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Old 04 December 2019, 16:27   #1
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Long range small rib

Has anyone made big conversions to small ribs for long range touring. Things such as 300lt bellow froor fuel, strengthened transomes for bigger engines etc.

I often do trips involving carrying 100lt extra fuel + 80lt of water and food etc on trips of 500k but am wanting to increase this to the maximum possible in a 4m or less rib ( current rib 550 pro ). Carrying fuel in jerry cans each with their own breather can make sleeping onboard horrible, hence a larger underfloor one.

For years I've towed boats I've owned on long trips around the country, which can clock above 14,000km on the tow vehicle. Its also the remote areas between boat launch spots I now have my sights on. Sleeping onboard isn't an issue with a single removable seat and a single roll out swag. Once I get north of Cairns things become far more remote, hence the need for extremely good fuel range.
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Old 04 December 2019, 16:37   #2
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Originally Posted by jonp View Post
Has anyone made big conversions to small ribs for long range touring. Things such as 300lt bellow froor fuel, strengthened transomes for bigger engines etc.



I often do trips involving carrying 100lt extra fuel + 80lt of water and food etc on trips of 500k but am wanting to increase this to the maximum possible in a 4m or less rib ( current rib 550 pro ). Carrying fuel in jerry cans each with their own breather can make sleeping onboard horrible, hence a larger underfloor one.



For years I've towed boats I've owned on long trips around the country, which can clock above 14,000km on the tow vehicle. Its also the remote areas between boat launch spots I now have my sights on. Sleeping onboard isn't an issue with a single removable seat and a single roll out swag. Once I get north of Cairns things become far more remote, hence the need for extremely good fuel range.


My 545 has a 180l under deck tank, it was the largest tank that Ribcraft could shoehorn in. 300l is a large volume (think 1.5 x a 45gallon drum). I don’t think you could physically fit 300l under the deck of a sub 6m RIB.
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Old 05 December 2019, 05:07   #3
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My 545 has a 180l under deck tank, it was the largest tank that Ribcraft could shoehorn in. 300l is a large volume (think 1.5 x a 45gallon drum). I don’t think you could physically fit 300l under the deck of a sub 6m RIB.

I've seen people turn the whole underfloor compartments into fuel tanks by using epoxy in the fibreglass, so I would of thought the volume would be there even on a small 4m vessel with a deep v hull. Here many boats or 22ft will have 750lt fuel tanks.
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Old 05 December 2019, 05:12   #4
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I've seen people turn the whole underfloor compartments into fuel tanks by using epoxy in the fibreglass,
rather them than me!
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Old 05 December 2019, 12:04   #5
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XS Ribs do large tanks as standard and custom fit. I would say that you are after a rather large tank for a relatively small RIB.

My XS 6.5 RIB has a 180 litre tank in the console and they offer and enlarged 300 litre version that pokes out forwards and deletes the suicide seat. For me the large tank option would consume too much deck space.

Under deck tanks are all well and good but you will never be able to run them dry therefore wasted volume and weight.
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Old 05 December 2019, 12:54   #6
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My 545 has a 180l under deck tank, it was the largest tank that Ribcraft could shoehorn in. 300l is a large volume (think 1.5 x a 45gallon drum). I don’t think you could physically fit 300l under the deck of a sub 6m RIB.
Thought I was doing well adding another 22 litres with my new Zodiac fuel bladder to take me up to 70 litres! Nothing on you!
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Old 05 December 2019, 12:54   #7
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Nothing that big but I put a Moeller 24 gallon (approx 90 litre) auxiliary tank in my 5.4 Searider and there is still plenty of space.

8 gallon tank up front and 24 in the back gives me 32 gallons (120 litres).

It's nice because when I want to dive, spearfish or lobster hoop I can pull the tank out for more space since i don't need all the extra range.

Might be an option for you.

https://www.campingworld.com/moeller...yABEgL7f_D_BwE
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Old 05 December 2019, 13:09   #8
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You can buy deck mounted large capacity fuel bladders for long range back up far better than under deck IMO pack away when not required.
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Old 05 December 2019, 13:16   #9
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Thought I was doing well adding another 22 litres with my new Zodiac fuel bladder to take me up to 70 litres! Nothing on you!


Mine came today
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Old 05 December 2019, 13:18   #10
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I contemplated doing a bladder but in the back of my mind I just kept thinking about a puncture releasing all of that gas on the boat deck. Decided to go with the hard plastic Moeller 24 gallon instead

I didn't want to be in the news as a picture of a giant fireball someone took from shore.

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You can buy deck mounted large capacity fuel bladders for long range back up far better than under deck IMO pack away when not required.
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Old 05 December 2019, 13:20   #11
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Isn't there a limit here in the UK with how much fuel you can put in a container, ie not a fixed tank?

