Originally Posted by Polwart
However I have rigid 'tubes' all the way round on mine. Now that might be a structurally much stonger suggestion than having the ends hard with soft bits in the middle. I would say if you are going to have rigid bits then use it to your advantage in some way. There are Rigid tubed boats which are rigid because that way they don't get punctured / damaged so much in the sun etc. That's probably less of an issue in the home rib market, compared to the costs (and risk of neglect) in the commercial market. But my solid tubes offer a number of advantages (1) the inboard side is shaped to provide a seat all the way round which is "in" rather than "on" the boat (2) the bow has a built in anchor locker/seat which provides valuable storage often missing on boats my size (3) the aft 'tube ends' are shaped to provide a step for getting in / out from the water easier. (4) in addition the PE tubes have built in space for rollocks, clips to store oars and lifeline supports - all of which would add considerable cost getting professionally fitted to tubes - but were engineered into the mould.
Now I'm not trying to advocate "all round hard tubes" as the holy grail in rib design BUT its certainly not as 'bizzare' are Chewy might have suggested and actually might have some plus points.
As for the OP's question Brig have small hard sections (probably hard plastic rahter than GRP?) with steps in them on some/all of their ribs - so not as daft as being implied.
I don't want to criticise your 'hard nose' either Sonar - but again I would be looking to do something in terms of shape/utility that isn't possible in hypalon. IIRC some of the redbay range come with quite a "pointy" hard nose (presumbly better for punching through the sea) whilst others come with a fuller nose which is "open to the cabin" on the inside so giving much more volume in the forecabin.
sounds very very interesting do you have any pictures you could post .?
Or the solid tubes approx the same size as inflatable ones or larger.?
The idea of solid tubes came to mind when i was forming the mould thinking a freeboard of 6" would take any additional weight like solid tubes ect.
as for the hard nose. Well as you said the shape a present looks like a tube front end and yes i have seen the boats you have mentioned with a very nice looking front.
the forming of such a front may be beyond what i am capable of but still in my mind.
when the plug has dried i will take another look and see what i can do with it.