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Old 25 October 2008, 06:45   #11
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some thoughts...
  1. open source is possibly not the right word. the idea is presumably that you would own the rights to the hull design - otherwise the idea takes off and everyone uses your drawings to bang out copies. I think what you are actually descrining is an "open standard", that would allow me to make a completely different hull, but still fit within 'your' standard for tubes, consoles etc... i am not sure a single (especially new) builder could produce a standard.
  2. i think there is some sort of market for a 'Flexible boat' (probably the wrong word for a rib!) where you can easily fit and remove jockey seats, consoles, bottle racks, storage for camping gear or get to a clear open deck quickly. but its probably not the mainstream leisure market, and so whilst quality and finishing detail would be important - prettiness, per se, is not.
  3. you probably want below deck configurations to be flexible too - e.g. fuel tanks, storage boxes etc.
  4. moving a console isn't exactly straight forward - cables etc need changed/rerouted.
  5. With a truely modular design who's responsible for getting the boat RCD certified (how can the builder certify a boat which isn't built). A diy build is exempt - but can't be sold for 5 years.
  6. there may be a reason no one else has done this so far - either demand is not high enough OR the builder makes money from the customisation (or saves money by not being too flexible) - if so how are you going to make money.
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Old 25 October 2008, 06:58   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malthouse View Post
Like everything in boat design there will be a compromise,
BUT
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None of my RIBs (in fact any kind of boats) have ever been just right, but my Landrover is finally perfect. Time for a bit of cross fertilisation I think!
do you really think you can get "just right" if it is a compromise?

Quote:
the aim is to have a basic shell of a RIB that can take a wide range of engines, tanks, seats, storage, etc etc without being set for life in that set up.
but changing those things is not cheap - thats why people sell/trade up. You are removing the hassle/fear of getting out the angle grinder - but not the fact you spent money on the wrong thing in the first place.
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Old 25 October 2008, 07:35   #13
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Seems a pretty good idea to me. A modular Rib. Rigged for diving one weekend (Console right up front, bottle rack, loads of deck space). Next weekend want to go out for a run with some friends, remove bottle rack, fit additional seating you have a cruising RIB. Only issue, as has been mentioned, would be steering etc if you wanted to resite the console. Perhaps some kind of segmented modular steering? Countersunk rails or countersunk anchor points wouldn't be unsightly. Anything that doesn't involve a permanent fixing to the hull (bonding or drilling) is a cracking idea.
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Old 25 October 2008, 08:44   #14
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Sounds like a good idea ,.. but a design nightmare, what with the pounding some of these hulls get. Also presumably it would mean you would be restricted in the 'articles' you could use, as they too, would have to be designed to anchor effectively to the hull, in various configurations, and would require to be specific for that hull design, so what if a buyer didnt like your console for example .. he'd be snookered because nothing else would fit ? conjecture on my part ofcourse
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Old 25 October 2008, 08:53   #15
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...what if a buyer didnt like your console for example .. he'd be snookered because nothing else would fit ?
We think there will be total flexibility for the owner - anything that fixes to a floor can be fitted. Of course only the fixtures made to the (open) specs will be easily interchangeable.

As for the RCD point above, our intention would be to have a range of stock boats certified and then it is up to the owner to make finer modifications. To continue the Series Landrover example: you do not need a new MOT just because you change from a soft top to a pickup.

Engine and steering controls might also be doable, not sure that a person would want to reconfigure very frequently though. We have more in mind that an owner(s) would tweak the set up to suit changing tastes or uses rather than having a "Transformer", that need would be best suited by having rails or countersunk mounting points.
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Old 25 October 2008, 11:13   #16
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Perfectly do-able ……..first 4 - 5m fixed …then 1metre sections flanged and internal bolts (like the old braithwaite water tanks)…..with a tongue and groove on each face for perfect alignment and sealing….not too dis similar to shipbuilding, fuselage building…They would need to be consecutively numbered sections and tapered the bigger the boat. You would also need different sized transoms and a final section to take you from internal to external for bolting ….also for single/twin and inboard
I would run two grooves for T section almost full length for seat/console/bottle racks …….get proper wiring/engine control looms made and have them on a covered surface duct with a cable chain and proper plugs , with terminations done correctly…

…..tubes would be a pain to extend if it was done after initial build ……pros and cons for and against but do-able none the less..

Probably completely on the wrong track to your thinking though

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Old 25 October 2008, 12:13   #17
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Quote:
our intention would be to have a range of stock boats certified and then it is up to the owner to make finer modifications.
OK assuming that IanDL's interpretation is wrong and you weren't planning to have a post manufacture extendable hull (which sounds interesting but probably not ecconomical). Then it seems all that you are bringing "new" to the offering is some form of ultraflexible deck design which enable you to swap components around. If I was embarking on such a venture, especially in the current climate, I would be looking to partner with one (or all) of the current rib builders to integrate my "modular deck" into their designs.

Of all the things that affect boat buying decisions I would think that the ability to modifiy a deck layout one or two years later is probably low down the list - compared to hull design, price, style, reputation, resale value, confidence that the builder won't go bust in the middle of the build, are all things were by producing your own boats you are either unknown or at least fixed to one segment of the market.
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Old 25 October 2008, 12:57   #18
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I have used Bigheads located into the floor which allowed seat pods to be repositioned or removed.

http://www.bighead.co.uk
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Old 25 October 2008, 13:22   #19
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Of all the things that affect boat buying decisions I would think that the ability to modifiy a deck layout one or two years later is probably low down the list - compared to hull design, price, style, reputation, resale value, confidence that the builder won't go bust in the middle of the build,
I think if a boat can be altered easily it would make it a more attactive purchase for a second hand boat , since the new prospective owner could tweak the set up to his or her liking, and it would therefor sell very easily, so in theory its retained value would be high
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Old 25 October 2008, 13:38   #20
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... it seems all that you are bringing "new" to the offering is some form of ultraflexible deck design which enable you to swap components around. If I was embarking on such a venture, especially in the current climate.
The deck is the key, certainly, but it is about having a flexible whole boat (as mentioned this not a good phrase but you know what I mean). The hull is a given, the tubes come in three flavours and the engine range is great - after that there is no limit to the variations of seating, storage, tanks etc etc.

Sticking to the Landrover comparison: This is not like having a people carrier where you can move seats about and make more boot space, this a base vehicle that can be rigged any way you like it.

This is the very very start of the process, so I would really really hope that the economic climate is bit better by the time it reached the market.
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