I'm a bit rusty with all this, but i remeber 25ltr per container max and it has to be a proper petrol container.
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Old 05 December 2019, 13:26   #12
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hello jonp,

I suspect one of my rhib’s is identical to yours (the one I have shown in the attached photo). That vessel has taken me across large distances. For auxiliary fuel, I prefer to use US military style (plastic) jerry cans like the one seen in the photo (although that one is marked water). I load so many I often remark that is how they punched a hole into the USS Cole. My reason for doing so is two-fold: (a) You can deposit fuel at remote locations well before hand, creating a daisy chain of necessary supplies (b) They can be manually transported from the deposit to wherever your boat is, as opposed to depositing 50 gallon drums here and there. This allows much greater distances to be accomplished than carrying all the fuel and water you require for a round trip.

Not to highjack your thread, but I’ve recently moved to Bermuda and if anybody from the ribnet community should come, contact me.
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Old 05 December 2019, 13:31   #13
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ps. I would also recommend the mercury racing DSI diesel outboard for best fuel economy and torque.
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Old 05 December 2019, 13:49   #14
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Mine came today
Stealth black?
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Old 05 December 2019, 14:12   #15
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Stealth black?
It actually arrived yesterday but he didn't notice.

Back to the OP.

You could consider bladders below the deck. Looking at the pictures on line, they could be made to fit the hull shape exactly.

I expect they will be eyewateringly expensive though.

http://atlinc.com/marine.html
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Old 05 December 2019, 16:21   #16
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Isn't there a limit here in the UK with how much fuel you can put in a container, ie not a fixed tank?

I'm a bit rusty with all this, but i remeber 25ltr per container max and it has to be a proper petrol container.
Ah yes fortunately the OP is in Aus and lots of pay at pump attendant less supermarkets solve the issue.......

Pretty sure the light aircraft boys can still buy 100 octane leaded in 45 gallon drums...... https://www.flyer.co.uk/warter-aviat...ributed-in-uk/

It’s the “storage” and “transport” regs that can get you 2x5l plastic or one 10l metal cans is what you see at most pumps..... many extensive debates on the subject... often have 70l inboard and 20l on the back.....and plenty of sellers of larger containers.....
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Old 05 December 2019, 16:31   #17
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hello jonp,

I suspect one of my rhib’s is identical to yours (the one I have shown in the attached photo). That vessel has taken me across large distances. For auxiliary fuel, I prefer to use US military style (plastic) jerry cans like the one seen in the photo (although that one is marked water). I load so many I often remark that is how they punched a hole into the USS Cole. My reason for doing so is two-fold: (a) You can deposit fuel at remote locations well before hand, creating a daisy chain of necessary supplies (b) They can be manually transported from the deposit to wherever your boat is, as opposed to depositing 50 gallon drums here and there. This allows much greater distances to be accomplished than carrying all the fuel and water you require for a round trip.

Not to highjack your thread, but I’ve recently moved to Bermuda and if anybody from the ribnet community should come, contact me.

Yes mate that looks like my rib. The tank in mine is 100lt underfloor and only takes up a small part of the central compartment, which is why I'm considering cutting the deck out of one to create a far bigger one and also add some weight for adverse conditions but not with the 550 pro.

I've done those trips where we've had fuel 50 gal dropped in remote locations, however there are sections of coast where you have 1000km where it would be far to exposed to get to shore. I've also got eight of those 20lt Jerry cans that I've used exactly how you mention, which I've used on island hopping trips around the barrier reef.

Diesel outboards are far to expensive, so I'm sticking with Yamaha 50-70 four strokes as I've used these and serviced them for over 20years without a single issue. These outboards run up over 10000 hrs here in comercial applications. Not saying Suzuki or mercury aren't up to the job as these have been used faultlessly on circumnavigating Australia before in continual trips.
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Old 05 December 2019, 16:38   #18
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Not to highjack your thread, but I’ve recently moved to Bermuda and if anybody from the ribnet community should come, contact me.
First off, you jammy dodger! I haven't seen the sun since October!

Islandflyer on here is one of your neighbours.
An Irish(wo)man in the Bahamas!

Sorry jonp we'll get back on the thread in a minute.
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Old 05 December 2019, 16:50   #19
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Ah, now I understand.

I couldn’t agree more regarding the Yamaha’s.
The 550 pro in my photo has a tuned Yamaha F90 with custom stainless steel prop.
Works phenomenal.

Those diesel outboards are really nice, if ever they become affordable in Oz. Far superior to multi-fuel engines that evinrude offers.

sounds like you are planning for an epic trip, keep us in the loop with how you decide to solve it and a photo or two from the trip itself.

Take it easy man
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Old 05 December 2019, 17:01   #20
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>> spartacus


seriously, if y’all ever stop on over, hit me up (we’ve got our own bar at the research institute, we’ll have a couple of pints)

photo of the bar and our boat attached

any further off-topic chat shall be ignored.
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