Many times on a long or extended voyage such as one of my frequent trips to the Channel Islands or France, I have been a victim in the change of weather. Having to spend a night or two in a marina is no great hardship when you have a six foot vee berth, galley, toilet etc. I don't think that I would be very comfortable on my 7 metre rib.
I tend to agree with Dirk.
In the UK (even if you have an offshore cruiser) the conditions are not ideal (plesent) for long RIB cruising even in the summer (2 hours max I think) with unpredictable weather, rain, cold air temperature etc etc.
A RIB (I believe) can be used much more extenssively in hot climates for cruising and to a lesser extent in cold climates.
Nevertheless, it depends why one wants to own a RIB (which I may say costs as much as a small cruiser) and not a cruiser.
Personally, I've chosen to have a RIB because I like to be near to the sea (nearer than when you are on a sailing yacht or a cruiser), I want to feel the sea on the boat, I want to have drops of sea water on my face and to get soaked when I hit big waves (but that is in Greece where is much wormer).
I don't think I would be saying the same things if I was doing this in the UK.
For the sleeping arrangements, since I only use the boat in Greece (the UK tooooo cooooold for me, but will venture it the coming year and see how it goes) I think a B&B will be better rather than the old tent (which is adequate to spend a night in warmer climates). Why someone should be more and feel ancomfortable than he should be?
The point is that when one goes out to sea he should enjoy him self. A sea adventure it does not ment to be an endurance course and it does not mean that the person who would be the 'bravest' or the 'macho man' would win or succed anything more than the others who are not (the sencible guys).
On the contrary he will be the loser as he will not enjoy him self and probably the adventure will end up in tears.
(This reminds me of the diving club I bellong where everybody thinks that is macho to dive down to 50 meters and that by doing so they can prove something (to whom I still don't know). Well I have been diving for 25 years now and I think is not macho, and you prove nothing to no one. There is nothing to see in 50 mtrs (specially in the UK there is no light, no fish NOTHING!!) and there is nothing to prove to anyone except to add an extra danger to your life.)
Now the back to RIBS and the subject of RIBs with cabins.
Well I think that these RIBs are the same as an offshore cruiser. No different just a bit more safe(r).
As far as I am concerened (I said that before) the idea of a RIB is that it can go in and out of the water with the minimum of fuss, you can tow it, is light, you can put it in your garage, you don't pay marina fees, maintenace is less and you can launch it and recover it without a lot of hasle. THIS IS A RIB.
The cabin RIBs are just safe(r) cruising boats but they are not proper RIBs.
Finally RIBs are one of the safest forms of sailing on water. They do not sink and they rarely capsize. As Alan says 'they are the 4x4 of the sea'. So I expect that in the future we will see more large cabin cruisers built like RIBs. They will be very safe but they'll never be proper RIBs.
Well, I had my say and I believe that many of you will have a go at me. But this is what I believe and nothing will change it