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A sib is a soft floor inflatable boat (SIB) that will roll up and fit into a bag to ease with carrying or storage.
There are many different manufacturers and floor designs to suit your needs.
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The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

18 Jan 2018, 14:54

Thank you for the warm welcome to my recent ‘newbie’ post. I’m liking this forum already.

So, now on the hunt for my first sib and enjoying the research.
I have recently been given a near new 2.3 short shaft Honda outboard which now means I have to buy a boat to fit it on. I do use it for ‘powering’ 14ft fishing boats on trout Lochs on Skye. It does this ok as they are displacement hulls, but really needs to be a long shaft for this, but it sure beats rowing ! This sib will be used for fishing the relatively sheltered sea Lochs close to my home and I will only be going out in calm conditions and not likely to venture more than a couple of hundred metres offshore. 95% I will be on my own.

Research suggests I should be looking for a sib with an air deck/v keel as they are light and more manoeuvrable than a flat deck, as in alu or a slatted floor. I have an estate car so likely to just throw it in the boot and inflate/deflate at the slipway launch site close to my home. I could possibly strap it to my box trailer and go steady for the 3 miles to the slipway.... this would allow me to keep it inflated and ease the rinsing off process ( do folks rinse their boats ?). I do fish a lot as i’m retired so ease of set up/ weight are serious considerations.

So really , my question is, what size sib can I get away with ? A 2.7m is probably ideal for the motor but ideally i’d like a bit more room so currently looking at 3.2m boats. Would 2.3hp be enough ? I really don’t want to go to the added expense of a bigger/heavier outboard and not interested in whizzing around too much.

Currently looking at the Seapro/wave line 2.7 as a budget option up to the Honwave T32 or Quicksilver for more money. Also considering the transom mounted fold up launch wheels...

Really, it’s all down to the capabilities of the little Honda ....

Any input appreciated,

Re: The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

18 Jan 2018, 15:13

Those air cooled Honda 2hp / 2.3hp outboards are great little engines, I have the 2hp version. It will push a sib along perfectly well in "displacement mode" perfectly adequately in sheltered waters as long as you don't have massive tidal currents. In really strong winds or fast currents the 2.3hp will struggle, but it sounds like you will not be out in strong winds (not sure how tidal your Sea Lochs are).

Some people prefer slatted or flat decks for fishing as it protects the floor from fish hooks, but they are more fiddly to setup than the air decks. I have an air deck for ease of setup, but then I don't fish. Others on here will be more qualified to help you with the suitability for fishing of the different types.

Re: The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

18 Jan 2018, 16:08

We have the T32ie airdeck and everything for a day out fits easily into our estate car, it wont be the fastest with that motor but like you said it beats rowing!! :thumbsup ( I had a 6hp to start with but soon upgraded to a 9.9) As for the floor and fishing hooks etc I just lay an offcut of lino we had left over from the bathroom floor which is pretty thick and covers most of the floor space and saves all the mess and hooks being on the floor!

Re: The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

18 Jan 2018, 17:06

I have the honewave t38 & a 20hp engine & it all fits into my estate but there’s not a lot of room left so thinking of getting a 6x4 box trailer to give me more room in the car. I have an air deck & covered it with the foam square pads out of b&q £10 a pack which would do a smaller boat, that covers the floor & they’re quite thick but be careful of the tubes especially with the hooks. I always rinse off the boat the next day cause of all the fish scales & worm guts/ juices which does end up all over the boat especially if my mates are with me.

Re: The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

18 Jan 2018, 17:30

Redron are you talking about is a Sib with a high pressure "V" floor or an air floor with a sausage keel?

Personally i think this type of boat is the worst of both worlds.
Yes they are light and easy to set up, but the floor in them has a tendency to deform (bend up) under the pressure of the keel.
Also there's the danger of sharp objects slipping down between the tubes and the floor.

I think Matt D has one and i remember him complaining about sitting in a puddle?

If light weight is what you want then a high pressure V hull is the way to go. I know Honwave make a 2.7m version

Re: The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

18 Jan 2018, 18:10

As already said , the little outboard isn’t going to be great and I would advise not going too far out unless really calm conditions, I’m a big Honwave fan , and unfortunately for you I’ve just sold my trusty 3.2ie airfloor to another forum member down south, The Honwave 2.7 airfloor would be best with your engine, but space is very tight, so if your going down the airfloor route I’d suggest getting the 3.2ie, cracking boat and very capable, easy to set up and just as easy to pack up if required with no messing with a separate floor or slats, you could also carry it on the box trailer with a couple of ratchet straps holding it down on short journeys ,

Good luck with what ever you decide, and happy boating :cheers

Re: The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

18 Jan 2018, 18:39

Paul B wrote: The Honwave 2.7 airfloor would be best with your engine, but space is very tight

2.7m Honwave with 6'6'' at the helm!

