I just spent an hour writing up a response...and the forum dumped it all!
You think I would have learned to cut and paste by now! Uhgg!
Alright: You guys will be happy if you use small motors.
I currently am running it with a Torqueedo. If you are near San Francisco
You can buy mine for a deal. Its only been used as couple hours (340 Sport). Send your phone
number on private message.
If you are planning to use more than 8hp, you have a problem....and don't expect them to volunteer to take it back.
I will post the my entire conversation with Taka (again) when I recover from this effort.
Below, for the moment, are the two emails I sent them listing problems as I see them:
Thanks for the reply. I am running two different motors and got to test both yesterday on the boat. The Torqueedo works very well with the boat and seems to push it a 1/2-1knt faster than it pushes a similar sized regular inflatable
from West Marine
. 400watts equals just barely 4knots vs 3.5knots on my other dingy.The Taka steers far better than the other dingy. Basically going right where you point immediately. Stability is of course much better also. So the boat is a big winner with the electric motor
. I really like the extra inboard attachment rings as they will really help with the davits. Rowing and the hardware
for such is great by inflatable standards. I do, however wish that the rubstrips on the bottom of the tubes was twice as wide.
My other motor is a 15hp 2stroke mercury
. There are some issues with the bigger motor. First, I don't think you should advertise it as capable of even taking up to 15hp....unless you strengthen/stiffen the transom which flexes quite a bit with this motor. Until then you should say 8hp max. I am inclined to stiffen the transom myself but wonder if that would lead to the glue failing at the transom to tube joint. For this motor (short shaft) it would have been better if the transom was 50cm taller as it sprays water
like crazy and shoves it up into the motor cowling wetting everything inside the motor. So to make this work it seems like I would need to modify the transom one of two ways: Raise the motor height which is problematic and would increase the torque from the motor a little or create a deflector on the bottom of the transom with some bent aluminum
. This deflector will almost certainly slow the boat with the smaller motor.
Another problem which you must be aware of is that the floor does not stay in place at the transom when the boat is at planing speed. The wave and water force it upwards and out of position. More air pressure may help slightly, but really there needs to be a block/shelf running across the transom to prevent this. (I had about 6psi in the floor and 2psi in the tube)
I happen to be a boat builder
(see my cats at holoholocharters.com) so I can modify the transom as described and possibly fix the 15hp problem, but that will involve drilling holes in the transom. If I can't use the 15hp with the boat it doesn't work for me. So I need to decide between sending it back or modifying it. This is frustrating because these issues must already have come up for you folks. I don't want to modify the transom if you will not except a return in the event the mods don't do the job.
Overall, the basic idea, design, and build of this boat is great. But it has some significant issues that should have been taken care of in the prototype stage, all of which are associated with the transom area.
Please give me your thoughts on where to go from here.
I have tested the boat again with the 15hp (raised 1.5") and concluded it is simply not suitable for such. There are several small but significant refinements that would make it a good dingy. They are all things that could and should have been caught in the testing and prototyping.
The transom is far too weak to support the engine
rating and does not channel the water around the motor as it should.
The handles near the stern are in the perfect location to catch each passing wave and douse the engine
The grab rope
is perfectly located to knock the oars out of their socket every time you grab it and it always is in the sockets when you go to ship the oars.
The oars seem of good quality for the type but the storage
clips are useless.
The floor at the stern pops up out of position when you drive at planing speed.
The inflatable seat blocks the tube valve so you must deflate the seat to inflate the tube.
The dingy sent to me has some significant air loss over 2 days and would need daily pumping to run at recommended psi.
What you have at this point are all good parts
that could make a good dingy, and in fact works fine with a small motor (1-5 hp would be my rating now) but all need better thought on location and actual use. The only exception being the oar clips. However, it does not work as advertised with the bigger motor so we need to come to some arrangement. Please advise.