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Old 25 May 2019, 16:50   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Portsmouth
Make: Zodiac 470
Length: 4m +
Engine: Yamaha 40 autolube
Join Date: May 2019
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4.7m upgrade to a 5.5m?

Hi all,

Had my zodiac pro 4.7m (40hp} for a few months now. Love it and going out. Just started storing it at the marina which means the restriction I had on size due to my driveway isn't a problem anymore.

Is upgrading to a larger rib worth the extra money? Can't have anything more than 6m as prices shoot up.

What's the benefit of larger rib? Will I notice more stability or better handling etc

Thanks
Richard
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Old 25 May 2019, 17:42   #2
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Country: Australia
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Can't see much difference in the 470 to a 550 in seaworthiness, as for space inside the boat, this comes down to if or where you have seating and how big the console is. Even my 550 without rear seats is pretty cramped once we get a bit of fishing and dive gear into it.

Personaly I wanted a boat I could fit into a standard garage at home so went with the zodiac 550 pro tour, this allows me to keep it at home without deflating.
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Old 26 May 2019, 03:01   #3
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RIBase
You will notice the difference in size when out on the Solent. When the chop is up a bigger boat will be much more stable, together with more space onboard
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Old 28 May 2019, 14:44   #4
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Hi Richard
For every Metre you go up in length the comfort increases as well. Downside is launching and retrieving, especially if by yourself. Hull design is also very important. Some boats are very hard, those with less of a underwater "V". By hard I mean when go over waves the boat slams as apposed to cutting into the wave.
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Old 28 May 2019, 17:02   #5
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Don't forget a big factor in size is also cost, not just purchase cost but maintenance and daily running costs.

I drive two comercial ribs, one 7.4 Gemini dive boat and 10.5 Naiad dive boat. The Gemini is powered by twin 150's and extremely wet for all passengers once we get a little chop. The Naiad ( twin 250's ) is much drier but the sheer weight and 20 divers with tanks and weights make handling far from fun, also getting trim and equal rpm on the engines means more work and concentration is spent fiddling with controls.

When I get back into my little 550 it just feels so much more fun and far more responsive. Driving the smaller rib is all done by feel, working the trim and throttle without having to ever take my eyes off picking my way through the swell. On days when other skippers drive the bigger boats I can beat them to the offshore seal colonies in my own boat and be far drier than in the other boats.

Things to consider going bigger.

Often more storage cost if not kept at home.
More horse power needed, often needing more fuel and higher service costs.
If towing, double axel trailer over single, more maintance.
Higher insurance costs, both theft and public liability ( public liability compulsory for us).
Handling agility reduced in tight conditions, especially in windy, choppy tidal conditions ( driving onto trailer and beach recovery etc).
Carrying more passengers adds to your costs and often ends up catering to what others want to do ( often having to come straight home once someone feels sick).

There are also heaps of positive reasons to go bigger but for me these are mostly carrying more people and more gear, where I would rather do that on the bigger boats I drive someone else has to pay for.
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