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Old 23 March 2016, 13:06   #1
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F-Rib 275 ..first impressions

There is a saying that no boat is perfect.. we all have to compromise and settle on a vessel that ticks most boxes for us. I guess thats why I still own 3 inflatable ? boats. I have retired my Seago 260 Slat floor after 16 years of faithful service. She is still going well and would probably last a few years yet.. but because she is so old..her tubes are only 32mm diameter .. and because of the slat floor..a displacement design. Modern SIBs all have at around 40mm or greater tube diameters and have a hull shape designed to plane.

I have pondered over retiring the Seago for well over a year now..my only dilemma was what to replace her with. I still have the Quicksilver 4.3 ..heavy trailered SIB for rough weather and exposed ..open sea adventuring.. so rough water handling was not a tick on the list.

Important ticks were..it must be light..portable ..fit easily in my car .. and be able to be chucked across rocks and barnacled shored. The cheap seago was excellent at this.

I wanted a light outboard to power the boat..Im not too concerned of it being able to plane..as it is to explore close inshore.. get into narrow geos and under sea arches. Therefore weight and small packaging are essential..but the ability to plane with a very small and light outboard was a big attraction.
I did consider everone’s favourite suggestion ..the Aerotec.. but had read it is a draggy hull shape..so I doubt a small.. (and Im talking 4hp engine size) ..wouldn’t plane it ? I believe the wee F-Rib will plane with one ..using a 4hp..in fact..Im hoping my 3.3Hp might just get it going on a flat sea.

I am not a fan of any high pressure air floors of any brand.. as Im kind of rough on my boats..fishing..dropping stuff etc So that took the air floor SIBs..off my tick list.

Im lucky..I recently retired and got a nice lump sum..so money was not an issue. In fact..Im normally a stingy Scotsman..but a recent health scare ..made me worry about leaving money behind..so best spend some while I can.

By a process of elimination.. I arrived at what I think is the perfect replacement for the Seago Slat Floor...

Meet “The Guppy”..yup its the smallest of the F-Rib range.. and its just out the box today.

I ordered it yesterday lunch time..and it arrive from down south..to Scotland..today..yeah.. 100% for delivery promises.

It took me by surprise as when I lifted the box .. wow..it was heavy. Then to my relief.. I found lumps of wood in the box..packing wood to ensure it transport without damage. The boat is 36kg and I can lift it ..easy as the Seago..it was 34kg. ..yeah 100% for good packing..and not opened since shipped from the factory.



It has a thick canvas type bag which holds the seat.. the oars.. the pump.. and a repair kit. .. and a heavy wrapper to hold the boat.

Yeah..I give that lot 100 % too..well..except for the pump. I did try it..but was impatient and threw it to the side. I don’t like foot pumps..but thats just me. My Coleman lilo electric inflator which cost £25 years ago..inflated it nicely..then I finished it off with the Quicksilver double action hand pump. Its the same fittings so everything is interchangeable. No need for high pressure air floor pumps either. It has 4 air compartments on the tubes too.



Its very easy to unfold..the tubes are huge compared to the Seago..so it wont be as wet a boat.. but the thing that really tickles me pink is.. when I stand in it..it is like my hardshell boats.. but then that is not a surprise ..it is a small RIB after all..not a SIB. ..for that.. I give it 110%..



Quality and workmanship is first class..no dings or chips in the hull edges.. glue looks well done..no marks on tubes ..and so far..no leaks



That is my first impressions of the F-Rib 275.. I have still to try her on the water..but research and talking to folks that actually own F-Ribs ..has me very confident that it will suit my needs 150%



In fact .. Im that confident that I will start customising it to turn it into my own needs boat..after its maiden voyage. This may or may not invalidate the warranty..but I strongly suspect the boat will last my retirement years.. with no problems at all.

Forgive me for a hasty written first impression..but Im now going to fill her with hot water..and take a bath in her as I watch TV.. Yup..Im confident the hull wont leak all over my carpet.

Thanks for reading
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Old 23 March 2016, 13:49   #2
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Ahh an excellent and intelligent choice Gurnard. The boat you want for the places you go at a price you can afford. Spending a bit of pension lump is good too and something we're familiar with.

Really looking forward to hearing how you get on with it.

We had similar thoughts a couple of years ago re tube sizes having downshifted to an old Avon with small tubes. In truth we felt a bit at the mercy of the elements and it shipped loads of water.

