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Old 30 September 2008, 10:24   #1
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Country: UK - Isle of Man
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US novice RIB Boater Needs Advice with SeaRider 5.4

Well, I have to say that the US boating world is way behind England and Europe understanding the benefits of RIB's- (stability, safty, fuel consumption, usability) I own a Zodiac 13ft inflatable, non RIB, and have been researching a project boat RIB- Narrowing in on the Searider 5.4 from the US coast guard. Wondering what you all think of this boat?- some thoughts on managability for launching alone, power, 90 hp or 70hp, overall experience, maintenance, consoles, etc.- Seems like Avon RIB is one of the few used brands available used RIB's in US. Have not scene any used Narwhal, etc. cheers. Andy B.
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Old 30 September 2008, 10:56   #2
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Country: UK - Isle of Man
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Pictures of Potential Boat

http://pictures.aol.com/ap/singleIma...v4xQp5Fd3Ig%3D

http://pictures.aol.com/ap/singleIma...v4xQp5Fd3Ig%3D

http://pictures.aol.com/ap/singleIma...v4xQp5Fd3Ig%3D

http://pictures.aol.com/ap/singleIma...v4xQp5Fd3Ig%3D

http://pictures.aol.com/ap/singleIma...v4xQp5Fd3Ig%3D
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Old 30 September 2008, 11:34   #3
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Country: UK - England
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Length: 7m +
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great boat - do a search on here, there re lots of threads about them being done up etc

those consoles are not much fun, but serve a purpose. If it were me, i'd probably make up a box to fit under it and raise it to more normal jockey seat height, should not be too difficult. Or, flatten the floor and fit another jockey console. Being able to stand up at the helm of any rib is almost a must in my opinion.

A 70 would be OK, lots of them had 60's,but a 90 would be better, you will want to upgrade at some point.

Easily manageable by one person on a rollercoaster type trailer, and in the water, no problems. I often take out a 7m rib single handed (but don't have to launch).

definitely a good first rib, you may want to upgrade quickly though, but that depends on usage etc. they are a bit narrow on the beam limiting seating options, although someone on here has fitted side by side seats, they look a bit close for comfort to me.
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Old 30 September 2008, 12:02   #4
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Make: Avon 5.4 Searider
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You wont find much to complain about with an SR5, if the ex coastguard ones are like the UK mod ones they are built like tanks, just watch for water ingress into the transom and floor(plywood) i would go for a 90 two-stroke mariner or yamaha.
the low console does seem a bit utility but it does the job, and to be fair i think combined with the footstraps on the deck you are less likely to part company with the boat than a taller console when being a bit silly
easily managable solo with a rollercoaster trailer and probably with a bunk if you dont mind getting your feet wet.
this is just my biased opinion, as i have an SR5 if you want more biassed opinions there are plenty more diehard SR fans on here! NOS, MattH, neil harvey, etc etc etc.
Have a look in the rib gallery and the link to youtube of our SR only gathering.
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Old 30 September 2008, 12:43   #5
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That size boat shouldn't be bad at all for solo launching/recovery. I do that often with my 18' RIB (albeit in a fairly protected harbor.)

My method:

Prep boat, leaving winch strap loose, but attached. Back boat into water to *almost* the point that it's floating off the bunks (not a real big deal if it comes off.) attach dock lines (fore and aft) to cleats well behind their position on the boat (at least 4 feet, more if you have a ways to back in still.) Back trailer in until the boat flosts free (or use the "nail the brakes and throw the boat in method.) Get out, untie dock lines, walk boat back, and secure to dock normally. Move truck and trailer to parking.

Recovery: Dock, raise motor. Back trailer in to correct depth (dunking it a bit deeper then pulling out will wet the bunks and make winching easier.) Walk boat onto trailer as far as it will go. Holding the front dock line, hop off dock and attach winch strap. Get rid of dock line. Winch boat up to correct position on trailer. Pull up ramp, lower motor to drain water from exhaust nacelle, drain deck and hull if needed, then pull clear of ramp.

You can also power load, but you should leave the trailer a bit shallower than in the above method, so you can hop out and secure the winch strap without the boat drifting off.

For both recovery methods, centering posts are very helpful (uprights that keep the stern at least somewhat in-line with the trailer.)


jky
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Old 30 September 2008, 14:44   #6
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Explanation or thoughts on inspecting RIB

thank you for the responses- much appreciated! anyone out there have opinions on what to inspect and to look for before I hand over any money on a used Searider. My biggest fear is the tubes separating from the transom because of age and possible damage from the heat and sun of south Florida-Thanks- would anyone suggest the oldest boat to consider- for example- nothing older than 1995??
Thanks again
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Old 30 September 2008, 16:16   #7
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Originally Posted by handmeawrench View Post
thank you for the responses- much appreciated! anyone out there have opinions on what to inspect and to look for before I hand over any money on a used Searider. My biggest fear is the tubes separating from the transom because of age and possible damage from the heat and sun of south Florida-Thanks- would anyone suggest the oldest boat to consider- for example- nothing older than 1995??
Thanks again
Don't worry about age, just condition. Take a look at this:-

http://rib.net/forum/showthread.php?p=249763#post249763
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Old 03 October 2008, 10:27   #8
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If my garage was another 0.4m longer, I'd have gone for one of them too. I'm now running a 5m Humber, but only 'coz anything bigger wouldn't fit & let me shut the door behind it!

Another thing (at risk of starting a whole "why?" subthread ) is they will take twin 40s, and will plane on a single 30 (assuming you don't have too much extra gear). Not sure what your main use would be, but if you plan to go any distance, a "planeable aux" could be a useful thing!

www.avon-workboats.com for all the specs.
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Old 03 October 2008, 14:43   #9
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I've had an ex-USCG 5.4 Searider for 3-4 years now. Still on the original tubes and no sign of needing replacement. Great boat, can handle more than I'm willing to throw at it, though it is wet at sub-planing speeds in any kind of chop.

I ramp or hoist launch solo all the time, no worries there. I originally went cheap, for a 20 y.o. Merc 80, then upgraded to a ETEC 90 and put over 300 hours on it in one year. Excellent combo IME. A 75 would be okay too, but I'm glad I went for the 90.

Trying to run at speed in rough stuff, I do wish the console was higher, so it were easier/more comfortable to stand/straddle the jockey seat. And it is a narrow boat inside.

I've driven a bunch of RIBS and so far, the only one that would pry me out of my Searider would be a Ribcraft 585.
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Old 03 October 2008, 15:41   #10
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I've driven a bunch of RIBS and so far, the only one that would pry me out of my Searider would be a Ribcraft 585.
As a current 585 driver, and a past Avon Searider owner, its a great start.

As said previously, buy on condition -especially the hull. Minor tube punctures can be easily patched but the wear on the rest of the tubes matters more. I never had any transom problems. In fact I had 3 fantastic fun years before changing.

The console is too low, but at the end of your first season you can decide -is this for me? Upgrade the boat, or sell and replace.
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