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Old 30 June 2008, 13:31   #1
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Country: USA
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Best Photo Boat - In the Long Run...

Hey All,

I'm currently looking at two boats with the intention of using them primarily as a platform for water-based photography - . I must add I'm new to RIBs and powerboats in general but that I'm fully sold on a RIB being the ideal boat for my purposes.

So here's my current quandry -

I'm looking at two boats as follows:
- 2001 Apex A-19 Open with a 2001 Evinrude 115hp FICHT - Boat and motor in good condition - Ready to Go - I think I could offer $11-12,000 (which looks in line with NADA, etc.)

- 1998 Zodiac 600 SRMN with a 1998 Mercury 75hp 2-stroke - Needs work on everything - hull needs attention (bottom painted and some barnacle growth) plus some missing and broken parts (console door gone, 2-person jockey seats missing, bilge pump missing, electronics and running lights need rewiring and that's just what I saw) and motor needs complete overhaul if not replacement. Asking $5,000 (no idea of value as these aren't in NADA and none of this vintage on the market). I'm guessing another $3-5,000 to get it in dependable working order.

I guess it really boils down to my asking for opinions on which boat would be better for use as a photography platform in the long run. The Apex seems more consumerish and from what I've researched, the FICHT engines had some troubles though supposedly not the 115's. The Zodiac looks more durable and the console and jockey seat setup look better vs. the Apex's starboard offset console and bench seat, but she needs work and with a max HP rating of 150 seems underpowered with the old 75hp.

Arrgghh...a good problem to have to choose between two boats but any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!!

B-more Andy
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Old 30 June 2008, 13:52   #2
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To me this seems a no brainer. If photography is your main goal, go with the boat that requires the LEAST amount of work to get on the water safely!

If you're looking for a second hobby get the fixer-upper lol!



What will you be photographing? I recently started taking my gear with me when I go out and have picked up a few decent shots of herons, osprey, and the odd jet skier or two. I'm a canon guy and take a 70-200L. I don't have anything longer than that yet.
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Old 30 June 2008, 18:51   #3
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One of the most important things to look at is the condition of the tubes. Check the seams, sun fade or any signs of wear or leakage.

Second would be the transom for stress cracks and moisture.

Third, would be compression on each of the cylinders on the outboard. Even across all cylinders is ideal.

John
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Old 01 July 2008, 08:18   #4
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Neither of those boats cause me to jump up and down and scream "Buy it!" Keep your eyes peeled for other options as well. Every so often some really good deals come up in the classified section of the North American forum. Also consider the RIBs that don't come with outboards, since finding a suitable outboard is much easier than finding a suitable RIB in North America.
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Old 01 July 2008, 08:47   #5
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Here are some examples;


RIBS - "all you can eat" A to Z

Avon SR-4 - Yamaha 50hp 2 stroke - $8,500

Zodiac 470


4m Manta RIB For Sale

5.4 m. Avon Searider for sale
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Old 01 July 2008, 20:09   #6
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Country: USA
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Make: XS-550
Length: 5m +
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Hi Andy,
right up my street for this topic.
What is going to be your main "target" ?

I use my 5.5m XSRib for my photography in San Diego and is great.
www.Bayshots.com
The pod seating allows for you to hold on with your knees and steady yourself for the shot. I built a shelf next to the console to hold my Pelican case, so you can stash your camera away in a second if need be.
As you said the RIBs are great for this. Hard boaters dont mind you getting in close ,as you are really one big fender

The only problem I have is that if you are getting in between smaller sailing craft who are racing, then your wake can upset them a touch.
Check out the site below for a couple who have really got it together
http://thephotoboat.com

The small ribs they use are very manouverable and get in close, (but then you do need to protect your photo gear more.)
Also smaller boats mean smaller engines and less gas!!! Important for your profit line nowadays,
Good luck and post some examples soon

cheers Dal
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Old 02 July 2008, 09:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limeydal View Post
Hi Andy,
right up my street for this topic.
What is going to be your main "target" ?

I use my 5.5m XSRib for my photography in San Diego and is great.
www.Bayshots.com
cheers Dal
Now THAT is a way to marry two hobbies!!!

I've taken my camera gear out a few times hoping for decent shots of the local birdlife, but I'm also interested in shooting the sailing club races as well. Unfortunately I don't know anybody in the local sailing club and I'd rather not just scoot up and start taking pics without prior notice ya know?
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Old 02 July 2008, 11:26   #8
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Should be able to hail the vessel on Ch 16 and ask permission.

Or, if it's like here, and they're racing, there's usually a committee boat that you can talk to.

Or, if you plan things better than I do, you could just walk into the sailing club and talk to someone.

jky
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Old 02 July 2008, 12:11   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugnut View Post
To me this seems a no brainer. If photography is your main goal, go with the boat that requires the LEAST amount of work to get on the water safely!

If you're looking for a second hobby get the fixer-upper lol!



What will you be photographing? I recently started taking my gear with me when I go out and have picked up a few decent shots of herons, osprey, and the odd jet skier or two. I'm a canon guy and take a 70-200L. I don't have anything longer than that yet.
Lugnut,

Thanks for the sanity check by way of helping me to remember that getting on the water ASAP is my priority vs. spending hours and dollars refitting/TLC-ing an older boat.

As for my subjects, I'm an emerging/aspiring/semi-pro sailing and marine photog and the RIB is the next step in my plan for world dom...err I mean taking my game to the next level. Everything you see on the site has been shot from begged, borrowed, or race committee boats which have for the most part been out of my control as to where to set up, etc.

Anyway check the site at http://www.andyherbickphotography.com/old/ . I'm currently working on a website refresh and that link goes to the previous version.

Thanks again!

Andy
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Old 02 July 2008, 12:20   #10
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Country: USA
Town: Baltimore, MD
Make: Apex A-19
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outboard
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Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by limeydal View Post
Hi Andy,
right up my street for this topic.
What is going to be your main "target" ?

I use my 5.5m XSRib for my photography in San Diego and is great.
www.Bayshots.com
The pod seating allows for you to hold on with your knees and steady yourself for the shot. I built a shelf next to the console to hold my Pelican case, so you can stash your camera away in a second if need be.
As you said the RIBs are great for this. Hard boaters dont mind you getting in close ,as you are really one big fender

The only problem I have is that if you are getting in between smaller sailing craft who are racing, then your wake can upset them a touch.
Check out the site below for a couple who have really got it together
http://thephotoboat.com

The small ribs they use are very manouverable and get in close, (but then you do need to protect your photo gear more.)
Also smaller boats mean smaller engines and less gas!!! Important for your profit line nowadays,
Good luck and post some examples soon

cheers Dal
Hey Dal,

I actually checked out your site from another post somewhere on the forums - killer boat! I'd love to see your pelican case setup as that kind of stuff is on my mind as I tweak the boat as a dedicated photo platform. I once rode along with another photog who mounted flower boxes lined with foam onto the rails of a fishing tower to hold his cameras while he was up there.

And I've thought about the photoboat.com idea but I'm developing a bit of a different business model than those guys which a larger boat really fits better with.

Anyway, see my previous post for a link to my site and thanks for the insights and support.

Andy
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