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Old 21 September 2016, 07:56   #1
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Newbie Here, Are Lifeproof Boats OK For Leisure?

I'm really hoping to be in the market within a year or two. I fell in love with Life Proof Boats, and through some research and first hand account with someone who worked with the Company in reassured of the quality and workmanship of their products. However, I was told I would not enjoy the boat "taking the wife and kids out". Is this true? I understand the finishes aren't as "nice" on the outside appearance as some luxury boats, but I don't understand why some would think that.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I live on the Texas Gulf Coast, and I really want a rib boat for light fishing, general leisure, general sport riding, and light off-shore capabilities.
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Old 21 September 2016, 08:23   #2
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I would go talk to Triad Marine. They're the dominant force for RIBs in Texas.
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Old 21 September 2016, 08:46   #3
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I would go talk to Triad Marine. They're the dominant force for RIBs in Texas.
Yeah I've been lookin at their site and they aren't too far from me but I'm not ready to actually visit any dealers. There is still so much I don't know, I've never owned a boat, etc. I'm just starting all my research and I fell in love with the rib Boats with a cabin
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Old 21 September 2016, 08:59   #4
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Yeah I've been lookin at their site and they aren't too far from me but I'm not ready to actually visit any dealers. There is still so much I don't know, I've never owned a boat, etc. I'm just starting all my research and I fell in love with the rib Boats with a cabin
You mean a pilothouse? You doom yourself to requiring air conditioning all the time and you'd lose the mobility requirements for fishing.

Nonetheless, it'd be worth nurturing a relationship with the locals...they're who you'll need if you ever needed a large repair.

When shopping, I would not recommend polyurethane or PVC material in your state. You're too close to the equator and the longevity will be very short. Stick with elastomer coated fabrics, Hypalon/CSM/NEO. They're also a lot easier to repair than plastomer coated fabrics...very much like doing a tire patch.
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Old 21 September 2016, 09:57   #5
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You mean a pilothouse? You doom yourself to requiring air conditioning all the time and you'd lose the mobility requirements for fishing.

Nonetheless, it'd be worth nurturing a relationship with the locals...they're who you'll need if you ever needed a large repair.

When shopping, I would not recommend polyurethane or PVC material in your state. You're too close to the equator and the longevity will be very short. Stick with elastomer coated fabrics, Hypalon/CSM/NEO. They're also a lot easier to repair than plastomer coated fabrics...very much like doing a tire patch.
Thanks for the advice. When I say "cabin" I'm just referring to the ability to sleep two for an overnight stay, like pictured in most of the Life Proof boats. I'll direct more of my research in the material you've mentioned.
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Old 21 September 2016, 11:26   #6
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Thanks for the advice. When I say "cabin" I'm just referring to the ability to sleep two for an overnight stay, like pictured in most of the Life Proof boats. I'll direct more of my research in the material you've mentioned.
The only "off-the-shelf" RIB i know of with a cuddy is the Zodiac NZO 700 Cabin. It's a traditional fiberglass boat with Hypalon/CSM/NEO tubes, rather than an aluminum hull.

The most comparable product on the market are SAFE boats and they have a harsher ride compared to similar traditional leisure RIBs...at least the "Defender-class" anyways.
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Old 21 September 2016, 11:31   #7
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The only "off-the-shelf" RIB i know of with a cuddy is the Zodiac NZO 700 Cabin. It's a traditional fiberglass boat with Hypalon/CSM/NEO tubes, rather than an aluminum hull.

The most comparable product on the market are SAFE boats and they have a harsher ride compared to similar traditional leisure RIBs.
Yeah I've been looking at the NZOs. I like them, but still prefer the looks of the life proof, safeboat, etc. Does the aluminum hull change the ride, or will the seating setup do that?
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Old 21 September 2016, 11:36   #8
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Yeah I've been looking at the NZOs. I like them, but still prefer the looks of the life proof, safeboat, etc. Does the aluminum hull change the ride, or will the seating setup do that?
Pretty much everything will change the ride quality and rough water handling. Hull geometry is a huge field of engineering for planing boats.

These are all $100k+ boats... I'd go to FLIBs (Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show) this year and take advantage of some test rides before making a huge financial commitment on something.
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Old 21 September 2016, 11:46   #9
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Pretty much everything will change the ride quality and rough water handling. Hull geometry is a huge field of engineering for planing boats.

These are all $100k+ boats... I'd go to FLIBs (Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show) this year and take advantage of some test rides before making a huge financial commitment on something.
Yes I definitely plan on visiting dealers, test riding, etc., as I get closer to acquisition time. In the meantime I'm going to keep doing research.

