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Old 12 November 2010, 16:47   #1
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Redbay 11 metre cabin RIB for bareboat charter

Had an interesting new addition to the Trade Directory this week.

Crystal Yacht Charter, near Oban on the west coast of Scotland, have an 11 metre Redbay available skippered or bareboat.

Bareboat RIB charter is fairly uncommon, especially at the top end of the range, so it came as a bit of a surprise. OK so the price is a bit eyewatering, but this looks like something a bit special with a top notch boat and a fantastic cruising area.

I hope it works out well for them - I'd like to see more like this. I'll probably stump up for a few days next summer as it just seems like too good an opportunity to miss out on.
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Old 12 November 2010, 17:10   #2
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OK so the price is a bit eyewatering, but this looks like something a bit special with a top notch boat and a fantastic cruising area.
But not as stupid a price as you might fear! You could get a couple of full weekends for the cost of keeping a boat that size in a south coast marina and actually use the boat in more exciting areas (and potentially for more total hours!). Presumably it gets away with 60/40 split on fuel duty which will make it a little more palletable for the total cost!
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Old 12 November 2010, 17:26   #3
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Ahem!

Lads. Yer killin' me.

Any more of this stuff and I'm gonna start a Demarcation Dispute
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Old 08 August 2011, 05:04   #4
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Well we had a fantastic week, and split between two families the cost wasn't even too bad.

We had nine people in total, four adults and five kids of various ages. We rented two cottages at about 500 each (the one from Craobh Marina Cottages was the better value of the two), the charter cost for a week is 4,200, allow 2,000 for fuel (we actually spent 1,800) and something for the petrol to get everyone there giving a total of about 7,500.

It's not a cheap holiday by any means, but at a bit under 1,000 a head works out about the same price as a modest peak-season ski trip or a week kayaking in the Ardeche with Explore for instance.

Of course, this isn't any run of the mill holiday though. You get a superbly equipped 11 metre cabin RIB to use as you please, in some of the best cruising grounds anywhere. That's something that most of us could only dream of normally, and really takes some beating.
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Old 08 August 2011, 05:14   #5
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So, a bit about the boat. It's a brand new 11 metre Redbay, with a full cabin and twin 285hp diesels. It is superbly equipped, with nothing scrimped on but no silly gadgets.

The nav fitout is all Garmin, with a 15" GPSmap 7015 touchscreen plotter as the main screen, with a 12" GPSmap 5012 as a second screen in front of the navigator. These were a dream to use, and have completely spoiled me now.

There's also a dedicated depth display, autopilot, fixed and hand held VHF, and video screen for a camera on the aft deck.

Helm and navigator have fully adjustable suspension seats, and there are four more fixed seats and two bench seats for passengers. With nine on board it didn't even come near to feeling crowded.
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Old 08 August 2011, 05:18   #6
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The fore cabin has v berths with an infill, and the aft bench seats will convert to a double berth.

There is a fully equipped galley with a diesel stove and microwave, plus fridge and kitchen sink. There's an inverter for mains power, plus shore power when available.

The heads/shower is a decent size, and certainly designed to be used rather than just to tick a check box as on some smaller RIBs.

Four people could quite easily live aboard for a week or so without any trouble (although it's still so new that you might get a headache from the resin fumes at the moment!)
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Old 08 August 2011, 05:25   #7
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The engines are under an electrically operated hatch, and access to dipsticks and strainers for daily checks is good. Fuel tanks are 2 x 450 litres, which gives a range of about 400 miles at 60 litres an hour (which is exactly what our average worked out at over a week). Crusing speed was in the high 20 knots, with top speed in the low 30s.

Anchoring is made very easy with a self stowing anchor and electric windlass. I could get used to that very easily!

A tender on snap davits made getting to the beach easy enough, although at 2.3 metres it could really do with being a bit bigger as it takes a while to ferry everyone one at a time and taking three people on board was decidedly chancy. Still, it says a lot that this is the only thing I can think of to improve.
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Old 08 August 2011, 06:07   #8
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Sounds brilliant ! How far out did you venture and any places you would highly recommend ?

I guess it's early days yet , but does it look as though the Redbay will "earn her keep " ?
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Old 08 August 2011, 13:35   #9
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There are so many places to go that we barely scratched the surface in a week. This is what we did:

Saturday: handover session and run out to Corryvreckan
Sunday: rainy and poor visibility so stayed local again - explored a bit more around Corryvrecken in the morning and briefly met up with Puffin, then in the afternoon round Luing, through Cuan Sound, up Seil Sound, back down past Shuna round to Grey Dogs
Monday: over to Iona to meet up with Ally S for a guided tour round the island. Then lunch at the Argyle Hotel (a good tip from Ally S and definitely recommended), and home via Staffa and Tobermoray
Tuesday: up to Clachan Sound to meet Puffin, then down to their secret private beach on Jura
Wednesday: across to Redbay for a trip round the factory and lunch with willk and donegaldan
Thursday: Gigha for lunch and a visit to Achamore Gardens
Friday: North to the Falls of Lora and onwards to the top of Loch Etive

I'd recommend all of these, but the Grey Dogs and the Falls of Lora were the most exciting bits.

With this boat your options are vast. If you wanted to you could easily go round Britain in a week. It was a family holiday with young children and inexperienced crew so we didn't try to be too ambitious though.
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Old 08 August 2011, 18:32   #10
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I had the pleasure to be a guest on daytrip to Redbay (thanks again John, and the Irish contingent for their hospitality). It really is an amazing boat, and although living on board would perhaps fall short of the luxury you might expect for a 1000+ a head weeks holiday it would be comparable to many charter yachts - and is, at least right now, all in sparking brand new condition. Some of the waters we sailed through were relatively familiar to me but would have been a major adventure even in the great weather we had.

For many people owning a boat like this could only be a dream, but even if you could afford it could you use it often enough to justify it? Although its difficult to call that sort of expenditure a "sensible" choice - but in many ways it could be, compared to storing and owning a large boat that gets infrequently used.

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does it look as though the Redbay will "earn her keep " ?
I don't know whether the owner is trying to make a serious profit or just offset some of his costs. If it is the later then he will presumably manage this, at least until someone does some expensive damage to something, or the wear and tear kicks in.

It is a bit of niche market, whilst the requirements are just a PB2 - the sort of passage this boat is suited to etc. is not exactly where most beginners would want to start (although the touchscreen autopilot, with automated guidance could take most of the intellectual skill out of passage planning [my 1.75" black and white gps screen now seems woefully inadequate!]). Twin engines and a big boat are also not exactly a beginners boat for putting back on the marina berth.

On top of this "adventurous ribbers" from the south coast might be put off by the cabin, preferring the wind in their hair. In reality whilst the cruising territory that it is based in is undoubtedly spectacular and scenic it also isn't known for long periods of sunshine and so the cabin is actually a hugely practical addition (which also means you can spend your time aboard in "ordinary clothes" and have plenty of storage space. Some people might even say that the Redbay aesthetic is an acquired taste though; and those who do "get it" will likely aspire to owning one before long. People looking for a bling boat with sun pads for bikini clad babes will need to look elsewhere.

At the prices they are charging and with these market limitations I doubt anyone is going to find it that hard to find a weekend to fit with their diary! But he should manage to cover all his operating costs...
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