I'd guess the ideal motor for that Frib would be a 5hp to keep portability high on the list but allow a decent one-up plane performance.... but you might be happy with the existing motor.

Anyway enjoy that bath!!
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Old 23 March 2016, 14:04   #3
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Yup..that is my idea Fenlander ..later in the season..get a 6hp... as 4 ..5..and 6hp all seem to be around the mid 20Kgs..ie 25 or so.

It future proofs my needs ..because as I get older the 25hp and Quicksilver get heavier ..Im sure you know what I mean. Im keeping both going..but the more I look at the wee F-Rib..the more I think it could get most use this year ?

But once the season starts..and I get notions to visit islands 10 miles or more off shore..the Quicksilver will take off then :-D
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Old 23 March 2016, 14:37   #4
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Nice one gurnard had me fooled thought you had gone Ali hull the pics do it justice too very clean lines.

Cheers
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Old 23 March 2016, 14:53   #5
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Nice one Gurnard!
I like the look of that new tub a lot:thumbup:.
I'm just back from a jolly around Loch Doon in my little Seago.
It's almost a year to the day that it had its maiden voyage.

It's had a few mods since then.
I'm sure it won't be long until you've got your drill and saw out customising it to best suit your requirements.

You might be converted to getting a wee set of transom wheels to save the luvvly gel coat of the Frib hull from scuffs when beach landing
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Old 23 March 2016, 15:12   #6
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Hi Jeff..Im still thinking Ali hull to replace the Quicksilver..as its a lot lighter..but I may also go back to a hardshell with a bunk and mooring ..when that time comes. It certainly wont be this year..Im not that ill that I need to spend all my cash this year :-D

The F RIB fits perfectly in my 4x4 ..in the space the Seago was transported in. This leaves my car bunk unobstructed...but the boat will still be put outside at night..along with the milk bottles. It will be great when I disappear running round hills..then ... for a rest..go boating.. while staying in the car during good weather. Its the way I can see most the coast of Scotland and not restricted to one area.



The smelly stuff..like my wet hiking socks ..outboard motor..fuel..oars etc..all go in the roof box. Thats why Im keen for a lightweight outboard ..rather than a heavy faster outboard. I can easily lift my wee 3.3hp into the roof box.



As mentioned..no boat is perfect..but by having two or three .. means I can cover most of my needs. I cant wait to try her out..unfortunately the car is booked into garage tomorrow..then weekend weather is looking cold and rough again .. so ..perhaps I should have bought an aeroplane instead.

However..the F RIB will suit me down to the ground for my use. Note the sharp bow shape in the above photo. It will cut through waves no problem. I suspect the tubes may slap a bit if too rough.. but they will make the boat far more stable at rest for fishing.. etc. My deep V hardshells rock a lot at anchor.. I suspect its the nature of the beast.. and is why cathedral hull boats and dorys are still very popular choices with fishermen guys. They all plane in the rough..and I see no reason why this one wont either..but time will tell

Kaman..I love my wee seago..but will recycle parts to put into the FRIB..including its heart.

Yours is the modern seago too..my tubes were smaller diameter cos its an old model.

You know I prefer an aux to transom wheels.. so wont go the traditional route..but I have an idea that will work..watch for the modifications soon
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Old 23 March 2016, 15:33   #7
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Gurnard had a look on the F rib site impressive performance with small motors I can see you having a rig around the 60kg mark that will suit most needs.a 6hp would do everything with power in reserve and the bigger tubes gives more reashoreance in the rough. A 2.5hp also enough to shore hop.
Looking forward to the maiden voyage report.

Cheers
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Old 23 March 2016, 15:48   #8
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Interesting bit of Kit...I'll look forward to hearing how she performs/compares.
Good luck Fair weather and Following Seas
Any names in mind Mr G?
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Old 23 March 2016, 15:55   #9
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I'm sure you will tailor it to suit your needs Gurnard.
Think you might manage to squeeze 2 little sub 4hp engines on the transom - perfect for extended sight seeing jaunts.
I think a6hp would fly along for those short blasts when your not going too far afield to worry about an Auxiliary.
I like having both transom wheels and Auxiliary Engine.
I just managed to squeezed in both on my Seago.
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Old 23 March 2016, 16:07   #10
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cracking looking boats these, Clyde outboards have a couple of them in stock, gets the wallet twitching every time i'm in there.

I did find the source about 8 months ago and i contacted them in China. shipping for 1 boat wasn't doable obviously. with that said, even with VAT it would have been less than £1k each if 5 were bought and shipping split.
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