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Old 04-20-2010
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For cruising, especially down south, I would not consider anything but a RIB. I would not consider a soft bottom dink. I actually own two now and have owned many others. The HPIB is fine for little tidbits here and there, but nothing beats a rib that I have found.

I strongly prefer 2 strokes over the 4's. Again, I currently own both. The small 4's are heavy and under powered. The positive of the 4 is that you can run at idle speeds or slow speeds better, and they seem more efficient. But the first time you haul that clunker up on your davits or motor mount, you will be swearing you made a mistake.

I think Achilles makes a terrific tender. I actually bought a Walker Bay. You can search here for the thread which is realtively recent (around January). The WB I bought is their RIB... not that little flaoting dink. Totally different animal. We have been very pleased with it. Things stay dry, she handles well, will jump on a plane, etc.

Do not under rate the importance of being able to plane. Depending on your anchorage, you may be doing a LOT of motoring. If fishing, the same. And the first time you find a little coral head and swipe our the bottom of your tender (which I did), you will come to hate anything that is not a hard bottom.

As far as motors, I will only own a Yamaha or possibly a Honda (but have never owned a Honda, just would posssibly try it). My luck with Mercs sucks. Yamaha has repeatedly been a great performer. DO be aware that most of the small outboards motors are made by Tohatsu I believe. I think the cuttof is 9.9, but I cannot remember that anymore. Other may help there. However, the rest of the motor may be proprietary (gear shift placement, abaility to raise motor, etc). It is important to be able to easily raise your motor for beaching and when in thin water.

Again, for a cruiser, I would not get anything but a RIB. The others simply are dissapointments for anything serious.

My opinions.

Brian
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