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Old 19 March 2011, 14:13   #1
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Trailer or berth?

Are there any major disadvantages to leaving an inflatable in the water (sea) for prolonged periods? (Rather than keeping it on a trailer/ packing it up after use)

I assume packing it up would cause more stress to the material than leaving it inflated for longer periods. How about leaving it in the water, as many ribs are kept?

Just thinking it would be far more practical, given that I often have a secure berth available.
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Old 19 March 2011, 14:46   #2
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Antifoul is available for inflatable hulls, so fouling should be manageable. RNLI boarding boats are left in 365 days a year.
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Old 19 March 2011, 15:39   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. Which type of anti-foul would be best? Or would taking it out for a good hose down every so often be enough?
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Old 19 March 2011, 15:43   #4
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p.s. Just out of interest, what type of inflatables do the RNLI use as boarding boats? Did a quick search online and saw an all black inflatable with a 40hp outboard, looked quite nice actually.
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Old 19 March 2011, 16:17   #5
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Trailer or Berth?

Our son kept his small Avon RIB on a mooring in the Cley Channel last year, and by the time we took it out in the Autumn it was decidedly the worse for wear. It cleaned up to original but it took a lot of time and elbow grease. I'd worry about tube pressure variations on a SIB as well. Also there is some question about prolonged sunlight on PVC hulls. Our RIBs are both Avons, so are ok on that score.
Personally I'd still feel happier with my boat at home. It's safer; more secure, and I can look at it and do things to it. No anxious listening to the weather forecasts either!!
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Old 19 March 2011, 16:57   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic View Post
p.s. Just out of interest, what type of inflatables do the RNLI use as boarding boats? Did a quick search online and saw an all black inflatable with a 40hp outboard, looked quite nice actually.


From what i remember i think they are Avon commercial with just a few rnli modifications added to them .
in the past i have seen old d classes used at times as dedicated boarding boats.
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Old 19 March 2011, 17:07   #7
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Cheers. Any idea what the RNLI do to maintain their condition when left in the water? Don't really have a place at home to keep in inflated so it would have to be packed up each time... makes regular use a little time consuming.

Trying to figure out a better option... seems to be down to either being kept on a trailer at the marina, then launched when needed, or then left at my berth. Of course, having it in the water would be the easy option, but I don't want the boat to suffer to badly.

Ideas??
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Old 19 March 2011, 21:46   #8
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Re: Leaving a SIB in the water
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Originally Posted by raymillard View Post
I'd worry about tube pressure variations on a SIB as well.
I'd worry less about that in the water than on a trailer. The wetted portions of the tube act as a heatsink, keeping temp fluctuations to a minimum. On a trailer the heating/cooling variations are free to follow ambient changes, resulting in potentially quite large swings.

I completely agree with having the boat handy for maintenance/cleaning/drooling over/whatever, though.


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Old 20 March 2011, 08:41   #9
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Originally Posted by m chappelow View Post
From what i remember i think they are Avon commercial with just a few rnli modifications added to them .
in the past i have seen old d classes used at times as dedicated boarding boats.
I think Mart is right - they are usually Avon commercial SIBs with a few tweaks - IIRC they have similar floorboard setups to the D class and Y boat and they use the same anchor stowage as the D class.

A lot of them I think are kept ashore these days- Exmouth's used to be launched form a davit when they had a Trent on a mooring, Humber (hard boat not SIB) is launched from a davit, Appledore's is kept in the boathouse:

http://www.appledorelifeboat.org.uk/BoardingBoat.htm

Fishguard has a SIB boarding boat - normally it is just connected to a pulley system to get from the pier to the boat, and it gets a fair bit of growth on it.

I think for the limited use most boarding boats get, a little bit of growth is not seen as a major issue.

I personally would not want to keep my SIB afloat - applying antifoul / removing growth will be an ongoing chore, and I would expect that antifoul would put potential buyers off when you come to sell.

Deflating / inflating the boat to keep at home is a bit of a hassle, but does at least mean if you want to use it elsewhere you do not have to go to the marina and collect it.

A 'versadock' would be great but more than a bit too pricey

I suspect keeping it on a trolley at the marina (if sufficiently secure) might be the best compromise - averaged across a season, time spent applying and maintaining antifoul and removing growth maybe more than the time spent launching and recovering.

If you have a set of transom wheels, you may even get away without a trolley - just fold the wheels up once ashore so the boat rests on its hull.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 20 March 2011, 10:28   #10
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Thanks for the replies. So it seems that it may be best to leave it on a trailer at the marina, launch it when needed and only leave in in the water when being used over say a weekend. The points made were good and much appreciated.
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