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Old 25 October 2011, 17:35   #1
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Cheaper/Easier Option?

Hi All,

at the moment I have a RIB and I'm starting to ask myself if I am getting the most from it. Usually I'm out in it on my own, I'm not into fishing or waterskiing so it's just having a footer about on the water and mooching about the coast (Oban to Tobermory is about the biggest run I've done in it, otherwise it's just having a run about) when I'm back home in Scotland or razzing round the Mersey here so I'm starting to wonder if I really need a RIB.

The two big things are a. cost and b. hassle.

Cost: a 40HP isn't exactly the thistiest engine in the world but it's still not far off a litre a mile. Towing, I've got a 4x4 pickup, again it's not the thirstiest (I get about 36mpg with the boat on the back on the motorway) but it's still a lot more than a diesel estate is going to use. Running costs (both boat and pick-up) as well. Launching charges. Insurance. Trailer breakdown cover. Fitting the boat out, etc.

Hassle: launching on your own, I've got reasonably good at it but it's still a hassle (though I still find recovery causes a lot of swearing); towing; having the boat taking up yard space, etc.

What I'm wondering is if a SIB is a cheaper and easier option? Launching, transportation, storage, etc., looks considerably less hassle. What are they like for running costs? Am I fooling myself in thinking a motor suitable for a SIB will be cheaper to run? What sort of conditions can you take them out in? I'm guessing they are a lot more limited than a RIB?

Anyone any recommendations for a "my first SIB"? How much would you be looking at to spend?

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,

Stuart
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Old 25 October 2011, 18:09   #2
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Hi Stuart - I'm one of many who will appreciate many of the points you have made and who went from a RIB to a SIB for the very same reasons.

I would recommend spending a few evenings reading back through the SIB section for loads of topics but consensus is normally that:

3.2m (ish) is the smallest practical size SIB for typical 1+2 or 2+2 coastal use.

A 9.8 to 15 HP 2 stroke is the favoured engine - figure 16 - 18 kts as a typical WOT speed.

You will get wetter than in a RIB.

Being perfectly honest anything bigger than a flat sea is a PITA (literally) in a SIB (seas a RIB would laugh at are not much fun).

But for 1500 to 2000 you get a heck of a lot of fun that goes in the boot of a large car or on the roof (my favoured option), is a cinch to store and maintain, can be packed away in the corner of the garage, costs peanuts to run (60 insurance), 10 fuel for a few hours at (mostly) WOT, can be launched by one or two people literally anywhere - any beach, lifted into a river or lake, etc, etc.

SIB's are not for everyone but for convenience, low capital outlay and real fun they are hard to beat. And if you run out of fuel like I (stupidly)did you drift onto the beach and carry it up the steps to the main road and pop it back on the roof of the Landy - not something so easy with a bigger boat...

Just search eBay for a week and you will see loads of suitable sub 2k rigs - buy a well known make/combo and try it out. You will be able to sell at no loss if you buy right.

And if you need more convincing check out wilk's video he posted of his 25 nm trip.
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Old 25 October 2011, 18:40   #3
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there`s a fair few boats around , i got my sib for a bit of fun and larking around ... i would suggest you go for a boat in excess of 3.2 and capable of taking upto 25hp...... you could start with an 8 or 10hp 2 stroke and see if your getting enough oomph for your buck 10`s are fairly cheap second hand so could be a good starting point.... i would like to point out i struggle my pants off carrying my outfit in the boot of my megane estate and actually prefer to tow it in a 3x4 camping trailer
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Old 25 October 2011, 18:42   #4
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I own a SIB and dream of a RIB. My issue is the money, and a suitable tow vehicle, read money. We use the boat for some cruising, and mostly scuba diving. It is a 4.2M Zodiac with a 40hp. The Pacific ocean requires a boat of at least this size for safety. Highly doubt the two stoke motor gets good mileage, but does have decent power. Somehow it would be nice if it would magically change into a smokeless four stroke. My tow vehicle is a Prius which gets right around 30mpg (Miles per gallon, of gas) towing with dive gear loaded in the vehicle. I always figured that was about the best any loaded tow vehicle would get, but I have been proven wrong.

Launching solo I do not find an issue, at most boat ramps, but my boat is on a pretty nice trailer. Having to blowup a boat and install motor, fuel tank, battery, etc., would not be simple. I would probably venture to say a RIB and SIB are about equal to launch and recover at the average boat ramp.

Wanna trade boats?
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Old 25 October 2011, 18:54   #5
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it takes me about 30mins to inflate and set up ..a must are rib wheels i managed to get a decent set that can fold up and be left on the boat this allows me to hand roll it down slipways much to the annoyance of rib owners who have cumbersome trailers, it also means i can launch fom a beach. cost wise 8 sorted my 9.8 for the day... having said all this i would love a bigger boat
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Old 25 October 2011, 19:07   #6
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SIBs have their place but are no replacement for an SR4

You could reduce costs by using a different tow vehicle. An SR4 will only weigh around half a ton fully rigged, so you could tow it with a small hatchback.

If you're having trouble launching & recovering, then maybe your technique or trailer set-up needs looking at.

I reckon you'll regret swapping it for a SIB. If funds allow, you could always buy a SIB and try running both before deciding which you prefer.

BTW 1 litre/mile sounds thirsty. You could always go for a 4-stroke, but initial outlay will be relatively high.
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Old 26 October 2011, 04:04   #7
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Forgot to add one thing - I disagree with the other posters above about opting for a *big* SIB - IMHO once you go above 3.5m or so a SIB becomes much less attractive than a RIB which is so much more capable in typical seas (especially your SR with a deep V - the 'V' on a SIB is non existant - SIB's do not cut through the water - they skate over it). The only SIB that comes near a deep V RIB is the Bombard 380 but if you are going for something that size a bigger engine is needed.

A 3.2m to 3.5m SIB is still easily packed away and can be lifted easily by two people or pulled on transom wheels by one. It also requires a relatively small 10 - 15 HP engine. Anything bigger cannot be lifted or carried over a beach - in that scenario you are better off with a trailer and a RIB.
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Old 26 October 2011, 04:44   #8
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I am fortunate enough to have both at the moment, the SIB (Aerotec 380) is great fun to use from a beach and the kids love it because they are not stuck on the RIB all day, as others have said you do get wet and anything other than a ripple. The RIB will go anywhere in most seas and gives added comfort and range, launching RIB takes same time as inflating SIB so no time advantage either way, in summary SIB cheap, good fun, but no substitute for the RIB.
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Old 26 October 2011, 04:47   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max... View Post
Bombard 380 but if you are going for something that size a bigger engine is needed.
Disagree, the 380 is fine with a 15hp
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Old 26 October 2011, 05:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizardland View Post
Oban to Tobermory
I have a wee handheld garmin with two sets of waypoints up every loch round there - one up each shore. Reason? - the waypoint File is for use with a 3.5m sib, and there are times that you just don't want to go up the middle! To be honest there's times we just stay ashore & open another beer.....

The flip side to all your "bad things about the rib" is that you'll end up sat there thinking "I could have gone out if I had the RIB...."

Based on my open box trailer & sailing dingy, a "jam pot" cover will improve the aerodynamics of the rib while towing quite remarkably. The cover is worth about 3-4mpg on a 5'x 5'5" box trailer that tucks in behind the car.....

Other thing to think about - will you have room in the car for it, 'coz as soon as you run out of boot space and put a roof rack on, it's welcome back to square 1 with regards to towing fuel economy...... Also it's an SR4. Easily towable by a mid sized saloon. Mine put my Focus diesel from 50 odd MPG down to about 47ish.
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