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Old 10 November 2018, 16:33   #1
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Ribcraft 6.8 or 5.85

Hi all,
I'm looking to purchase either a Ribcraft 5.85 or 6.8, going to be used in the South West mainly with some trips away. Main use will be leisure for 2-4 people and a bit of diving and fishing. Also be nice mohave the capacity to seat 6 occasionally.
I like the idea of the 6.8 for the added room but the 5.85 is a little lighter so I could tow it behind my Transporter T5 camper without having to use my Discovery.
Look forward to all your views?
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Old 10 November 2018, 17:47   #2
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Originally Posted by Pipster100 View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking to purchase either a Ribcraft 5.85 or 6.8, going to be used in the South West mainly with some trips away. Main use will be leisure for 2-4 people and a bit of diving and fishing. Also be nice mohave the capacity to seat 6 occasionally.

I like the idea of the 6.8 for the added room but the 5.85 is a little lighter so I could tow it behind my Transporter T5 camper without having to use my Discovery.

Look forward to all your views?


I used to Navajo a 585, loved it
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Old 10 November 2018, 17:48   #3
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For me, if I had bought the 5.85 I would always think I should have bought the 6.8. People rarely regret going larger. I have a 6.3m Humber and would like an 8m ...
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Old 10 November 2018, 18:20   #4
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I'm not sure if anyone on here has owned both to give you a long time comparison?

I have no sea keeping complaints with my 6.8 but not been on lots of ribs the same size to compare.

I've never been on a 5.85 other than sitting on its trailer and seen a few about, it is a much smaller boat than the meter (ish) would suggest as the 6.8 is wider too giving you substantially more room.

I'd think 6 people on a 585 occasionally would be comfy but fine (not with a Suzuki 140 though which is popular on them) and 6 on a 6.8 isn't an issue with decent seating arrangement.

If you are building new I would strongly advise not to buy any 4 cylinder engine for the 6.8, it is a heavy boat.

Ribcraft like Suzuki so you will probably be given the option on the 6.8 of 200 4 pot (avoid I would say) or 225/250 v6, I'd go that way if Suzuki is your bag. Ideally I'd want a mercury/suzuki v6 250 or v8 mercury on it but depends on your dealer support and what deal you can get.

If a new 585 I'd want nothing but a mercury 150 on it.

Happy shopping!
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Old 10 November 2018, 19:50   #5
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Originally Posted by Pipster100 View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking to purchase either a Ribcraft 5.85 or 6.8, going to be used in the South West mainly with some trips away. Main use will be leisure for 2-4 people and a bit of diving and fishing. Also be nice mohave the capacity to seat 6 occasionally.

I like the idea of the 6.8 for the added room but the 5.85 is a little lighter so I could tow it behind my Transporter T5 camper without having to use my Discovery.

Look forward to all your views?


I tow my 545 with a T6 camper & it handles it no problem. The 585 should be ok depending on the weight & setup. You might struggle with a 6.8 & appropriate engine on a T5, you also have to consider the launching & recovery, towing is the easy bit. Id echo what Xk59D says re. Engines, the 585 needs a large displacement 150 as a minimum, I had a 175 2stroke on mine & with 4 divers & kit it wasnt overpowered. DO NOT put the Suzuki 140 on it, regardless of what anyone tries to tell you to the contrary.
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Old 10 November 2018, 19:55   #6
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6 seat 585 with a Suzy 140
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Old 10 November 2018, 20:01   #7
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My 8 seat 6.8 as comparison-
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Old 11 November 2018, 04:16   #8
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If it was me I'd be getting the larger of the two. You have the ability to use, tow and store and you really will want larger then 5.85 with that number on regularly.
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Old 11 November 2018, 04:56   #9
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Not Apache on the 6.8m though...

I've driven loads of 5.8's and they are really good Boats...but the difference of a metre in the 6.8 is the biggest difference in any RIB range I've tried...really is a different animal...

It is not only a lot bigger/beamier it also has a deeper V (even taking in the size differential) more like an oversized 545.

Is a lot heavier and therefore very firmly Planted...and really self assured in all conditions...the same Matrix build.. But the whole thing is just tuned and Beefed up....with a lot more space....Larger Tank which gives you longer Legs..what's not to like?
Down side?...The 6.8 is the thick end of 2000kg and needs a decent tow vehicle and Trailer....more storage/ mooring space /fees and obviously more power ..although the actual running costs difference ...with a well balanced RIG aren't too much at all
If you can go 6.8!
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Old 11 November 2018, 07:18   #10
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Ribcraft 6.8 or 5.85

