Country: UK - England
Town: Bromley, Kent
Engine: 4.3ltr 210hp Volvo Penta
Join Date: Sep 2002
I have been down that route in the last month, I am fully aware of the capabilities of real RIB's and Rigid Raiders (they don't have tubes) I used both during my commando training and have had the pleasure of travelling at excessive speeds on both in war situations . There is no way on this earth that I would take a baby such as ours on a RIB, I don't care what anyone else says, it is more than foolish (My daughter is 1yr old).
I was confused when I was looking for a RIB for my son for his 16th birthday, I found a 6.5mtr with a 90hp on which I thought I had bought, I won't say any more about that as it has been well and truly done to death on this forum, anyway I didn't get it. I have no experience in these low powered ones and was concerned that the engine would not be powerful enough, advice on here seemed to indicate it would be at it's limit. My son drives 14mtr twin 240hp RIB's in his holidays, and to be honest I think he would have been bored in the 6.5mtr, but I would have enjoyed it!
My wife was concerned that when my son was away at boarding school we would not then use the boat, that would have been a waste of £12.5k, so we researched the Bowrider route, but that was plain daft for the use we wanted in this country, and moved to the Cuddy route to replace this. We are going to get ourselves a decent large cruiser next year, so set a budget for this one for him (and us to use whilst he is away) at £26k. We had a good look around, looking at Larsons and other similar boats, we then decided on the Glastron GS209. We ugraded the engine from the 3ltr to the Volvo Penta 4.3ltr, with a top speed of 50mph It has a proven hull, and does the job we want it to do, it has a porta potti and the cooker fridge (cool box) and sink package. If you PM me I can tell you more.
My son is very happy with it, he can stay the odd night on it with friends. Another thing we had to research was a Marina, I could not be bothered with towing the thing around for my son every weekend, and stripping the breaks on the trailer whilst he was out burning my fuel with his friends. I also had to take into account the odd time my wife and I would use it and the baby aspect. Ocean village was too busy & too far, Brighton was handy for the train but straight out into the sea then left or right, so we opted for Chatham, at £1,300 a year it is £600 cheaper than Ocean village. We have the choice of the Medway river, the Thames or out to Sea. It is only 40 minutes from us in Bromley, Southampton was just that bit too far, but could be OK for our bigger one that we could all sleep in comfortably.
The cooker package makes all the difference from what I have been told. If you want a Glastron GS209 that has only been in fresh water, dry stored & 3yrs old, let me know, it has the cooker package and the 4,3ltr engine. We opted for a new one as it is a present, but some may prefer to save £8k and go for that one, it is owned by someone who has looked after it very well.
The cuddy is ideal for kids, they can get out of the cold, play safely in the cuddy, no real escape unless they climb out the top hatch. It is ideal for picnics and barbeques on the beach and a bit of swimming, as mentioned earlier I don't think you would want to be blasting about with kids in the cuddy, but most sensible people wouldn't do that anyway. A cuddy is a family boat, but capable of some fun, it can be used to chill out and relax on, it is not a RIB or pretends to be a RIB,which is more of a work boat as you know, and built for a totally different market. You can easily sleep 2 adults and a child on the cuddy. I still want a RIB and will get one sometime, I just have to keep her indoors happy at the moment, but I can see now in the cold light of day, and after all the selfish hunting for a RIB with my son, that she was clearly right in her choice.
I have bought a snipe twin axled trailer as well, so can still have it lifted out of Chatham and head of to the South Coast or Scotland if I want to. We have bought the boat for him but had it stored until we launch it next year Feb / Mar.
Hope this helps, any other questions, I am sure I will have been through them and am willing to share my research with you.
I guess one of each is the easiest route! if you have the money.