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Old 09 August 2005, 12:09   #1
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RIB reliability question

I am new to this community and relatively new as well to rigid inflatables. Just had a couple of questions I was hoping some of you might be able to answer. How easily do most ribs puncture? Do most manufactures cover repair charges to the tube under most circumstances? How easy/reliable are repairs?
Also, I am wondering how most of you store your ribs. Do you deflate them often, every time you use them? I have storage issues where I live, problems with docking etc. but have heard that it is not wise to deflate your rib after each use. Is this true?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Liz. United States.
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Old 09 August 2005, 12:16   #2
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At our RYA centre we have an early ribcraft rib, and it didn't fit in the shed. It is used every w/e and was deflated after use. It didn't seem to mind. Still going strong.

The hyperlon is very durable, and doesn't easily puncture, unless you drive a sharp spike into it. Ideally if you are having areas that are expoesd to greater wear, put wear patchs on them. We use these on a dive boat, so that when the tanks rub across the tubes they don't puncture.

Repairs are relatively easy, just use the right glue. They are much trickier if you blow a hole by the seam. Patches can tend to weaken if you deflate the tubes when patched, but if its a good repair it shouldn't matter.

Just make sure when you reinflate, you do so according to the manufacturers instructions, or you might pop a baffle.

HTH,
Keef.
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Old 10 August 2005, 04:09   #3
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Hi Liz,

No need to deflate unless necesary, UV can damage just about anything, so the best protection for the whole boat would be to invest in an all over cover, it will keep its looks a lot longer then. If you can keep the boat ashore it will help as well - inside is even better!
Hope that helps a bit,

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When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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Old 10 August 2005, 06:23   #4
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A good wash down after each use will help. Leaving the engine cover off if you keep it indoors to allow it to dry out will stop spark plugs and other bits of elastictrickery from corroding too. Maybe even a spray of WD40 - athough many people think this is evil stuff!
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Old 10 August 2005, 06:49   #5
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Definitely agree with Cookee: keeping it dry and inside (obviously when not using it!) is a huge plus point.
I just bought a 1973 Flatacraft which was used for two years then put in a garage (fully inflated). It looks like it just came out of the showroom and has no signs of seams deteriorating or any long term deterioration of the tubes. Apart from the thin seam of glue holding the badges on the sponsons all the bonds seem as normal. She even smells like a new boat!
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Old 11 August 2005, 16:05   #6
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Post some picture of ya flatacraft? I used to have one, its gone now, but surely yours could be a classic, one of the first RIBS ever? be interested to c it thx
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Old 12 August 2005, 02:11   #7
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Pictures of the flatacraft will be available shortly...

How did you find the flatacraft for handling etc?

Classic status, yes I think it is a classic: in fact it's so untouched by human hands I'm scared to use it! I'm not at all keen on modding any of it: rather prefer to try to keep it just as it was the day it came out of the workshop.

I'll post some decent photos once the weather clears!
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Old 12 August 2005, 08:56   #8
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Handling, on the flat stuff it was fast on the plane and turned fine, when the waves got over about 1m it was very easy to get the whole lot out of the water (prop included) excellent fun but tended to slow you down after about half an hour of it, some quite hairy moments when the back end drops before the front .But the look on the sunseaker brigades faces , when you 'fly past em' made it all worth while
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Old 12 August 2005, 11:01   #9
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Do you know how well the warranties usually cover puncture of the boat? I'm guessing a sharp spike driven into the tube wouldn't be covered...
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Old 12 August 2005, 11:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boaterLIZ
Do you know how well the warranties usually cover puncture of the boat? I'm guessing a sharp spike driven into the tube wouldn't be covered...
They don't cover for punctures as such (also depends on the manufacturer) but will cover for seams going and things caused by bad workmanship or faulty materials.

Not sure on whether due to a small accident your boat insurance would cover the toobs but I doubt it?!??
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