Originally Posted by Oscarguitar
Does anyone have experience of Shearwater Ribs. A good friend is thinking of getting one, probably the 8.6m. Any things to look out for, good years, engine configurations, electrics, seating etc.
Any advice much appreciated.
As mentioned by others - we've got an 8.6 Shearwater and tend to use it in all conditions.
Ours has the Verado 275 on it, which we find great - they have a reputation for being thirsty - but that depends on how you drive them. When out with bigger boats I probably have a reputation for driving like a Granddad as I try to keep our cruising speed down to about 28 Kts - but by doing so in 2011 I averaged 1.37 Litres per nm over the 627nm of cruising where I logged the fuel accurately. You can cruise at 40 kts + but then the fuel bill will really hurt!
Originally I had reservations about the bolster seat configuration compared to jockeys, but in reality it works fine, and in fact in the rough (or wet weather) having room for three people against the bolster seat is good - especially with kids as they can get out of the wind.
The cabin is basic - but again it works. 90% of the time it's used for storage more than sleeping - but we've spent many nights on the boat, and with an extra cover fitted (£100 on e-bay) we've often slept 4 on board - 2 in the cabin, one on the large bow cushion and one on the floor at the back.
As for the ride - great in a head sea, but can be prone to stuffing in a big following sea - but in our experience not significantly more prone to stuffing than many other boats of similar length with outboards. I say that because if you compare it to similar length diesel ribs they have so much more weight at the back that they can ride more bow-up to prevent the nose clipping the front of the wave in front as you come down into a trough. We find that the cabin weight keeps the bow down a bit so you have to work harder to keep the nose up.
Feel free to pass on my details if your friends want to come out and try one.