Buying an Inflatable Boat?.... Please consider these words of wisdom:
Considering purchasing an inflatable Boat or RiB?
When considering an inflatable Boat or RiB, be it as a tender, a pleasure boat or a commercial craft there are a number of factors to take into account to ensure that the investment you are making is as safe and risk-free as possible.
Some factors seem quite obvious, such as the warranty period that covers the boat (often an indication of the manufacturer's confidence in the product) but it is worth asking exactly what is covered by the warranty, as only the fabric may be guaranteed against defects when the actual construction of the boat is not. This may be due to a staggered build process involving several manufacturers, or it could reflect the fact that several suppliers now simply brand boats from a generic stock pile then market them as their own, with a "stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap" approach that is not appropriate for such an important purchase. The manufacturing processes of mass produced boats are mostly automated and do not benefit from the level of care and attention to detail akin to traditional construction methods. A hand made product is the work of a craftsman, and is often checked more thoroughly, and to a higher standard, than the equivalent product from a production line. This gives us the confidence to support a 5 year comprehensive warranty on fabric and construction for all Excel Inflatable boats and RIBs, as we are sure that each boat is free from defects and fit for purpose for more than twice the lifespan of some lesser quality examples that are currently available.
Viewing is essential, either at exhibitions or in a shop or showroom, so be wary of any 'internet-only' outlets that cannot offer the option (or the elusive 'by appointment only' label) as any problems or warranty claims you might have in future are likely to be dealt with in the same way. Another factor to consider is postage ? if you can't go and see the boat before you buy then it is unlikely that you will be able to go and collect it, which can mean costly courier rates. Collecting a boat also offers an insight into how much space it takes up in the boot of the car, roof-box or trailer, how easy it is to manipulate, and how you will manage when you come to use it.
A second opinion is always a valuable asset, and what better way to reinforce our guarantee of quality and integrity than to comply with the strict requirements for CE certification? Each model in the Excel range is CE certified both in the UK and in the EU, giving you peace of mind in terms of safety, durability, build-quality and insurability. If a craft is not fully compliant in respect of Regional Craft Directive and CE marking, then it may not be covered in the event of an insurance claim as a result of loss, accident or injury. One must also consider the resale potential of a non CE marked inflatable and the availability of spares and replacement components ? there are often no spares available for the increasing number of branded Chinese imports, with no follow up or after sales service available. Being the manufacturers of Excel inflatable boats, we have a very comprehensive stock of all Excel parts ready for immediate dispatch, as opposed to a 'special order only' option with long lead times / limited availability with excessive pricing ? e.g. a high pressure air deck for a Zodiac or Quicksilver inflatable will cost in the region of ?450 plus carriage, whereas the equivalent Excel component would cost around ?150 inclusive!
In dealing with the manufacturer directly, should you purchase an Excel inflatable boat or RIB, or a boat and engine package, then you would benefit from an informed and detailed handover, specific to the model or package purchased. Our substantial premises incorporating our head-office with sales lounge, a large showroom and our workshop facilities offer an accommodating and hassle free experience, and registration of warranty is effected at point of sale directly through us giving you peace of mind. Any questions that you may have can also be answered directly, thanks to a wealth of expertise and over 30 years of combined experience in the marine industry. We are also on hand to offer servicing and maintenance for existing boats and engines, and act as a regional hub for after-sales support with various Dealer Networks, stocking and supplying 6 brands of outboard engines for any application.