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Old 05 August 2004, 21:40   #1
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RIB ownership experiences, maintenence, upkeep

Greetings from the Eastern US coast. First post on RIBnet.

Question 1) Why do us yanks have so few RIBs? You brits appear to be having all the inflateable fun....

My true past time is diving and here in North Carolina we have a fair amount of inshore and slightly offshore diving. We also have rather nasty weather this time of year. Everything I've read and chats with other divers lead me to believe RIBs are by far the most useful personal boat for this role.

So, with that said I'm still dumbfounded by how few private RIBs I see. Everyone has Carolina Skiffs and other flat-bottom glass boats here. I believe I've seen a total of two RIBs in the last year, both were yacht tenders & I'm not even sure the yachts were US flagged.

I'm thinking that I"m looking for a 16'-20' RIB (jeez, finally got'a go metric i guess), Make that 5.1m - 6m. Console, A-Frame and a pod or two.

So, now the real questions:

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? :-)

Any divers on this board? Curious how your interiors are configured to stow gear..
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Old 05 August 2004, 23:21   #2
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Welcome!

Nice to hear an American who can actually see the benefit of ribs.
I am from the UK but spend a lot of time in the U.S. and ask the same questions when over there ,about the lack of interest in RIBS.
It seems the military and armed forces have quite an array of specialised RIBS but this has not yet transferred to the main consumer market.I think it's just a matter of time.
I believe most of it stems from the fact that most inflatables have been used as yacht tenders over there and there is a reluctance to see them as anything else.
I know that Ribcraft have a factory over there (based in Boston I think.)
http://www.ribcraftusa.com/
Also from South America the Apex line are becoming more visible and do offer open dive boats. (check out the A-17 rib and A-17 open ) I think they have an office in Miami.
http://www.apexinflatables.com/
Also caribe are sturdy looking boats as long as you are staying pretty much inshore with not too much foul weather. www.caribeinflatables.com.
The problem with these and other boats available are more suited to the fitted out sportboat market and not really layed out for diving use.
For the type of use and weather you are talking about the ribcraft line would be far superior. They can fit anything you need from A frames to tank racks and will take anything you throw at them(Check out their Mitigator site for state of the art RIBS) Hope that gets your interest wetted,
cheers Dal
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Old 06 August 2004, 04:29   #3
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Hi

Ribcraft have manufacture in the USA as well as the UK

See

http://www.ribcraftusa.com/

for the US site. Ribs are built to order and can be individually tailored to suit your requirments.

If the UK built one's are anything to go by then excellent ribs, of course I have one so am biased


I guess there are quirks to learn as there are in changing between any two boats but general boat handling skills are similar.
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Old 06 August 2004, 07:46   #4
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I believe Avon are also available in the states - very well made and prob the father of the modern RIB.

I think RIBs will eventually take off in the States but I think the main prob has been they aren't flashy enough - to be honest cup holders and sunbeds are more important to most Yank boaters.

Having said that I think RIBS will be seen like Hummers and bought as trendy "military" toys.

http://www.motorboating.com/motorboa...588308,00.html

Funnily enough RIBs were developed on the Severn River - the original one in Wales!

http://www.zodiaccz7.com/

Have a look at the video - awesome!

Basically what these companies are doing is taking a normal RIB and Hummerising it - the prices are stupid for what they really are.

I have got to say the adrenaline rush is totally different from anything else - fast cars seem tame - motorbikes are about the closest you will get.
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Old 06 August 2004, 08:05   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
http://www.zodiaccz7.com/

Have a look at the video - awesome!
Anyone know the music artist in this Zodiac Video? Or the CD title?

That Zodiac is impressive, I had already seen it along with ribcraftusa.com's video and boats. I like the Ribcraft 5.85 and Zodiac's Pro Open so far but I'm sure *new* prices are very high. I'm hoping to find something used when it comes time to buy.
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Old 06 August 2004, 08:12   #6
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Quote:
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.
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Old 06 August 2004, 08:16   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limeydal
It seems the military and armed forces have quite an array of specialised RIBS but this has not yet transferred to the main consumer market.I think it's just a matter of time.
I see our Coast Guard RIBs in the river a lot and our military certainly uses a lot of them. With the water-Hummer, Zodiac CZ27, it looks like the push to the civilian market is finally starting to happen. But at $100,000 they'll sell fewer of those than even the Hummer H1. Hopefully, Zodiac will launch a cheap version al'la Hummer & their H2 thats everywhere over here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by limeydal
Also from South America the Apex line are becoming more visible and do offer open dive boats. (check out the A-17 rib and A-17 open ) I think they have an office in Miami.
http://www.apexinflatables.com/
Also caribe are sturdy looking boats as long as you are staying pretty much inshore with not too much foul weather. www.caribeinflatables.com.
The problem with these and other boats available are more suited to the fitted out sportboat market and not really layed out for diving use.
The A-17 looks good from what I could find. Foul weather is pretty common here.

What are the differences between a "sportboat" layout and an open layout?

I'd think I'd want a console and a pair of pods at a minimum.
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Old 06 August 2004, 08:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpevans
Anyone know the music artist in this Zodiac Video? Or the CD title?

.

I have been wondering that as well - it's really starting to annoy me!

As to using imperial please carry on! Bloody metric is a pain and has been forced on us - we have a really strange mix now - ask anybody about speed it is ALWAYS mph but ask them about a carpet they will tell you it's length in feet and it's width in metres!!!!

Diving Ribs use bottle racks and the divers tend to sit on the tubes.
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Old 06 August 2004, 08:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy
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!!
Does British "lifts" mean an American "ladder"? Tech diving with doubles & a stage is probably likely. Although the bulk of the diving done from this boat would be from shore (deserted barrier islands) where we anchor the boats to shore and then kit up and dive off the shore. I can't see how any RIB would have a problem anchored stern out since the local skiffs & CCs have no problem with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy
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.
This was a point I hadn't thought of yet but is completely obvious now that you mention it. I suppose we'll just have to keep our exposures limited on rough long runs. Any other strategies useful in dealing with this?
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Old 06 August 2004, 11:36   #10
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A lift ... is exactly that. It's a platform you lower into the water, you stand on it then it lifts you to deck height so you can walk off into the boat without the need of climbing up a ladder which can also bring on a bend, especially if you are tech diving and overladden. I have only ever seen one RIB with a lift: It can just been seen on this photo:

http://www.protector-diving.co.uk/images/PTC009.jpg

Obviously that is so big its a hard boat, but does benifit from tubes, very comfortable.

As far as the bend thing while holding on after a dive. It's rare, only a few cases have been reported however its likely people get arm pains from holding on and ignore them. In the UK things are made worse as the body is working against a thick neoprene drysuit also, which hinders mobility.

As I said I have two RIBs and they are both excellent dive boats. Not massive but very capable. However tonight we are off to Eastborne to dive on a hard boat, and that will be fun also.
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