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Old 01 March 2007, 16:43   #1
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Small RIBs

Forgive me if this has been answered before. I am thinking of a small (3-4m) RIB for scuba diving for 3-4 people. My experience up to now is with hard boats or large (5m+) RIBs. I found the Honda range with inflatable floors but then the data got too much and I'm drowning in all the marketing BS and "we're the best" nonsense. Does anyone have any real experience with this type of boat? Are they too small to be any use? Any recommendations of something to look at?

Thanks everyone in advance.

Chris
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Old 01 March 2007, 16:47   #2
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I had an avon 3.4 supersport or seasport? one of the two anyway.
Tiller control with a yamaha 25hp. It was full up with 4 people and no gear so 2 divers and gear is probably about the limit.
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Old 01 March 2007, 16:53   #3
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Thanks Jizm, that's not a good start

Lets settle on 3 people - two diving and one up top to boat handle then - the four is too optimistic.

Chris

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Old 01 March 2007, 16:56   #4
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An SR4 with a tiller steer outboard would be a better bet.
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Old 01 March 2007, 16:59   #5
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An SR4 with a tiller steer outboard would be a better bet.

I concur

My 4.8m RIB with me and 4 divers with associated equipment is just about it.
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Old 01 March 2007, 17:08   #6
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Thanks guys, I'm back where I started You just get that little bit more spec. every time you look I guess the small boat is really a no-go.

Chris
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Old 01 March 2007, 18:08   #7
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4.5 to 5 is the comfort-max in my opinion!

SS
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Old 01 March 2007, 18:33   #8
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Don't buy the inflatable floor Honda for diving . Its a great little boat but the air floor will bounce your gear everywhere . There is no good way to lash gear down , ok for soft beach gear but not diving kit .

The bigest Honda 4.2 (and similar other makes ) with an alloy floor takes 30+ horses and is good value , but like me you will end with it on a trailer , as even a transit van isn't big enough with all that gear , so just as well get a rib or hard boat and chuck it all in before you leave home .
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Old 01 March 2007, 19:09   #9
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I have had 4 divers and a driver in a 4M before but you had to kit up on shore climb in stradle the tubs and then drive out to the dive site. I wouldn't want to do this for any more then a 1/4 mile and in calm conditions. I would normally dive 2 divers and a driver with 4 tanks all the time though. So it's do able.
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Old 01 March 2007, 20:00   #10
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Originally Posted by ian parkes View Post
Don't buy the inflatable floor Honda for diving . Its a great little boat but the air floor will bounce your gear everywhere . There is no good way to lash gear down , ok for soft beach gear but not diving kit .

The bigest Honda 4.2 (and similar other makes ) with an alloy floor takes 30+ horses and is good value , but like me you will end with it on a trailer , as even a transit van isn't big enough with all that gear , so just as well get a rib or hard boat and chuck it all in before you leave home .

I agree with staying with a hard floor if you are carrying anything like diving gear.

I inflate and deflate my zodiac with each use and it's really not that much hassle. By myself it takes about 15 minutes to set up, and if another person is with me, about 10-12 minutes.
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Old 01 March 2007, 20:51   #11
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I guess the small boat is really a no-go.
Chris I don't entirely agree with what some of the guys are saying. Since I don't know much about you, I don't know if what I'm about to say is at all appropriate.

Let me start by saying that I have been diving for 33 years, and in that time, I have logged about 3500 dives, the vast majority of it on wrecks in the Great Lakes. For the past 25 years, it has mostly been from my own boat. I believe that "any" boat is better than no boat. So buy the best you can afford, and adjust to it. (The first boat I ever dove from was a canoe! I sucked, but it beat swimming!)

My first inflatable was a Zodiac Mk II Compact. It was 12.5' long with a 25HP Merc. We regularly dove 4 guys from it without a problem, although we all suited up before we left the dock. It was "perfect" for two.

The second boat was a Zodiac Mark II Futura (14') with a 40. It was a dream boat for 2-4 divers. We regularly made full day expeditions in it covering long distances.

The third boat was a Hurrican Mk III RIB... 16' of pure bliss... although it had less useable space than the Futura due to the jockey console. But it was ideal for 2 divers and a tender, and the comfort was unbelievable compared to the soft bottoms.

My forth (and probably last power boat) is a Hurricane 590... It's absolutely perfect for what I use it for. Ironically, of all of those guys I dove with in the early years, only one still dives. Since he owns a dive shop, I rarely dive with him, so most of the time, I have this 6m boat all to myself, along with my tender/SO. Oddly, I never seem to have enough space in this boat. Your "stuff" will swell to fit the boat you have... because it can!

