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Old 09 May 2016, 14:38   #1
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Newbie in the market for a RHIB

Hello All,

I am very much new to the boating world and also with rigid inflatables so any advice is welcome. I am considering a boat that is convenient, fun and easy to handle which is why a RHIB is appealing to me. My current situation is that I have a slip to store the boat (in-water) and I may have an alternate option to use a neighbors boat lift in their unused canal slip. These are bulkhead canal slips in brackish water (Clear Lake in Houston).

I think I want between a 15-19 foot Rigid inflatable to fulfill my needs of just running around the lake, while also cruising to several lake side restaurants for dinner, etc.

Are there any significant issues with a RHIB of this size being left in salt water that I should consider differently than a conventional style fiberglass hull vessel? I am considering hypalon to reduce the UV exposure but I also plan on covering the RHIB. Are there issues with rain water filling the bilge areas that will need to be considered also? bilge pump, or self draining?

I have been perusing the defender.com site and there looks to be a number of options in the 15'5" size. I would imagine 4 to 5 people would be the max with just my wife and I cruising the majority of the time. Is this a good dealer to work with or should there be another I consider? I also researched INMAR but there doesn't seem to be much review content with them changing over so recently from JP Marine. I am not dead set on buying new either, however it does seem difficult to find a RHIB only several years old in good condition. How long do tubes really last?

Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks, Jeff
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Old 09 May 2016, 15:10   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac5032 View Post
Hello All,

I am very much new to the boating world and also with rigid inflatables so any advice is welcome. I am considering a boat that is convenient, fun and easy to handle which is why a RHIB is appealing to me. My current situation is that I have a slip to store the boat (in-water) and I may have an alternate option to use a neighbors boat lift in their unused canal slip. These are bulkhead canal slips in brackish water (Clear Lake in Houston).

I think I want between a 15-19 foot Rigid inflatable to fulfill my needs of just running around the lake, while also cruising to several lake side restaurants for dinner, etc.

Are there any significant issues with a RHIB of this size being left in salt water that I should consider differently than a conventional style fiberglass hull vessel? I am considering hypalon to reduce the UV exposure but I also plan on covering the RHIB. Are there issues with rain water filling the bilge areas that will need to be considered also? bilge pump, or self draining?

I have been perusing the defender.com site and there looks to be a number of options in the 15'5" size. I would imagine 4 to 5 people would be the max with just my wife and I cruising the majority of the time. Is this a good dealer to work with or should there be another I consider? I also researched INMAR but there doesn't seem to be much review content with them changing over so recently from JP Marine. I am not dead set on buying new either, however it does seem difficult to find a RHIB only several years old in good condition. How long do tubes really last?

Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks, Jeff
JP Marine / INMAR = made in China... They use the same Bravo-Scoprega bin parts as Saturn, Newport Vessels, Advanced Inflatables, etc. I'm not a fan from the service side, these boats typically only last a few years and because they aren't big companies, warranty support is often not very good.

If you're looking for an inexpensive used pleasure cruiser, I'd look for a Zodiac Yachtline 480 Deluxe. They're getting old now, but they're great little boats...price point might be attractive to you? The only fault with them, is the transom box sometimes develops cracks. They were available with PVC tubes, PU tubes, and CSM/Neo (hypalon) tubes. They have a mechanical fastening, so they can be retubed in under an hour...slide-on, slide-off.

PVC/PU tubes are usually garbage in ~10 years in a hot climate.

HYP/CSM/Neo tubes can go 20+ years in a hot climate...longer if kept clean and covered. There's many 40 year old Avon Seariders still on the market

If you're looking for something new, the Zodiac Pro Open 650 is probably my favorite boat on the market. It is a "do-everything" boat.
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Old 09 May 2016, 21:19   #3
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Jmac, after doing my due diligence I recently purchased a freshwater Zodiac Yachtline 480 with a 75hp four stroke. I am more than pleased with the engineering, ride, and design.
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Old 09 May 2016, 22:45   #4
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I just purchased a Zodiac 420 YL DL 1998 year. The PVC tubes were covered most of the time and are in good condition.

