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Old 30 July 2008, 11:14   #1
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Advice please - new to RIBS

Hi - I'm just about to buy my first RIB & would really appreciate some tips:-

- Does anyone know about PB training in Bristol or West country (I live in Cheltenham)?
- Half my trips will be slow puttering river trips on River Avon, Severn, Wye etc. Is there any reason why a RIB with a 50HP engine wouldnt go well ticking over with a day on the river?
- I only need a 4-seater - is it advisable to start with a smaller boat, say 3.5m, I'm guessing
that would be easier to manouvere on & off the trailer etc.
- Will all trailers fit the tow-bar I've just had put on my car ?
I mentioned Rivers Avon, Severn, Wye above, anyone got any tips specific to RIB use on these rivers?
- Do dogs tend to cause punctures? Should they stay at home?
- On a 2 week holiday on the south coast, I guess I would still need to launch & retrailer the boat every day or do some of you keep your RIBS on the water for the whole 2 weeks.

Sorry if some of these sound a bit naive - very new to the whole boating game ! so thanks in advance for your comments.
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Old 30 July 2008, 14:54   #2
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" Hi - I'm just about to buy my first RIB & would really appreciate some tips:-

- Does anyone know about PB training in Bristol or West country (I live in Cheltenham)?

Hi Ivan i'm based in Stroud, I think Bristol is the nearest place to train however I chose to head down Southampton Way as I wanted to learn somewhere that is challenging and where you could see all the various buoys, Cardinals etc. It really means you can practice the theory you learn in the classroom, there are several trade members on here that train or use the RYA website to lookup a centre that is nearer.


- Half my trips will be slow puttering river trips on River Avon, Severn, Wye etc. Is there any reason why a RIB with a 50HP engine wouldnt go well ticking over with a day on the river?

If you are going to be doing a lot of this then i would suggest you go down the 4stroke engine route as they are more comfortable than 2 strokes when it comes to trolling for long periods of time, especially if you are looking at buying secondhand, the older 2 strokes really dont like idling for long periods.


- I only need a 4-seater - is it advisable to start with a smaller boat, say 3.5m, I'm guessing that would be easier to manouvere on & off the trailer etc.
I would look at 4.5 to 5.5 metres. I found I could easily manage a 5.25 metre Rib on my own however a 4.5 would be ideal maybe a ribcraft or if you are looking at new stuff check out the new Ribquest that Tom is using to go round Scotland. If you want 4 seats you will need a bench seat and a double jockey.

If you are mainly looking at light use in rivers etc why not look at a SIB, you will get a lot more for you money and they tend to be more spacious in the way they are layed out.? There is a whole section of this site devoted to SIBs.


- Will all trailers fit the tow-bar I've just had put on my car ?
Should do if they are UK spec

I mentioned Rivers Avon, Severn, Wye above, anyone got any tips specific to RIB use on these rivers?
I quite often go out from Bristol Marina down to Avonmouth and across to the Wye then up past Chepstow. If you fancy joining me for a run then feel free to give me a shout, I may be going out on Friday although not sure yet

- Do dogs tend to cause punctures? Should they stay at home?
I have taken my Labrador on Ribs and he is fine, they cant puncture the tubes but the could scratch them. Ideally you wnat to lift them on and off the boat. You can also buy Dog Lifejackets that have handles on top so if they go in it is easier to pull them out.

- On a 2 week holiday on the south coast, I guess I would still need to launch & retrailer the boat every day or do some of you keep your RIBS on the water for the whole 2 weeks.
Most places will hire you a mooring you just need to get a little sib to get you out to the boat or get a lift on a watertaxi if there is one but with a smaller RIB then launching and recovering on a daily basis wont be too painful

Sorry if some of these sound a bit naive - very new to the whole boating game ! so thanks in advance for your comments.
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Old 30 July 2008, 14:55   #3
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for your 1st question i'm afraid i'm too far away to know..
#2 i recon you will be the river master..

#3 gettin started with a boat at arroun 4m is quite fair. you wont have problems driving it and mostly it wont be tiring for you to carry alone (it's bad to be left alone with a 6m boat with no prior experience.)

#4 ooohhh yes....

#5 it depends.. you should have a good quality pontoon. if its PVC it's much easier for our dog to destroy it. if its N/H 11oo or 1670 it is more durable. however be sure to cut your dogs nails. each time he scratches he takes away a little part of it's surface!

#6 my boat can stay in the water for 6-8 months each year for the past 7 years with no problem. it is better thogh that if not on holiday not to let it inside for more than a week. be not intiminated though, you really have no problem (it depends of course on the quality of your rib) but don't do that often..

you should take the boat out and let it out to drain, normaly every week if you have it in the water throughout the year. if not, it's ok for your holiday.

