Diesel jet RIBs
Does anyone care to comment on diesel jet RIBs.
The intended role is to serve as a tender to a twin diesel powered catamaran sailing yacht. Vessel is a 62' Leopard and the tender being considered is a Williams 445 diesel jet. The cat was sold without a tender so I have no data, just informed opinions--these boats tend to have the lightest possible 15' RIBs.
I plan to live and operate this charter boat as Owner/Captain with a cook and one deckhand.
Is this a bad idea? Or a good one?
It would be used for:
1. Primarily short hops from an anchorage to shore to pick up and drop off passengers at location close to airports.
2. As a play toy--tubing/sightseeing.
3. As a resupply vessel to ferry food, and fuel (diesel). Mothership would be moored, at times, some distance from facilities. This would allow us to hold a prime spot for lengthier periods while not in charter.
4. A fishing/dive boat to carry charter guests to more remote locations inaccessible to the mothership.
5. Filming charter activities as part of the charter package.
The single fuel and jet drive are very attractive for simplicity and safety reasons, but my primary concern is that customers have a "rave-about" fun experience that is superior to my competition. I've operated many RIBs and several larger diesel jet yachts--one with a bow thruster and the other twins, but have no experience with tender class diesel jets. I am worried it might be awkward to maneuver, smelly, or unreliable.
I want a Wow factor. Customers need to be impressed right from the start beginning with the RIB, and want to repeat the experience. Memories on the RIB platform during the term of the charter--ferry rides to shore, tubing, fishing, diving, exploring need to be better than my competition. The fun factor is 'the most important quality'. Size, speed, and comfort will impress them.
Weight may be a factor. My length will be limited to the distance between the catamaran hulls at 15', although it might be possible to go slightly larger by hoisting the bow up first. I have yet to determine how much weight the stern of the mothership can carry.
My other concerns are low speed maneuverability, reliability, and the ability to carry a heavy passenger load for at least short distances. Range with a lighter load of 2-5 people would be nice. I can see myself traveling distances up to 15 miles each way or farther to pick up supplies or for exploring.
How well would a jet work at slow speeds?
Would the diesel smell be a turn off for users?
How much throttle and noise would there be at slow speeds?
I am also considering Evenrude ETEC outboard propulsion and 4 stroke Yamaha outboard propulsion.
An advantage to the outboard would be the motor could be removed and stowed farther forward on ocean passage (2 per year). An advantage to a diesel RIB would be an extra fuel tank for the mother ship-- motoring in high pressure systems to avoid the follow on low pressure system would be the offshore passage plan. I could pull fuel from the RIB first to lighten the stern. This would extend mothership range under power.