I thought I'd put together a few words on what I thought of the RIB now that my nerves are back in check even if my back isn't!
The XS-700 appears to be a very well made rib and the attention to detail on the fixtures and fittings are superb and couldn't want for anything more.
A point to note that all wiring is labelled clearly and very impressed to see that all the fuses are blades (i.e. the same as car fuses) which makes those crappy in-line fuses albut redundant.......a good thing in my book!
As I said our crossing wasn't the most enjoyable I've ever been on and at times just plain scary, however at no time did I ever worry about the boat, it felt rock solid and performed as it should have done. The ride was incredibly dry......for me, my morale support co-passenger might argue that one as he copped a nice big green wave in his face twice in 30 secs!! (oops!!)
Whilst not intending to leave the water for great lengths of time the first 12ft wave I hit, I was possibly a tad enthusiastic about it and left the water for a good couple of seconds before gently (i wish) landing back into the trough.
Needless to say I took it easy after that!!
I went out for an hour yesterday with six people on board and 85ltrs of fuel and managed a quite respectible 49 knots with the engine slightly trimmed. A couple of the passengers are long time RIB owners and gave each of them a turn at the helm.
They all remarked how light the steering was, how responsive the boat is and how the cornering is second to none that they had ever experienced before. I have to admit I tried several times on the solent to try and disappear up my own arse in ever decreasing circles and was suprised at the speed you can go in a very tight circle without the boat even flinching or skipping once.
All in all a top new toy! I'm not sure if it's up to the likes of a big delta but then that's not what the XS-Rib is all about. She can handle the rough stuff and gets a decent turn of speed with a decent sized engine.
If you are looking for a new rib, have a limited budget but want value for money then I can't think of any other rib (for the money) I'd rather have.
Whilst I'm on a rant......the optimax and smartcraft gauges are top-tastic and the fuel economy is unbelievable. I've been blasting it around the solent all day on Friday and it's chucking an average of 1.1nm per litre!
Right all done......time for a ciggy!