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Old 21 September 2007, 08:05   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: UK
Length: 8m +
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 3
Leeway 8.3 mtr Rib - any one comment on them?

Hi, I want to buy an 8Mtr Rib for the Solent and am seriously shopping at the moment.

Does anyone have any knowledge +ve or -ve about an 8.3 Mtr Leeway rib made on IoW?

Or any recommendations?


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Old 21 September 2007, 08:32   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Lee on the Solent
Boat name: Saintlee
Make: Leeway
Length: 6m +
Engine: Evinrude DI 115
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 325
Can't comment on the 8.3 particularly although I have seen it at a few stages of it's development and birth but can certainly comment on the 6.3 that I own (the very first!).

Firstly, you need to understand that you will open a whole can of worms regarding where the design came from and that you will get grief and comment on here about that. If you can see past that then I will make the following observations:

Build quality - superb, two years of hard use (100+ hours/annum in all weather as it gets commuted on for yacht racing as well as the "family stuff") and there is little sign of wear and tear.

Ride - generally very good. It is trim sensitive and rides much better higher up. Despite appearing low nosed ('cos of tapered tubes) it's rare to feel threatened by waves up or downwind unless it's seriously breezy and short and sharp chop (in which case you simply "tack" downwind).

Rigging - mine left a little to be desired as the proto boat and I have spent time changing things a bit to make them more user-friendly and acceptable. I would ask the questions first as to whether later boats have improved (or simply manage the process yourself). Silly things like tube fittings and the like should have been improved although the integrity of the tubes themselves is very good.

Economy/performance - exceptional, maybe because of it's "heritage". Mine runs an Evinrude DI115 and over 2 years has seen an average fuel use of 10l/hour in mixed use (some WOT, some skiing/wakeboarding etc). It planes early (lower than the 10kn speed limit in Portsmouth Harbour, with some weight in the nose) and efficiently. These figures have been checked with owners of boat no. 3 (a 115 Optimax) and 4 (a 90 Mariner) and found to be similar! With a 19 pitch prop it sees 45kn at WOT and cruises comfortably at 30kn (4k revs) with 4 people. It also has sufficient punch to get me (98kg) out on a wakeboard with no problems (although trim in and weight forward helps when there are 5 others on the boat!).

Generally I am pleased with mine, although I would look seriously at the rigging. I am looking to go bigger and will be talking to Lee, which has got to be a good sign.....................

Cue the abuse from Jonny F and others

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Old 21 September 2007, 09:26   #3
Country: UK - England
Make: extreme 24
Length: 7m +
Engine: merc 6.2 320hp
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 709 abuse from me,as for recommendation,i recommend you dont buy one
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Old 21 September 2007, 10:34   #4
Nasher's Avatar
Country: Other
Town: Principalite d'Chaos
Boat name: The Nashers Revenge!
Make: Ocean & Bombard
Length: 6m +
Engine: Suzi DT200EFI, DT9.9
MMSI: "Mmmmm SI" she said!
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,141
Rib master

I can't really comment one way or the other from personal experiance, however your post will probably restart the whole Leeway conversation all over again.

Do a search and you will discover Leeway are probably the most discussed manufacturer on the site at the moment.

You will note that some on the forum have some very strong views surrounding the company and their buisness practices, and/or the quality of the products.

I would suggest you visit Lee, plus try to view as many of his boats as posible. Then make up your own mind if the quality of the product reflects the price being asked and your budget.

RIBBED For extra pleasure.
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Old 21 September 2007, 11:19   #5
Country: UK - England
Make: extreme 24
Length: 7m +
Engine: merc 6.2 320hp
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 709
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Old 22 September 2007, 00:55   #6
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bedajim's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Cambs/Northants
Boat name: Déjà Vu
Make: Osprey
Length: 7m +
Engine: 15/250
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,472
Talk to Vince or G L on here
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Old 28 September 2007, 02:50   #7
Doug Stormforce's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Southampton
Boat name: Yoda & Obi Wan
Make: Valiant 750 & XS600
Length: 7m +
Engine: 150, 115 HP
MMSI: Various
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,031

Rib Master

As another owner of a 6.3m I second most of what Lostboy has said.
Mine has a 90 Mariner 2/stroke on the back and has proved very economical.

Rigging has obviously improved since his as we have no complaints, I have given Lee a few bits of minor feedback which he has acted upon.

I am planning on selling the current one (16 months old) and replacing with a bigger one of the same. Unfortunatly this is not the best time for s/hand RIBs so we will make the jump up in the spring.

£ for £ I dont think you will find a better builder.

As said above go over to the Island and see Lee and the RIBs being built, he is very easy to deal with and I have never had any sales bullsh*t from him. What you see is what you get.

Best of luck

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