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Old 11 July 2010, 11:27   #1
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New guy here - ribs and waterskiing question

Hi everyone, been searching and checking all the really useful stuff on here and I have a few specific questions that I would welcome opinions on.

Moved to East Sussex last year and at now that stage of life when it's time to finally get a boat - especially now I'm only 15 mins from the Hastings/Bexhill/Eastbourne coast.

I was lucky enough to spend 20 odd years of holidays in Majorca where my parents moved to a long time ago and did a lot of skiing out there with the old man's boat. He had a basic 18ft SeaRay with a 150hp Mercrusier sterndrive and even that needed full effort for a deep water start on a slalom mono - with a wider Jobe 'fun' ski it was obviously much easier.

As with everyone I'm up against budget, space, convenience etc - it would be great to be able to store the boat in our garage (about 5m long) but is a 4-5m rib really suitable for taking out say 2 adults + 2 small kids (maybe sometimes 4 adults) and what sort of power would I need? Regardless, are deep water (adult) mono starts totally out of the question (even on a 'fun' mono ski) and is it a case of having to go back to dropping one?

From searching the forum many say a 4m with a 40 - 50hp is fine? Is there is a big difference in going up to a 5m or bigger (and presumably a bigger engine would be needed)? - I have a nervous (of boats) wife too so bigger/stable may be better... For my part the calm, warm seas of a bay in Majorca are not the same as the south coast of England of course and I intend to do the RYA 1+2 course. Intended use is pottering around, skiing/kneeboarding and maybe some inland use up on the broards.

Lastly how easy is it to manhandle/self-launch a rib of this size? I'm a Landy nut so lucky to have a 110 Defender so at least the trailering it is one problem solved!

Sorry for the general nature of the Q's - new to ribs and there is so much to learn.
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Old 11 July 2010, 11:34   #2
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Budget, budget and budget are the 3 key questions.
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Old 11 July 2010, 11:39   #3
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Ahh, sorry, good point!

In the market for a used boat - budget is flexible but as a starting point maybe 3 - 6k.
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Old 11 July 2010, 12:00   #4
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Ahh, sorry, good point!

In the market for a used boat - budget is flexible but as a starting point maybe 3 - 6k.
For up to 6k, I'd go for either a Searider or perhaps a 5.3 Ribtec. So, depending on length you're around the 70-90hp area, which will be well up for mono skiing.
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Old 11 July 2010, 17:43   #5
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lucky to have a 110 Defender

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Old 12 July 2010, 10:15   #6
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I tried to deepstart behind a 4.6 avon with a 40 fourstroke and thought that I was gonna drown before it got light ! My humber 5m with a 70 two stroke will pull me out ok though (14 1/2 stone, old and unfit) I'd have thought any 5m rib with 70hp plus and a prop a inch or so under the optimum for top speed would do the job? ie my engine has best top speed with a 17'' prop but will either pop you out or tear your arms off with a 15'' !
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Old 12 July 2010, 11:52   #7
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Max, welcome!

Mollers has a point, but hot on it's heels is the all important "how big is your garage?" "about 5m" can be the diffference between fitting and not. Likewise there are "fat" ribs out there that may fit lengthwise, but will they go through the door?

I also wanted a garage sized one. Managed a 5m in a 5.7m long garage with a braked hitch. Engine has to be down, I have a bit of old carpet nailed to the back wall so the bricks don't wreck the hood. Ended up with some slightly creative bolting around the hitch / bow post on the trailer, but it fits (just).

Withan ensless supply of landies you can in theory max out on an unbraked trailer, which does solve a bit of length problem, as the unbraked hitch takes up almost no drawbar space. Also remember with trailers are usually sized for hard boats, so more often than not you could probably go a size down in trailer (less drawbar sticking out the front = space for more boat! ).

Recovery - 4m is easy, as should a sensibly spec'ed 5m be. Worth looking at a swing beam trailer if you plan to do a lot of single handed. Modern boats are slighty heavier to be able to carry the heavier 4- stroke engines. E.G. mine (built 1984, rated to 60Hp) only weighs in at 420Kg fully fueled. The modern equivalent (the O-Pro) weighs that much without the engine on the back! (but is capable of carrying a 4- stroke 90!)

