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  1. #1
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    Default Shopping for inflatable boat

    With the recent floods in our town and surrounding communities we finally got the papal blessing from the mayor to purchase a boat to help remove residents in case of flooding. What I'm looking for is an inflatable with very low draft and some additional protection as most of the use would be in roadways. Something about 12'+ so we can put something bigger than a 5hp motor. Price is a great consideration, so we're open to gently used. Any suggestions let me know.


  2. #2
    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    Whatever brand you decide upon, I highly recommend a rigid-bottom inflatable as opposed to an inflatable keel. The durability of an RIB will far out weigh the added cost.
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    I would love to have a RIB, but the areas of use don't permit the use of a V-hull, but flat bottom only. The best we can do would be rigid bottoms on the outer tubes.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hatchmaster View Post
    I would love to have a RIB, but the areas of use don't permit the use of a V-hull, but flat bottom only. The best we can do would be rigid bottoms on the outer tubes.

    I think you would be surprised at the draft of some of the RHIB's out there. There are Zodiacs with barely 8 inches below the tubes.

    http://www.zodiacmilpro.com/product/zodiac/500SRMN.pdf

    If you can't work with that, you won't be able to run a motor at all, regardless of the boat you choose.

    For motors, the jet driven outboards are some of the best protected with shallow draft, but they can plug up in the weeds.

    http://www.honda-marine.com/modeldet...odelGroup=bf35
    Last edited by mcaldwell; 09-16-2008 at 04:52 AM.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  5. #5
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    There are lots of choices out there. Take a look at this RIB. http://www.polarisboats.com/p/jet/outboard.htm They make aluminum hulls which are designed to work with a jet pump. Four stroke outboards are great with a prop, but may be less desireable with a jet. They are heavier and don't have the "hole shot" that two strokes do, at least in the smaller HP range. If you go jet, look at the two strokes.

  6. #6
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    Try this http://www.avon-workboats.com/page/erb380p My dept has this boat and just used it for the same reasons you stated. After the boats last use it had a small leak that was fixed with a patch and rubber cement.Boat fills with an adapter that connects to your scba bottle. Hope this helps.

  7. #7
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    Hello from Illinois. So you didn't have a boat and now want an inflatable for flood evacuation?
    Get a aluminum jon boat.
    This last weekend our boat was killed by an underwater obstruction. So we are looking into a new inflatable. We need the inflatable for the dive team and swift water. If I were only doing flood evacuations and didn't have to worry about the divers or any current, I'd get a jon boat 4 or 5 person capacity, they have ZERO maintenance and for the price of 1 Avon ERB 380 you can get a whole fleet of jon boats.
    I know an inflatable is neat, but for what it sounds like you will be using it for it is not worth the money or maintenance.

  8. #8
    Forum Member BladesRobinson's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD View Post
    Get a aluminum jon boat.
    I agree with ADSNWFLD. If the only purpose is flood evacuation an aluminum hulled flat bottom vessel would work very well. You may look at Rescue One Connector Boats at:
    http://www.rescueone.com

    If you are going to work in swift water, surf, or carry heavy gear (including divers) then an inflatable boat has tremendous advantages.

    I agree also with the earlier post....
    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949 View Post
    I highly recommend a rigid-bottom inflatable as opposed to an inflatable keel.
    The draft between a rubber keel or a fiberglass keel (RHIB versus soft bottom) is insignificant. In a flood situation, you need to consider all of the things that are under water and can puncture or tear out the bottom of your soft bottom vessel. Consider street signs, chain link fences, etc. I know teams around the nation who had to stop their flood rescue operation because of damage to their boat (and their "jet" engines).

    In my mind, the only reason one would consider a soft bottom vessel in the public safety industry is if they plan to deploy the vessel without using a trailer and plan to keep the deflated boat inside a vehicle compartment.

    Because most departments use their boats for rescue (quick deployment), they are typically stored on trailers, fully inflated and ready to go. If your agency has never had the need for a boat and only anticipates deployment for the rare flood (predicted in advance via the Weather Channel), then it can be pulled from a compartment or storage room, inflated and placed on top of the hose bed.

    Without knowing the situation or budget, given the choice I would prefer...
    1) aluminum hulled flat bottom vessel on a trailer.
    2) rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) on a trailer.
    3) soft bottom (inflatable keel) inflatable boat on a trailer.
    4) soft bottom (inflatable keel) inflatable boat stored in a compartment.

    One downfall you may want to consider as it relates to trying to deploy a vessel "by hand carry" as opposed to launching off of a trailer is the weight and potential for back injuries. Just because they have air inside the tubes doesn't necessarily mean that they are light in weight.

    Good luck with your selection. Should you choose a Zodiac or Avon, please allow Dive Rescue International to offer a bid quote. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    Blades Robinson, Director
    Dive Rescue International
    www.DiveRescueIntl.com

  9. #9
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    Default We were looking into this boat

    http://www.zodiacmilpro.com/news/MinutemanWithRAD.pdf
    Talked to some guys out in Harrisburg, liked what we saw.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Yep, I saw that one an we're currently writing an emergency grant for two of them to be shared within our division.

  11. #11
    Forum Member weir33's Avatar
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    Default

    It really becomes what you need not what has the most gizmos or biggest motors.The size of your lakes, rivers, ocean areas. a 14 ft alunimum boat offers a good balance of manuverability duribilty and ese of use including launching I have portaged 14's through some rugged areas in a recreational setting . Like mentioned earlier they stand up well to under water hazards. RIBS come in many styles and sizies from river rescue to ocean going Having a boat that exceeds your need and training level is a waste of money and training time. Talk to your local resources the fishermen, the old guys at the gas station your recent experience prob wasnt the first flood. "GOOGLE Saxbys Gale" if you go 14ft keep an extra prop and tools to change it in the boat!!! wrap cord arount your oars at the oar lock area it protects the wood and makes good pull cords it will always be avalible ohh!! for a couple feet of rope and most importantget some of the the epoxy sticks that you kneed and activate they come in aluminum and works under water.
    I have operated14's in lakes and streams 16 ft Ribs 70 HP in tidal rivers and large lakes up to turbo diesel Zodiac hurricaine in ocean conditions during SwisAir 111 each craft has a purpose and its own limits dont be like HRM FIRE and try to put it all in one boat

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/9008475.html
    J.B.WEIR
    Summerville Vol Fire Dept
    Pride In Service !

  12. #12

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    Default Zodiac

    I like our zodiac we do alot of different bodies of water rivers mostly always with divers, we run sidescan sonar, its quick, easy to work with.

    Chris VanDruff
    Rescue Capt , Dive team diver.
    Greater Valley EMS & Rescue.

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