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Old 24 November 2001, 12:51   #1
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Round Britain in an inflatable!

RB4 (Without the hull)

I have been considering the logistics of taking a fully inflatable around Britain in the next 1/2 years.

Waiting for the right weather window in the summer, a huge high pressure, a well rigged semi inflatable with bucket seating and cable steering. I believe it can be done, with the right weather window, in 6-10 days. Faster than the RB4 fleet did it!

What do you reckon? Can it can be done? And does any one know if it has been done yet?

Toby
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Old 25 November 2001, 05:34   #2
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Hi there

Well, speaking as someone whose longest trip in his boat was about 18 miles (and that was on a glassy calm day in the Cromarty Firth), I have been intrigued and entertained of late reading about 'Round Britain/Ireland/Isle of Wight' etc type endurance Rib events.

It strikes me that the big factor in these which makes them rather dificult and on the edge of dangerous (which is what of course makes them interesting to read) is the fact that they all seem to be done within a set time limit. This makes people carry on longer and in poorer weather conditions than perhaps they normally would.

I would think that if you had unlimited time to wait for the correct conditions you could circumnavigate the UK even in my little boat. Of course I would need an extra fuel tank as mine only has a 20 ltr capacity. I could probably do 50 miles a day in good weather and I would have to keep within a couple of miles of the shore which would put a few extra miles on the journey.

Hmmmm...this is beginning to sound good. I just have to persuade the BOSS that it's a good idea to take a few months off work this Summer. Oh dear! I can hear her approaching the study, well back to sweeping up those leaves.......

Cheers

Keith (inspired) Hart
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Old 25 November 2001, 11:43   #3
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I am equally sure that it is perfectly possible to snow-board down Mt. Everest with a tea-tray attached to each foot. But is that really what tea-trays are for?
Where do you stop?
Swim round with an inflatable kiddies rubber swim-training band on each arm? Would that be more of a "challenge"?
Next time I attempt to go round it will hopefully be in the company of other properly capable boats, crewed with like minded people, covering say 200-250 mile per day, and thoroughly enjoying all of the experience that such a challenge gives one.
I don't mean to be a kill-joy Toby, you raise an awareness of your dream (if you can). Please count me out though. Sorry, and safe journey.
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Old 25 November 2001, 14:31   #4
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Brian
I am going around Britain again next year, probably late July or Early August. I plan to do at least 200 miles per day but I need to spend a little time in each Port. Contact me if you want some company.

The problem with going around Britain in a small boat is the distance across the Bristol Channel (90 miles) before you can pick up fuel, plus the fact that at the furthest point you can be up to 80 miles out to sea. But then again, anything is possible.

Alan P
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Old 25 November 2001, 15:26   #5
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Hi Toby, it all depends on the size of the inflatable. On RB4 you were in the most "comfortable" rib (under 5m) so maybe you didnt get enough bashing and thumping to make you think twice about it! Anyway there a some very seaworthy inflatables available - you see a lot of them used for "inshore lifeboats" in France. I have a 3.1m with a sort-of semi V hull with a solid floor over an inflatable keel tube which makes the fabric floor into a vee. The ones in France have alloy floors with (I think) a wooden keel. Some of them are around 5m. If you got a really big 5m+ one it would be much the same as the RB4 run except for the increased hammering in any bad head seas. But count me out!
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Old 26 November 2001, 03:53   #6
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Great, thanks for the idea Brian.

Anyone know a good website with tea trays?

Keith Hart



PS I was only joking about trying it in my boat, so please do not try and have me certified!
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Old 27 November 2001, 04:41   #7
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On RB4 I was, I would agree on the most comfortable boat, the Gemini, I still took a fair pounding. I also did 1.5 legs in the place of Hugo aboard GS, the Rib craft, including the leg from M Haven to the IOM.

RB4 was a wonderful experience and I am very glad that the powers that be organized it. In my opinion the expedition was forced to have one major flaw; it was put to a date and not to a weather window. Such is the nature of these craft and to the credit of the fleet and its crews, it was still completed even though it had its fare share of weather, from thick Fog and flat calm seas to force 6-7 winds and 10 foot swells with breaking tops.

The craft I intend to use is similar to the Zodiac Mk 3, but it has the same under water profile as a Zapcat, two solid and pronounced speed tubes. If you have not yet been out in a Zapcat you donít know what you are missing. My mates got a mako down here, with a 50 HP Yamaha, we took that out in the bay in a solid F 7-8 when that storm came through a few of weeks ago. The sea keeping abilities of the craft are unbelievable, and I feel confident that with the right set up it was more comfortable than a 5m RIB would have been, and could have made better speed.

Alan P, had a look of your website, very envious!! I may well take you up on that offer, as we will require a support craft. I am confident that we can carry sufficient fuel, bunkering in Falmouth to make the Bristol Channel. The attempt, if it comes together will, as hot lemon did, will be dependant on the right weather window.

Brian, Iím going snowboarding in France after Christmas, Ill grab a tea tray from the canteen and keep you posted!!

Toby
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Old 28 November 2001, 05:05   #8
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Round Britain next July/August sounds awefully interesting!!
I am in the process now of trying to get a crew together for it.
Do you have a set route yet? I guess you will start from Cardiff?
Brian
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Old 28 November 2001, 06:03   #9
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Ahhhh

Brian,

Presumably this time you will be avoiding late night drinking sessions in dimly lit pubs after hours????????

Could be on for it. Is this in addition to Round Ireland or in place? Of the two I'd probably rather do round Ireland, having done round Britain! It would all depend on how long the trip was planned to take. (I know you Gentlemen of Leisure have unlimited time but some of us only get 5 weeks hols a year!)

Alan
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Old 28 November 2001, 10:56   #10
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Both, of course!!
And as for dimly lit pubs, this time I will be taking my own 3-dimensional nav. system with me whenever I enter licensed premises!
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