How realistic is buying a european manufactured boat and shipping it to the states? Would shipping costs completely kill it? Mfgs like Technohull, Goldfish, and Scorpion to name a few have some really nice looking boats.
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Old 21 September 2016, 13:54   #10
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Yes I definitely plan on visiting dealers, test riding, etc., as I get closer to acquisition time. In the meantime I'm going to keep doing research.

How realistic is buying a european manufactured boat and shipping it to the states? Would shipping costs completely kill it? Mfgs like Technohull, Goldfish, and Scorpion to name a few have some really nice looking boats.
Very easy as we ship our big ribs on a 40' flat open container. Not so long ago we shipped a 10 mtr open rib to the Bahamas so to the US it is a doddle . We ship from Gdynia Poland just do some research on freight charges at your end. Be brave and get yourself a European made rib you cannot go wrong.
In Europe we know to make RIBS both open and cabin ones.
The best European ribs are made in the Poland, UK and Holland. Some here may not agree to that order but that is my view.
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Old 21 September 2016, 14:23   #11
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Very easy as we ship our big ribs on a 40' flat open container. Not so long ago we shipped a 10 mtr open rib to the Bahamas so to the US it is a doddle . We ship from Gdynia Poland just do some research on freight charges at your end. Be brave and get yourself a European made rib you cannot go wrong.
In Europe we know to make RIBS both open and cabin ones.
The best European ribs are made in the Poland, UK and Holland. Some here may not agree to that order but that is my view.
Thanks for the input! Yes freight is one thing I will have to look into and consider when the time comes. I'll continue looking at different Euro models as well.
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Old 21 September 2016, 14:28   #12
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How realistic is buying a european manufactured boat and shipping it to the states? Would shipping costs completely kill it? Mfgs like Technohull, Goldfish, and Scorpion to name a few have some really nice looking boats.
Three items:
1.) Warranty support? With no dealers or service centers, you take a huge risk. If the manufacturer abandoned you with a defective boat, it would be very hard to take legal action.

2.) Shipping? With Hanjin going bankrupt, container prices have spiked. You will also have to deal with duty and customs, plus the boat would likely still need to be prepared for use and outfitted with a trailer.

3.) Engine? Often, engine manufacturers will not allow their engines to be exported. If the boat was shipped rigged, the outboards may not have a valid warranty. It would have to be rigged domestically.
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Old 21 September 2016, 14:39   #13
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Three items:
1.) Warranty support? With no dealers or service centers, you take a huge risk. If the manufacturer abandoned you with a defective boat, it would be very hard to take legal action.

2.) Shipping? With Hanjin going bankrupt, container prices have spiked. You will also have to deal with duty and customs, plus the boat would likely still need to be prepared for use and outfitted with a trailer.

3.) Engine? Often, engine manufacturers will not allow their engines to be exported. If the boat was shipped rigged, the outboards may not have a valid warranty. It would have to be rigged domestically.
1 , 2 and 3 RUBBISH
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Old 21 September 2016, 14:57   #14
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1 , 2 and 3 RUBBISH
#1 on happens on a regular basis with chinese brands in the USA. 5 year warranty like the big dogs. Whole boat disintegrates in 3 years in the hot Florida sun, then when the customer goes to file a claim, the brand is gone...either ignoring the customer, or operating under a different brand name. JP Marine comes to mind.

A lot of service stations refuse to deal with brands they don't carry because of reimbursement problems. Either that, or they brands only offer to reimburse at some horrible rate, like $40/hr. I've experienced both firsthand.

#2 I heard offhand from a friend who does import/export. There's a lot of product frozen right now, because ports won't accept Hanjin, so they're anchored and unable to offload.

Half of Hanjin's vessels frozen out of ports, Business News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

#3 is discussed on "thehulltruth.com" frequently. I'm sure you could contact Yamaha/Mercury/Honda/Suzuki to get the official stance from the company. They might all have different specific policies. I know Yamaha disallows it:

"A. It is not recommended that you import or export a new Yamaha product. Yamaha products meet strict compliance regulations for the country in which it was originally intended. In addition, the Yamaha factory warranty is not transferable between countries."
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Old 21 September 2016, 15:03   #15
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Well thanks for input from both of you, helps educate me.
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Old 21 September 2016, 15:27   #16
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office888 I now see I have your attention

firstly I am not talking of any Chinese ribs and from your post I see you know nothing about us to let me enlighten you.

we have been making ribs in Poland since 2000 and since 1986 we have been the Mercury distributor in Poland. Most of our ribs are fitted out with Mercury and we have direct access to Mercury US

we can pre-rig for Mercury or fit out with Mercury or supply less engines. if we supplied with the engines we would advise Mercury US of such but we believe that pre-rigging is best for the client.

the only other engines which we install are Yamaha and we advise Yamaha at the time of the enquiry where the engines are going. This is important for the warranty.

