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Old 10 July 2006, 13:55   #1
Country: USA
Town: Hilton Head Island
Length: no boat
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2
First time RIB purchase

I am wondering if any of you folks can recommend a first time RIB for a family of 4. It will be used in and around the Intercoastal waterway and exploring the beaches around Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. I've found a dealer nearby that sells Caribe and AB as well as Zodiac.

The dealer recommended a boat in the 13 to 14 ft. range. Of course, price is a concern. I was wondering if a tiller controlled RIB would be an option instead of a center console design. I would think there would be some savings in that respect. Thank you in advance for the information.

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Old 10 July 2006, 16:26   #2
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Country: UK - England
Town: The wilds of Wiltshire
Boat name: WhiteNoise/Dominator
Make: Ballistic 7.8/SR5.4
Length: 7m +
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MMSI: 235090687/235055163
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 12,692
That's only 4m- a bit small for 4 people unless it's tiller controlled and even then you'll be a bit pressed for space.
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Old 10 July 2006, 17:10   #3
Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Length: 8m +
Engine: Suzuki DT225
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,791
Depends on the size of the family. If you have 2 small children then that size is ok. I have taken my mate and his 2 kids out in my SIB which is only a 3.1m or 10' with a 15hp and it was great.

A centre console will reduce space a bit but is far more secure and also gives the passengers something to hold onto. Really depends on what condtions you want to go out in.

Have a look at the Avon range as well if there is a dealer near you.
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Old 10 July 2006, 17:57   #4
Country: USA
Town: Chicago
Boat name: Fat Bastard
Make: Hurricane
Length: 4m +
Engine: 50hp Yami
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 71
Get a Zodiac Classic Mark 2. At 14 feet theres enough room to have 4 people and gear, if you have a tiller. Plus they can get on plane with as little as a 10hp engine but can take as much as 40hp. The "ST" with the wooden floor is great if you are going to have it on a trailer and the "FR" is the inflatable floor which is good if you are going to deflate it all the time and space or a trailer are going to be a problem. Very safe tough boats and a blast to drive with a 40hp on the back!

Ooops just realized I posted under my brothers name. Oh well. This is Rogan.
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Old 11 July 2006, 03:00   #5
Country: UK - England
Town: Macclesfield
Boat name: Aqua Fresh
Make: Zodiac Medline
Length: 5m +
Engine: 60hp Yamaha
MMSI: 235051988
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 333
Small family RIB

if you can get one of these in the USA then they are great for a family of 4 asits what i use every weekend

its an avon adventure 400 with bow,rear bench and side seat, 30hp yamaha 2 stroke PTT very light but strong idea first boat easy to launch and recover
a dodle to tow and even manuvere around by hand

see below

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Old 11 July 2006, 13:48   #6
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
I wouldn't limit yourself to just what your local dealer carries. Avon is another major brand I would take a look at. I believe their US service center (might be just an east coast center) is in North Carolina. In any case, research goes a long ways in figuring out what's available, what you need/want, and what you can do without.

Tiller vs remote steering will save you a little money, but probably not all that much if you're buying new. Tiller will, however, gain you a substantial amount of deck space, at the cost of a bit of convenience (my opinion, after having moved from a 14' tiller steered SIB to an 18' center console RIB.) The console gives you a good place to store stuff, and mount electronics and antennae and such, should you need to do so (though some folks in tiller steered boats have come up with some, uh, creative ways around that problem.)

You say a family of 4; is this 2 adults, 2 smallish kids? Or are you looking at 4 adults (or 4 adult-sized people, anyway)? A 14 will be OK, if a little cramped for 4 adults. Longer is generally better, up to the point where you can't store it (factor in the trailer, too, when you're figuring out storage.) Remember the kids (if any) are going to grow, and will invariably want to take friends out.

I would suggest getting an engine that is at or near the max HP for the boat you get. Invariably, loads get heavier the more you use the boat.

I prefer hypalon over PVC (my personal preference), but that is opening a can of worms (the debate on material has been hashed out a *lot*.) Given the current 10 year warranty Zodiac (PVC) is offering, it may be worth it to you.

One other bit of info: Buying used will usually save you a bunch of money. You miss out of the steep part of the depreciation curve, and get a boat which has at least some of the bugs worked out. Can be a bit tricky if you're new to boating, but if you know an experienced boater, perhaps you could enlist some help in judging the value of the used boat.

Luck, (and sorry for rambling);

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Old 11 July 2006, 14:29   #7
Country: USA
Town: Hilton Head Island
Length: no boat
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2
Thank you all for the advice. My two boys are 6 and 7 so they should be fine in a 14 footer. I am looking closely at the Caribe C14 and as well as the T14 with the center console. AB inflatables is another option and I am looking at there 14 VS.

From what I've seen the price difference of adding a center console is not that great so it might be an option I'll go with. Any of you folks have any experience with the Caribe's or AB's?

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