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Old 03 January 2015, 21:32   #1
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Rigging your own RIB

Hi,

I am thinking of buying an open hull and add my own engine, seat and center console. How hard would this be for someone with modest skills? What are the tricky parts?

I saw some youtube video of guys drilling and routing holes on fiberglass and it doesn't look too hard (to my untrained eyes ...)
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Old 04 January 2015, 02:33   #2
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I would rate fitting a boat out at advanced skills with plenty of fabrication experience. It may look easy, but there is far more to it. Also takes a lot of tools.

Depending on engine you will probably need some type of hoist. Experience with 12 volt marine wiring for corrosion resistance. Setting up and ordering the correct length steering cable along with throttle cable. Locating the proper position for the console, which may not be centered and fore and aft position will need to be determined. Drilling fiberglass is not just grabbing a regular drill bit and going. There are tricks and using the proper cut of bit helps. Simple tricks like using blue take to project the hull may seem intuitive to many, but if you haven't done it before the tricks still need to be learned.

Sorry not trying to kill the idea, as I am an avid DIY person, but having seen so many vehicles screwed up by their owners trying to save a buck, I am now more leary of just saying "Go for it!" Watch more videos as that is a great way to learn, and be realistic with your own fabrication skills. Just remember, NOTHING just bolts in....EVER! Things will always need to be massaged and made to fit.
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Old 04 January 2015, 05:50   #3
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Things will always need to be massaged and made to fit.

Never a truer word spoken
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Old 04 January 2015, 11:28   #4
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Go for it, after all we all started somewhere. A decent garage to work inside is a bonus and good hand plus power tools.

Oh and a wealth of knowledge on here
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Old 04 January 2015, 13:08   #5
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rigging

Quote:
Originally Posted by ba_fisher View Post
Hi,

I am thinking of buying an open hull and add my own engine, seat and center console. How hard would this be for someone with modest skills? What are the tricky parts?

I saw some youtube video of guys drilling and routing holes on fiberglass and it doesn't look too hard (to my untrained eyes ...)
I stripped out an Avon SR4 (deluxe - with sport seats) and re-rigged from scratch, converting it to a work boat configuration with jockey console. You learn as you go along.
I have photos of various stages if you are interested.
The internet will provide all the tech. info. you require, not to mention the wealth of expertise here in Ribnet.
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Old 04 January 2015, 14:11   #6
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Firefly, nice work! This gives me more confidence.

By the way, I found a 20hp motor that's pretty light (106hp) and can be attached to the boat without drilling:

2015 Suzuki 20 HP DF20ARL Outboard Motor - Outboard Motors

And it's only $2633 with free shipping. Gear shift box is included. Manual start, so fewer wires to worry about.

It's manual tilt, thought. Would this be a problem?

The power tilt one is 120lb and $700 more.
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Old 05 January 2015, 02:30   #7
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Wait, are you talking about finishing out a dingy? (I was thinking more like a 5+ meter boat.)

FWIW, I can not imagine a console boat without electric start...make that even a tiller too. I converted mine to electric start and it makes life so much easier.

Trim is not a big deal on a small boat. I have manual trim. On a bigger boat/outboard power trim is something I would consider a requirement.
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Old 05 January 2015, 07:35   #8
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I've completely rebuilt by Zodiac 530 pro (well, nearly finished). The only original parts are the hull and a frame, which was in sound condition (well, 95%) and just need a bit of a light sand and polish, the odd scratch filled and some cracks in the gel coat around the transom ground out and reinforced/repaired.

Jobs have involved:-

-Fill scratches and polish hull (plus new stick on stripes) contrasting flow coat on keel to look smarter
-Source and locate new console. I added additional storage compartments and shelves by glassing in ply sections, then painted inside.
-Make new seat cushions
-fit new 115 Merc engine. I had to fit the smartcraft sensors to the engine
-new hydraulic steering
-new gps/sonar, vhf, gauges (smartcraft) controls, cables lighting and wiring
-new deck paint
-repair transom returns (an odd design on the pro, but very strong)
-run under deck trunking (2" suction pump with custom deck flanges)
-extend A-frame to clear engine for cowl removal

All in all, it will eat about 200 hours, give or take. As said, there is always more to it and having to buy bits, trial fit, then measure, then buy the next bits has slowed progress. Having a shop full of stuff near by would have helped.

As for my competencies, I'm a Mechanical Engineer and very experienced DIYer. I have a decent workshop with torque tools, welding, drilling and turning capabilities, which have all been used. Nothing has been that difficult, but there has been a lot to do. Its the little things like having to make a lifting attachment to get the engine off of the pallet as the Merc workshop part is 180. I think mine was better too! This website has also been very useful.

All in all, it is definitely possible, but don't underestimate the time and money required.

Phil M
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Old 05 January 2015, 08:07   #9
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The great thing about rigging and setting up a boat yourself is that you known the weak points if there are any. you also know your way around your boat to sort out any problems

TSM
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