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Old 19 June 2013, 02:57   #1
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Water under the deck, a major problem?

Hello all,


Long time lurker here, but as I am now in the process of buying a rib, it's time to get involved. I have been using the information on the site to help me select a good 'un and I viewed one yesterday that has potential.

The boat is a Ribcraft 5.85 (you see, I have been paying attention!) and while not in its first flush of youth, nothing that a bit of tlc couldn't resolve. It also comes with a good engine package. The owner seemed pleasant enough but not hugely knowledgeable about boats. He has had it for 3 years after buying it from his friend who had it from new. All the original paperwork, servicing and so on.

However, when I undid the hull drain bung in the well, about 10 gallons or more water came out. The owners seemed genuinely surprised and said, "I didn't even know that was there!" He claimed to have never opened it. The water was fresh when I plucked up the courage to taste it!

I am pretty sure I could work out where it was getting in, the owner changed seats and didn't seal the holes on the originals so they went straight into the void.

My question is, assuming I give believe him and the water has built up in there over a period of 3 years, what damage is it likely to have caused? Are there wooden stringers etc that will have rotted? Things that might have become saturated? Obviously there is no easy way to inspect anything.

Would you walk away?

Thanks
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Old 19 June 2013, 03:42   #2
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Personally I would walk away from it as judging by his "I didnt know it was there statement" says alot about how he has cared for the boat over the years, there might be other things that he didnt know which may become a problem. However, could be a barganing point on price, so if you can get it dirt cheap and are prepared to spend time going through the boat and sorting out any problems including other problems which may come up then consider going for it, if you want something which you can get on the water quickly and dont want hassle of any problems then walk away.

Rain water will get into most ribs and it can seem like a lot of water when you remove the bung, if its rained alot several gallons can come out even after a short period, rib covers never fit 100%. So it may not be entirely the issue of the seats and how they are fitted. If the deck feels spongy then leave well alone.
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Old 19 June 2013, 04:16   #3
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Might be fine, then again might not, best thing to do is find someone to take a look at it for you who knows, either a surveyor, boat mender or rib geek, stick you location in and I'm sure plenty here will point you I'm the right direction - or give ribcraft a call and see what they think..

You don't want to let a good deal pass you by but you don't want to be stuck with a lemon either. On the flip side, ribs are designed to get wet and there are hundreds out on mooring right now full of water not causing any problems, once emptied no one will be any the wiser.
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Old 19 June 2013, 04:39   #4
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Make an offer on the boat "subject to survey". If the seller accepts, that gets it off the market and stops anyone else buying it. You are legally committed to buy it unless your surveyor finds any significant material defects (such as the floor is rotten). If there is significant defects you can walk away or negotiate on price.

I walked away from one boat purchase after the survey found structural defects and suspected the vessel had been under water. On another boat purchase the survey found lots of defects which the seller paid to have fixed.
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Old 19 June 2013, 04:47   #5
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Whilst you need to understand how the water got in - my RC is 5 years old and never seen a drop come out of the drain - and whether there's any damage, I'd also take an equally long hard look at the replacement seats. Are they sound and how were they fitted and by whom? Inadequately fitted seats can end in tears.
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Old 19 June 2013, 05:00   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris.moody View Post
Make an offer on the boat "subject to survey". If the seller accepts, that gets it off the market and stops anyone else buying it. You are legally committed to buy it unless your surveyor finds any significant material defects (such as the floor is rotten). If there is significant defects you can walk away or negotiate on price.

I walked away from one boat purchase after the survey found structural defects and suspected the vessel had been under water. On another boat purchase the survey found lots of defects which the seller paid to have fixed.
I was lucky when I bought my 5.85 knew nothing about RIBS but the guy I bought it off on here was clearly knowledgable and maintained it meticulously. Even after the sea trial he was rinsing it off and flushing the engine and the cuppa came after that which gave me confidence. Never had a drop of water come out when removed the bung even after a severe hose down.

Charlie at Ribcraft is a great help and told me to leave the bung out when it is at home to let air circulate under the deck and to keep it dry although that's a bit difficult as the rain run off end up in the well and you would get more water in there than out.

Chris - out of interest as you have been there what are you looking at cost wise for a survey of a 5m RIB?
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Old 19 June 2013, 05:39   #7
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Thanks everyone for the helpful thoughts.


The only reason I am still interested is due to the potential deal to be done. The boat had been well maintained up until 3 years ago after which it just seems to have had very little use. More neglect than poor ownership.

The boat is in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire (about 10 mins from the A10 junction of the m25), so if anyone can recommend a surveyor in this area I would appreciate it.


The seats that have been fitted are coming straight off, they are highly inappropriate for an honest RIB in any case. They appeared to be well fitted but it is strange they didn't make good the holes for the originals. I had a good stamp around on the deck and couldn't feel any sign of sponginess. There were no stress cracks around the transom, a frame or along the top of the chines either, so I think structurally it seemed ok.

A sensible offer subject to survey seems a good course of action.
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Old 19 June 2013, 05:40   #8
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Hold on. I disagree here.

Surely the whole point of the void with a bung in the anchor locker and bung at the back is that water is inevitably going to get in.

Taking that as given, if there is any bare wood down there, either under the deck, in supports or wherever, then the boat is not fit for purpose!

Surely the inside of the void and under deck are glassed/waterproofed by design. If not, nigh on all ribs over 5 yr old would be falling apart!

I spoke to Humber re this and the whole point is that you can leave the bungs out so the anchor well drains through to the rear well. With the added benefit of any other water that enters from any other source drains through too.

They also said that conversely when at sea, you can bung them up so that if you stuff and flood to tube height there is even more air to provide buoyancy and then power up to take water off deck through elephant trunk.
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Old 19 June 2013, 05:49   #9
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I had an RC 585 for 8 years and no water ever came out of there (Probably because most of the water was staying in the hatches and console ).
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Old 19 June 2013, 05:51   #10
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Cant disagree with that.

Most of the water getting under the deck of my last boat came in through the bung at the back, the rest was through an inspection hatch on the deck.
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