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Old 17 April 2016, 03:28   #1
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Quiet and fuel efficient cruising - big or small engine, 2 or 4 stroke.

Good morning,

Please forgive the newbie question.

I'm looking to buy a rib a some point in the near future. As a couple we are into open water swimming and fancy a rib to adventure to more remote spots to swim and occasionally support open water swim attempts. I also fancy a spot of rib cruising to inaccessible places, camping on the beach etc etc. Cruising area will be homes waters on the south coast of England plus the west coast of Scotland where we also hope to relocate to in the not too distant future. It would be a secondhand purchase of a rib between 4.8 and 5.5m long. The rib would be used either one or two up and rarely more than that.

Looking at the adverts ribs in this class come with a real range of outboards. I appreciate not all ribs have transoms rated for the same power/weight of engine and that is a big factor but my criteria for us are
  • A reasonably seaworthy craft for its given size to reduce the chances of getting caught out.
  • Comparably quiet and fuel efficient cruising

Absolute flat water top speed comes a very distant third and towing wakeboards/rings doesn't even make it onto the list.

So my question is, does a smaller outboard presumably run harder perform less well in terms of noise and fuel efficiency than a larger one at cruising speed? Are there other factors like 2 or 4 stroke or prop type that make more difference? I would imagine a deeper V hull needed for good seaworthy manners rather counteracts our other objectives to some extent.

Many thanks for your help.
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Old 17 April 2016, 04:15   #2
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Hi and welcome to Ribnet

Budget is a good starting point.
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Old 17 April 2016, 07:55   #3
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Sorry, yes.

Thinking a 10-15 yr old craft between 8000-12000. I would expect to either pay for a larger engined boat or get an older outboard or one with more hours for the same money.
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Old 17 April 2016, 09:06   #4
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Think you might be being a bit pessimistic.

That's a pretty high budget for that age/size.
Camping on the beach......5.5 meter is way to big to "haul up a beach" and probably to small to carry a tender of any kind so, you can certainly land on the beach but if you're going to "overnight" you'll have to think about what you're going to do with the boat.
What are you proposing to tow with.......that can be a defining issue ?
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Old 17 April 2016, 10:00   #5
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Glad you think I could get more/pay less! :-)

Yes, I had though about the beaching issues. As swimmers though the thought of anchoring and swimming ashore with kit in drums/dry bags is not too off putting! But agreed is an issue.

I'd be towing behind our 3lt 160bhp Ducato self built camper. My main issue with it as a tow vehicle is the lack of traction on the front drive wheels at times. A change of tyres might be in order.
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Old 17 April 2016, 10:32   #6
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Any conditions where you would consider swimming arent going to challenge even mid V ribs.

Beware it can be difficult to insure a rib left at anchor (and unattended) overnight.

Whilst swimming back out to the rib in the morning is not a crazy idea for a bunch of good swimmers you do need to consider what if the wind has really kicked up over night? You can however rig your anchor with a shore line, so in theory you can keep yourself pretty dry.

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I'd be towing behind our 3lt 160bhp Ducato self built camper. My main issue with it as a tow vehicle is the lack of traction on the front drive wheels at times. A change of tyres might be in order.
Consider adding a front tow bar for slipway duties then.

For an off the wall suggestion there is a jet rib on eBay right now that might suit swimmers well (no prop), in your budget. I don't know any more about it than that, I stumbled on it this morning when I was looking for something else.
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Old 17 April 2016, 11:04   #7
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I'd be towing behind our 3lt 160bhp Ducato self built camper. My main issue with it as a tow vehicle is the lack of traction on the front drive wheels at times. A change of tyres might be in order.
5.5mtr probably less than a ton all up. Ducato should breeze it.
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Old 17 April 2016, 11:26   #8
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All go so far.
Yes, a tow bar on the front sounds like a plan.

So any thoughts on what makes the quieter, more efficient cruising boat - a smaller engine worker harder or bigger lump working less hard? I'm guessing the latter....
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Old 17 April 2016, 13:05   #9
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All go so far.
So any thoughts on what makes the quieter, more efficient cruising boat - a smaller engine worker harder or bigger lump working less hard? I'm guessing the latter....
I think you probably know the answer. Don't go daft at either extreme.
If you reckon on cruising speed of around 20 > 25 knots then you're looking for something with a max of 30 > 35 knots.
Don't go down the line of the smallest engine you can get away with because it will only disappoint you when the day comes you want to load the boat up a bit. (camping trip ?) and you really don't want to run at full throttle all the time.
There was an assumption that the largest engine recommended by the manufacturer was the way to go however, you'll find my rant on that subject in here somewhere because frankly some manufacturers maximum recommendations are nothing short of an express ticket to Davy's locker.

Best look for something you fancy, post a picture or a link and take what you will of the ensuing debate.
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Old 17 April 2016, 13:43   #10
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Best look for something you fancy, post a picture or a link and take what you will of the ensuing debate.
Well.....I was thinking of this as a starting point.

http://www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk/S...RLPGl8G3VY5.97

Chances are it belongs to someone on here

Thanks for the advice so far.
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Old 17 April 2016, 14:37   #11
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Just for a price/age comparison.

Offshore - Offshore 5.2 RIBs and Inflatable Boats for sale in Cleveland, North East | Boats and Outboards
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Old 17 April 2016, 16:28   #12
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Well.....I was thinking of this as a starting point.

http://www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk/S...RLPGl8G3VY5.97

Chances are it belongs to someone on here

Thanks for the advice so far.

