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Old 10 September 2011, 11:15   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Hampshire
Length: 3m +
Engine: 25hp Outboard
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16
Recommendations for a 4m (ish) RIB

Following a bad experience with my 3.6m RIB (transom cracks), and learning from this that a small RIB with a 25hp short-shaft engine is probably not the best way to go, I am looking to upgrade to a slightly larger rib, most likely 4.0-4.2m so it still fits in the garage. I will probably go for a 30-40hp 4-stroke engine, ideally a 40 if the boat can take it.

Typical use is trailer launch and recovery in tidal waters, estuaries and inshore, maximum F6 and 2m waves (i.e. EU RCD Cat C conditions), 2 people on board but up to 4 or 5 people in calmer conditions. I would use it in and around the Solent, Tidal Thames and occasionally Devon/Cornwall. Might use it for towing donuts, etc, and would be nice to have the option for waterskiing in the future but not essential.

Following a bit of research, makes/models that I think might work for me are as follows:

Avon Searider 4m
Avon Adventurer 410
Humber Assault 4m
Ribeye Tender 4m
Ribeye TA400
Ribcraft Pro 4.2
Quicksilver Ocean Runner 410
Valiant DR400
Zodiac Cadet 400
Zodiac Pro 420 (7 man)

Any suggestions as to which would be best? I am looking for something tough and reliable, with a good brand history and well established dealer network in the UK. Budget is a factor but I would rather pay more for something that will last longer and retain value than save at the outset only to have problems later (been there, done that, not doing it again!). On this basis Avon and Zodiac seem to be good options, not sure about the rest as I have no experience of them.

Just to give you an indication of my experience, I have RYA Level 2 powerboat and Yacht Day Skipper qualifications but only a few weeks' experience of driving RIBs, albeit spread over a number of years.

All advice gratefully received!

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Old 10 September 2011, 12:12   #2
actions's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Herne Bay
Boat name: Red May
Make: Zodiac
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp Honda 4 Stroke
MMSI: Is quite long
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 653
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I have had a Pro 7 since May this year, having upgraded from a Valiant 380 (not the best at all). I have been more than impressed with my Pro 7 (420). It has a 40hp Honda 4 stroke on the back and is fairly quick with 30knts top on the GPS. 28ish 2 up.

For comfort your only looking at 2 people in the chop but i have had 4 with no issues in calmer waters but whoever sits at the front needs to have a strong back if it is bumpy.

I cannot compare this to other similar size crafts as the only other boat we use is a 5M+ Rib X which is fantastic but at 25k is a little ( alot) too expensive for us.

Very pleased with it in the rough and seems pretty sturdy. I dont feel vulnerable when the wind gets up. I've accidently stuffed it twice and it was solid.

Just fitted a fixed VHF, plenty of room for other gadets along the top of the console.

Here is a link to a video for you, but it is on flat water though. The video is from my 420 of another 420....

There may well be other better ribs out there in this range but i can only comment on the 420. Price wise i got a virtually unsued (20 hours) 2005 rib and engine from 2005 and its clean as a whistle for 6k (private sale). Seemed fair to me for what i was getting in terms of being pretty much new as the grey one was bought by someone else for 5900 and is a year older with a engine with more hours on. (trade sale)

Good luck with whatever you go for. Let us know too.

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Old 10 September 2011, 13:19   #3
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Poly's Avatar
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: imposter
Make: FunYak
Length: 3m +
Engine: 2 stroke YAM 20 HP
MMSI: 235089819
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,422
Originally Posted by Bobalong View Post
Following a bad experience with my 3.6m RIB (transom cracks), and learning from this that a small RIB with a 25hp short-shaft engine is probably not the best way to go,
I think that is the wrong conclusion to come to. A 3.6m boat, correctly designed and built should be able to take a 25HP engine easily enough. At the end of the day the construction methods won't change much for the next size up and you will probably be looking at a maximum rating of 40-50 HP.
I am looking to upgrade to a slightly larger rib, most likely 4.0-4.2m so it still fits in the garage. I will probably go for a 30-40hp 4-stroke engine, ideally a 40 if the boat can take it.
if your budget allows you can actually fit more in your garage than that. 9d280 will email you a spreadsheet showing the production options which fit in a garage if you ask him nicely.

Are you looking to buy new?

How important is that dealer network? e.g. their will be other small builders who may not have nationwide coverage but might not be that far from you.

Quite frankly any of them will be "interesting" if you are genuinely in significant wave heights of 2m and F6. You would survive it but not comfortably. If you had to go out in those conditions then from your list I guess you are looking searider or ribcraft. But if you are looking new these boats could be twice the price of your current rig (or more).
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Old 10 September 2011, 13:25   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: N. Devon
Boat name: Nutkin Too
Make: X-Pro Defender
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outboard, Suzuki 90
MMSI: 235095884
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,263
I run a 4.5m Rimini - not the best reputation but she's doing me well. Used out of Bude and Plymouth mostly. I wouldn't buy one reading the reports but now I own one more than happy -ther are other's in teh same position I suspect.

There are loads out there that will do what you want. Sea Riders are bomb proof, I like Humbers and Tornados and the Rib Crafts in the size will be good too.

Do Osprey make a boat in your size spec - others will soon be telling you how good they can be

Bude Dive Club -
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Old 12 September 2011, 11:46   #5
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,539
You rang?

How big is your garage? With a bit of careful planning & trailer setting up it is possible to fit a 5m boat into a 5.7m garage......

I will second Pol tho' on the build quality comments.

Ping me a PM with your email if you want the spreeadsheet, or tell me the length of your garage, I'll apply the length filter & paste what dops out here. Just be aware my spreadsheet is now coming up for 3 years old, so there may be some newer hulls missed...... Not likely a problem if you plan to go s/h.
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