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Old 10 June 2016, 16:09   #1
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folding rib/tohatsu 2 stroke

hi folks
a few weeks ago I asked for some advice about getting a folding rib and a lighter engine and got a lot of help. I went ahead and bought the frib360 and a new tohatsu 9.8 2 stroke. the last 2 weeks I've been up the north west of Scotland to try them out so I thought I'd let you know how I got on.
by the way just to mention my motivation for getting this package - I've already got a 4m honwave with a 15hp Suzuki 4 stoke and have been using that for 6 years or so. my trips are always multi-day, camping and exploring the Scottish west coast/islands - always involving a lot of pulling the boat up and down beaches and so on (very similar to the trips Donnie/gurnard blogs about), so weight really is a big issue for me - I know it is for most folk but it particularly is for these sort of trips. I'd always have to get the boat and the engine into the water separately which is a bit of a faff if I just wanted to get some firewood or escape the midges from camp. also a lot of the time I am just away with my girlfriend so I didn't really always need a boat the size of the honwave
initially I thought I'd get an aerotec or a honwave air floor but after trying them out they just weren't going to work for me. I need something solid to stand on and I didn't like how the air floor wobbled about so much when moving. so that is why I looked at the frib
the frib cost me 2100 including wheels which seemed a good deal and the engine was 1350 (bought from a chap of gumtree who I would highly recommend - very helpful).
both the rib and the engine have been great and I'm really glad I bought them. the frib goes in the back of my hatchback (just) and is pretty easy to put together. build quality seems to be good. I think the tohatsu is a great engine for it and it planes with me and my girlfriend plus a fair bit of camping kit no bother at all and stays on the plane half throttle. I'm still running the engine in but it's not been an issue due to how well it goes.
I think the boat and engine weighs 73kg combined so it is a easy to launch and I'm not really having to think about tides as much as I used to because even on a long beach it's no bother. I only had to take the engine of the boat once when dragging it up a beach due to the wheels sinking in the sand, but the sand was really soft on that occasion. I found myself using the boat a lot more as well, just to nip out on wee journeys, because it was all so easy
I found the frib fairly bumps about, even in very small waves - more so than my honwave. but then the hull is not pronounced much at all and sits more or less flush with the tubes. the performance isn't such a big deal for me as I am often just pottering about anyway but it may put some folk off - I presume the aertoec or other air floors with more of a v would perform a lot better?
the other thing I would say is that although the frib is only 0.4m shorter than my honwave it really is small in comparison. the floor space much less, the tubes much smaller. on some of my trips I go out to islands such as eigg, Staffa, colsonsay, treshnish isles etc which can be 10 miles or so off shore - for these trips I think I'll stick with the honwave as I would just feel a lot more confident being out in something bigger and heavier.
so overall I'm delighted as this set up suits me perfectly for a lot of my tips and I think the frib 360 and the tohatsu 9.8 is a real sweet spot for weight/portability/performance
cheers

p.s the cat photo - a girl walked it into the beach we were camped at - it's a 45 minute walk from the nearest road!
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Old 10 June 2016, 16:10   #2
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Old 10 June 2016, 16:29   #3
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Glad you like the F Rib Duggie..and I agree with all you say.

I have my Quicksilver 4.3m solid floor for open sea crossings..so we are in like minds about that too. I dislike air floors ..as I drop things like fillet knives and fish hooks and also like to stamp around in my boat

I have used my smaller F Rib every other day since I got it..because it is so portable ..robust ..and light with its 6hp outboard ..yet planes at 16mph with me on board.

The heavy Quicksilver will be used this weekend and probably left again for a good while.

Enjoyed seeing your photos too
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Old 10 June 2016, 16:40   #4
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Yeah they're not for me either, although if folk aren't put off by them I'm not sure what advantages the frib has over them, as the airfloors are as light and even more portable and perhaps perform better, but I'm pretty rough with my boats, never just launch/ recover from a slipway on the same day, so the apart from the frib feeling much more seaworthy, I think I'd ruin an air floor pretty quickly
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Old 10 June 2016, 18:04   #5
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A very honest writeup Duggie... appreciate reading the positive, negative and not so sure aspects.

Great pics too.
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Old 11 June 2016, 00:58   #6
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Very nice, loverly back drops I have to look at scrap yards and jewsons etc, love the information on the f rib as that's the boat for me when funds allow
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Old 11 June 2016, 01:12   #7
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After digesting your f-rib review I'm not so sure about it now as where I go out Brighton-Shoreham there always seem to be waves, so perhaps it would be a bit too bouncy,
I think there was a guy on called Phil who had a F-Rib but not seen any thing of him in ages, so I guess your the only one posting on here who has one, so all the information you can give is gold
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Old 11 June 2016, 02:27   #8
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Sorry gunard, forgot your great review
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Old 11 June 2016, 03:42   #9
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I would be surprised if I saw lots of these folding ribs about

If all i did was put my boat in at a slipway for the day the extra weight of an alloy floor sib wouldn't really bothered me. I never found my honwave too bad on slipways, it was all the beaches and so on that was the problem

Also if you really like messing about in waves and so on I would have thought the aerotec or an airfloor would suit better

I think these boats come into their own when portability and weight are paramount, and if you're not keen on air floors, and if wave performance isn't top priority, but I think in most instances another sib will suit better. Also the fribs are 1,500 or so more than the honwave alloy/air floors, which I can justify as I use mine a lot, but if you're just doing the odd day here and there then perhaps it's more difficult to justify.
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Old 11 June 2016, 12:53   #10
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Hi there
New to inflatable ribs as I have jetskis in the past and fancied something bigger and got a 3.8m aluminium floor rib and was wondering robust they are on the open sea condition
Cheers kevin
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