My first RIB's a Ribquest LR5.8 with a Suzuki DF115TUL - took delivery (very happy boy) - June 2005 & the boat now has less than 100 hours on her.
Last weekend we were out both Saturday and Sunday off Bridlington & Flamborough in fantastic weather, but pretty choppy (Moderate) sea's. Cruising at about 18 - 25 knots where possible - it made for a couple of lively days out.
After one landing on Sunday PM there was a really loud & uncharactoristic bang. On stopping the boat, the immediate inspection didnt reveal any obvious damage however it felt like the steering was 'damped' throughout the rest of the run back - which was about 6 miles.
A steady run to safety ensued & on arrival back it was clear that all was not right & I immediately got the boat out of the water onto the trailer for a full inspection. The consul is a 2 piece unit & houses the 2 portable 22 litre fuel cans in the lower section, with the upper section accommodating the steering, electronic's, throttle set up etc. The consul set up is exactly as shown in the two images below. See :- http://www.ribquest.com/pages/boat_4.htm
The damage had occurred at the joining of these 2 sections with significant & clean breaking of the fixing points along both port & starboard sides for half the length of the consul seam from the aft point forward and a 4 - 5 inch crack below the joint at the front of the consul 'dry locker hatch' forward of the driving position on the front end of the consul.
With only slight back pressure on the steering wheel, (as a driver would exert through normal motion when driving in this sea state - the forward crack opened up to 5 mm and it was clear any further use of the boat, could end up with the upper half of the consul breaking away completely, leaving no fixed steering point or throttle control an incredibly dangerous situation especially with young kids on board. The sea state at the weekend was slight to moderate but more so moderate in the afternoon.
Ribquest have been informed and have requested the boat back for inspection / investigation - The boats to go back this Friday.
Has anyone else experienced this sort of issue with a ribquest consul or similar 2 piece consul ?
Ill post comments on how ribquest deal with the situ
.watch this space.