The Honda Honwave T40-AE Inflatable Boat

 This was my second inflatable boat purchase, the Honda Honwave T40 AE.  My previous boat, the Humber 13 was a great boat but due to it’s age, or year of manufacture it had a wooden floor.  I had purchased it from Ebay and it looked like it was probably manufactured sometime in the 80’s.  The wooden floor was in two parts only and that was the problem.  The largest section was around 6ft long so transportation was an issue.  I could just about squeeze it into my hatchback car with the back seats folded down and the front seats as far forward as they would go.  Not ideal for driving long distances.  So after the Humber was sold I was on the lookout for a replacement.

My budget was around £1000 and looking around and online there were a few contenders but the Honda Honwave T40 stood out as being more than suitable for my needs. It looked very impressive and well designed for the price.  Also the Honda brand name swayed my decision making a bit as most of the other boats in this price range were from companies I’d never heard of.  In the UK, Honda have a reputation for reliability, as far as motor vehicles are concerned anyway so I was hoping that the same quality controls would be in place for their boat manufacturing also.  

With one ordered, it was just a waiting game and a couple of days later the boat arrived.  My impatience got the better of me and I couldn’t resist the temptation to unbox the boat and inflate it in the garden.  The first step was to roll out the boat then insert the aluminium and wood floor sections, then the side reinforcement struts which provide support to the floor sections.  The inflation process using the foot pump was a bit of a struggle and seemed to take forever, but in reality 20 minutes or so.  It didn’t take me long to order an electric pump off Ebay.  Here are a few pics from that day and the unboxing.  I was chuffed to pieces as I sat there in the boat sipping tea and planning my first outing.

Looking around the boat I could see that it was well designed.  I especially liked the positioning of the carry handles.  Two on the tubes at the back facing inwards allowing a person to stand between the 2 tubes at the back and lift the boat, and the 2 front handles.  These were perfectly positioned for passengers to hold on to when cruising at speed.

Time for a few specs now.  The boat weighs in at 86KG with the floor in place.  The name T40 suggests 4m long but it actually states 3.95m on the transom plate.  Overall width is 1.89m and the inside length and width are 2.79m x 0.90m.  The tube size is 490mm.  For transportation the boat packs down into 2 bags, the flooring and pump in one, the rolled up boat in the other.  Max load 1050KG.  Max engine size 30HP.  Max engine weight 90KG.

The following pics and videos are from the first outing at Skinningrove, UK.  I paired this boat with a Mercury 9.9hp 2 stroke engine I had in storage.  The 9.9 was more than powerful enough for this boat.  You can see from the videos below that is was a pretty nippy combination.

In my opinion this is a quality boat for the price.  How many other 4m boats can you get for under a grand from a well known manufacturer?.  During my research before purchase I did come across a number of forum posts slating the build quality of the Honwave inflatables and reports of seams failing etc but this was not the case for me.  Maybe that was just a sub standard batch or something.  Mine was fine during the time I had it.

My time with the Honda Honwave T40 came to an end when I decided to replace it with an airdeck floor inflatable.  At 150KG+ my Honda Honwave setup was difficult to manage single handedly.  Had I had more storage at home I would have bought a trailer and left the Honda Honwave fully inflated but back then that wasn’t an option so I just wanted a setup that could be transported in the boot of my car and assembled on arrival.  I was sorry to see the Honda Honwave go when I sold it but at the back of my mind I was thinking about my next boat purchase.  Farewell Honda Honwave, hello Seapro 340.  The video below shows my last session with the Honda Honwave T40.

Update:  OK, fast forward a few years and I’ve got another Honda Honwave T40 inflatable boat.  Find out why here:

My first trip out in my new Honda Honwave inflatable boat at Whitby, UK:

Check out the Honda Marine website:

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