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Old 10 July 2004, 03:53   #1
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Foam collars instead of air.

For a variety of reasons, I am strongly considering getting a RIB with foam collars instead of air-inflated. Does anyone have any experience with how they ride vs an air-tubed boat? I seem to be seeing more mfgs using foam or foam/air hybrids (like Wing, Safeboats, Ribcraft, etc). Thanks for your thoughts. john
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Old 10 July 2004, 04:32   #2
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Well they're certainly not going to as flexible as air filled tubes, so at rest or low speed cruising I expect you'd have a lumpier ride in the ruff stuff. On the plane it shouldn't make any difference with handling because the tubes shouldn't be in contact with the water.

If you were thinking of doing this to an existing RIB, I would speak to the MNFRs first, because the tubes wouldn't have been designed with foam in mind.

Good luck,

Andy
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Old 10 July 2004, 17:14   #3
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They will also be a lot heavier than air filled - mainly used for tough industrial boats that get a real hammering!

This reminds me of an old article I saw in a boat mag about rejuvenating an old rib/sib by filling the leaky old tubes with expanding foam - if I remember right the boat had to be stood vertical and the stuff blown in using a vacuum cleaner!
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Old 10 July 2004, 17:22   #4
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Foam filled fenders are more used on safety boats on ships, oil rigs etc where the boats are more used to be facing harder and more phisical contacts than noremal boats, laying up against steel platforms which may have odd articles which will puncture air flated tubes. The ride will be harder and tuffer as not flexible. May and will need more service on the fenders in the longer run. I have both sold air flated ribs and foam filled ones and I would never recommend foam filled for personal use. If you look at safeboat, Norsafe etc those are mainly manufactured for the industrial purposes, In Iceland you would find 4 Norsafe rubbish boat which should be best kept out of water and in wastefacilities.
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Old 10 July 2004, 20:25   #5
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I have both boats, a foam filled rescue boat (Ri22) , and a P22 with conventional tubes. I have to admit that the foam filled tubes do not respond any differently at sea. The conventional tubes are generally that still quite hard when inflated, that it will take quite a knock to put them out of shape.

The foam filled tubes do however look quite poor when they get worn. The outer fabric comes detatched and saggs.

However the foam filled tubes are harder and this needs to be considered for divers etc climbing in to the boat.

Bottom line : foam filled tubes wont go flat

Remember that there are other variants, extruded section rubber or PU tubes etc which are quite different to standard fabric covered foam tubes.
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Old 11 July 2004, 13:33   #6
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Foam/Air Collars

The link below shows a section of a Foam/Air Collar, which is similar to those used by the Dutch KNRM (RNLI equivalent) and the Polish SAR. An option to an all foam collar




http://www.henshaw.co.uk/default.cfm/loadindex.72
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Old 11 July 2004, 16:05   #7
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RE: foam vs air tubes

Thank you all greatly for your input. I am considering foam because I am fighting with severe cold in winter storage (very hard to find heated storage; build one?), a halibut harpoon, a knot-head who misuses a knife, etc. That said, I don't really want something that will look like a stink fence after a hail storm, either.
Neville: You said " Remember that there are other variants, extruded section rubber or PU tubes etc which are quite different to standard fabric covered foam tubes." Any pointers as to where I can find out about extruded rubber? Search here? Google?

Much to consider; thanks again to all for your info. john
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Old 11 July 2004, 16:45   #8
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I will check tomorrow at work who builds the boats with an extruded rubber fender. Normally the fenders that i have seen made out of a rubber extrusion are fairly small, say 2/3rds of the size that you would see on a conventional rib. These are really good if you are alongside all the time or are dragging rope over the side, probably the most heavy duty sponson you could fit.
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