Originally Posted by zip
I am looking to purchase my first rib.
I am looking for a used 14'.
I have been told that in this size, the Zodiac is the entry level boat, Caribe and Avon would be next, folowed by Novurania, and with the Nautica being the top of the line.
Depends on the Zodiacs. The better Zodiacs are the military ones but Zodiac keeps pushing the other PVC stuff for the consumer models (on the "pro/mil" models, my wife isn't keen on jockey seats with machine gun holders :-) I'm a hypalon guy (like the military and pro folks).
The Avon were, IMHO, the best RIBs out there. My first was a 20 old Avon 4M and I wish I had a magic ray gun to make it bigger and with better seats. Great boat - solid even as a classic/legacy boat.
On the consumer side, I think that Novurania is #1 and Nautica is #2 (at least from what I've seen in resale value). The Avons just aren't common in North America and the consumer grade ones (like the Adventures) aren't common or proven (at least from I could find). The NADA/resell pricing on them is amazingly low - can't explain that....
The Caribe and ABs are interesting but the jury is still out on them. It all depends on what happens over the next 5-10 years. They have hypalon tubes (similar to Novurania, Nautica and pro/mil Zodiac/Avon) but I don't think I would classify them as top tier (but I'm not sure).... I've got a Caribe and I love it but don't know if I'll love it when it turns 20, like my Avon....
Go with a brand name Hypalon and also worry about the model of the motor. I'm a Yamaha/Honda biggot. Get compression check and maintain them. Rinse them religiously if you use them in salt water (you need to rinse the boat so it's no big deal)