Somewhwere on the depths of my C drive I have a list of hulls from when I was looking. Let us know the length of your garage & the width of the door & I can post a "starter" list for you to peruse.
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Old 12 July 2010, 11:55   #8
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I tried to deepstart behind a 4.6 avon with a 40 fourstroke and thought that I was gonna drown before it got light !
Max, just in case you are wondering , I think bosun is referring to the 100 odd litres of water ballast that the Avon Seariders use to good effect when on rescue boat duty, but which is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard for water skiing!
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Old 12 July 2010, 12:54   #9
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Chaps - thanks for the welcome and advice thus far. Garage is a good size double and maybe 6" over 5m long (always one to mix my metric and imperial) but there is an ex-MoD Ninety in there at present! That will have to go outside though to make way...

For better or worse I'm kind of biased against 2 stroke and really want a 4 stroke engine. My only real experience of boats is the 18ft SeaRay - a bowrider with loads of seats which were really useful - from searching on here and checking spec/pics there seems very little room in a 4m RIB. But moving up to a 5m seems to mean a big move needed in engine size/fuel/weight and cost of course. Plus the 4m would easily fit in the garage, the 5m would be a real squeeze. Guessing this is a dilemma you have all faced though and everything is a compromise.

Are there any ribs between 4m and 5m that are 'tardis' like in accomodation?

Skiing is a real big part of this purchase but having said that I might just have to forget the deep water start on one capability as I don't think I can justify the necessary price/size...
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Old 12 July 2010, 14:02   #10
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For better or worse I'm kind of biased against 2 stroke
Worse, I'd have said. Two strokes generally have better low rev torque and a better hole shot (for a given HP) so should be better for skiing, I think?
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Old 12 July 2010, 14:28   #11
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We've used a 4.8 Ribcraft recently for wakeboarding with a 70 Suziwong 4 st on the back and that worked really well.
A mate of mine managed a deep water start on his Ski too.
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Old 13 July 2010, 04:26   #12
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No water ballast on that one,just a fat bloke on a skinny mono hanging off the back!
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Old 13 July 2010, 05:35   #13
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Chaps - thanks for the welcome and advice thus far. Garage is a good size double and maybe 6" over 5m long (always one to mix my metric and imperial)
If it;s a double garage with a double door, with some creative parking (i.e at 45 degrees) you could probably get a wide (e.g 2.3m beam) 5.5-5.7m in there.


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but there is an ex-MoD Ninety in there at present! That will have to go outside though to make way...
Garages aren't meant for storing vehicles in........
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Old 13 July 2010, 06:36   #14
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Thanks guys. Seems the upshot is (funds/size/skiing ability etc) that a 4.7/4.8 with a 60 hp minimum might be just the thing for my first RIB.

Popular choices seem to be the Ribcraft 4.8 and Avon Searider 4.7 but are there others to look at and what sort of year should I be looking for with a budget of 5 - 6K all in?
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Old 16 July 2010, 06:56   #15
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A 4.7 Zodiac pro with a 60 mariner four stroke is ideal for what you want. I use it for exactly what you are looking at and it is really good. We cruise and play off the west coast, fish, wakeboard, tube and have great fun (family of 4 two big lads,m&d). I can launch and recover myself though another helper is always good to have. Just get a long rope so that you can trailer the boat in the water and pull the whole lot out without the car getting wet then hitch and go. Try some dealers in the north for zodiacs. I believe there is one in Glasgow but PA Lynch is another I can highly recommend. The zodiac gets 'put down' by some on here, but we have never been let down or caught out in ours.
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Old 16 July 2010, 08:55   #16
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Popular choices seem to be the Ribcraft 4.8 and Avon Searider 4.7 but are there others to look at and what sort of year should I be looking for with a budget of 5 - 6K all in?
Your budget is limiting you to older RIBs. Most Ribcraft 4.8s tend to be 7k+, even those 10+ years old.
SR4.7s are very rare, but older ones (around 10-15 years old) have been selling for around 5500 - 6000.
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