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Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

23 Jun 2017, 18:58

My FRIB 360 picked a good weekend to turn up in time for, arriving last Friday. I got it out for a maiden voyage on Saturday with some swimming a mile or so out and a bit of fishing on Sunday in some very hot weather and beautifully calm waters. Planning some drifts using the excellent Navionics app, my old man and I caught a mackerel (which went on the BBQ), a bream, my first ever gurnard and a few decent-sized plaice.

I was really very impressed with the FRIB. For it's packed size, it inflates into a serious bit of kit! Recording a track on the Navionics app, the boat got up to about 20 knots 2-up with my 15hp Johnson, felt very responsive to steer and solid jumping over waves. The only downside from a fantastic weekend boating was aches and pains from lugging the boat and outboard about.

The issue is that all the gear only just squeezed into my estate with the seats down. I thought I’d be able to get the FRIB up onto a roof rack, but – in practice, and as suggested by a couple of members of the forum – getting the boat up without a sliding Kari-Tek-style system or putting a dent in the roof of the car wasn’t really feasible, even between two.

It was such a tight fit with everything in one car that we ended up dividing the gear between two cars to go down to the beach... And, because I didn’t want to leave a wet boat in my car and a greasy and smelly outboard in my old man’s overnight, carting everything back and forth through the house into the garden... And because we were beach launching and the FRIB wheels were very good at digging into the shingle with any weight on the boat, I ended up lifting the outboard up and down the beach :thud.

Long-story-short, we did far too much lifting and I ended up leaving the FRIB at my old man’s house because it was too much hassle to load it all back into my car knowing I had the reverse to do when back in Surrey. I bought the FRIB so I could more easily go out boating in different places around the country, so I’m now strongly considering buying an old workhorse that’s big and capable enough to cart the FRIB and outboard about. I’ve fancied a 4x4 for a while as there’s always a place for a vehicle that you don’t have to worry about what you chuck in it for fishing, gardening, biking, runs to the tip etc. etc. The FRIB may just help me justify the purchase :).

I’m looking at either a pick-up (e.g. a c10 year old Nissan Navara, although the reported chassis rot and timing chain issues worry me), or a similarly-aged Land Rover (potentially even more expensive to maintain!). My question is, can anyone advise on how easy it is to load a 360 FRIB, outboard and gear into a pick-up vs an SUV?

The benefits of a pick-up as I see them are cheaper tax and that I don’t have to worry about leaving a wet boat and smelly engine/tank in it overnight. If I got one with a roller deck, I’m thinking I could jump up onto the truck bed to help move stuff about when loading/unloading.

But is it easy to slide an FRIB into a pick-up single-handedly or between two keeping the packed boat flat on its hull and will this fit with an outboard strapped to one of those easy lift outboard trolleys like the BHG Moter Toter? Looking at the measurements of a pick-up like a double cab Navara, things look like they’ll be tight, and a roller deck wouldn't close over an outboard on a trolley :?.

Or, is it easier to do a one-man bear hug of the 360 and put it upright in the back of something like a Land Rover with a much higher and shorter load space, with an outboard chucked in afterwards? I don’t know if they’ve changed the material of the bags the FRIBs come in, but I bruised and grazed a couple of patches of skin off my forearms doing one-man lifts on my packed boat over the weekend. I’m sure it was easier when I tried FRIB HQ’s demo model :o!

Any advice gratefully received :help.



Re: Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

23 Jun 2017, 21:59

You need to speak with Martin, he's got a Nav and the F-rib,
Regarding the D40 issues, with rot and timing chains, yes they have issues, but a good one is a great truck , I've got a 2011 D40 which I've had new and it's done over 166K , it's had the bilcar timing chain conversion and the chassis has been waxoiled as well, so hopefully it's good to go for a few years yet, There's plenty of Navs still going strong and Nissan is now going to inspect all years of the nav and if good painting them with a rust prevention, so there could be some good bargains to be had,

Re: Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

23 Jun 2017, 22:24

The prices on Nav's has plummeted in recent months.
The snapped chassis thing has hit resale prices.
Be careful and try to find one that's been inspected and passed and you could "pickup" a lot of truck for good money. ;-)

As for a Landy, well lets just say, i hope you know your way around the spanners :rofl
LandRover, making Mechanic's out of owners for over 50 years.......

If all you're looking for is a cheap hauler then i'd recommend you look at a cheap van.
cheaper to run, low loading and secure storage :thumbsup

Re: Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

23 Jun 2017, 22:44

I have a d40 and my boat, engine and everything else boat related fits in easy.
I do have a snugtop on the back. A roller shutter won't give you enough height room.

It's dead easy to put the boat in the back. Stand the boat on the transom and lift/slide it in.

