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Old 05 September 2001, 13:04   #1
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Country: USA
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ribcraft 4.8 and 4.2

I'm looking for a RIB that doesn't seem to exist in the US market place and the boat I have in mind in the British market is the ribcraft 4.8: rugged, good chop handling hull form, jockey seat set up, great reputation for quality, NOT A SNOW WHITE SHOWBOAT YACHT TENDER, which is what seems to populate a good bit of the existing US rib industry.

BUT, here is the rib/rub. I sail for extended periods in wilderness areas on the west coast of Vancouver Island (an open ocean coast) and tow my rib behind the sailboat (45' wooden ketch c.1948). So I need a good exploration rib, seaworthy and stout. I need help with the following question: should I stick to a 4.0 to 4.2 m. rib to make it easier to tow or is a bigger rib such as a 4.8 going to have similar drag when towed? I'm talking horsepower in the 40-50 range, 4 stroke.

Also, I haven't been able to find any information about the characteristics of the ribcraft 4.2. Is it very similar, albiet smaller, to the 4.8 or different in essential hull form.

The only downside to buying a Ribcraft is the dubious "added value" of a couple of grand in shipping charges.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Alternate boats?? Thanks in advance.

Nick
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Old 05 September 2001, 13:40   #2
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I have some experience of towing a rib behind a sailing boat, in my case it was a 5.4m rib with a 40hp engine, which is admittedly a little larger than you suggest.

We towed behind a 39ft Freedom schooner.

In light and moderate conditions (up to force 5/6) it was well behaved and proved to be a relatively marginal hindrance to progress.

Above this level of wind strength, things became rather exciting and I would hesitate to recommend the experience to anyone. In the absence of some sort of drogue or sea anchor towed from the rib, even on a long tow, the rib would surf down and overtake following seas, and several times looked as if it would rather have been in the cockpit with us than following meekly behind!

In a strong f7 regularly gusting f8, tremendous strain was put on the towing attachments to the rib and it began to look as if we may lose it altogether and if a drogue had been towed to make the rib follow in a better behaved manner, the strains would have been greatly magnified. As it was, a bowline tied in the towing warp could only be untied by beating it open with a hammer.

The only way to ensure safety for both boats was to drop a driver into the rib and drop the tow.

We were fortunate to have crew who were competent and confident in both types of vessel which enabled us to take that course of action, it will only be a matter of time, I am sure, before you encounter those types of condition.

The boats you are considering are only a little smaller and I feel sure would present similar difficulties.

Our work forced us into towing the rib and given the same circumstances and adequate experienced crew, I would tow a rib behind a sailing boat again but it is not something to be undertaken lightly.
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Old 05 September 2001, 15:20   #3
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Hi there

Just a thought from someone with absolutely NO experience of this type of thing.

How about a 4m inflatable that could easily be stowed (folded) onboard the larger boat and taken out when needed?

Keith Hart
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Old 06 September 2001, 03:18   #4
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Quicksilver do a 4.3m inflatable that will take a 25hp outboard.

See:

http://www.barrus.co.uk/cgi-bin/shop...il&prod_id=237

This was built for rescue services, it holds up to 8 people, and it could be folded away and stowed thereby eliminating the problems of towing.

Okay it's a bit smaller than you wanted but they only take about 15 minutes to get ready for the water from being completely packed away.

Would this be a compromise worth considering?

Keith Hart
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Old 06 September 2001, 05:21   #5
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Nick

I don't think that there would be much difference between towing a 4.2 or 4.8m RIB. In good conditions they will both be fine, in heavy weather they will both be a liability!

There are a couple of RIBs available that can be dismantled and stored aboard, but they are much smaller than you are looking for. For example the CARgoCRAFT is a clever design, but it's only 2.7m long. Henshaw make the Tinker Foldaway RIB which is a very cool little boat, but again its only 2.75m.

If you decide not to tow a RIB, then the next best thing would probably be the Zodiac Futura Fastroller MkIII which is 4.7m long. It has an inflatable floor so it is easy to assemble -- you won't want an inflatable with rigid floorboards if you're going to assemble it on deck! The ride won't be as good as a RIB, but it would make a reasonable compromise.

John
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Old 06 September 2001, 12:13   #6
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US made RIB's

<web site address corrected! John Kennett>

For a US nade RIB that might fit your needs, have a word with Ocean Technical Services in New Orleans. They build a range of RIb,s along the lines of the type that you are looking for.
Tel 504 364 1572
Fax 504 362 5949
www.oceantech.com
Good luck Chris
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Old 06 September 2001, 12:32   #7
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towing a rib

I agree completely about the potential risks of towing in very rough (especially following seas) conditions. I almost lost my Zodiac MK II years ago while sailing down the Pacific coast. It, too surfed up beside the sailboat and a few times did 360 degree spins (there was no outboard attached).

Good feedback on my question. I'm reluctant to get another pure inflatable. Once in a rib its hard to go back. Thanks everyone for suggestions. I'll keep thinking.
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