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Old 17 April 2016, 04:28   #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, 05:15   #2
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Hi and welcome to Ribnet

Budget is a good starting point.
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Old 17 April 2016, 08:55   #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, 10:06   #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, 11:00   #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, 11:32   #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, 12:04   #7
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Quote:
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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, 12:26   #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, 14:05   #9
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Quote:
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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, 14:43   #10
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Quote:
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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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