This clears the matter of the engines

as for the warranty of the boat then we do not supply defective products nor do we expect our product to be defective, I guess you have had some bad experience with some imports from China and think that all imports are the same .

as for shipping then I can see you must be again referring to shipments possibly from China.

We have shipped ribs to the Caribbean Middle East and our other range ie hard boats as far as Japan and Australia and even to New Caledonia and the Buyers have never had any worries

You have not had any dealings with us so please do not use your bad experiences as standard practice for all European exporters.

If it had not been for the "Jones act" still in force I guess we would have supplied loads of ribs to the commercial sector and especially for the whale watching operators.
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Old 21 September 2016, 15:52   #17
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office888 I now see I have your attention

firstly I am not talking of any Chinese ribs and from your post I see you know nothing about us to let me enlighten you.

we have been making ribs in Poland since 2000 and since 1986 we have been the Mercury distributor in Poland. Most of our ribs are fitted out with Mercury and we have direct access to Mercury US

we can pre-rig for Mercury or fit out with Mercury or supply less engines. if we supplied with the engines we would advise Mercury US of such but we believe that pre-rigging is best for the client.

the only other engines which we install are Yamaha and we advise Yamaha at the time of the enquiry where the engines are going. This is important for the warranty.

This clears the matter of the engines

as for the warranty of the boat then we do not supply defective products nor do we expect our product to be defective, I guess you have had some bad experience with some imports from China and think that all imports are the same .

as for shipping then I can see you must be again referring to shipments possibly from China.

We have shipped ribs to the Caribbean Middle East and our other range ie hard boats as far as Japan and Australia and even to New Caledonia and the Buyers have never had any worries

You have not had any dealings with us so please do not use your bad experiences as standard practice for all European exporters.

If it had not been for the "Jones act" still in force I guess we would have supplied loads of ribs to the commercial sector and especially for the whale watching operators.
I don't think I've ever seen a "perfect" boat brand. Everyone makes mistakes, which is the point of a warranty... it's worse so with boats, since they're hand constructed products. One missed spot, and boom, you've got a bubble in the GRP. It's amplified even more with tubes, since they're so fragile. All it takes is a little freight damage, and you're in a world of hurt. Or my personal favorite, supplier screwups! A bad material batch from Pennel & Flipo which turns in to a pimple-covered mess of delamination after a few years (this always seemed to affect Caribe the worst, but no brand was immune).

I've realized, at the end of the day, it's all about how the company stands behind the product.

Internationally, with no dealer support... It's a huge risk. Can it go well? Maybe, maybe not.

Maybe I'm just a negative nancy.

The Hanjin mess is going to affect everyone, they were the 7th largest steamship line in the world. They didn't just handle Asia.
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Old 21 September 2016, 16:05   #18
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I believe that Ribcraft have a North American presence.


Don't panic! don't panic!
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Old 21 September 2016, 16:11   #19
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I don't think I've ever seen a "perfect" boat brand. Everyone makes mistakes, which is the point of a warranty... it's worse so with boats, since they're hand constructed products. One missed spot, and boom, you've got a bubble in the GRP. It's amplified even more with tubes, since they're so fragile. All it takes is a little freight damage, and you're in a world of hurt. Or my personal favorite, supplier screws! A bad material batch from Pennel & Flipo which turns in to a pimple-covered mess of delamination after a few years (this always seemed to affect Caribe the worst, but no brand was immune).

I've realized, at the end of the day, it's all about how the company stands behind the product.

Internationally, with no dealer support... It's a huge risk. Can it go well? Maybe, maybe not.

Maybe I'm just a negative nancy.
well I can agree with you on two counts
nor have I seen a "perfect" boat and yes you are a negative nancy

If all my clients took your view I would not sell a single rib and we have operators who come back when they have another requirement .

I think I have exhausted this subject and really have no more to add. Many thanks as I have really enjoyed this chat with you

as a matter of interest there is one 9 mtr Parker diesel in New York. The owner did not buy it from me but from a chap in Florida. He contacted me after the purchase and we have exchanged emails over the years . I have even supplied him with some Leafield inflation valves . He has 4 hard boats as well and he tells me his kids prefer the rib.
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Old 22 September 2016, 00:16   #20
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Just have Ryan Pratt build you a 733...
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