All true re. 585 v 6.8. BUT the OP wants to tow it with a T5 camper conversion in the South West (Cornwall/Devon??) having had plenty of genuine on the road first hand experience of towing with a T6 204ps DSG 4motion, I think the OP will struggle with the 6.8. The 545 /T6 combo is enough @ 12.4m long IMO. Just sayin
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Old 11 November 2018, 11:15   #11
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6.8m. Simple.
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Old 11 November 2018, 11:51   #12
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Hi all,
Thanks for all the comments, my T5 is the Sportline so is powerful enough but I agree with your comments that as it's only 2wd would struggle on certain slipways. I'd normally tow with my Discovery but would be a nice option to head away occasionally with my van and the RIB. I'll be keeping the boat at home as only live 10mins away from the slip I normally use so the Disco would be the main tow car.
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Old 11 November 2018, 15:05   #13
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A friend of mine had a terrible time on the slipway with his T5 and his new 6.5m Humber.
But it should have no problem pulling a 6.8m on the road.
If as you say you would like to take the boat and camper away occasionally, then why not just ask the yard to launch your boat using their vehicle?
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Old 11 November 2018, 15:32   #14
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On my current trailer (Indespension super rollercoaster) that I use for my hard boat I've fitted an ATV winch, battery box etc, to haul the boat on, I've also setup a duel charger, same setup as caravans use so as I'm towing the trailer, the battery gets charged backup or is kept topped up. So much easier than winching a heavy boat by hand and generally only just have to get the back axle wet during recovery. I was thinking that I could have a reverse setup so the which would be mounted forwards and be used to pull/lower the trailer down a slipway from the van being parked static as an anchor. My current winch has a rolling pull of 1500kg with 15m of rope (synthetic so no rusty wire and kept covered for UV protection) and can be powered in/out or freewheel, just a thought, the engineer in me is also thinking of a turning block setup so the winch could be used to pull the boat on then the trailer up the slip.....Think I'm complicating things!!
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Old 11 November 2018, 15:39   #15
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I've done that very thing but 1500kg winch is not ideal imo, it is slooooooooooooooow. (I have one on front of boat to winch it onto trailer and I have winched whole rig up slip before, better with a rope imo if you have space.

If you are not wanting to commit to the towing with the disco i would get the 585 or another 6.5m which is lighter.
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Old 11 November 2018, 16:24   #16
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If I did go for a 585 then it should still be a more seaworthy and capable RIB than a Ribeye 650? I'm open to all your views, if you wanted something around the 6.5m mark but lighter than a Ribcraft 6.8 and a budget of say 25K what would you look at?
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Old 11 November 2018, 16:41   #17
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If I did go for a 585 then it should still be a more seaworthy and capable RIB than a Ribeye 650?

Im not sure that is true. There probably are conditions and particular boats and set ups where that would be true, but 65cm is a lot of boat length and in some conditions that is going to provide a more comfortable ride.

Whether ribeye is the value for money solution the rest of your post alluded to might be another question again!
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Old 11 November 2018, 16:43   #18
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What does your T5 tow?

I launched and recovered my 6.8 many times with a manual remapped (200hp) 2.0 nissan xtrail, I purposely turned off 4wd most times to let tyres spin, cheaper than a clutch! But it is very dependant what your slip is like.

Whilst the xtrail towed it legally you always knew it was there and dreaded traffic on a hill, ultimately that is why I changed out of it. But the car never let me down, just keep revs up.

If you are only using the van occasionally to tow it and assuming you choose slip carefully I know fact 2wd worked for me, but I had to remap the car, any long hill meant 3rd gear and leave it there spun up to high rpm, remap helped a lot, your T5 maybe different ofcourse.

However, with a budget of 25k you will find a good 585, you will struggle to find a good 6.8, you dont see many for sale period.

On the ribeye 650 VS 585, I can't compare sea keeping. I would never buy a ribeye though but for different reasons.

Your best bet maybe Last Tango on here, he has been on my 6.8, our friends ribeye 650 and he owns a coastline 6.5, maybe he can help you with a comparison. I do know both these boats are circa 400-500kg lighter.

Redbay 6.1 maybe good compromise or commit to towing a 6.8 if you can find one with your disco/be careful with t5
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Old 11 November 2018, 16:48   #19
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If I did go for a 585 then it should still be a more seaworthy and capable RIB than a Ribeye 650? I'm open to all your views, if you wanted something around the 6.5m mark but lighter than a Ribcraft 6.8 and a budget of say 25K what would you look at?


Im not sure about that. Any 6.5m RiB will be able to handle more punishment than youre prepared to take. Accepted wisdom is theres no substitute for length, & in this size of boat, 0.7m is a fairly substantial size increase. If you need the extra space without the weight (Ive no idea what the weight differences are btw) Id certainly consider the Ribeye, or any other lightweight 6.5m RIB for that matter( I never thought Id type that)
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Old 11 November 2018, 17:00   #20
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Cheers for the views all, I wasn't meaning to slag Ribeye off, I've spent many a happy hr in a friends and it's a great boat, the downside that I find, is with it's fixed seating arrangement (and not much option to modify), we cant really dive with 4 people out of it very easily. My T5 has 180 HP and is designed for a payload of 3200kg so first and second gear are fairly low ratios.
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