I thought that I would share some experiences in bringing back to life a Ribtec 585 from last year to this summer.
One of my best mates bought a Ribtec a few years back and I fell in love with the boats back then, the way it handled the seas, the ride so smooth and sitting high on the waves and also giving a really dry ride meant I was always a fan. A few years later I bought a Ribeye Playtime 600 expecting it the be the same, sadly it was not, the ride harsh and although I actually really loved that boat in the end and had it for a few years it never got me like my mates ribtec 585 did.
Whilst looking on ebay last summer I stumbled across this 585 with Honda 90 in need of TLC! It turned out it was the ex works rib of Berthon in Lymington so had a very hard life! I spoke with Bethon before the purchase and they advised me the boat was really tatty but hull very sound however the engine had seen better days and had huge hours.
The boat had sat idle for a few years in the yard and the engine needed a lot of work so they sold it on. I eventually bought the boat and the engine was running quite well on muff when I collected it so I thought I had a bargain at £3,500.
My original plan was to get the tubes patched up by Ribshop, lots of black patches to contrast with the Red and possibly a new console or respray the old one and sell it on for a small profit but enjoy running about in it for a couple of months… that didn’t quite goto plan!
I put her in the water and eventually got the engine going although it kept dying as soon as a gear was selected and ended up abandoning the first sea trial. I then had the carbs cleaned out, everything fully serviced, fuel tank emptied and clean fuel running through and tried again but still the engine was pretty sick, but now running just about OK.
Next issue was the tubes. They were not holding air at all, overnight they were flat so I was now really battling with what to do, sell it on again and cut my losses or start looking at rebuilding options… I always liked the layout of the Ribeye Playtime 600 so I wanted to see the costs to reproduce this look in the Ribtec, to see if this was feasible and the costs I picked up the phone to Ribeye
I was in luck they had some old stock but new Triple Jockey seats and a used oddessey console that were going at a good price so I bought them…. and started the journey!
Next was the tubes, I knew the tubes needed to be replaced at this point and with the reputation Henshaw have I knew it had to be them. I went with a lovely blue colour with contrasting wear patches and wanted the rubbing strake in grey not black again as wanted contrast.
I have used Ribshop and Keiron and the team there have always really looked after me so I entrusted him with the fitment of the new tubes console and jockey seats and also to re-paint the floor in the same style as the new Ribtecs with the two tone colours.
Over about a month around Christmas time the work was done at Ribshop and I couldn’t have been happier. The flooring was painted, new console and seats fitted, this rib did not have the underfloor fuel tank so a new fuel tank was fitted into the console.
At this point I knew that we had given new life to a boat I had always wanted to own but the engine was playing hard on my mind, I knew it was a weak link in this new set up. I started looking on some of the sites and found a used Honda 90 which was only 2 years old but was one of the ex harbour master engines from the Hamble. I was told the hours were about 1000 but serviced every 3 months and came with a 6 month warranty… I bit the bullet and bought one of them and they fitted it together with a new set of gauges, dials and a new control box to the Ribtec, a friend of mine also manufactures carbon fibre and he made and fitted a new dash panel which completed the build! I sold the old engine for quite a good price for spares or repair on gumtree.
All of the wiring was replaced, new battery, new nav lights, new bilge pump and pretty much anything else that needed replacing was replaced... the only bit left really of the old boat was the hull... and what a damn fine hull it is!
I put the rib for sale at the start of last summer when it was unused and the tubes had not even been in the water as hoped that would be the best chance of getting my money back. The phone rung quite quickly and I took her out on a test drive, 4 adults and 3 children up I was a little worried how she would perform, I shouldn’t have worried the Honda 90 was so torquey she just popped on the plane. It turned out that guy was a tyre kicker.. or tube kicker in this case and didn’t have the funds but now she was in the water I started using her, not too much but for the odd trip to Cowes and just fell in love again with this hull, so soft riding and she went really well with the Honda 90.
I had just about decided to keep her and not sell her when an opportunity presented itself to buy a Cobra 7.55. I had one a few years ago and a tatty one came on the market in need of TLC and the deal was too good to turn down. This meant the Ribetc needed to be sold. I enlisted the help of Jaykay Marine on Hayling and after a stunning sunset trip to Hayling from the Hamble she was put for sale again. After about a month I got a call that she was sold and off to a new home in Chichester Marina.
This was my first rib rebuild experience and although Ribshop did most of the work and did an awesome job as always I still feel quite proud to have saved a 585 from rotting in a boatyard somewhere and look forward to seeing her on the water.
I have just completed the work on the 7.55 and will be keeping this one long term but in a funny way still miss the 585… a really cracking boat and the new owners have an awesome set-up. Because it was sold through a broker I don’t have contact with the new owners but if they are on this forum please say hi! In terms of costs, I just about broke even on the project, I would have been slightly up if I gave up earlier on the old Honda 90 and sold it for Spares or Repairs when I first got the boat instead of throwing some good money after bad at it!
Sorry for rambling but hope you enjoyed reading and some pictures below!!