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Old 05 March 2006, 15:19   #1
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New expensive RIB or old cheap speedboat?

I think I know the answer I am going to get, given that this is "RIBnet" but here goes anyway apologies in advance if any of these are dumb questions as I know next to nothing about boats, some guys on the LR4x4.com forum pointed me in this direction so you can blame them!

I don't have any sort of boat at the moment but am looking to get something soon. I've had a search around and read a number of the threads on buying but it doesn't really answer the question that is occupying my mind at the moment.

I live in the Falkland Islands and second-hand boats of any sort here are relatively rare so there's not a lot of choice, and freighting something down from the UK is quite expensive. My possible choices at the moment are a fairly old 5.8m speedboat - I don't know exactly how old and nor does the owner but it's got a 1990 Poole harbour dues sticker on it so presumably at least that old - or possibly a 3-4 year old RIB, though I haven't caught up with the owner yet.

Knowing nothing about boats I don't know what "type" the speedboat is, it was registered as the Blue Chip in Poole (its still on the stern albeit a bit faded) and it also has "Wildcat" on it which may be the type? It's got a 140hp Evinrude 2 stroke outboard as the main engine, plus a small aux outboard.

The RIB that may be available is a Humber Destroyer 5.8m with a 115hp outboard, Mariner 2 stroke I think (haven't seen it yet though) so likely to be in good condition so I am told, with a price that reflects that.

The speedboat is somewhat cheaper than the RIB, but obviously a lot older and that is my concern.

So if I were to buy something of this age, am I likely to be inheriting a heap of trouble in a couple of years time with structural problems with the fibreglass? I know this is RIBnet but I figured that the same sort of rules apply to a RIB hull as a speedboat hull in terms of useful life and structural soundness.

It seems to go well enough and the engine runs well (its not the original engine because the original apparently lost an argument with a reef a few years ago), zips along at about 40 which from what I have read is the sort of performance I might expect to get from the RIB so there's not much in it from that point of view. To my totally inexperienced eye it seems mostly OK, there's some minor damage on the keel but nothing that looks serious, and it "feels" solid enough thumping over waves - i.e. it doesn't feel structurally unsound or anything nasty. It's certainly not had any damage "covered up" recently - the hull is in quite serious need of a bit of paint but hasn't had anything done to it for some time.

My preference would be for a RIB if all things (especially price) were equal - the whole wind in the hair experience, been on one a few times and totally hooked, whereas the speedboat has a full (albeit home made) cabin, but with the climate here being unpredictable that's not a bad thing to have. Basically I'm looking for something to mess around with on fine days, serious seagoing ability is not really required (unless I get really hooked) though if it was, I think the speedboat would be more suitable.

So, would I be better to spend the extra (which I don't really have at the moment) and get the newer RIB, or is the speedboat likely to be a safe bet on the basis that if nothing obviously looks wrong, then probably nothing is wrong?

Any help, suggestions or advice on what to poke/prod at would be much appreciated! It isn't possible to get any sort of survey done because I don't think anybody round here does that sort of thing.

Many thanks

Stephen
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Old 05 March 2006, 15:47   #2
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If the boat is a winner wildcat its was made in the70's or early 80's, Parts are hard to come by for the evinrude engine, I'd give it a miss if I were you.imho!
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Old 05 March 2006, 16:30   #3
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The humber sounds good. 115 2 stroke will drink some fuel unless it is a 115 optimax which is a good lump
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Old 05 March 2006, 16:33   #4
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I wouldn't go anywhere near a hull that had a home-built cabin on it-you can bet there's water in the wooden stringers and floor.
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Old 05 March 2006, 16:39   #5
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Wow what a place to live - must visit the islands one day.

Mind you is it really worth going 12,000 miles when I only live 25 miles from the Brecon beacons - they look pretty similar!!!

As regards your choices I would gop for the Humber if money is no object - if the speedboat is seriously cheap then it's worth looking at. The engine is the most important thing - spares supply and servicing.

I have seen some pretty ropey looking old speedboats that get a new lease of life with a decent outboard on them.
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Old 05 March 2006, 16:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogMonster
I live in the Falkland Islands
Quote:
Originally Posted by BogMonster
it was registered as the Blue Chip in Poole
i sowld dat bote in 1993 too sum nobbur hoo sed hee wontid too crooze alorng de sowf cowst

i didd tel im de GSP wennt a likkul bitt wonnky sumtymes

gArf
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Old 05 March 2006, 16:58   #7
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RIB v Speedyboat

Hi
Given your location and the unpredicted sea states you have down there(been there ribbing and got T shirt).
Would plumb for the RIB.
Paul
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Old 05 March 2006, 17:24   #8
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Thanks for the replies so far

roofer - if I posted a photo of it (haven't got one at the moment) would you be able to identify it as being a 'Winner Wildcat' if that is in fact what it is? It makes it a lot older than I had been led to believe - but I don't know if anybody here really knows (I've asked around). Does that mean it's probably just about on its last legs at that sort of age? Since it has been here I know for a fact that it has been stored out of the water most of the time by both the current owner (who hardly ever uses it) and the guy who got it down, it used to sit up in his yard on a trailer much of the time.

Nos4r2 - I should have given a bit more detail - basically the previous owner but one "boxed in" behind the two seats to make the cabin weatherproof, as it would originally have been supplied it just had a front screen and nothing on top, any water coming in over the sides drains into a proper bilge at the stern which was part of the original design, so would this still be a problem?

Garfish - not sure if you were being serious or not when you said you had sold it?! if you were, do you know what age it would be?

What would the weak points on the Evinrude engine be and why are the parts not available - is it just a type that is long out of production?

I'd like the RIB but it's a lot more money for something that at the moment is probably just going to be to play with on weekends, haven't spoken to the owner yet but likely to be somewhere around eight or nine grand against five for the Chip.

Thanks

Stephen
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Old 05 March 2006, 17:41   #9
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Hi "Bogmonster", nice to see you found the site !! Welcome Stephen!!

If "only " 4k between the 2, i would have a look at the Humber before you comit, so you can see what you get for the extra cash !!

The rib, subject to age,condition etc,, sounds about right, but "if" a winner wildcat, the price sema to be all the money for it !!

Regards Tim
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Old 05 March 2006, 17:46   #10
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Hi Tim

Thanks I thought about registering as "BogMonster" on here but thought it would seem a bit out of place

I am told by a mutual friend that the RIB is about 4 yrs old, something like 200 hours on the engine, purchased new by the guy who now has it, at the same time as my friend got one (which he has now sold). What's the useful life of a 2 stroke outboard? 2 stroke motocross bike engines seem to need rebuilding about every other week, don't want that!!

The Wildcat (if that is what it is) - what would that go for elsewhere, assuming fair condition (and it seems OK to my untrained eye, not falling to bits or anything). The asking price is 5k but he paid 6.5k for it a year or so back, so he says. As I said this includes aux engine, trailer, fishfinder, etc etc.

The other thing is I've been Googling for a while and I can find out absolutely nothing about Winner Wildcats.... anybody point me in the right direction of some info or are they all scrapped now?!
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