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Old 28 August 2001, 17:47   #1
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Country: UK - England
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Mines even smaller!

Hi Everybody!

I've just found this site and it looks great.

We (Cath and myself) have a small TomKat RIB. I have attached a photo (thats me driving!). Basicly its a small 3m RIB. The center console is rigid and it has 2 rubber tubes - sort of catamaran like!

This makes it quite fun to handle - when you turn it dosn't lean into the corner but skims along the surface! Described as like driving a ralley car on gravel!

We currently mainly take it on the River Avon from Bristol Docks and arround the Torbay area, but would like to use it more, and going with a group would give me more confidence as its quite small!

The Thames and Medway cruise looks great fun.

I used to help crew on a National Rivers Authority, now Environment Agency RIB (Cobra Twin 75Hp) taking water samples from the River Tees (Good launch site - Tees Barage).

I now volunteer on "The Pride of Bristol" www.prideofbristol.org where we use a RIB as a safety boat for dive charters and to take passengers ashore when at anchor.

I am looking for somewhere to take my RYA Level 2 so if anyone has some good suggestions in the SouthWest please let me know.

Well, thats about it for now - but if any trips are planned that would be suitable, can I come along and play?

Jools
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Old 28 August 2001, 22:38   #2
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Make: Quicksilver
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Engine: Mariner 15hp
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Hey Jools, that TomKat looks fun. What size is the engine? Do the company have a website?

Take a look at www.boatlaunch.co.uk and if the launch sites that you use are not there be sure to send in the details so that they can be added to the site.

I would be pleased to meet up for some 'small' boat cruising. I keep my boat up in the Scottish Higlands but I am planning to bring it down to Birmingham for the winter to do a bit down here. Of course I would love to arange a 'get together' for smaller RIBs and SIBs up in Scotland, interested?

Keith Hart

PS, what a great feature being able to attach photos.
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Old 29 August 2001, 06:12   #3
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The TomKat has a Mariner 30hp electric start. On the console I have a fuel guage, battery Volt Meter, and Rev counter.

As for a website - no - thats how I found this site, looking to see if there were any other TomKats around that would meet up together. I havn't found any yet!

Yes - definately would like to meet up and do some "small" RIB cruising.

The problem with the Bristol channel is the very strong currents, and the high tidal range making some slipways accessable only for a limited space of time, and when they are available there often busy (Weston-Super-Mud)

A trip up to Scotland does sound interesting, I've also thought about Windamere before they put a speed limit on it, but again havn't got arround to arranging anything!

How many other "small" RIB members are there?

Better go and do some work!!

Jools
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Old 29 August 2001, 09:42   #4
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TomKat

The TomKat was manufactured by a company called CMI (Cowes Marine Int) who ceased trading about 3 years ago. My company made the tubes for the TomKat. Island Plastics also based in Cowes were going to start production of it again. However would you believe, they have also just gone to the wall and stopped trading.
If you ever need any work done on the Hypalon tubes, contact Henshaw on 01963 33237
Chris
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Old 29 August 2001, 13:52   #5
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Tom and Kitty

The company who make the Hysucat (Hydrofoil Supported Catamaran) based in South Africa, 'Stealth Marine' make a similar 'toy' called the KITTY KAT. Crayford Marine are the distributors in the UK if anyone is interested. They really are great fun!
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Old 29 August 2001, 17:38   #6
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toy! TOY! !!!!!!


Yes it is fun!

Chris - Its interesting that you made the tubes - do you know how many TomKats were made or is it quite a unique boat!

We saw them at the 1999 Southampton boat show, I'm sure it was Cowes Marine's stand. We then went to a dealer in Llanelli, had a ride in his demo model, and bought that - I think he had had it a month and it had hardley been used. It also had Davits, Ski Tow brackets and a trailer already fitted - so it seemed a good deal.

I also saw at the International Festival of the Sea at the weekend a new race boat which is the same basic design as the TomKat, but with no console and a 50 hp! tiller controled outboard. I can't think what it was called though! doh! When you bought one you were also entered into the race series.

Whats the weather like for the weekend!
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Old 29 August 2001, 17:49   #7
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Jools
I think about 30 were made before the demise of CMi
The tiller steered version that you saw at Portsmouth was probably the Zapcat which is one of several versions which originate in South Africa. They are very fast and not for the novice!!Take a spare pair of shorts with you if you ever get to have a ride in one!
Chris
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Old 29 August 2001, 18:02   #8
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If anyone knows where I can get hold of a second hand Tomcat or Kitty Kat (without engine) please let me know. Looks like just the job for something different to play with this winter.
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Old 02 September 2001, 06:01   #9
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Regarding your RYA level 2 enquiry about West Country based schools you could contact Richard Brown at Plymouth Sailing School.

I have found them to be very helpful, flexible and professional (and I have no connection with or interests in the school!).

They have a website http://www.sailinks.co.uk/plymouth/ and I feel sure that you will receive a helpful response to any enquiry you direct to them.
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Old 02 September 2001, 06:41   #10
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Another place to try is:

Jon Clift's Powerboat School
Windward House
Coronation Road
Salcombe
Devon
TQ8 8EA
Phone: 01548 842727
Fax: 01548 842727

Email: jon@powerboats-salcombe.co.uk
Web site: www.powerboats-salcombe.co.uk

Jon's got a lot of RIB specific experience and his courses tend to go beyond the rather limited RYA Powerboat Syllabus.

I don't know the Plymouth Sailing School, so the following is not aimed at them (!) but I have noticed a tendency for sailing schools to offer powerboat training as an add-on to their real business of sailing with no real thought as to what the trainee might actually want to do with therir boat.

In my opinion the RYA powerboat training scheme syllabus is still geared towards training people to drive safety boats for dinghy racing. There is no nationally recognised qualification with real relevance to RIB cruising. Having said that I would still recommend taking a level 2 course, but look for extra content over and above the syllabus ideally on a three day course.

Hmm, that turned into a bit of a rant didn't it? Oh well . . .

John
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