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Old 17 August 2005, 09:19   #1
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Advice please: Avon Rover RIB

Hi folks,
New member to the forums here. Lots of good info, I'm just starting to work my way through the archives. I live along the coast in New England and am looking for a RIB for general free diving/spearfishing activities. The conditions here are varied, I live along a bay that opens up to the Atlantic so I'm looking for a craft to explore up and down the coast in moderate chop/swell.
I've found a smaller RIB that interests me. The price is right, the tubes are made of hypalon which I gather is important. What I'm wondering is if this boat will be too small if the weather picks up and I need to jam it through 3-4' chop. I wouldn't carry alot of gear, most likely just myself and sometimes the g/f. Here's what I'm looking at for approx. 2150gbp/3900usd

2001 R340 Avon Rover Rib 11' 2" Fiberglass hull, grey with 2 seats and bow locker. with 2002 15 HP Mercury 4 stroke electric start engine (approx 40 hours used), and 2002 Load Rite trailer. Includes battery and gas tank.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Dave
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Old 17 August 2005, 09:32   #2
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Hey whatsup im from MA and im just about to buy a RIB too...im not 100% sure but it seems a little underpowered, and unless your an expierenced driver 3-4ft white caps will be super hard for a 11 ft boat. I have a 12 ft SIB and (although its a SIB) even on 1-2 ft waves my friends are bouncing around and getting hurt heh.
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Old 17 August 2005, 09:48   #3
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I would say that the size of the boat is capable of dealing with those conditions, however I would certainly look at getting a more powerful engine. Also if you are intending on meeting some larger seas then go and get some training before venturing out.
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Old 17 August 2005, 10:07   #4
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do a test drive..if the boat cant make it up the biggest wave you see with enough speed dont buy it
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Old 17 August 2005, 10:21   #5
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yeah, that would be one way to go about it..it's actually up in your neck of the woods choppy, around Marblehead. If i had my way i'd be looking at something several feet longer with a console etc..but everything I look at comes in at 10K+ My father runs a 9 ft RIB as a tender with a 9.9 on the back and it seems to push it along really well, I guess it's all about what your after..of course when I get jonesing for some speed there's a buddy in Buzzards Bay with a 34' SeeVee with triple 225's..sucks down the gas but what a ride
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Old 17 August 2005, 10:27   #6
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Rhodie,

Welcome and greetings from Marblehead, MA. Good to have you, we need more Yanks here!

For upper Naraganset Bay, close to Providence and even down to Newport, that boat would be okay in many condtions. It's a bit small and underpowered to head out into Buzzard's Bay (or beyond) when the typical southwesterly is coming on strong with that nasty short chop that develops. While the rib has the added stability and other benefits vs a hard boat, that's still a small boat. Would you happily take an 11' Boston Whaler with a 15 hp out into Buzzard's Bay in typical summer 15-25 knot seabreeze conditions? Will your g/f be comfortable and happy aboard in those conditions? I used to do a lot of coaching from a 14' (4.2?M) Zodiac rib with a 60 HP Yamaha 4 stroke down on Tampa Bay, often in nasty conditions, similar to Buzzards. That was adequate, though I'd have been even happier with my current boat.

Looking at Avon's description of the boat, it's primarily intended use is as a yacht tender. See http://www.avoninflatables.co.uk/page/lei .

Personally, I'd look for something slightly bigger, with a bit more power. I found an ex-Coast Guard 5.4M (18') rib with a trailer for $3500 on ebay. Added a used 80HP fresh water motor, VHF and a couple of other goodies, all from ebay and have a great boat for ~$5000. I had my eyes out for nearly a year, waiting for a good boat at a good price. But I'm a card carrying member of the CBYC -Cheap Bastards Yacht Club!
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Old 17 August 2005, 10:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhodieRIB
yeah, that would be one way to go about it..it's actually up in your neck of the woods choppy, around Marblehead. If i had my way i'd be looking at something several feet longer with a console etc..but everything I look at comes in at 10K+ My father runs a 9 ft RIB as a tender with a 9.9 on the back and it seems to push it along really well, I guess it's all about what your after..of course when I get jonesing for some speed there's a buddy in Buzzards Bay with a 34' SeeVee with triple 225's..sucks down the gas but what a ride
I think I know where that boat is, if it's the same one I'm thinking of. Near the local grocery on Front St, with a for sale sign on it. Sign on it says "Offered through Ribcraft USA". When I go out for lunch I'll take a closer look. Need to head in that general direction on another errand anyway.