ps, sorry for my bad perhaps english...
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Old 30 July 2008, 17:02   #4
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Just had a Golden Retriever in a Zodiac Pro for the first time. If the dog is used to being in a boat - then you shouldn't have any problems. As a word of caution - I'd have the dog on a short lead, and don't tie it to anything. As for getting in and out - you could use a roll-up foam mat (camping) which is cut down to size. Perfect for laying over the tubes to save scratches and rolls up small enough to stow away.
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Old 30 July 2008, 18:42   #5
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Hi Ivan, welcome to ribbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan4199 View Post
- Does anyone know about PB training in Bristol or West country (I live in Cheltenham)?
Try the http://www.ryatraining.org website, you can search for centres in your area. The course you are after is 2 days and known as the RYA Powerboat Level 2, try and find a centre that can provide a RIB of the sort of size you are after or book own boat tuition when you get the boat, this will allow the instructor to help you with launching your own RIB etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan4199 View Post
Half my trips will be slow puttering river trips on River Avon, Severn, Wye etc. Is there any reason why a RIB with a 50HP engine wouldn’t go well ticking over with a day on the river?
Generally speaking 4 stoke engine stand up better to long periods ticking over at low revs than 2 stroke engines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan4199 View Post
I only need a 4-seater - is it advisable to start with a smaller boat, say 3.5m, I'm guessing
that would be easier to manoeuvre on & off the trailer etc.
It makes sense to start small, 4m is generally considered about the minimum, the 3.5 you mentioned is I think a little small for 4 people and for the 50 hp engine you mentioned. That said most 4m will not have seats for 4 but will have room for 4 with some people sitting on the tubes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan4199 View Post
Will all trailers fit the tow-bar I've just had put on my car ?
Check your car manual to see what the maximum weight it can tow is. Its well worth when you first get the boat and trailer setting up the trailer up so that the as much weight a possible is sent through the wheels and not on the hitch (search previous threads on this subject). Your tow hitch on the car will be a standard size and shape.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan4199 View Post
Do dogs tend to cause punctures? Should they stay at home?
My collie is 3 yrs old and no problem on the RIBs we work with, she was introduced to them at about 12 weeks old and likes flat water conditions, she has never caused any damage and tends to leap about all over the boat, I avoid taking her out in waves. Equally I have friends who work around boats all the time and their dogs will not go near a RIB. The issue is not damage its safety (yours and the dogs) and how happy the dog feels about being on a RIB. I would imagine that the inland rivers you have referred to should not be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan4199 View Post
On a 2 week holiday on the south coast, I guess I would still need to launch & retailer the boat every day or do some of you keep your RIBS on the water for the whole 2 weeks.
I keep my RIBs afloat all year round, they are anti fouled which stops much growth, we haul them out every 3 months for a clean. If you were only looking at occasional extended dips then anti fouling is however too much hassle. Make sure however that you clean the underside as soon as she comes out of the water, 2 weeks growth will not be to bad, but a jet wash before the underside dries would be advantageous.

Best of luck with it all
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Old 30 July 2008, 19:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Stormforce View Post

My collie is 3 yrs old and no problem on the RIBs we work with, she was introduced to them at about 12 weeks old and likes flat water conditions, she has never caused any damage and tends to leap about all over the boat, I avoid taking her out in waves. Equally I have friends who work around boats all the time and their dogs will not go near a RIB. The issue is not damage its safety (yours and the dogs) and how happy the dog feels about being on a RIB. I would imagine that the inland rivers you have referred to should not be a problem.
Just to back up what Doug says (As if he needs it ) my parents used an Avon Redcrest to carry their collies ashore 5-6 times a week for 15 years. It was made in 1973,rarely cleaned and never had floorboards It's still in use on the North Wales coast somewhere-I sold it 2 years ago and it still didn't leak from the tubes.
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Old 31 July 2008, 02:12   #7
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Hi there, all good questions and you have had some good answers too.

I would just reiterate the point that you will find a 4 to 4.5 meter SIB (soft inflatable boat with inflatable keel but solid transom and floor) much easier to launch and transport, if you are mostly on the river then they are ideal yet are also fine for going to sea.

A 50HP engine sounds a bit big, perhaps a 20 or a 30; as already mentioned go for a four stroke.
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Old 31 July 2008, 04:08   #8
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Hi Ivan,

I'm out at near Haw Bridge, so not far from you, although the RIB (5.8m) is now based on the south coast.

Training - like Chris says, loads of providers down south BUT Jake and Geoff at Compass Sea School at Portishead are superb - will do you the whole range, radio, first aid and Powerboat, and the tidal runs down there might even qualify as "challenging" by Chris' standards!

To use the boat on the Severn, you'll need a licence from British Waterways. They will require sight of your insurance cover. Can be bought over the counter from the lock keeper in Tewkesbury (the one in the town, not out at Lode), or down at Gloucester.

The Avon will also require a licence, available from the same lock at Tewkesbury.

Not many good places to launch on the Severn - Beachley slip is good but fast currents (under the old M4 bridge) but don't park in SARAs (lifeboat) way at the top. Closer to home, the Avon Sailing Club at Chaceley may let you use their slip, as will Sam at the Lower Lode pub opposite Tewkesbury. Otherwise, Cardiff Bay is good fun and not too far a drive, or you could explore parts of the Wye as well.

Shouldn't be any probs with car hitches.

I'd highly recommend going to talk to Martin Sams at Samspeed Marine just down the A38 at Falfield (between Berkeley and Thornbury) - he's a Valiant dealer (but won't hold that against him) but also has a wealth of knowledge and will help you work out the best boat / engine combination. He's also a thoroughly good bloke.

Oh, and have two manic collies plus two terriers - the odd scratch, but otherwise biggest problem is when they've been swimming and decide to shake off!
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Old 31 July 2008, 09:27   #9
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Great advice - thanks

Many thanks to all of you for the sound advice. And Chris I would love to some time take up your very kind offer of a spin on the water. I'm a bit too busy for such a trip in the next couple of weeks (starting a new business) but would love to come & see your boat in Stroud if thats okay. Its only 20 mins to Stroud - perhaps I could buy you a couple of drinks in your local there? I'll ring you in the next day or two. Ivan
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