How to sell (not!) a Rib
Had an amazing day at Ribex Saturday! Thanks to Hugo for putting it all together.
Thanks to the Jackeens for collecting me from Warsash, and to Coastline Ribs for a very high speed run back via Lymington at the end of the day.
Great to meet some of you, but hard to link faces, names and on-line persona! I am bad enough linking faces to one name let alone two. Any chance, John, of adding photos to members profiles so that we newbies have a chance of working out who is who! Tim Griffin, Simmons0, Hightower were RIBnetters I particularly remember, but I know there were others. Please email or PM me if I have forgotten you.
After a pleasant drink on arrival, and with regrets that I could not meet more RIBnet members....it was to business as I wanted to purchase (as some you are probably by now drearily aware of!) a 6.5M. I had down as my short list Parker, Coastline and Solent, diesel or 150 Optimax. Another possibility was also exhibiting, and I was open to other manufacturers.
Agree with comments that the land based show was lame. But there were lots of Ribs in the water!!!!!!! Just what I wanted…..
My over-riding reaction was that manufacturers and salesmen could make it an easier and more pleasant experience to be a buyer! A number of people there were more keen to chat to friends, existing clients, ogle the orange cat suits etc, rather than help a newbie buy a boat. Perhaps somehow I didn’t look as though as I had £20-£25k to spend! In that, they would agree with my bank manager!!
In particular, one manufacturer promised a trip back to Warsash at 5pm as part of the demo of his boat, and then let me down at 4.45pm saying he did not have enough fuel left but I could go out for a 10 minute spin “if I wanted to”. Needless to say I did not bother.
Another broker took me out in a rib that was ill-equipped for the Solent, and was frankly terrifying. Even though he did not run it at full throttle, it slammed down hard in the modest chop, eventually disgorging its rather nice cushions into the water! Without hand holds and with a curvy bench seat, I was genuinely frightened!
Some of the boats looked poorly put together compared with the competition. Also, the foreign manufactured ‘kit’ boats with their preformed deck / console / seat configuration looked less robust and workmanlike than the UK ‘cottage industry’ competition.
Some of the salesmen talked down to you when you asked ‘stupid’ questions, and used jargon without any translation for the ‘ordinary’ buyer. One manufacturer who I had hoped to trial had a number of his large complement of boats in an apparently semi-finished state, and was too busy to help effectively. Another had filled holes on his boat, clearly having just removed diving racks for the show.
Probably the worst offender, with whom I had previously been in email communication, was never actually at his boat! Either he presumably was chin wagging or glugging somewhere, and hoped his boat would sell on its own!
Enough of the rogue’s gallery. My shortlist of three were all exhibiting, and all treated me brilliantly. Thanks, guys!
I am going to a post later to ask for help on making a decision between the three. You will all be (vastly) relieved that I hope to put in an order this week, and hope to remain good friends with the inevitably two unsuccessful manufacturers. Frankly, I would be thrilled to own a Rib from any of you, and am very pleased that Ribex has helped confirm the views gleaned from magazines, emails, visits and the correspondence on RIBnet that one out of Solent, Coastline and Parker is for us.
Finally, I have to say that the big cabbined RIBs from Parker (9M) and Coastline (8.3M) were truly lustworthy (on a par with the orange catsuits).
Anyone who wants a comment on the latter which I went out on and the crazy high speed run from Lymington to Warsash, please PM or email me. Sadly, it is out of my price / experience / feasibility bracket. But… wow! …perhaps the boat after this one!