The little Ribcrafts are class-leading boats for their size and punch well above their weight. That one looks particularly tidy and would be a very good fit for what you've said you want from a boat. It's at the lower end of your budget too. If you miss it you'll kick yourself!
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Old 17 April 2016, 17:00   #13
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I am thinking of selling my 2004 Mako 5.1 with 2009 90hp etec (50 hours) at the right price, I am moving more towards fishing. Click image for larger version

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Old 18 April 2016, 04:12   #14
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Convert, I currently tow with a Ducato 3.0L Motorhome, to be honest, I would not launch on a lot of slips with it, I usually go to places that launch for you, bit more expensive but Hey HO, I have seen others with a similar setup launching, but as you say, not a lot of traction on drive wheels.
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Old 18 April 2016, 16:54   #15
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Convert, I currently tow with a Ducato 3.0L Motorhome, to be honest, I would not launch on a lot of slips with it, I usually go to places that launch for you, bit more expensive but Hey HO, I have seen others with a similar setup launching, but as you say, not a lot of traction on drive wheels.
I had wondered about that. The 'home' launch site I have in mind would be quite shallow (which I know can bring it's own issues) but it would be a shame to be a bit limited when on the road. In years gone by I've launch boats (not ribs, but same principle) with the aid of a long rope to get the tow vehicle on the level and improve grip but it's a pain.

Last Tango - Can I read into that that you think the Ribcraft is a over priced? There does seem to be a lot of choice out there, which is great but gives a procrastinator too much to think about
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Old 18 April 2016, 17:35   #16
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Just to add that if you want a quiet engine go for a 4-stroke.

+1 for Ribcraft as well :-)
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Old 19 April 2016, 02:38   #17
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Last Tango - Can I read into that that you think the Ribcraft is a over priced? There does seem to be a lot of choice out there, which is great but gives a procrastinator too much to think about
Cars sell on their year, not so much boats as the condition is really far more important.
It does look pretty exceptional for it's age and it may well be worth the asking price. I'd go have a look. The ad does say the price is negotiable.

I'd rather pay marginally over the odds for the right boat than get a bargain on the wrong one.
30 years later I still kick myself for letting a "Riva Sports Fisherman" that was going for 12k slip through my fingers....
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Old 20 April 2016, 11:11   #18
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Hi... I'm a relative noob to this as well... and one of the first things I was pressed on when I joined this Forum was - "why are you set on a RIB?"

As I progressed through my research, spoke to people here on the Forum, scoured the web, spoke to dealers, etc. I finally settled on a SIB and it is perfect...

From your list of proposed activities and requirements I think a SIB could be more up your street... I might be wrong.

A 3.8m SIB will happily pack camping gear.
It will get you most places you want to go.
You can haul it onto the beach when camping instead of anchoring offshore.
You don't need a trailer - it fits in the boot along with your engine of choice.
Small 20HP engine will get you up to around 18 knots 2-up and will be less thirsty and arguably quieter than a 30-50HP you might have on a RIB...

I got my complete set-up for less than 3.5k brand new so well within you budget.

BTW, if you are choosing a RIB for comfort and space perhaps you should be considering a full-hulled boat.

Anyway, just my tuppence - thought I'd throw that in there...
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Old 20 April 2016, 12:21   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kennett View Post
The little Ribcrafts are class-leading boats for their size and punch well above their weight. That one looks particularly tidy and would be a very good fit for what you've said you want from a boat. It's at the lower end of your budget too. If you miss it you'll kick yourself!
I concour 100% not the time of year to sit on your hands if something nice comes up.
(Should take an offer too)
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Old 20 April 2016, 13:04   #20
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Hi... I'm a relative noob to this as well... and one of the first things I was pressed on when I joined this Forum was - "why are you set on a RIB?"

As I progressed through my research, spoke to people here on the Forum, scoured the web, spoke to dealers, etc. I finally settled on a SIB and it is perfect...

From your list of proposed activities and requirements I think a SIB could be more up your street... I might be wrong.

A 3.8m SIB will happily pack camping gear.
It will get you most places you want to go.
You can haul it onto the beach when camping instead of anchoring offshore.
You don't need a trailer - it fits in the boot along with your engine of choice.
Small 20HP engine will get you up to around 18 knots 2-up and will be less thirsty and arguably quieter than a 30-50HP you might have on a RIB...

I got my complete set-up for less than 3.5k brand new so well within you budget.

BTW, if you are choosing a RIB for comfort and space perhaps you should be considering a full-hulled boat.

Anyway, just my tuppence - thought I'd throw that in there...
Interesting thought and one I hadn't had. I've had a reasonable amount of experience with small sibs over the years; as tenders for yachts and a slightly larger one with a 15hp as our smallest rescue/utility boat when I worked for a sailing centre. You are right, dragging one up a beach and hand launching are defiantly easier. Also probably a better escort boat for a lone swimmer too. The thing is there was weather I would never have dreamed of taking the sib out in that was a breeze in the centre's Seariders. I can't imagine wanting to cross from Portsmouth to the soutern side of the IOW or Oban to Mull in a Sib (though I imagine folk do) whilst I would happily do the same in a Rib knowing if the weather changed I would still make it back. Which is totally illogical as I've done both in a Sea Kayak happily enough.

I guess every boat is a compromise one way or another, it's just working out which compromises as least bad!

Thanks though - it's made me think!
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