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anybody got an excel sd 260 dinghy?

Ripster

Active member
Joined
20 Oct 2008
Messages
2,190
Location
Torbay
Thinking of buying one and would like feedback.
I have been looking at the SD290 version. They seem well made and well priced. My neighbour on the Marina has one and the guy next to him too (260s) both seem happy enough. The chambers are a good size and one is two years old, outside floating all the time has been towed behind a yacht all season. It looks fine.

Thinking about waiting until the LIBS to see if any deals are about.

On my list so far are:

SD260/290 Excel
265 or 300AD Wetline
Tetra pro - 260
Honwave 270 (bit pricey)

What others have you looked at?
 

rickym

New member
Joined
31 Dec 2007
Messages
592
Location
Aboard
I bought a SD 260 at the Southampton boat show. We looked at Wetline, Tohatsu, Honwave, and a few others.

We liked; the additional material under the tubes on the Excel, the carrying handles at the back making it easy to carry up the slip with the O/B on, the lifting eyes for davits/lifting onto the 'mother ship',a full cover was offered which we wanted (on the others we would have to have made one), the 5 year warrantee and a good price.

We will see how it performs over the next few years
 

Trundlebug

Active member
Joined
4 Jan 2007
Messages
2,434
Location
River Trent
I did a lot of research looking for the best value tender / dinghies a couple of years ago.

I came to the conclusion that although the Lodestar got the best reviews, and seemed to be the best product overall it was far too expensive.

Second best in features was the Excel. For a much lower price the only feature it didn't have compared to the Lodestar was the spray rail with coloured red and green reflective strips!

Although I didn't have the money to buy a new one, (and was offered a second hand Wetline at only £100), I did recommend the SD260 to a mate.

He bought his 2 years ago and is really pleased with it. I'm also consistently impressed every time I see it. Nice bit of kit. Definitely recommended.
 
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Bosun Higgs

Dry Dock
Joined
26 Nov 2009
Messages
13,410
Location
everywhere
I have the 230. Very good value IMO.
How do you find the size? I would prefer the lighter weight and easier packing of the 230 which also has the potential to get on the plane with one aboard and using my 3.5hp o/b. But I am concerned that its a bit small for 2 people - its shorter than my Avon Redstart and thats a doughnut ie hasnt lost the space between the tubes and behind the transom. So in terms of internal space it isnt really a 2.3 but probably more like a 2.0.
 

Hoolie

Well-known member
Joined
3 Mar 2005
Messages
5,363
Location
Hants/Lozère
We have an SD290 which is obviously longer but also has larger cross-section tubes. Easily takes 4 adults and is very stable. Downside (of course) is that it's heavy and needs winch help to launch off the foredeck. It's all very well made and Excel provided (at some cost) an adaptor for our electric inflater.
Don't regret buying at all!
 

Lodesman77

Member
Joined
22 Sep 2008
Messages
887
Location
Cambridge/Pin Mill
I have the SD200 and my friend has the SD235 (used to be the SD230+ I think). The SD235 is a good size, and has the benefit of the same large diameter tubes as the bigger models. It seems to work well for two adults + child + bags on a regular basis. I singlehand and have a smaller boat, hence the SD200. It still has an inflatable keel and it rows well when required.
We were both thinking of Lodestars but couldn't justify the price, the Excels are good quality and seems to be lasting well, albeit only a couple of years so far...
 

lille_bee

New member
Joined
2 Dec 2004
Messages
403
Location
North Wales
Wetline 265

We had a wetline 265 little RIB for 10 years. In that time it suffered all the trials and tribulations of a Med. life... dragging up beaches, bumping into Greek harbour walls etc. So tough was the PVC that not one, yes NOT ONE puncture in all that time. However, the glue on all the seams finally gave out last summer (previous years of glues various to hold it together). Pays your money, takes your choice so we have now splashed out on hypalon... an AVON RIB lets see how 10 years serves this one (just hope they use different glue)
 

colhel

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jan 2011
Messages
2,816
Location
Gillingham(Dorset) Boat East Cowes
How do you find the size? I would prefer the lighter weight and easier packing of the 230 which also has the potential to get on the plane with one aboard and using my 3.5hp o/b. But I am concerned that its a bit small for 2 people - its shorter than my Avon Redstart and thats a doughnut ie hasnt lost the space between the tubes and behind the transom. So in terms of internal space it isnt really a 2.3 but probably more like a 2.0.
I bought a second hand Plastimo 2.3 last year to replace my Redstart. I found space to be more cramped (obviously) but also the weight and packaging size was no less than the Redstart which is a shame as this is why I bought it. Mind you the Plastimo has wooden floor boards, but I have removed these so I can store the dinghy in the cockpit locker to save towing the Redstart behind us. Also, being a donut the Redstart is easier to beach launch as the prop is a lot higher due to not having a transom, but then again the transom does balance the dinghy out a lot better.
 

Baggywrinkle

Well-known member
Joined
6 Mar 2010
Messages
6,621
Location
Ammersee, Bavaria
I know it's not an Excel SD 260 but ...

Just got a new Wetline 265 AD last week, out of the box one valve didn't work.

Removal of valve showed a folded seal, re-seated, re-fitted and everything was fine. Valve could never ever have been leak tested or passed QC like that.

Foot pump tube was also blocked with a thin plastic material similar to the tube outer covering. Poked with a pen and it popped. Pump then worked fine.

Pump seal to valves isn't great, it hisses while being pumped up but this doesn't seem to affect the attainable pressures.

The seat weighs a ton as it is solid 1 inch thick fiberglass.

On the positive side, seams, materials and fittings seem excellent and the air deck floor is very impressive. When all pumped up to the correct pressures it's a very nice little boat, deep and safe feeling with a very rigid V-Floor and large diameter tubes.

I am getting a 4-stroke Mercury 6hp for it next week so we'll see how it performs with that on the back.

Mine was a sample of one so they may not all be like this, in summary - boat excellent, QC dodgy, accessories cheap, overall pretty pleased at 509 quid delivered to Germany.
 

tjbrace

Member
Joined
8 Mar 2007
Messages
396
Location
West Mersea, UK
Hi Bosun Higgs,
It's known as Squidger, it does look a bit titchy, especially with the + size tubes, but it works. packs into the cockpit locker quite easily and our lockers are not large as we have 2 aft cabins. We used it often at Felixstowe Ferry this year (swinging mooring, dog on board that insists on peeing ashore.
It is big enough for my wife and I plus the dog and a small amount of luggage.
Last year we were moored at Orford and used Squidger to visit Aldborough about five miles up river. Wind changed direction and increased whilst we had lunch. We ended up quite wet on the return trip, an adventure!!
 
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