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HP for 310 air deck ?

Discussion in 'Tenders & Dinghies' started by MSviking, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. MSviking

    MSviking New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
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    34
    Location:
    OB Alabama
    I am about to buy a Mercury 310 air deck to be used as a dingy on my 54C Viking. I won't use or even have it on board often, but there are family fun trips where having a dingy to get to sandbars etc... will be nice. My plan is to store it deflated under the sole and inflate and deploy when we are rafted up on nice summer days. It will stay in dry storage on land most of the time.

    Question relates to engine Hp and weight. I will be deploying the dingy without a hoist or davit, the 2.5 hp engines are light, approx 30 lbs vs the 5-6 hp approx 50 lbs. I do not intend to plane, just need the power to safely move 2-3 people to shore. Would you go with the 2.5 hp and lighter weight or the 5-6 hp? do I need the additional hp or is 2.5 enough to putt back and forth to a sandbar?

    Thanks for all thoughts/opinions

    Robert
  2. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    Feb 22, 2011
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    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    It really depends on what you want.

    I have two outboards and 3 inflatables that i use on my SF for what you intend to use it for.

    The boats are a RIB, a roll up, and an airdeck.

    One outboard is a 15 HP and the other is a 2 stroke 4 HP.

    The 15HP is heavy and a struggle to put on and off the boat.

    the 4HP is very easy to handle and take on and off the boat, the draw back is that it is slow.

    I keep the airdeck on the bow and easilly lift on and off the bow by myself.

    I keep the 4 hp in the cockpit, it is very small and light.

    The roll up is in the boat house. it is a bit small for me.

    The RIB is too heavy for me to lift on the bow without a lift so I almost never use it.
  3. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Do not buy a Mercury boat....

    I have owned a Mercury 310 Airdeck since 2007 and it has been a nightmare because of lousy quality and poor customer support.

    The keel failed, the floor failed and the transom de-bonded from the tubes.
    The boat has been to the dealer 3 or 4 times for repairs and the average time in the shop is 2 months awaiting parts from China.

    Some manager at Mercury tried to tell me that the transom was not covered by the warranty becaues it was not part of the boat..:rolleyes:
    (not making this up, they tried to weasel out of every repair and the shop/dealer was embarrased on their behalf)

    The design of the boat is okay: Fast and stable, but the quality and workmanship is of lowest possible grade.

    As for HP, I tried mine with a 2.5 and it was not a good match at all.
    Ended up buying a 4 HP, 4-stroke Yamaha and it turned out to be a good combo: 11 knots @ full power with 230 lbs of Norseman onboard, 6 knots with 2 people.

    Get a quality dink from Caribe or Avon but stay far away from Mercury, they do not stand behind their warranty and the quality sucks big time..:(
  4. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    A 2.5hp is a little on the small side, unless you are in very sheltered waters, in my opinion.

    Try to get the most powerful single cylinder motor for your money. 2.5 will weigh about 40lbs while a 6hp around 50/60lbs. My 15hp twin is almost 90lbs and a bit of a struggle to mount from a pontoon or swim platform.
  5. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I have a Mercury RIB (310 i think) it is used (not by me) 12 months a year and is close to 10 years old.

    The boat is actually very tough and holds air forever, it had never been patched!

    Overall the boat is a great.

    And only weighs about 80 lbs.

    I am not fond that there is no inside deck and the hull is the floor.

    The white color seems to fade and really only look good when new.

    Grey color fabric seems to work better for me the way i use (abuse) inflatables.
  6. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Jan 15, 2010
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    Location:
    Cold Spring Harbor, NY
    Here in the LI Sound area, my wife and I and our little doggie are very content with our 310 Avon and 2 1/2 hp four stroke - no mixing oil. We keep the tiny motor in a dock box located in my cockpit and the dink up side down on the foredeck. When assembling I can launch the dink single handed and bring it around to the swim platform, transom in. With one hand I lift the little motor on, tighten it down and off we go. I keep all the equip/supplies in a "go bag". I agree that it is a little under powered ( not enough for the windy carrib) but around here, the combo gets us to shore and around the anchorage area for evening cocktails pretty nicely.

    Happy gunkholeing (sp?)
  7. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Wow, used that much and still holding up..?
    It must be made by a different factory than my 2006 Mercury as it is junk.

    Also the weight is weird: Your RIB weighs less than my Air Deck:
    Yours is 80 lbs and my boat is 103...:confused:

    When I bought my Mercury 310 in 2007, Buster Marine swore it weighed only 80 lbs, that and the 10 year warranty made the decision easy to buy the boat. Turns out it weighed 103 lbs and I complained to the dealer and said I wanted every penny back due to false advertising OR a check for $300.00 to buy a lifting device so I could lift the porker without breaking my back.
    They sent a check for $300.00 immediately saying they made a mistake rather than tryimg to mislead the customers.

    The 10 year warranty turned out to be nearly worthless as getting them to honor the warranty is like pulling teeth..:mad:

    Again: I will never buy a Mercury product again and the managers in charge of the warranty program and customer support is totally incompentent and should be shot and killed like mad dogs...:rolleyes:
  8. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    i might be off on the weight, i checked online and the new 310 says it is 110 pounds.
    I dont think mine is that heavy becuase i can lift it out of the water myself, bit it is a struggle to get it up on the bow.

    I got mine from Busters in Queens also....
    I dont remember the exact year, but it was about 10 years ago.


    I think it cost around $1,700 when new.
  9. MSviking

    MSviking New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
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    Location:
    OB Alabama
    Thanks for all the input! I guess I am going to rethink the Mercury, I was actually thinking it was a quality inflatable? I am not trying to be cheap, just trying to something of quality that is overly difficult for me to manage.

    Thanks again!
    Robert
  10. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay & S.Jersey
    Hi,

    For what it's worth, I bought a Brig, Dingo(seen at brigboat dot com) about 10 years ago. They are made in Canada.
    It weighs 80 lbs with the inflatable floor. More weight with the wood floor but I wanted to be able to pick I up easily.
    We've been happy with the Brig in it's quality
    We use it just like RT46.
    5 Hp Merc outboard which is not really very fast but perfect for getting around.
    My wife is little but I make up for that..... with the " GO Bag" and 3 gallon fuel tank, we putt along at 5 or 6 knots.
    The 5 is easy to handle and easy to store.
    A smaller engine would be bad when it's windy.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The Brig I took care of was marketed/sold in Canada, but was in fact produced in the Ukraine.....this was in 2007. It was a 12' and was made of good quality and a solid little rib for cheap money. I'd recommend one.