Island Inflatable boat with Parsun outboard - review

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 11:32
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I am one very happy and satisfied owner of a new Island Inflatable boat setup, and wanted to share my excitement.

I bought an IA290 (2.9m with air deck) and teamed it up with a 9.8hp Parsun outboard. I also bought the bimini, dinghy wheels and the premium airpump. What I think is great about what I bought is that I could buy all the related items in a 1 Stop Shop. I did hassle Garry (the owner) a few times and am sure he was getting frustrated with all my questions, however his help really helped me make the right choices (eg. do I go for a larger boat, do I go for a smaller outboard etc).

The purpose for my boat is to take with me when my wife and I go caravanning. With no way of towing anything, it was either an inflatable or a Portaboat. I am glad I chose the inflatable now, after having used both.

Weight was the big consideration against size, and at 35kg, I would not want to lug anything around heavier (being in my mid 50's - not 20 now!!!). And the size worked out perfectly with sufficient room for wife and dog and I. And enough to fish from comfortably.

Blowing it up manually was a real chore, although not onerous. But the auto pump is a dream and you just set your pressure and 'Voila' it stops when pumped up to the correct amount. Easy and fast. The bimini also fitted beautifully and fits to the oars. Works a treat and keeps the sun out of harms way when fishing. Also not a problem when the boat is underway either. A good buy!

The boat wheels which fold up or down to suit also makes moving the boat around on hard sand or boat ramps a breeze. Well worth the cost and an excellent idea.

The Parsun 9.8 is a ripper! I was a bit sus about buying a Chinese made outboard, but this one is so smooth and takes virtually no effort to start it and it starts first pop each and every time. It has heaps of grunt, but is very smooth and torquey and snaps the boat onto the plane very easily. It is quiet and even on my run in mixture of 25:1 is not smokey. A lovely motor and very glad that I got it. And, combined with the boat, the two are at the special price of only $2,600; isn't that a good deal! I couldn't go near that with other similar combos from other suppliers, so I was very happy.

On the water, this boat feels safe. It rides particularly well and when on the plane it flies. Being a non-solid floor, when you go over a boat wake, on the plane, the floor does flex a bit, but you get used to that and it certainly is very stable and predictable.

At this stage I don't have any negatives that I can point to, and can heartily recommend this combo to anyone seeking portability, low cost boating and a reliable setup.

I bought this in Tassie from Maynes Marine from Zane Boucher and his service was excellent.

As I am in the customer service business myself, I was genuinely appreciative of his and Garry's patience (yes I was a bit pedantic and wanted to know all the ins and outs, as you do!) and assistance both in the pre-sale and post sale bits.

Thought other caravanners may be interested in my research and experience. Now to get the fishing gear!!!
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Reply By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 12:08

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 12:08
Great review Sean.

Now you have had an opportunity to assess your combination of boat & motor size - do you think a smaller outboard would have been adequate? I used to get around the kimberley water ways with a 5hp Mariner on a 3.0m dinghy - very light construction, not one of the heavier builds. That was great for fishing - but scary in open waters (like the mouth of the Cambridge Gulf when the tide turns and the winds pick up.)

I am trying to convince the boss we should invest in some means of getting onto water, but like yourself, rather limited for portage with the van on the back. Still have the dinghy but too awkward for rooftop loading these days.

Cheers - Phil
Phil 'n Jill (WA)

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Follow Up By: SEANDF - Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 19:58

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 19:58
Hi Phil,

I did try the 5.8hp Parsun but it wouldn't lift even 1 person onto the plane. The 9.8 did it easily. The 5.8 or even a 3.8 would be adequate for trolling and displacement speeds (slow) but if you want to plane the boat, you have to go for the 9.8.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 20:53

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 20:53
Thanks Sean

Probably makes sense to get the bigger unit even if it is only for the old adage of better to be 'looking at it' rather than 'looking for it' - the occasion may arise where a bloke could get out of trouble easier with the extra herbs.

