SpearFish Boats are relatively long and narrow roll-up inflatables. Their unique shape makes them very easily-driven, which means you can achieve decent speeds with relatively small (lightweight and inexpensive) outboard motors. And because the deflated boats fit in a bag (that fits in most car boots), you won’t need a trailer or mooring.
This all makes for a highly portable, and refreshingly affordable, means to get afloat.
For example, with a 6hp motor the 450 (15ft) model will do 14-15 knots with two adults on board, when a typical-shape inflatable dinghy would be languishing in single figures. The ride is also remarkably comfortable – she slices through the tops of waves, rather than bouncing over them. And the stability is also very good, because as soon as she heels a few degrees.there is an immense amount of “push back” from those long (4.5m long) side tubes.
As David Parker, in PRACTICAL BOAT OWNER Magazine summarised: “It is certainly both very quick, and a lot of fun.”
Why the emphasis on smaller outboards? Well, smaller engines are cheaper to buy, cheaper to run (fuel/servicing costs) and, perhaps the number one factor, lighter. As one customer put it:
“If you need a portable boat, you need a portable engine too“.
Outboard motors up to 6hp are a comfortable one-person lift (13-27kg); 8 & 10hp motors are just about manageable (lightest is 37kg). We’ll say it again: the SpearFish 15 will reach speeds of 12-15 knots with two adults on board, on just 6hp. Very few other boats can do that, let alone roll-up inflatables (we can’t think of any). And of course it’s even faster if you’re boating solo.
The 450/15ft model will take up to three adults (or two and two children), but if you are going to go out frequently with more than two adults then you may wish to consider the 550/18ft. It’s a metre longer, 20cm wider (which actually gives it nearly double the volume), and able to take motors up to 10hp. The 550 still goes very well with 6hp, but if you can cope with the weight something like the Tohatsu 9.8 (37kg) is much quieter and smoother (two cylinders rather than one).
There is also now (available June 2020) the 450WB, a version of the 450 that’s 10cm wider. That doesn’t sound much but because everything else (tube diameter etc) is the same it actually gives nearly 25% more internal space than a standard 450, and of course a bit more stability. It’s not quite as efficient, but everything in life (especially boating) is a compromise!
And lastly the NEW-for-2020 310/10ft model is in response to several yacht owners who like the look of SpearFish but can’t easily accommodate the extra length. The 310 is still much more slender and streamlined than a typical inflatable, but wider than the other SpearFish to gain sufficient volume/stability in this role. More on the 310 towards bottom of this page.