It's only about an hour's ride for you to get up here, but you're not likely to get any rough conditions for a test in Marbledead in August.
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Old 17 August 2005, 10:54   #8
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dc--thanks for the reply, thinking back to the early days of crashing around the bay on a 13' whaler makes me shudder, I'm surprised my kidneys didn't give out. I guess I fell under the spell of RIB mythology, in the end 11' is 11' no matter the make/model. Don't know if you're one for hook and line but word has it that the tuna are close to shore off Westport. Well, off to ebay.
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Old 17 August 2005, 11:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhodieRIB
dc--thanks for the reply, thinking back to the early days of crashing around the bay on a 13' whaler makes me shudder, I'm surprised my kidneys didn't give out. I guess I fell under the spell of RIB mythology, in the end 11' is 11' no matter the make/model. Don't know if you're one for hook and line but word has it that the tuna are close to shore off Westport. Well, off to ebay.
Wouldn't be quite the same as a Whaler, due to the differences in hull design. The 13' Whaler might as well be as flat as a pancake for all the ride comfort it gives you. The Avon is a V hull, which should be dramatically better in that regard, plus the shock absorption of the tubes for the really big crashes. But as you say, 11' is 11'... Size does matter, and more is more!

I think a rib does make a ton of sense for the use you laid out, particularly the diving. If I were you, I'd be looking for something in the 14'+ size. Keep your eyes open, you'll find something. I still keep an eye on ebay, there's not much there now. As the boating season ends, you'll start to see a lot more listings. I think I found my boat in September or October. It happened to be in my backyard, 2 towns away. There are plenty of listings over the winter too.

What I know about fishing would fit right here: .
I like to EAT fresh tuna though!
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Old 17 August 2005, 11:49   #10
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Hi,

I'm from Mass too and I just went through a similar decision
process. I chose and have owned an Avon Rover 310 Rib for about
3 months now. I bought it as Boat US/West Marine new. It's
powered by a Yamaha 15 hp 2 stroke short shaft.

My intended use is more or less the same as yours except
I use the boat in Lake Winnipesaukee. The lake can get
rough at times but nothing like the ocean, but if you are
in sheltered areas you may be OK. One of the big reasons
why I chose a boat this size was I wanted something I would
have the ability to store on land and possibly launch with a
dolly or dolly wheels. I have it on a mooring full time now,
but the availability of a mooring or dock is a year to year thing.
I'm too cheap to pay for a dock at $3000/year, and too lazy to
deal with a trailer and launch lines if I can roll the thing in the
water from the beach.

As far as the size goes, it is rated for 4 people. You'd have
a hard time getting 3 people in it, but it's do-able. You really
need to do serious space planning with boats this size.
For two people, with a small amount of gear, you should
be comfortable. Forget the seats that come with these
boats in rough water. You want to be IN the boat under
those conditions. I'm thinking of either cooler seats or
a home-made seat, either of which would be configured
jockey-style.

I am happy with this boat for my purposes. The quality is
excellant compared to many others I have looked at
in it's category.

The hypalon vs. PVC may not be an issue up North here.
I can't really vouch for PVC, but from what people tell
me, in the North, as long as you care for it (cover it),
and am careful with gas spills, PVC may be a good value.

Avon has an Adventurer series that is larger than the Rover
series.

The Bombard/Zodiac line of rib work boats can come a little
larger in size (12-14 feet), and have removable tubes which
can be a nice feature for replacement and storage. These are PVC.

Other ribs to look at in the US and in our area in this category
would be AB, Caribe, and Apex. All of these manufacturers
have ribs larger than the Avon Rovers.

Some other things I had to think of were electric start vs pull start.
I chose pull start for simplicity, room, and weight savings.
The Yamaha starts like a dream, first pull. No battery, no
electrical problems, so far. You would need a battery if you
planned to be out at night for lights though. I think up
to 25 hp, pull start should be OK.

Hopefully this will not start a 4-stroke vs. 2-stroke war, but I chose
a 2 stroke for the same reasons as I chose pull start. Wight and simplicity.
Weight is very important. Weight distribution in boats this size
is critical. You will realize that the first time you try to plane the
boat, especially in rougher conditions. You do not want a lot
of weight in a small boat at the transom. Also, you can sling a
2-stroke around in the trunk, cellar, etc without worrying about
the oil in the sump of a 4-stroke. Unfortunately, 2 strokes are becoming
harder to get.

You should think about short shaft vs. long shaft too.
If you plan to be in boating for a long time, the outboard
will likely outlast the rib and you may want to be able
to re-use the outboard, or if you trade up or down,
you may want to use the outboard on another boat.

Good luck in you decision. I hope we see more Ribs and Sibs in the
US. Right now, those of us in the US with ribs/inflatables are looked at
as kind of odd balls, but I think depending on your use, they can
be the perfect solution. I'm happy with my choice.
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