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Old 01 October 2015, 00:25   #1
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Advice on Achilles SU-16 or SU18 for rough water

Hi,

I am looking for a SIB or RIB that I will be using for fishing in the rough Northern California ocean waters. I usually check the weather carefully, but here it can turn on a dime and I want to make sure I make it to the ramp safely. Round trip about 40 miles up and down the coast, trolling for salmon and/or fishing for rock cod, halibut, ling, etc. The setup I am looking at includes a center console.

I have been told by a local shop that Achilles SU-16 or 18 may be what I need. Used by rescue crews, etc etc. On the other hand, I read that SIBs do not do well in rough water because of the inflatable keel.

If anyone has experience with the SU series from Achilles in rough ocean water please chime in.

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 01 October 2015, 00:52   #2
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Advice on Achilles SU-16 or SU18 for rough water

Sorry mis-read that you were looking at a SIB not a rib. I'll leave my response. 40 miles in a sib sounds like an adventure I wouldn't undertake.

As much as I love my rib I'm not sure that it's the right boat for what you want to use it for. They aren't "the best" fishing boats. If you really want a rib I would look at the ex-military 7m ribs. That's the big bad rib available in the USA and the west coast and are very capable, good sized, and available. T-tops and rocket launchers (for fishing poles) are some of the simple difficulties with fishing on ribs. Also I already know my next boat will have a cabin or significant pilot house, 40 miles in the wind and cold is....cold.

Jason
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Old 01 October 2015, 02:45   #3
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Jason,

Thanks for the response.

I do have a 19' SeaPro fiberglass with a cabin; too heavy to haul around, too hard to launch by myself and not too stable in rough seas, doesn't even do well in choppy water.

I also like to fish off my jetski rigged for fishing, a 2013 Waverunner FX HO. 40 miles round trip on it is no big deal, and I would keep doing it if it weren't for the new laws prohibiting jetski use in the new expanded Farallones and Cordell marine sanctuaries.

So my other choice is a SIB or RIB. I have a good wetsuit and cold and wet weather does not bother me. I just want a safe vessel and I'm willing to put up with a few inconveniences like the lack of a cabin or a more difficult fishing setup. Sometimes I want to get away and ride just for the fun of it...

21' military style RIBS are insanly expensive, that is why I was looking at the Achilles SU-18
but I need some input as how well it can handle rough water. I'm not new to navigating these waters, but new to the SIB/RIB style of boating.
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Old 01 October 2015, 08:31   #4
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Jason,

Thanks for the response.

I do have a 19' SeaPro fiberglass with a cabin; too heavy to haul around, too hard to launch by myself and not too stable in rough seas, doesn't even do well in choppy water.

I also like to fish off my jetski rigged for fishing, a 2013 Waverunner FX HO. 40 miles round trip on it is no big deal, and I would keep doing it if it weren't for the new laws prohibiting jetski use in the new expanded Farallones and Cordell marine sanctuaries.

So my other choice is a SIB or RIB. I have a good wetsuit and cold and wet weather does not bother me. I just want a safe vessel and I'm willing to put up with a few inconveniences like the lack of a cabin or a more difficult fishing setup. Sometimes I want to get away and ride just for the fun of it...

21' military style RIBS are insanly expensive, that is why I was looking at the Achilles SU-18
but I need some input as how well it can handle rough water. I'm not new to navigating these waters, but new to the SIB/RIB style of boating.
You'll get the snot pounded out of you if the water is rougher than 1-2 ft'ers. Operator fatigue will be high, but you'll be safe!
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Old 01 October 2015, 09:40   #5
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Whats your budget? You should find a SIB that size and go on a test ride, then take a ride in a RIB the same size. You will be trailering it anyways so I would definitely recommend you look into a RIB as the ride will be a lot smoother. Either way, you will have a lot less room than your hard boat but the stability and safety of an inflatable is insane.
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Old 01 October 2015, 09:46   #6
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Thanks everyone!

Yes, it looks like it's going to be a RIB... Budget is up to $15k.

How old of a boat can I safely look to get so that I wouldn't have to replace the tubes? That's my biggest concern. I found a 19' Motomar Floating in decent shape, but it's a 1989 hull. In a couple of places, the tubes came unglued from the hull (2" or so). Tubes have some patches but hold air and do not seam cracked. He's asking $6,000.
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Old 01 October 2015, 10:52   #7
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Ive been seeing that one on CL. Looks like a decent deal. I have never heard of that brand but I think those are Hypalon tubes, which make it long lasting and easy to repair. Check the seams for tiny leaks otherwise I wouldn't worry too much about it. The 2" of unglued tube material from the hull sounds normal and is an easy fix. I would be more concerned about the deck/transom. There are lots of Ribs and Sibs from the 80s that have plenty of life left; I just picked up a 20' Rib from CL, its an '87 and the tubes are still fine.
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Old 01 October 2015, 11:05   #8
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You'll get the snot pounded out of you if the water is rougher than 1-2 ft'ers. Operator fatigue will be high, but you'll be safe!
I'll disagree with this to an extent.

If you get a day with little wind but largish swell, a SIB will handle that fine. Large rollers aren't a problem, it's the chop that kills you.

That said, it's a fairly rare day on the west coast without any chop, and a 20 mile run is fairly substantial.

Personally, I'd be looking more in the 15-19 foot RIB range. It will be *much* more pleasant should the weather turn, and still be small/light enough to launch and recover solo (with a bit of practice.) And in truth, the rigid hull makes centering on the trailer easier than a flat bottomed SIB when working alone, all other things being equal. Harder to store, heavier than what you're thinking, but a lot more practical.

Where are you looking at launching from?

jky
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Old 02 October 2015, 00:49   #9
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Usually Bodega Bay, but really anywhere the salmon bite heats up, from Monterey to Fort Bragg. Got a nice 45 pounder a couple of years ago in Shelter Cove.

Many thanks for the advice. I have decided to go with a 17'+ RIB.
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Old 02 October 2015, 08:27   #10
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Achilles

As previously said you will get the snot pounded out of you. A rib would be much better for your usage. Be careful what you buy. There are some good deals on used ribs around from time to time .
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