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Old 13 August 2011, 07:05   #1
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Open Rib V Cabin Rib

Hi

I went from a 6.5 meter humber into a sports fisher 2 years ago, i am now considering going back to a rib because of the less time i am getting on the water thanks to the lovely irish summers we are getting.

So my question is does a cabin rib such as the Redbay 850 stormforce take away from the fun of ribbing on an open boat or does it help get more time on the water in the winter months?

Also if anyone is thinking of going the way i did 2 years ago, (into a hard boat) i am selling an Ocqueteau 735 and would take a trade of a suitable Rib!

Thanks
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Old 13 August 2011, 14:19   #2
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I'm just back from a fantastic day on board a giant Redbay (Admin Team have a Day Off) with the mother of all cabins on board. We did comment that on what turned out to be a glorious day with virtually no wind the amazing protection of the cabin took some of the "adventure" out of the journey. It would be wrong to put that simply on the cabin though - a huge boat, with an well regarded hull, and suspension seats to iron out the slight swell all contributed to a much more comfortable experience than it would have been in even a 6m boat, and the huge chartplotters connected to an autopilot with inbuilt route calculation meant even the navigation wasn't a challenge.

It is certainly a different experience. If your idea of fun is squeezing into a tight rubber suit and putting a gecko on you might not like the cabin on a rib. Presumably you've discovered some of the joys of a cabin from the sports fisher - so you need to work out what it is about the rib you are missing. If it is the stinging salt spray in your eyes or not having to listen to your crew/wife because the wind noise is too high then you probably want to go for an open rib. Presumably a cabin adds quite a bit of weight and air drag - so if your number one priority is speed or fuel economy again it might not be for you.

The one major advantage that a serious boat with a cabin conveyed on our recent trip was we were able to set the date months in advance and stick to it without worrying too much about the weather. It sounds like you fall into the same camp as many of us where your boating time is dictated by other factors (work, family, etc) in which case an open rib in your part of the world is not exactly ideal as the chances of good weather synchronising with planned free time are not as good. If trips are likely to involve less committed members of your family/friends then all the more likely your will be restricted in times by the wind and sun gods.

It is of course all a matter of personal choice, and boats are always a compromise in some ways. However for me, if funds allowed, my next rib would have a lid. It was interesting talking to the guys at the Redbay factory who suggested that people on the West of Scotland and Ireland almost never go back from cabin to open and those who start off with the soft top option often upgrade to a hard cabin next time round when they realise that they leave the roof up most of the time.

Not everyone will agree with me, and of course they are entitled to their opinions. Historically all over the UK boats have evolved with quite different features to handle quite different seas, uses and conditions. I think RIBs are no different. The ideal rib for someone in the Solent and someone on the West of Scotland is not necessarily the same.

Whilst Redbay clearly know how to look after their customers I think the popularity of their cabin boats in the West of Scotland and Ireland has little to do with their friendliness or location and a lot to do with them servicing a local need - the weather. There are of course other people making Cabin Ribs although not too many with enclosed wheelhouses targeted at the consumer market - the Parker range might be worth thinking about too.

I say all this as someone who has just come back from spending an afternoon in the Forth on my silly small boat with no cabin. Don't get me wrong, its great fun and when it's just me on board I can grin and bear the spray and I've used it when I've had to dig snow off the slipway to take it out, but every trip is an adventure - and sometimes that's not what you want form your boat...
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Old 13 August 2011, 15:32   #3
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Thanks for your thoughts Polwart

I suppose my main reasons for thinking of going back are as you say the cabin does take some of the adventure away from trips, on the other hand it is great to just arrive and hop in to the boat and off you go, no gearing up, normally any cruising is done in a t-shirt! but i find longer trips dare i say it, Boring.

In the sports fisher you really wouldn't even bother driving to the marina if the forecast is a force 6, even though it normally is never that bad when i get there. where as if it was a rib i would feel much more comfortable in weather.

Another big reason is that recently a rib cruising club has formed in my marina and has had some very successful trips which i would have loved to have been going on.

this all started when a 11 meter redbay cabin ended up berthed next to me at the start of the season, it really is the ultimate rib but too big for my needs and budget.

at the moment there are 2 ribs catching my eye, a ribcraft 7.8 with a 300 outboard which gets me hot under the collar when i look at it, and a there are a few redbays out there that just seem like the perfect solution.

another option might be the excalibur sport consoles which give good storage and protection at the helm

