We review 10 inflatable dinghies on the market to see which one would make the ultimate tender
Part of a new design range from Honda, this is a purposeful-looking craft, with an inflated vee floor, that extends past the transom to give a better planing area.
It has a two-stage foot pump, plus a separate pressure gauge. You have to inflate the three tubes in the right order, as the internal divider between them has a diaphragm that is designed to equalise pressure if the ambient temperature builds up during the day.
Securing the end of the hose into the valve proved difficult for some. The T27 has good all-round grab ropes, plus four large handles.
Four stainless steel davit lifting eyes are fitted, but a non-return transom drain means it will not self-drain. A strap in the floor secures the fuel tank.
Fabric triangles between the transom and the tube stop your stern wave flooding the boat if you stop suddenly or go astern.
The row locks consist of a stainless steel pin and plastic nut, with a horse-shoe clip to secure the oars when not in use.
The boat sits very high out of the water when empty, and even with one person aboard it tipped slightly from side to side, but you could still keep a straight course when rowing.
With a 5hp outboard the T27 got up onto the plane easily with one or two people aboard, helped by the extended hull.
It ran smooth and level up to 12mph with one up and 8mph with two up, although the seat is sited too far forward to sit on and look the way you are travelling.
A tiller extension would correct this. With the 2.5hp engine the tender made 6mph with one or two crew.
At 44kg it was the heaviest on test, due to its GRP transom and seat. Its packed length was at the short end of the scale, but its girth was slightly high.
£870 puts it in the middle of the field, with a warranty of two years.
Contact www.honda.co.uk 01753 590545