Attention of Terry
Excel SD365 report
I purchased an SD 365 and 15hp Mercury from Excel Inflatables in April 2005 and am happy to share my experiences to date of this combination.
The boat was purchased after a lot of research into this type of craft and the conclusion was that the Excel range seemed to offer the same technical abilities of all its competitors at a much lower price. Having visited the showroom in Sutton the decision to buy was very easy based on the looks and craftsmanship of the craft. The engine was a simple choice with Terry’s guidance as Mercury are renowned for excellent engines.
The boat is used off the South Devon coastline and the addition of 2 launching wheels means the boat is simply unloaded from the lightweight trailer and easily pulled across the sand into the sea. We keep the boat inflated in the garage as we have the space in our home in Devon and just check the air pressures before we go out in it
The Boat generally has 3 adults on board which leaves plenty of room for fishing rods and a picnic for an enjoyable day out. As this year is our first year of boating we only go out when the sea is calm and the wind is less than Force 3 on the forecast, even so on perfectly fine days a 3-4 foot swell can soon appear but the 365 is so stable this does not present any problem at all it just adds to the fun. We stay within easy distance of the shore (never more than ½ a mile away) and cruise around gently exploring a nearby river estuary and beaches.
Performance wise, the 15 hp Mercury moves the boat along at a steady 5-6 knots at ½ throttle which is quite comfortable and will make around 12 knots with 3 adults at ¾ throttle. Opening the throttle fully does not seem to propel the boat any faster ( the speeds are all from a portable GPS ).The boat is very stable and dry at all speeds and inspires confidence. We have even had 4 adults and 2 children in the boat and there still seems plenty of room for everyone. The surprising thing is how shallow the displacement of the boat is and how little fuel the engine uses under all conditions, using approximately ½ a tank full for a day out on the water at varying throttle settings. Bearing in mind that 15 hp is only 50% of the rated hp of this craft, the combination works well and has met all of our requirements with respect to on shore convenience and capabilities at sea. The only planned upgrade is to purchase a 30 hp motor for next year to increase the speed of the boat; we may try the Tohatsu engine next.
All in all we are delighted with our new venture as ‘mariners’
and would thoroughly recommend the Excel package to anyone interested
in simple, easy and fun boating.
Paul Comer & Family