avatar
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    Lots of people do. Ask Hot Totty about his.
    Definitely don't doubt Dawn - not if you value your life

  3. #3
    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    I have an outboard in the garage. Mariner, I think. Been sitting around for some years. Don't know what it is worth.
    I also have floor panels, steering system, fuel tank etc for an inflatable. Can't remember what make/model though. Could dig it out if anyone is interested.
    Paul.
    If God had meant us to breathe underwater, he would have given us larger bank balances.
    Human beings were invented by water as a means of moving itself from one place to another.

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    "Thinking of getting a boat".. dangerous and expensive thought! Remember the old adage: you're only happy twice with a boat; the day you buy it and the day you sell it!

    There's some public slipways where you can launch, but they're pretty few and far between. Thinking of Newhaven and Shoreham, not sure of any inbetween. Need somewhere safe to park it too (e.g. Newhaven or Shoreham...)

    Maintenance isn't cheap. Boat spares are generally specialist and can be quite a surprise. I guess I'm saying that it's quite a liability. Thinking with head not heart, it's so much nicer to dive from a hard boat and leave it up to the owner to deal with all the other crap. £50ish a day's a bargain!

    Obviously thinking with your heart, then there's loads of things you could do, such as go boating for a day or drag it to other locations around the country.

    Always better to have a small backup engine too. Even a little 4hp dinghy outboard is really useful to get you home when the main engine's gone phut. Slow maybe, but self sufficiency's great!

  5. #5
    TDF Member Alex Denny's Avatar
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    To the best of your knowledge, does it work?

    The challenge is deciding on the size of boat. Small ones are no good for diving but when you get up to 4m they become a lot less portable. Still, new, itís cheaper than a second hand RHIB and would be nice to have on the river by my house!

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    The little blow-up dingies for sailing boats are quite cheap and work well for bimbling around on a river, well under £1k, less than half that for a smaller one. Can inflate them in a few mins. Just need a small engine to run. 2hp is nice and simple and very light; 4hp probably optimum. Bigger gets heavier. Electric motors are getting more popular but are expensive for the batteries. Lots of second hand outboards available.

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    Established TDF Member MikeF's Avatar
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    theres a reason RIB's were invented and then got bigger. diving from a small inflatable is a PITA and they slap like crazy in waves and are very slow when loaded. However I know a few that still do it though whilst chucking an inflatable in the boot and blowing it up onsite sounds easy enough it's enough of a pain to mean most people leave them inflated and tow them.

    If your serious don't buy a new cheap PVC one. look for a secondhand Avon or zodiac hypalon inflatable with a pointy bow, the squared off bow ones do not like a head sea. probably the smallest you can realistically have two divers and a cox in is about 2.8m. I've dived from a smaller one but it wasn't for the faint hearted and that was on a flat calm sea.

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    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Denny View Post
    To the best of your knowledge, does it work?

    The challenge is deciding on the size of boat. Small ones are no good for diving but when you get up to 4m they become a lot less portable. Still, new, it’s cheaper than a second hand RHIB and would be nice to have on the river by my house!
    If that question was aimed at me, I have no idea. It is at the back of the garage with loads of stuff in front of it. If some one was seriously interested, I would un-earth it.
    Paul.
    If God had meant us to breathe underwater, he would have given us larger bank balances.
    Human beings were invented by water as a means of moving itself from one place to another.

  9. #9
    TDF Member Alex Denny's Avatar
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    All good points!

  10. #10
    Confused? You will be. Jay_Benson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Denny View Post
    I’ve been thinking about boats for a while. My club sold its RHIB a while back as it was not used enough, expensive and not enough people could tow it. But as a result we don’t do enough sea diving unless we charter a hard boat. Personally, I quite fancy getting a small boat for inshore use only. A run out to the end of Brighton pier or Durdle Door from a nearby beach etc. A zodiac is lighter, can be stored in my garage and transported in a 4x4 or van with no trailer (or could be put on the roof).

    As I understand it, it was pretty common in the 80s and 90s but I never see anyone do it any more. Or do they?? Is it a terrible idea or just unfashionable?

    I think it sounds fun and for a small club like ours could be great...
    The rules around towing are often very misunderstood. The rules are as follows:

    Licences issued from 1 January 1997

    If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 you can:

    Drive a car or van up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
    Tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg
    MAM is the limit on how much the vehicle can weigh when it’s loaded. You have to pass the car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier - this is called a B+E test. You might need several lessons before you’re ready to take the test.

    Further details at - https://www.parkers.co.uk/car-advice...wing-capacity/

    To give some reference points the weights and towing capacity of some cars are below:

    Skoda Octavia Estate - weight up to 1750kg - towing a trailer (braked) up to 2000kg
    Ford Focus Estate - weight up to 1600kg - towing up a trailer (braked) up to 1800kg
    VW Passat Estate - weight up to 1800kg - towing a trailer (braked) up to 2200kg

    Clearly you can get into trouble with the rules if you have a heavy boat pulled by a heavy VW Passat and it doesn’t matter if the boat is light the police work on the plated weight of the trailer and the plated weight of the car.

    Boats can weigh less than 1500kg with engine, fuel and trailer - you just have to be careful when choosing the boat.

    Going back to the OP question - I went out some years ago on the Glasgow Uni floppy - it was fine for diving from on the Clyde and weighed next to nothing. I would do it again quite happily.
    For information to help you plan your dive trip in the UK and Eire try www.planyourdivetrip.co.uk

    Public transport planning info at www.traveline.info


 
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