Re: The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

19 Jan 2018, 08:48

Hi Redron, welcome to the forum. You live in a great area for boating. One of the beauties of the indented Skye coastline is that regardless of wind direction, you will be able to find a sheltered sea loch somewhere round the island.

I know the sea lochs of Skye very well as I have been sea kayaking there summer and winter for many years and my arms are a lot less than 2.2HP! A great advantage of a small light boat/engine is that you will be able to launch in many places that are inaccessible to those that have a heavier combination. My brother the Gurnard is a good example of this with his 275 F-Rib/6HP Yamaha combination.

I have an F-Rib 330 and have used it with a 2.5 Suzuki and 6 and 15 Yamahas. With 2-3 people aboard the 330 will not plane with the 6hp as the engine can't rev to full revs and reach its rated 6HP. In fact it does exactly the same 11km/hr displacement speed as the 2.5hp, which does reach full revs and its stated power.

Although the 330 is not much bigger than the 275 it is much more difficult to handle on your own, lifting it into the car or down a rocky beach.

Maybe you should consider a budget brand like the Seapro for this engine, that is what my daughter and her partner have done. They use a 2.5 Suzuki with a cheap boat and have enjoyed trips to the lochs of the NW highlands and the more open and tidal waters of the Solway in the right conditions. I am not recommending it but I have used my 330 2.5 combination one up in conditions up to F5 on the Solway.



You can always buy a bigger boat engine later on. I do have a 15hp engine on the 330 which is a lot of fun....

...but at the end of the day if I lived where you do I would be more interested in putting along trying to get up close to a sea eagle and enjoying the scenery rather than blasting along missing everything.

Have fun,
Douglas :)

Re: The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

19 Jan 2018, 12:32

Hello again Redron, I have just looked back at my GPS track and the tide tables. Two up Jennifer and Davie were making 7-8km/hr against an incoming tide of 4km /hr with the Suzuki 2.5 4 stroke. The boat is a very cheap Waveco Ultra 2.5 slatted floor. She bought it brand new last May from Duncan's in Glasgow for £280!! You really can't get cheaper, lighter boating than that.

I have now spent 51 summers at a caravan site on the Solway Firth where Jennifer and Davie were boating. I have lost count of the people who buy a boat that is too big for them to handle (sometimes because their family muscle power no longer want to go boating). Then they loose interest and the boat goes.

For example this lovely little Avon Rover 340 centre console RIB has a 20HP Honda and is only 6 years old. It has belonged to three people who have each used it for 2 years. Each was highly enthusiastic at the start of year one then hardly used it in year two then sold it at the start of year three. I nearly bought it at the start of year four but decided it was too heavy for me to handle on my own. The original buyer had been advised to buy the biggest engine that would fit on the boat to make it safer, so it's a heavy combination. Even though the boat has spent its entire life at the caravan park, and though once on the water, it sure was fun, it proved just too heavy for people to pull it up and down the beach..... and is currently for sale again!!


Re: The inevitable ‘which sib’ post...

19 Jan 2018, 15:06

Thank you folks for the informative replies, much obliged.

A bit more confused now... I was under the impression that all airdecks were the same. It would seem not. My understanding is that some have a high pressure v keel and others have a separate air deck with an additional blow up ‘sausage’ as the keel ? Comment noted re how poor they can be.... so I assume the v keel (Honwave) is just one chamber that blows up into a keel shape ? (Feel a bit daft asking this, I can’t find a suitable explanation on the web).
Which other sibs use this system ?

Douglas, great photos. I’m guessing the beach in the first photo with the kayaks is just before Loch Coruisk , just after the ‘bad step’. I took a friend over the ‘step’ recently and he was so elated he threw all his clothes off and ran into the sea from that beach, there wasn’t much to see when he got out ;-)
Also note your comments re size and weight. Initially I wanted to get a ‘proper’ fishing boat, something like an Orkney coastliner, but on asking round for advice I found plenty of folks who have/had one and didn’t use them , reference your point on size/weight/bulk. I’m a canny Yorkshireman with short arms and deep pockets and hate stuff going to waste.
I want a boat I will use frequently and not be hampered by bulk and weight. It’s looking like it will be a 2.7m, maybe a 2.9.
Short list is the Honwave, Zodiac cadet (the fast roller looks good but is nearly £1500). Still looking at the cheaper options too but this ‘sausage keel’ thing could be an issue...

Once again, thanks for the input .
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