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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Has anyone used, or seen this brand of inflatable? There's a lightning deal on Amazon right now for their small version for $500 for the next couple hours, and I need a decent small inflatable before next season. :)

Also, can anyone recommend a decent, inexpensive outboard that's under 4hp?

This will be the first time I've bought a tender.

Any insight is greatly appreciated. :)

Amazon.com : Solstice Sportster 3-Person Runabout : Open Water Inflatable Rafts : Sports & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@41-khkyl1AL
 

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I've always felt you get what you pay for with inflatables. Being Chinese built, I'd be cautious about their ability to fulfill the warranty.
Our top of the line Zodiac has lasted over 7 years, 5 of those as our dinghy while we are cruising, with nearly daily use.
However, if you do buy one, please keep us updated on how it suits your needs and holds up. After all, there is no reason why the Chinese couldn't build a superior inflatable at a discount price.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I went ahead and bought it. For $500 it seemed like a good deal. Key elements about this unit was it's small size and a hard floor. Also, it had great reviews on Amazon. It appears as though the negative reviews it DID receive were because of leaks right out of the bag. If that's the case, Amazon SHOULD take it right back. So my plan is to open it up and inflate it on my living room floor to see how well it holds air. If I get a couple years use out of it, I'll consider it money well spent as our first tender.

Incidentally I mentioned it to my receptionist, who is a fellow boater, and told her all I needed now was a small engine, and she said she and her husband are selling their "nearly new" Mercury 3.3 2-stroke for $250, so I'm getting that from her. :) Not too shabby, I think.
 

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good deals

the small older 2 stroke 2-3.5hp engines are very bulletproof and awesome performers and easy to maintain

tohatsu, nissans, evinrudes, suzukis, even mercs and such later on

good stuff

enjoy your new boat
 
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if you need any help on the merc 3.3 let me know...its same carb and stuff as my evinrude 3.3

my "new" nissan 3.5 also has the same carb too...just a few changes here and there like jets.

make sure you use very good lower unit oil when you change it out(always do this on new to you engines) as the cheap stuff will leak out and or froth up too much and emulsify with water...use good oil.

really simple to work on

peace
 

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awesome... post a pic or two to see the condition

something I always do is verify water flow and then if needed de grime the lower unit(you dont want to burn the impeller up)

pinesol in a bucket overnight does wonders, as does a vinegar flush if really bad...it will de clog the passages.

peace
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Terry, actually I just had the thing delivered yesterday. Took about 15 minutes (or less) to pump up with the included foot pump. It was still holding air when I checked it this morning. :)

A question occurred to me after I was finished pumping it up, if anyone has the answer; how do you know you've inflated the tubes enough, but not too much? The instructions say not to over inflate, and that the psi should be something like 2.7. But how do you know when you're done? The provided foot pump has no pressure gauge. Being too cautious, I suppose, I inflated the tubes to somewhat firmness, but when I sit on the bench or one of the tubes there is significant deflection under my 200-ish pounds. Is that normal? I've never been on one of these types of boats so my experience is none.
 

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I compensate for the sun and heat effect of compressed air

so inflate and push with your hand...if you can push in 2 inches or so you are good

alterantely if you have any wrinkle or folds like when you sit on it you are too low

this is the unscientific way of checking for correct pressure

others may vary
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Christian. You press into the tube and consider it inflated at 2 inches of deflection? that seems like a lot, and that it'd still a bit under inflated. And I'm assuming you mean 2 inches of deflection once it's been heated by the sun?
 

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well yeah it might seem alot but you will have to test your individual boat, stuff like what material is used, or if its braced by a seat and or what the transom is made out of and how its designed will make the difference

for example this would be how I do it in tropical sailing and latitudes say trade sailing the equator...

its how we did it all around the world, that was the MORNING pressure...by midday you are very tight, at 4 you are bursting and need to release a few psis and then at sundown you take it on deck and its nice and "deflated" and soft when you haul it in

if you go tight in the morning am and dont deflate by noon you will have issues and cause premature wear

likewise if you are always deflated you will kink and unglue seams or stitching, especially in the transom area(tubes) connection

really it will make perfect sense once you test your boat a few times what FEELS good

do notgo by psi numbers or pressure. I have never ever ever met anyone out there cruising who used psi or bars to inflate his or her dinghy

EVER

feel only

if you are feeling good about the dinghy make covers for the tubes out of sunbrella or similar and you will extend the life of your dinghy by a thousand percent...

just cause the dinghy is cheap(er) doesnt mean you cant make it last and give you plenty hours of life to enjoy from...

peace
 
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