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Old 30 January 2012, 15:50   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Somerset
Make: Rapid
Length: 4m +
Engine: Mercury 50
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 12
what size engine to tow with

Trying to find my first RIB. Don't want to go over 5m. Want to be able to tow Donut or wake board. Prefer 4 stroke over 2 stroke. Is 50Hp ok?
Looking forward to your help

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Old 30 January 2012, 16:52   #2
dubrus's Avatar
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Glasgow
Make: Ribcraft 6.8
Length: 6m +
Engine: Suzuki df200
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,479
basically what you want is the maximum engine HP/weight your transom will take. you can refer to the makers plate for what that is and go from there. 50hp would be ok on a 5m boat but i would think 60-75hp would be better suited assuming the transom will take it.

for towing 2 stroke would be better than 4 stroke even though i'm a 4 stroke fan. if your only ever going to tow a donut then it is less important than trying to pull skiers up so shouldn't be an issue either way-just so you know.


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Old 30 January 2012, 20:00   #3
actions's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Herne Bay
Boat name: Red May
Make: Zodiac
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp Honda 4 Stroke
MMSI: Is quite long
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 653
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I have a zodiac pro 420 with a 40hp four stroke. This tows a skier with ease and has no problem getting them up and out of the water quickly. if you have a look at some of my previous threads one is about towing which has a few replies. If i remember correctly some can / have towed with less than a 40.

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Old 31 January 2012, 03:13   #4
Nick Hearne's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Bucks
Boat name: Blue & Ding Dong
Make: Ribeye,SR4 & Bombard
Length: 6m +
Engine: 115,50 & 15Hp Yams
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,232
I have a SR4 with a 50hp 2 stroke & we ski & donut from it, the only problem is getting me out & skiing you need some one sat up front to keep the bow down!
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Old 31 January 2012, 03:45   #5
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,539
Other option might be two props - gear it down for the towing antics.

As said above, if you plan to tow a lot, get as many gee ges as the transom will hold on there. You can always throttle back when not towing.
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Old 31 January 2012, 04:17   #6
biffer's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: swanwick/hamble
Boat name: stormchaser
Make: custom rib
Length: 8m +
Engine: inboard/diesel
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,848
There is also another option. There are propellers that are designed to do just the job you're talking about. The one that springs to mind is the laser 11. It is designed to slip slightly at lower revs so with higher revs comes higher hp. Which mean more power to weight Blah blah blah. You get the picture

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Old 31 January 2012, 04:17   #7
Country: UK - England
Town: Buckingham
Make: Ribcraft 4.8
Length: 4m +
Engine: Mariner 75
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 352
The more power you have, the easier it is to pull a waterskier out of the water - it took a while with larger adults with a 50hp on a SIB and is certainly easier with 75hp on a 4.8m Rib now.

It's also worth thinking about the extra weight that a 4 stroke adds which will not help your performance (and the fact that most of the gains in fuel efficiency compared to a 2 stroke are at low speeds/ revs not high ones).

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