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Old 26 March 2008, 18:05   #1
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Surfer's Rib Towing

Hello Ribnetters :

Have a client who has been surf towing using a inflatable 380/25 HP sib for about a year. To offer towing services once on water to surfers the sib has to cross a corduroy sea of about 8 to 10 surf waves at a time with heights between 3 to 9 feet high depending on time of the year. Because of hard work abuse, time and extreme water condition use the last aluminum floor section that lies against the transom is beginning to bend so its lateral joiner that holds the other small aluminum stripes which makes a complete floor. The sib has 5 sections

Would like to know which of these two possibilities to use when rib entering corduroy waves, keep in mind that these waves are already rolled (white water) are not wall surf waves.

1-Just run through the wave with small, medium engine power, or
2-Run to the wave base, stop and once the boat has risen/fallen power the engine to the next wave and so on.

Have no experience whatsoever with ribs, just with sibs, would like to know if ribs are likely to experiment hull stress in this type of work. The recommended rib proposed to my client will be a 420/440 Rib with a Tohatsu 30/40 HP 2 strokes, short tail tiller handle. The rib will be use completely empty, so surfers will sit on the tubes and the surfboards will be placed inside the hull. The hull weight will be between 170 to 180 kilos for each version. Only 2 light budies will drive the rib through the surf with no passengers on board, passengers will be picked up once in the surf field.

Any ideas, experiences to perform well this towing services will be highly appreciated, some pics to have a clear idea of the service.

Happy Boating
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Old 26 March 2008, 18:11   #2
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Have a look at Zapcats or similar - they are well suited to this.

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Old 26 March 2008, 18:23   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
Have a look at Zapcats or similar - they are well suited to this.

The intention is not to jump, is to tow surfers once on water, besides already have the engines, a Zapcat will need a 50 HP engine, one big problem we have with sibs is that sand can be a real hazard literally rubbing off the fabric against the side joinners which is starting to happen, that's why a rib will be better compared, nothing to rub against on the interior and washable friendly.
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Old 27 March 2008, 03:17   #4
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Most surfers that want toe ins use a jet ski as easy to launch from beach and very manouverable and fast .
A rib would be harder to launch compared to a sib .
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Old 27 March 2008, 15:38   #5
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I reckon the most economical way to make use of the motors you have would be an air floor sib like the honda. Soft to land in too if it goes a bit wrong and no abrasion problems . The 3.8 is only about 900
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Old 27 March 2008, 17:30   #6
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Quote:
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Most surfers that want toe ins use a jet ski as easy to launch from beach and very manouverable and fast .
A rib would be harder to launch compared to a sib .
The problem with jet ski is that you can only tow one person at a time, is more expensive than a sib, eats gallons of gasoline which is expensive down here, costly to maintain/service. On the other hand a 420 rib can take as many as 6 surfers + captain including surfboards. You only need to cross once a day the corduroy waves, the rest of the time you are towing surfers at the back of the waves, the get out is a piece of cake, cruise behind the white water straight to the beach and onto the trailer.

Anyway thanks for the propossed water towing alternatives.

Still not answered thread: Do ribs have hull stress problems with waves.

Happy Boating
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Old 27 March 2008, 18:46   #7
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It all depends on how well the hull is built. Something like an old Avon will last for years no problem at all.
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Old 28 March 2008, 03:10   #8
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Quote:
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the get out is a piece of cake
Not if you entangle the prop with the tow line and stall the engine!

I guess you are talking about tow ins on >15ft waves so I really wouldn't want that on my head if the worst happened, let alone have to swim in if you did get one on the head.

I would think long and hard about the possible risk using a propped engine, of course jetskis don't have this risk and would be more suited IMHO.

Shaggy
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Old 28 March 2008, 03:34   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locozodiac View Post
The problem with jet ski is that you can only tow one person at a time, is more expensive than a sib, eats gallons of gasoline which is expensive down here, costly to maintain/service. On the other hand a 420 rib can take as many as 6 surfers + captain including surfboards.

