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Old 08 October 2008, 09:43   #1
Country: Australia
Length: no boat
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Big Trip- Info Needed


Im trying to put together a damn big trip around Australia by sea and was hoping to tax your collective knowledge base as i have a ton of questions at the moment.

Basic idea is to cirumnavigate Australia (or at least take in half of it) in a few RIB's documenting inshore coastal waters, estuaries etc. At the moment im just trying to put together all the pieces, and it seems boats are the best place to start. The sort of info i am after;

1. Best craft size for the trip
2. Typical range/fuel consumption
3. Typical carrying capacity by weight
4. Landing- can RIB's be run up on to a surf beach in emergency?

I am sure there are many more questions that I havent thought of yet so if you have any other pearls of wisdom please post them up.

I am a relative novice in this sort of stuff but dont worry, if the trip does come about then I will be taking along some people with extensive offshore boating experience.



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Old 08 October 2008, 16:06   #2
ianhappy's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Crawley
Boat name: BerryBuoys
Make: BananaShark
Length: 6m +
Engine: Mercury 115 EFi
MMSI: 235068187
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 128
Originally Posted by shorty View Post

Im trying to put together a damn big trip around Australia by sea and was hoping to tax your collective knowledge base as i have a ton of questions at the moment...

Hi there

I can't offer any advice I'm afraid as I'm a relative rib novice too, but what a fantastic adventure that would be! I say go for it. I followed my dream of skiing to the North Pole earlier this year and the feeling I had of fulfilling that ambition was incredible; standing at the Pole was a moment that will be etched in my memory forever.

Good luck with your plans, be sure to let us know how it all goes.


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Old 08 October 2008, 17:24   #3
Country: Australia
Town: Melbourne
Make: Vipermax
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzuki DF140
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 181
Hi sounds interesting!

I had some aspirations to do something like this until I worked out the logistics of it all!

You mention inshore coastal waters & estuaries - what did you have in mind here. The access requirements for these (ie shallow draft SIB) might be different from what you need between, ie long distance, open water travel.

Do you need to sleep on the boat, or will it be planned as day stops?

The biggest issues will be leg distance, refueling, what shore support you have and how much time you have to wait for suitable weather windows for the off shore legs.

Have a look at the round Britain threads on this site, they outline what boats are typically used and some of the logistic issues.

On a trip like this you will run into bad weather and will want a boat that will be safe in most conditions. If I was doing this trip I'd be be thinking:

7.5m, zodiac hurricane, niad or similar, probably inboard diesel for ease of refueling, definitely twin outboard if using petrol, some sort of cubby or shelter for sleeping, legs approx 150 nm/day max (6 hrs at 25kn).

Running up on a beach would be last last resort. Chances of getting it on and off intact in nasty weather would be low.
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Old 09 October 2008, 07:14   #4
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Country: UK - England
Town: Salcombe, Devon, UK
Boat name: BananaShark
Make: BananaShark
Length: 10m +
Engine: 2xYanmar 260 diesels
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Originally Posted by shorty View Post

Im trying to put together a damn big trip around Australia by sea and was hoping to tax your collective knowledge base as i have a ton of questions at the moment.


Bittentobuggery is your man for that - at least I think that's what he's calling himself - nice guy and you'll get a straight answer (and a joke) out of him!
Originally Posted by Zippy
When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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Old 09 October 2008, 08:09   #5
m chappelow's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: yorkshire
Boat name: little vicky
Make: avon ex RNLI
Length: 3m +
Engine: tohatsu
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,310
regards running onto a beach the large rnli atlantic class ribs can do this but they are built with a flat keel which acts like a skid ,getting one off the beach can be difficult especially if you run up it at 30 knots ,.
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Old 09 October 2008, 08:41   #6
Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Length: 8m +
Engine: Suzuki DT225
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,791
It all comes down to fuel supply. Alan Priddy crossed the Atlantic as did Bear Grylls.

Allan Priddy posts on here sometimes - he would be the one to talk to. Do a search here - you will find loads of info.

I have a 9m Rib which will do about 350 miles on 500L of petrol if driven very gently but rough seas will halve that. It would be quite easy to increase to say 1000L which would give you a range of perhaps 500 miles.
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Old 09 October 2008, 09:36   #7
Country: USA
Town: Fairfield
Boat name: Sunrider
Make: Zodiac
Length: 7.3
Engine: MerCruiser (bio)diesel 180hp I/O
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 296
I used a 7.3 meter zodiac hurricane RIB for a circumnavigation, part of which took me through the Torres Straights to Darwin. The deep V hull will handle seas well and permits beach landings if you have a keel guard and help turning the boat for getting back out again...depending on sea conditions and weight at the time of course. I used a 180hp inboard diesel with bravo 2 outdrive, with 3 below deck tanks which held 280-300 gallons of fuel (biodiesel) and found 2-3mpg was a safe envelope for fuel consumption planning. The boat has an aluminum cabin for storage, weather protection and spares. I never found a weight limit with the boat, sometimes loaded down so heavy that the tubes were touching the water 2/3rds of the way forward...full tanks plus 70 extra 5-7gal containers for fuel and all equipment and supplies. Obviously I couldn't plane until most of the fuel was used but it got me where I was going. For coastal work almost any size RIB will do the job if several of you are going and gear is distributed proportionately. good luck with the project..sound like fun...
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Old 09 October 2008, 11:59   #8
Country: Other
Make: Ribtec
Length: 7m +
Engine: Yamaha F225
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 411

I did the 3,800 mile trip from Hervey Bay, Qld to Perth last year in a 20 metre fast cat. I was really looking forward to the experience but it was a financial nightmare (cost me $138,000 when I had budgeted for 75K !) and I can't say it gave me a lot of pleasure either.

You can read some of the stuff that I wrote at the time at There was quite a lot of stuff that came out afterwards as well !

When you get up onto the northern coast, fuel will be your overriding concern and it's very desolate country. Darwin to Broome is 673 miles with nothing sensible in between.

At the risk of sounding patronising, a circumnavigation in a rib is only for the serious adventurer. Sunrider, I take my hat off to you sir. I dread to think what the handling characteristics of a 7.3m rib would be with 3,000 litres of fuel aboard !

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