I have just got back from a great little trip on the West Coast (see first thread) and I have been thinking about a ribcraft/humber upgrade for a while. I have been looking of the forum for ages and searched quite a lot too but have some outstanding questions (some basic ones – sorry!) and would love to hear what you guys think.
Basically I don’t want to spend £20-25,000 and find the new boat is only a little bit better than the one I have. Being up in Scotland is not great for trying out boats either so would love to get a feel from the forum.
I bought my Northcraft from my Uncle who had it from new – but know little about the style of boat i.e. is it an inshore boat or offshore, has it a deep V or not…... (picture below).
The boat is 2004 5.4m and the engine 2005 Mariner 75hp. I have added my 8hp 2 stroke to the back form our avon 3.1m rover and it a great aux. engine. I have just ordered the RIB book from amazon so I might be more educated soon! The boat is low hours but could do with a few improvement – new seat covers, a wind deflector would be great too (not sure if I can get one made up in Scotland) , new radio old one shot - have a hand held but range in Scotland not great and we do go out at times of the year when not a lot of traffic around, a few of the seams could do with wider tape as lifting a little bit – nothing to onerous and would be 100% - or should I get a bigger boat!
We use it up in the West Coast of Scotland and the weather can be changeable and I wonder if a bigger boat would be noticeably more sea worthy. I am not looking for something to go out regardless of the weather but if a bigger boat would be an improvement in that area it would be nice to know you can get home if it starts to blow a bit.
So here are my issues regarding the need for something bigger:
1. The boat sits very stern low, if the tubes go down sitting on cold water a small swell and the back fills up with water – I know I have the additional 27kg of the aux engine but even without that it sits low (rated for max. 80hp). I see RIB’s with massive engines sitting level – do they have internal tanks at the bow and or ballast to keep them level? I also have 2x 25 litre fuel tanks that sit back there too.
I wonder if a large capacity bildge pump might fix this or should I buy a bigger boat (any excuse). I did think about trying to get the fuel tanks towards the front of the boat – but to be honest I quite like them where they are don’t want to eat into the drier bow storage space. I normal have at least 2x25 litre fuel drums in the front of the boat as getting fuel around the west coast of Scotland can be a pain and they help with weight in the bow. A bigger boat with internal tanks does sound great but I have read a few posts on here about internal tank issues too!
2. I have done a few trips away and would like a bit more space. When just the 2 of us for a trip it is full but fine. When I get 4 people and some gear a bit too small. From what I have read here size is a difficult issue, not too big as recovering/beaching gets serious so have been thinking 6.4 – 7.0meters max. My concern is am I going to notice a big difference going from 5.4m. I guess the longer boat will handle bad weather better but I was surprised the beam on our boat isn’t tiny compared to ribcraft 5.85 and 6.4m in fact they are the same at 1.5m internal beam. Humber a bit bigger.
We don’t beach boats often so 7m should be fine I guess – I could always get an inflatable canoe and use moorings more often.
3. Deep V hull. I read about this a lot and not sure if my boat falls into this bracket of not. If not will I notice an improvement there? (pic. Below).
4. Performace/fuel: I can cruise with 2 and a lot of gear at 27 kts and the fuel burn is ok. Flat out I can get 32knts 36kts with just me and not much else. If I go for a bigger boat say a ribcraft 5.85 with a 140hp would the performance be significantly better? We spent £300 on fuel in 5 days covered around 220-250 nm. I am guessing if I go for a 6.4m boat with a 200hp my Scottish heart will wince and the fuel costs or are newer engines a wee bit better on the juice?
Thanks for you thoughts in advance. We have a mooring up near Plockton that we would be happy for anyone on here to use if any big ribs are passing by – just ask. We rent out our old house near Plockton for holiday let sand the mooring we put in is nearly always free – google map link here for you - link