Happy Boating
I am not sure it's a safe practice to do multiple toe ins as each surfer is picking their line and it is going to be congested surfers can wait on there boards beyond the break and then get picked up one at a time. A much safer way is the individual tow its only a short distance for the speed to get up surfer releases and you break for the shoulder on a ski no problems with a trailing line on a rib or sib if you don't recover line quick it could lead to a problems also you may need to acelerate hard to get out of trouble a ski is going to have that power over a rib and outboard .It's only my 2p worth but I think I would favour the ski over a rib or sib for tow ins.
Regards Tim
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Old 28 March 2008, 04:38   #10
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I use a surf cat for this very purpose in north devon and cornwall. I use a Ceasar SurfCat. This craft does not jump if you dont want it to, but uses the thundercat hi-jacker system. Handles very well and great for launching and tow ins... having said this the Jet ski is always the best. With the surf cat you dont need big power, like a zapcat or thundercat it goes fine with a 30hp. You wouldnt want any less power in surf.
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Old 28 March 2008, 09:36   #11
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[QUOTE=tim griffin;243385] I am not sure it's a safe practice to do multiple toe ins as each surfer is picking their line and it is going to be congested surfers can wait on there boards beyond the break and then get picked up one at a time.

Hola Tim

Tow lines are not used, surfers are picked from water at any given distance from where they stepped off, place surfboard parallel to sib/rib and climb on board, then are driven back to the surf point (where waves form) and vice verse, the water taxi is done behind the waves, so there is no danger at all of being hit by a water wall. This location has so many corduroy waves with lenghts of 1 mile rides that you won't see any other surfer near you, it's a personal wave paradise. http://www.pbase.com/locozodiac/image/84897508

We don't have Zap Cats or tunnel hulls boats down here, will need to be imported and are expensive too. The best alternative will be to take off the aluminum & fabric floor of a 420 sib, which already have, use the tubes and glue them to a custom made 420 fiberglass hull. Different shape bows and lenghts are avilable locally including expert fiberglass tecnicians. This work have been done before with nice results and the total conversion cost for a 420 Rib is about $ 800.00 Thanks for all the imput.

Happy Boating
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Old 28 March 2008, 12:27   #12
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Good luck with ur tow-ins bee safe....

Shaggy



[YOUTUBE]EGLpIrLqfFI[/YOUTUBE]
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Old 28 March 2008, 12:47   #13
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Surfers down Hayle way prefer to nick jetskis for tow-ins rather than sibs.
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Old 28 March 2008, 14:15   #14
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And if you offer a Hayle maid a sib ride she will get in the back of your car
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Old 28 March 2008, 15:08   #15
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And if you offer a Hayle maid a sib ride she will get in the back of your car
....and get out in Camborne.
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Old 28 March 2008, 15:20   #16
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....and get out in Camborne.
Not on a Wednesday
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Old 28 March 2008, 15:32   #17
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Not on a Wednesday
Penzance then.
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Old 29 March 2008, 05:02   #18
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Back to the question,
For 15 years now we've been using our Avon SR4+, with a 65 hp Suzuki DT65, in the surf and it has outlasted at least 3 generations of the Surf Clubs 25 and 30 hp SIBs of reputable manufacture.
My dive partner, Tom Dawson and I have assisted the surf club SIBs and Coast Guard on quite a few occasions over the years when a more powerful vessel was needed in rescues or retrievals [we are in radio contact].
The Avon still has original tubes, the inflation valves have been changed and the engine overhauled as one would expect over the years but essentially it is as original as you can get.
Australian surf is a very sandy,changeable, violent environment and the toughness of the Avon is a credit to its makers, so I have to support the premise that the RIB is the better long term investment for your requirements, providing you can get a RIB that is as tough and well built as our Avon.
Cheers,
Paul
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Old 29 March 2008, 05:40   #19
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Might be an idea to get a Prop guard in case you need to do a rapid recovery from the impact zone this would help reduce the risk of causing injury to your clients and mitigate possible fowling of the prop with your tow line.

Most of the Surf Life Saving clubs fit them to their IRBs.



poking around on google there are some really good resources regarding tow-in surfing.

http://www.protowsurfers.org/

Good luck..

Shaggy
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Old 29 March 2008, 19:55   #20
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I don't think that he is using the SIB for tow-in surfing.

In Peru there is a spot that the wave breaks for a mile or more, as it rounds a point. Surfers are literally miles from where they started. It used to be that after their ride they'd climb out of the water, cross over some sharp rocks and caught a scooter taxi back to the start, to do it all over again. It sounds like these guys are offering rides back to the start of the wave... it sounds like a good business idea.
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