Re: Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

23 Jun 2017, 22:44

If you can hold off a short while, Nissan have a bit of something rolling out for the chassis check & then inhibited to stop corrosion.
The D40, even with its faults is one awesome machine. Had 10 yrs now - from new and still the old girl makes me smile every time I drive it.
My timing chain upgrade has been done, along with remap and boost pipes upgrade. She runs sweet, pulls line a train and eats miles due to the comfort level.
Cracking motor!!

With a hard top on, I have followed Paul's tip and added a shelf. Outboard goes on the top and the FRIB hoes underneath.
Works for me ! ohyeh :respect

Re: Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

23 Jun 2017, 23:00

Didn't realise Nissan would paint the chassis after inspection Paul. I heard they were buying back if under 12 years old and the chassis had cracked, but that's interesting to hear. Presumably if I bought a ten year old Navara, I could take it to them for inspection and paining free of charge then?!

I heard the Bilcar timing chain mod was the thing to do. Looking on Autotrader and eBay, very few (if any) seem to be advertised as having had this done, though. So I'd be looking at adding another £1k or so parts and labour on to the purchase price with the age and miles I'm looking at. From what I've read, the chain can snap between 80-150k miles resulting in an engine rebuild being required, so it sounds like something I'd have to budget in with a purchase.

Good to hear positive things from both you and Andy on the Navs though. As you say, they really are a nice truck and a whole lot of metal for the money the 2nd hand ones are going for.

I'm sure you're right on the Landy front Andy. I keep on hearing that they're lovely cars if you can afford to own them in their manufacture's 3 year warranty, otherwise they're money pits! Or you really have to know what you're doing mechanically, and I don't :-0.

I love the idea of a VW T5 Transporter/surf van, but they still seem to go for big money. To be honest, I've had a bit of a 4x4 itch for a while and do really fancy a pickup. I like the 2011-2015 Ford Rangers, but they're too pricey for what I'm looking at.

Will hopefully hear from Martin on his experience with loading an FRIB into a Navara :).

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Re: Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

23 Jun 2017, 23:17

Thanks for the intel Martin. Sent my previous message before I saw your reply.

From what you're saying, it sounds like it could be a really decent motor then, and potentially at a great price if I can find a good one.

Are there any T's & C's for asking Nissan to check the chassis, or can you just take any 2nd hand Navara along to them at any time to have a once over and sort? Good to hear they've got something more coming out soon for this too.

That sounds like a pretty decent lift to get the OB up on a shelf :)! I was thinking of a Nav without a hard top so I could jump up into the truck to make it easier to move stuff around. Do you think a 360 would fit in the truck of a double cab with the outboard and everything flat on the truck bed?

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Re: Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

23 Jun 2017, 23:23

Phil wrote:
I love the idea of a VW T5 Transporter/surf van, but they still seem to go for big money.

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There is a cheaper alternative to VW Transporter/ Merc Veto brigade ;-)

A few of the more discerning of my "Surf Dude" mates are fitting out Hyundai iLoad vans.
Very reasonably priced especially second hand and a long manufacturers guarantee.....

Just feeding the brain :D

Re: Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

24 Jun 2017, 09:22

I have to agree with Andy's comments and here's why :idea: ....... tin hat on ready for my fellow Navara owners verbal abuse :Boxsmile :lol:

Despite loving my Navara pickup ownership of the past 13 years and it's versatility :thumbsup the 'deal breaker' for me is the load bay height :(
I had fully intended replacing it with another pickup but on the occasions when I've folded up my F-Rib to go away in the caravan I've really struggled to get the boat lifted the 1m off the ground and onto the tailgate and the same goes for my OB :cry:
Ok I'm nearly 60 and not the tallest or fittest of fellas but I've watched James and Martin load their outfits and I'm sure they'd confess it's not a 'breeze' :| whereas the load height of the crew cab style VW, Merc and Hyundai vans would make it a 'breeze' ;-)
These vans have all the practicality of a pickup (the VW can also be had in a 4x4 version) with the advantage of 'ease of use' so get my vote :thumbsup
That's my 2p

Re: Maiden voyage + SUV vs pick-up truck?

24 Jun 2017, 09:28

James, Paul B, we have a traitor amongst us... :o
"Take him out and flog him" I say :Boxsmile

Although he does have a point or two lol, the FRIB in the pick-up is s doddle, the outboard on the shelf, that's when I appreciate a hand. I can manage it but by god it hurts :thud
I gave a hard tip fitted but unfortunately I can't get the FRIB on its end, so it has to lie down. The outboard and the FRIB do just fit in the tub in the floor but it does leave it tight and it needs to be packed correctly to prevent damage to either item.

If, (and a huge if) I change my motor, it'll be a T5 or a transit custom that replaces my trust steed. I love my nav and I've struggled to find anything to match it.
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