George Ioannou. From keen angler, keen inflatable boat builder!

Editor: Iosif Papadopoulos.


It has been a long time since I last featured an inflatable boat, on this site or in one of the magazines of the time. That is, when and as long as their publishers allowed me to inform readers and not to caress the ears of advertised manufacturers or dealers. The news on facebook that yesterday (Sunday 21/10) Giorgos Ioannou would put the Aegean 494 with the 100th Suzuki engine into the sea for a first test was enough to wake up my drugged mood. So I told George that I would like to be present at the test and he had no objection.

The “Aegean” inflatable boats are easy to spot from afar. They have their own special line, a deep “V” hull and a foot at the end of the stern for easier planing and maintaining planing at low speed. They have black air chambers, made of that matte hypalon neoprene that gives the boat a sense of luxury, and the now familiar long and narrow sideboards, right and left on the deck, which house all the fishing gear related to spearfishing and rod fishing.

Yesterday, at Daskaleio of Keratea, Giorgos Ioannou threw the 494 into the water with a loaded 100 four-year-old Suzuki in his mirror. “I had to enter the builders’ space and build my own inflatable boat because no builder wanted to get into the process of building a boat that could meet the needs of a snorkeler,” says George Ioannou.

We went out together in the Greek four of the southern Euboea, which created a wave suitable for drawing safe conclusions about hulls, sailings and… near seas. The 494 was a pleasant surprise, because on this length of stretch the only thing its operator doesn’t expect is to have the engine in the 6,400-rpm cutter, with the odometer reading 45 mph and, most importantly, without feeling like it’s in danger of being thrown. himself from the deck! A different pitch stainless steel propeller will certainly harmonize better with the incredible power of the Suzuki 100. I am also quite sure that the 494 will “tread” even better in the water if it is not so empty, as it was yesterday in Daskaleo, and if the driving position “walks” a few centimeters of the meter towards the bow.

Something also impressive about the Aegean 494, always in relation to its size, is its ergonomics and cleverly designed interior spaces that will not allow any luggage, speargun or fishing rod to roam aimlessly on deck disturbing the passengers.

There is even a specially designed draining tub on the deck, under the skipper’s feet, where ice can be placed to keep fish, bottled water or other perishable food frozen. A similar space has been provided for the preservation of baits! Particularly important is that the 4.94 is self-draining and stationary.

Given the Suzuki four-stroke’s low fuel consumption, it is predicted that the 103 liter fuel tank that houses the 494 in its hull will give it an enviable range of around 170 n. miles! Size that is particularly important in times of thin cows.

The 494 nevertheless gives a feeling of solidity and seriousness, with the pads staying put, even in extreme conditions of speed and wind, and with the complete lack of annoying noises and creaks. The only minus, as a picture, is the quick stop that was hanging next to George Ioannou’s feet (I noticed it when I saw it in the video montage) and the bathroom ladder which, as it was not fixed, extended into the sea and participated in his… sailing boat. You might call it an “insignificant” detail, but there was nothing else annoying to catch my attention!