Your feedback is appreciated - I take your point on board.

Hope you get a great run out of it.

Cheers - Phil
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Follow Up By: SEANDF - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 05:13

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 05:13
Exactly, and this was my wife's original thoughts when we tried both motors. Her thinking was better to have the extra power to get us back quickly if the weather cut up rough. After trying the 5.8 and it not being powerful enough to plane the boat, the decision to go for the 9.8 seems well and truly justified. It is only 6kg heavier and still very manageable.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 07:08

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 07:08
In the smaller engines, the 6,8,9,9.8 are all the same engine just jetted differently. Same with the 9.9, 15 and 18 h.p. range. Going by that I'd guess the 5.8 is a 3,4,5 getting its neck wrung. Compare weights then go the best h.p. vs weight you can find. That 9.8 parsun at 26 k.g. is identical to a tohatsu 9.8 - wonder what the similarities are? I've got the tohatsu downstairs - love it, i'm on my second one.
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Follow Up By: Sean D1 - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 10:28

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 10:28
In the Parson range they do change size. The 3.8 is small and thin, the 5.8 is chunkier with an integral tank on top (like the 3.8), while the 9.8 is the same size as their 15 (so guess the 15 is jetted out in this case).

I have been told the Parsun 9.8 is almost identical to the Tohatsu, but cheaper (interchangeable parts). Everyone raves about the Tohatsu, which makes (in my opinion) the Parsun 9.8 are better buy price wise, and hopefully with same/similar reliability.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:40

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:40
Just had a look (I'd love a 26 k.g. 15 h.p.).
9.8 parsun 26 k.g.
15 parsun 35 k.g.

Prices look pretty good, and yes, that 9.8 does look quite familiar.
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Reply By: BJ & Reen - Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 12:14

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 12:14
Hi Sean glad to here u have a good boat and are happy with it i have a 2.4 zodiac whith a three horse yamaha would like to have a little more horsepower can u tell me what weight your motor is please.
We travel ours on the roof rack rolled up 25kg so not to heavy for a old guy to lift the motor is on the back of van thanks
BJ
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 13:14

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 13:14
Hi Bj And Reen, just a dumb question how long have you had the zodiac, and are they easy enough to inflate. also what size motor would you recommend for the zodiac. as I have been thinking of going with that combo myself.
Broodie
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Follow Up By: SEANDF - Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 19:59

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 19:59
The 9.8 is 26kg. The 5.8 is 20kg. I keep the motor either in the back of the car or under the caravan bed.
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Reply By: BJ & Reen - Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 18:53

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 18:53
GDay Broodie
Have had our Zodiac for about 6 years we used it as a tender for our boat we now have it travelling with us, we have a foot pump to blow it up it takes about 8-10 minutes easly done i feel a 5 hp motor would be the go the three is ok in fresh water rivers or dams but slow going against the tide hope this helps.
Regards BJ.

PS the Zodiac is a very well made rubber duck all seams are welded a bit more expensive but built to last.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bill13 - Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 19:31

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 19:31
Hi BJ and Reen,
I, like you, also have a 2.4m Zodiac powered by a 4hp Yamaha motor 2 stroke.
I weigh 90kg and by using a PVC pipe attached to the throttle ,I can sit on the seat and get up on the plane easily. Being under 6hp the boat does not need to be registered. I have used the boat often when travelling and am glad I went with the inflatable. To transport it around inflated, I attach it to the roof of the Pajero with tie downs and the bow rope tied to the bull bar. With low speed there are no issues moving it from camp to the water.
Bill
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 20:15

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013 at 20:15
we used the zodiac in the Navy,many years ago now lol, and found them a very versatile piece of equipment and if memory serves me correct we had 20hp on the back of them and they flew but the size of those ones would make them impractical for the use i would get out of one of them. thanks for the reply and I will go and check out the Parsun
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