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Old 06 April 2006, 03:30   #1
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Aluminium Hulled RIB

Hi,

I'm new to the forum and have joined to get some more background about RIBs. I have been considering for some time building an Aluminium RIB (about 7m). I'm interested as to what you guys think about aluminium hulls, pros and cons, and whether there is a market in the long run.

I would really appreciate your ideas.
Cheers

Andrew
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Old 06 April 2006, 03:42   #2
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Aluminium hull RIBs tend to be a niche product, and there are not many in the UK. As far as I know Ocean Dynamics www.ribworker.com are the only company that makes any quantity of them in the UK and they are aimed at the super-rugged end of the market.

Why use aluminium when GRP does a good job and is easier and cheaper to produce in volume? Unless you plan to regularly bounce the hull of your boat on the rocks I personally can't see any real benefit.

John

PS Welcome to RIBnet!
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Old 06 April 2006, 04:56   #3
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Thanks John,

I recon that being able to run the boat onto a beach is a very attractive atribute. I've used a 18ft aluminium boat for 10 years on a fish farm where we run the boat onto the beach at the shore base every time we use it - without fear of damaging the structure or the gelcoat.

I think for a one off the cost is probably fairly similar, certainly it's not prohibitive. I also have very close links with an aluminium builder, which helps!

Pros and ons as I see them.

Pros:
Robust
Long Life
Very Easily Customised
Low Maintenance
Environmentally friendly(?!)

Cons
More expensive to mass produce
Public perception of aluminium

Anyone got anything to add to these lists?
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Old 06 April 2006, 05:31   #4
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Old 06 April 2006, 05:43   #5
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Aluminium Hull RIB video
A Scottish based Aluminium RIB manufacturer
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Old 06 April 2006, 06:17   #6
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Thanks for the links guys.

Just say I could build a 7m boat, with a 150hp outboard with an offshore/commercial slant for the same price as a GRP one and producing similar performance, which might you choose and why. I'm trying to guage if there is a bias against aluminium.
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Old 06 April 2006, 07:49   #7
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Aluminium is a noisey material if that matters. It's cold also. Unless you're prepared for some sophisticated work, you will be limited to a hull shape which can be produced from warped flat panels.
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Old 06 April 2006, 08:06   #8
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How do aluminiun hulls corrode?

As a proposal for a jet driven boat aluminium seems to have a number of benefits.
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Old 06 April 2006, 08:51   #9
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Properly managed and built with marine aluminiunm 5083 or similar, corrosion won't be a problem. By properly managed I mean anodes (probably on the transom) and properly isolating aluminium from other metals. As a rule stainless (316) should be the only other metal used on the boat - but we all know what happens. Electrical systems should be insulated earth return to avoid any stray currents.

An Aluminium hull will last 20 years without any significant material wasteage or maintenance other than replacing anodes. Are there many GRP ribs around, when were the first ones built?

As jwalker pointed out the hull will probably be noisier but louder than outboard and water noise - I don't know yet.

Hull shape is more limited but I think this would be more of an issue at the top end performance market than for the commercial market.
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Old 06 April 2006, 08:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caledonia
As jwalker pointed out the hull will probably be noisier but louder than outboard and water noise - I don't know yet.
Quieter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caledonia
Hull shape is more limited but I think this would be more of an issue at the top end performance market than for the commercial market.
A couple of people on this forum have designed and built ali hulls. Adam Younger and Andy Micklewright.

Have a look here; Aluminium RIB
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