Keep any thoughts coming my way

thanks
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Old 13 August 2011, 16:03   #4
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I'm not saying don't look at the RC7.8 + 300hp engine. [It just so happens that my previous trip with JK was on a similar boat to that - and it certainly counted as an adventure!] - however I suspect that in your part of the country (and certainly on most of W. Scotland) there is very little dockside petrol. That means that you'll be lugging jerry cans - and that engine will burn >100L every hour with the stick in the position which is getting you hot under the collar! Thats a lot of jerry can lugging. Diesel is the only practical option for regular long distance West Coast Cruising IMHO! Not sure what the situation is with "red diesel for boats" in Ireland, but in the UK you'll be able to get dockside petrol for about 1/2 the cost of dockside petrol (where available) if you have a cabin. An accountant would still go for petrol (as engines are cheaper) but practicality and cost per mile, mean you will use it more with a diesel in our parts of the world - once you have mentally written off the purchase cost.
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Old 14 August 2011, 06:41   #5
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Firstly yes I'm still about and yes still very busy. I can probaly shed a bit of light on this. Firstly it depends if you're a family. Wife and kids and all that stuff. Nothing better than pulling up in a squall and getting inside. If you're a diver sporty type of lad then an open boat may suite you better. Secondly. You need to look at what type of journeys you want to do. Offshore I'd go the cabin route. Inshore and exploring the coves I'd go open
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Old 14 August 2011, 08:40   #6
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Perhaps i can help out here - i used to have a 6.5m redbay cabin rib and now have a 7.8m ribcraft open boat powered by a 300hp which is based in oban on the west coast of scotland. As the others have said it really depends not only on what you want to use it for but who you want to use it with - there are costs and benefits to both. Personally i would take the more exhilarating feel of an open boat when the sun is out over the benefit of staying dry when its going off, but thats just a personal opinion and many will differ.

Whilst polwart makes a valid point about availability and hassle of petrol i wouldnt get too hung up on this in influencing your choice. We normally cruise at c40 lph which gives a decent cruising range with the onboard tank (capacity 270 litres). If we are going further afield we just strap a few jerry cans on at the stern - its not a massive hassle especially if you know where to get fuel etc in your area. I for one certainly couldnt justify the extra cost of a diesel on the basis of fuel cost and hassle saving, but i guess it depends how much you use it.

Feel free to pm me if you want to discuss further.
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Old 14 August 2011, 16:29   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ally S View Post
We normally cruise at c40 lph which gives a decent cruising range with the onboard tank (capacity 270 litres). If we are going further afield we just strap a few jerry cans on at the stern - its not a massive hassle especially if you know where to get fuel etc in your area. I for one certainly couldnt justify the extra cost of a diesel on the basis of fuel cost and hassle saving, but i guess it depends how much you use it..
Ally thats interesting - I'd agree that any boat big enough to be a pain to fuel should have sufficient range to let you do a fair distance (i.e. most day trips), but afterwards you then have empty tanks - do you recover the boat to refill the tank after a big trip or do you lug multiple cans? Multiday trips could be restrictuve - but most of us will probably admit that those are largely an aspiration rather than a reality! I guess if the hassle or cost of fuel is off-putting from using it - then the value of the diesel will be that it helps you get more out of your asset.
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Old 15 August 2011, 03:42   #8
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Yep we deliberately specced the boat with a decent sized fuel tank for that very reason - as i recall the redbay's tank was about 150 litres and it just wasnt big enough for the trips we were doing. Refill wise we got a wee trailer made up which fits ten 20 litre cans so we just come alongside, stick the cans in the trailer, then drive into oban and refill - we usually have a reason to go into oban anyway so its not too much aggro. There isnt a diesel pump where we keep the boat either so we would have to do some sort of trip to refuel or move the boat either way.

In fairness i have never run a diesel rib so cant really comment on the cost and benefit of that against petrol....
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Old 15 August 2011, 11:44   #9
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I saw a "bowser trailer" like that in Littlehampton lifeboat station the other day, basically just a little box trailer with loads of slots in it for jerrycans. Excellent idea
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Old 15 August 2011, 12:29   #10
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Thanks for the replies guys

some answers

Family, yes but with an arrival on the way in the next few months, it won't be family for the next few years and my wife has made the valid point that family trips are only short hops on the rare hot sunny days we get so no real need for shelter.
it was the kids i had in mind when i bought the sportsfisher but i can count the trips that we all went on and in fairness we would have still gone on a rib.

Use is really for cruising, i don't dive at the moment but maybe in the future, boating to me is finding new places and exploring our coastline.

Fuel, I always have a preferance for diesel, but i think i have that idea from cars, i wouldn't leave it be the deciding factor, but saying that, it is second hand i will be buying and prices being what they are now there are a few good deals to be had on diesels as well as petrols.

After spending yesterday in the marina looking out at the weather again, i was speaking with a guy who has just bought a ne rc7.8 with a 300, he was out in the bay and i was watching him, it just looked so good! i think i am starting to lean towards an open rib but I won't decide for sure until I try both.
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