Originally Posted by bpevans
Greetings from the Eastern US coast. First post on RIBnet.
A) How does maintenence for a RIB differ from a typical outboard runabout?
B) Any dealers in the US or sources for RIBs?
C) How does trailering weight compare RIB vs comparable V-hulled CC?
D) Do boat handling skills transfer to RIBs or are their quirks to learn?
E) What do I no know that I should ask?
A/ Very similar, to any other boat, however you do have to look after the tubes & valves.
C/ RIBs are generally lighter than other types of boat as most have less bodywork and diveboat RIBS has very few seats & luxuries etc. Although it really depends on the RIB and what you are comparing it with. Best bet is find a RIB that meets your needs then do the weight calcs.
D/ You should have no problem with a RIB if your are able to cox other boats. They are easy to handle and very sea worthy ... but can be very quick so if you are not used to speed take care.
I use both my RIBS for diving. They make excellent stable platforms when at rest, with the tubes provide both kitting up seating and also stability. The water is entered from almost any point by rolling off, and getting back into the boat is also easy. De-kit in the water and pass up, then jump in. I have seen some RIBS that can take 12 divers and kit. They get to the dive site quickly, lots quicker that a hardboat.
However there are downsides. Generally smaller, no toilet, no dry cabin. Kitting up on the move is difficult and so you have to allow kit up time on site. Tech diving with more that a few cylinders is hard as RIBs lack space and dont have lifts etc to get you out of the water, which means dekitting, and tech divers are trussed up like turkeys!! Also travelling to and from the dive site can be tiring as RIBS bounce about and generally all passengers are holding on. Holding on can pull muscles & bones etc and in some cases travelling home after a dive has brought on bend symptons through after dive excersion.
However I love my RIB, it gives me diving freedom. There is nothing quite like researching a wreck, locating it, shotting it then diving it all under your own steam. However I also do a fair bit of hard boat diving also, and the combination satisfys my needs.
Also take care as not all RIBs are suitable for diving. RIBs designed for speed have smaller tubes, ride higher in the water, will not carry as much load, have very few tube ropes that definately wont be strong enough for divers pulling out the the water. RIBs like this are streamlined and tuned for speed. eg/ A revenger. An example of a good dive RIB would be a Tornado, chunky, heavy duty, big load carrier and is designed with things like bottle racks, to allow kit to be lashed to for transit.