Anyway, my point is that whatever boat I had at the time was the best boat EVER! I'm sure if someone offered me a larger Hurricane, I would love it, but it would get tough to pull.

So my advice is to find the best boat you can and get out and use it. If you wait until you find your "perfect" boat, you'll inevitably miss a lot of those perfect days when the water is smooth, the sun is shining and all is right in the world!
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Old 01 March 2007, 22:01   #12
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Some words there Stoo! Thanks for the advise.... Ive been debating the size thing too for weeks now. I have reached the conclusion that no bigger than a 15hp and a 11' dinghy that way I dont need another trailer and can just rest in on top of the bed of my pick up truck hanging back. Lay the engine on its side on a rubber mat. Still be able to pick it up and launch it with my girlfriend without being too heavy.

The 25hp is too heavy for me to be picking up all the time from my truck bed back and forth after each use,,,and its more expensive than a 15hp. Any bigger than a 11' dinghy would have to be deflated to transport in the cargo bed and inflated every time to use or require a trailer.

Still 99% of the time it will be me and another person in it....those rare days that we are 3 or 4 diving Ill manage.

Part of having aboat is being savy. No mater what boat u have there is always something that can be perfected, and there's where our experience and ingenuity in the water comes in.

"If you wait until you find your "perfect" boat, you'll inevitably miss a lot of those perfect days when the water is smooth, the sun is shining and all is right in the world! " By: Stoo
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Old 02 March 2007, 03:30   #13
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Seach 'SIBs' in this forum there has been quite a bit of discussion on this previously.

I've used an 11' zodiac Mark I for a nuber of years. For 2 people with things for a day outing covering short distances (where you only need 1-2 20 liter tanks), it's reasonably comfortable. With diving gear, you'd be really, really pushing that comfort envelope.

Is it possible to rent an inflatable of this size where you are for a day so you bring all of the gear that you can envision wanting to take?

The difference in performance of a 15 hp to a 25 hp on a boat of this size is HUGE. A carb'd 2 stroke 25 hp shouldn't weigh more than 105 lbs - but you may have to get one used thanks to the EPA.

Speaking of which don't discount the used market. You may come across a used hypalon SIB in near new condition for about the same price or even less than a new PVC SIB! I purchased a Zodiac Mark II (13'9") Grand Raid ( hypalon) this fall that is in great condition for less than $ 1000 CDN through Ebay.

Having a pickup truck rather than a car will make a big difference for convenience of loading and unloading. Be sure to get some high quality pneumatic launching wheels - they are worth their weight in gold! You can also get a folding lightweight swivelling hand crane that you can quickly put on or take off your back bumper.

Between this and the lauching wheels, you could get away with a much larger foldable boat and motor with no additional lifiting required on your part and no need for a trailer. With the crane, you can;

A) Lower the folded SIB from the pickup bed to the ground and inflate it (with a high speed 12v air pump such as a Bravo turbo Max). Install the launching wheels on the transom.

B) Lower the outboard directly onto the transom. When done with the crane simply lift if off the bumper mount (the crane is about 50 lbs) and lay it in the pickup bed.

I'll try to find a link to the hand crane I'm referring to.
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Old 02 March 2007, 03:55   #14
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bumper cranes;

the Spitzlift (pictured below) only weighs 27 lbs.

http://www.spitzlift.net/

http://www.stoaway.com/photoalbum.php

http://www.westernmule.com/bumper_cranes/a_bumper.html
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Old 02 March 2007, 11:30   #15
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I inflate and deflate my zodiac with each use and it's really not that much hassle. By myself it takes about 15 minutes to set up, and if another person is with me, about 10-12 minutes.
That's funny... Usually when I have help, it takes longer.

jky
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Old 02 March 2007, 12:42   #16
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Sometimes when I have 'help' it takes me longer too.
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Old 02 March 2007, 12:43   #17
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So my advice is to find the best boat you can and get out and use it. If you wait until you find your "perfect" boat, you'll inevitably miss a lot of those perfect days when the water is smooth, the sun is shining and all is right in the world!
I don't think it could be put better
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Old 02 March 2007, 12:51   #18
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I don't think it could be put better
Agreed. Although here in Manitoba, we have 6 months to find/modify the perfect boat, then 6 months to play with it and see what might need further perfecting during the subsequent off season.
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Old 02 March 2007, 12:55   #19
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Sometimes when I have 'help' it takes me longer too.
I should expand on that a bit. If you are with someone who has set up/taken down the boat with you a few times, it is remarkable how much more efficient the 2 of you become at it.
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Old 02 March 2007, 14:35   #20
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Thanks everyone for all this info. It has been a very big help. You have made me feel very welcome on here.

Chris
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