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Old 28 March 2002, 07:22   #1
Country: UK
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 2
Small rib advice


My first post how exciting

I am planning on changing my boat in the next couple of months and would like some advice please.

I currently have an Orkney spinner great for fishing but slow as hell, my previous boat was a yam inflatable which was stable and fast but lack of seats made for some uncomfortable passages.

The inflatable gave a reassuringly safe trip in most sea conditions so I am now looking towards either another inflatable or a small rib. My budget is not great (around £5000 inc engine) so I have narrowed my choices down to the following makes and models:

Zodia Futura S mkII 420
Valiant Vanguard 400

I don’t really want an engine much bigger than a 25hp. Looking at Suzuki and Mercury. My old yam had a merc 15hp 2 stroke and was perfect, but I am considering a 4 stroke this time (so we can actually talk while under way with out going horse!)

The craft will only be used by two/three adults most of the time and will be mainly used for leisure (some diving) and fishing.

I would be grateful for any advice with the above boats, what are their sea keeping capabilities etc.

Thanks in advance,


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Old 28 March 2002, 15:52   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Worcestershire
Boat name: Not Yet Named
Make: Avon SR 4
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40 HP Yamaha Autolub
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 600
Hi Robert

Having gone through a similar process myself I thought I would answer your thread.

Given the choice between a Zodiac Futura and a Valaint 400 I would go for the Valiant every time. These are great little RIBs, and quite stable in most conditions. Probably not as good as an Avon Sea Rider- but almost certainly a better sea keeper than the Zodiac.

With regards to Engines, have you considered one of the Mariner Exchange Units?

These are ex-Service Engines - Lifeboat, Royal Navy etc - that have been refurbshed by Mariner, and come completely serviced and with a full 12 months warranty. A 25 HP engine will cost around £900 - £1000, leaving a good amount for the RIB.

If you ar looking for a dealer for the Valiants SAMSPEED Marine near Bristol are pretty good - and they usually have quite a lot of stock to look at - and a good few second hand RIBs as well.

Hope this helps


Carpe pm
GraemeCooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30 March 2002, 10:23   #3
Country: UK - England
Boat name: Won't get Fooled Again
Make: Ribtec
Length: 6.5
Engine: Honda 130
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 888

Listen to Graeme as his comments are coming from his air intake and not his exhaust.

You have to go an awful long way to beat an Avon especially in the 4 metre category.

There are plenty of bargains around if you look. If you are looking to buy seconhand the try and source a boat from somewhere that is landocked, you can guarantee that the engine won't have drunk much saltwater and that it is unlikely to have done many punishing hi speed runs for long periods of time.

There is plenty of advice in what to look for in a seconhand rib, and there ar e a lot of people with knowledge on this forum who will help you and your budget should get you a good boat.

Where are you based?
thewavehumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30 March 2002, 12:59   #4
Country: UK
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 2
Thanks guys for some really helpful feedback.

The forum seems to be packed with knowledgeable mariners.

I am based in Swansea, South Wales but do all my boating in Milford Haven and currently have moorings in Neyland.

I was chatting to some lifeboat men today and they kindly showed me around their (fully) inflatable boats. They were both Avons and both around 16 ft. One was powered with a 15hp and the other with a 40hp. The one with the 40hp had lots of kit in and averaged 18-20 knots. The 15hp had much less kit in and could match the performance with a crew of two.

Both boats used a tiller, the 40hp used dampers which made the steering extremely light.

Has anybody got any experience with using dampers on their outboard?

If I had the choice of wheel steering or tiller I would prefer tiller (lots more room in the boat).

I have always had a soft spot for Avon and as they all come with a ten year guarantee then you get the impression you are buying quality.

Since looking at the lifeboats I am swaying towards the Avon range now so I suppose that would include the w400 and the adventure open 400.

Graeme I know your boat is in a different class to what I am looking for but how do you find you Avon adventure.

Regarding buying second hand or new: I would prefer the boat to be new but am going to give a great deal of thought to the contract exchange models as the comfort of the 12 month warranty appeals (as does the increased cash available for the boat).


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Old 30 March 2002, 13:24   #5
Country: Finland
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 4
You said "Both boats used a tiller, the 40hp used dampers which made the steering extremely light. "

Sorry my English, I also use the tiller but what do you mean by "dampers" in this context? Do you mean those "wings"-like things you can attach to the outboard above the propeller? If yes, do they really help a lot...? They don't seem to be so expensive either....

tko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30 March 2002, 14:10   #6
Country: UK - England
Boat name: Won't get Fooled Again
Make: Ribtec
Length: 6.5
Engine: Honda 130
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 888

Know that we have you thinking Avon There is a few things to mention.

Firstly congratulations on coming from such a wonderful country!
If you are ever in Southampton then you are welcome to have a go on my Searider, providing you are qualified to RYA power 11 and you don't work for Claims Direct cos she is fast and feisty

Secondly, I now a lot of people (3 ) who have bought Avon's from lifeboatmen I think they buy them as personal craft because they trust them.

If you can try...... and get a commercial spec Avon as they are double tuff i.e loads of cladding on the tubes so they bounce off unfriendly pontoons, stronger hulls. I notice a commercial spec 4 metre is for sale on this website that is within your budget the vendor is

I personally believe you would be better of buying a good secondhand hull and a new/recoditoned engine. Another thing to bear in mind is that warranties on engines are usually transferable. I recently bought an 18 month old 15 HP Honda for a thousand pounds and it still had 3.5 years warranty left....and it had only ever been used on reservoirs... No it isn't for sale.

If you scan the relevant magazines you will also sometimes see special deals from dealers where they are selling 2001 model engines

If you want any to discuss any further than mail me at the and I'll send you my phone number

Happy sea riding
thewavehumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31 March 2002, 12:05   #7
Country: UK - England
Town: Great Harwood, Lancs
Boat name: Tigger II
Make: Bombardier Aerodeck
Length: 3m +
Engine: Tohatsu 25HP
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 626
Have a look at Caribe.

They do quite a few small RIB's from 2.8 up.
I have had one and while they are a bit of a shallow V and big tubes but are well built.

Look on Ploymarines web site or
for more info.

Regards Gary
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Old 31 March 2002, 15:58   #8
Country: UK - Wales
Town: Pwllheli-North Wales
Boat name: Delta 1
Make: Delta
Length: 6m +
Engine: Mariner 90hp Optimax
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,367

I would reccomend another YAM, I know where they may be one for sale for £6500. 50hp four stroke, 4.8metre.
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Old 04 April 2002, 05:09   #9
Country: UK - England
Town: Dartmouth
Boat name: Puffling
Make: Avon Searider 5.4m
Length: 5m +
Engine: 90hp Yamaha
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 374
Send a message via MSN to badbaws
I have an Avon Searider 4metre, this is thew 2nd one I have had, First one had side by side seats and this one has a console. I have been out in many boats of a similar size and as of yet have not found a better hull shape for sea worthiness and performance combined. By coincidence i am putting mine up for sale at £3500. It is all 1994 on a large trailer with framework arond the boat making launching easy. It has a 50 HP mercury ELPTT on the transom and tops out at 40 knots. I use it all year round so it is ready to use. Fuel economy is good and the boat is versatile for all watersports. There is a two man centre console, nav lights and tacho.I wet out with a couple of other boats from this site and we gave them a run for their was a 5.2 metre boat!! if you are interested then I can be contacted on 07789886620

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