Like said above the transome box needed to be rebuilt, I had a professional fiberglass shop rebuild the box stronger than new. It's a fun fast boat that sips fuel.
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Old 12 May 2016, 11:15   #5
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Originally Posted by jmac5032 View Post
I think I want between a 15-19 foot Rigid inflatable to fulfill my needs of just running around the lake, while also cruising to several lake side restaurants for dinner, etc.
How many people? A 19' boat is pretty decent size; unless you're planning on like 6-8 people all the time, a smaller boat will likely do.


Quote:
Are there any significant issues with a RHIB of this size being left in salt water that I should consider differently than a conventional style fiberglass hull vessel?
Hull problems will be the same, but growth on tubes can be a PITA. AFAIK, you really can't coat the tubes with anything to prevent growth, so it'll be something of a battle. If you have to store on the water, you might look at some of the floating lift/dock thingies where you run the boat on to them to get it mostly out of the water. A little more expense up front, but less headache down the road.

jky
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Old 12 May 2016, 12:14   #6
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How many people? A 19' boat is pretty decent size; unless you're planning on like 6-8 people all the time, a smaller boat will likely do.




Hull problems will be the same, but growth on tubes can be a PITA. AFAIK, you really can't coat the tubes with anything to prevent growth, so it'll be something of a battle. If you have to store on the water, you might look at some of the floating lift/dock thingies where you run the boat on to them to get it mostly out of the water. A little more expense up front, but less headache down the road.

jky
You can bottom paint tubes. You just need to use a flexible bottom paint, like Pettit Hydrocoat or Pettit Inflatable Antifouling.

For temporary anti-fouling, you can use Aurora Repelin or even Nautical Ease Inflatable Finish. Both work for about a week or two.
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Old 12 May 2016, 12:28   #7
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How many people? A 19' boat is pretty decent size; unless you're planning on like 6-8 people all the time, a smaller boat will likely do.

4-6 people would be the maximum for us with just 2 for most trips. I was going to attempt to travel outside the lake (Clear Lake) into some bigger water (Gulf Coast of Houston) a short distance so the larger size was naturally appealing to me.


Hull problems will be the same, but growth on tubes can be a PITA. AFAIK, you really can't coat the tubes with anything to prevent growth, so it'll be something of a battle. If you have to store on the water, you might look at some of the floating lift/dock thingies where you run the boat on to them to get it mostly out of the water. A little more expense up front, but less headache down the road.

jky
Thanks, I will have to evaluate the use of a boat lift as our HOA doesn't allow the floating lift thingies in the canal.
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Old 16 May 2016, 12:30   #8
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I use an airdock for our 7m Zodiac. It works well especially in fresh/brackish water. It's much less expensive than lifts like hydrohoist and our marina allows them because they are not permanently bolted to the dock. If you explain the difference, your marina might allow it.
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Old 18 May 2016, 00:52   #9
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RIB in Houston for sale

I have a very nice Avon Searider 5.4 for sale in Houston. It has a completely restored motor and a set of newly refurbished tubes from Henshaw from a Royal Navy vessel. It sits on an aluminum roller style trailer. I live in Pearland, but we are moving to Denver. PM me if you are interested.
Jeff
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Old 18 May 2016, 10:47   #10
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Originally Posted by jmac5032 View Post
Hello All,



Are there any significant issues with a RHIB of this size being left in salt water that I should consider differently than a conventional style fiberglass hull vessel? Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks, Jeff
Keep this in mind, it killed the motor.


My RIB's history before I bought it:

Zodiac YL 420, used as a tender, sitting in the water. Previous owner left the self draining plugs "IN". When it rained, the water poured off the larger boat or covered slip roof (not sure) and filled the Zodiac up enough to get water into the oil tank. (The engine was 2 stroke oil injection.)

Later when discovered, plugs removed and water drained out, but the previous owner didn't know that engine was injecting water instead of oil.

Result: The power head was burned up.


Erik
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