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Old 19 June 2013, 01:57   #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, 02:42   #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, 03:16   #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, 03:39   #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, 03:47   #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, 04:00   #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, 04:39   #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, 04:40   #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, 04:49   #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, 04:51   #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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Old 19 June 2013, 05:02   #11
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regularly had water under the deck in all our Humbers. Drain it out when I remember, never caused us a problem. Those deck n hull joints are never gonna be perfect, well not on a humber
I think the Ribcraft coastguard boat we had needed a bit of draining now and then. The guy is no doubt telling the truth that he didn't know it was there-or he would have drained it before you arrived.
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Old 19 June 2013, 05:42   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HUMBER P4VWL View Post
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!
Saw our RC 5.3 as a bare hull when being built. Not a fibre of bare wood to be seen. The whole lot was glassed in.

AFAIK this is the norm.
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Old 19 June 2013, 05:54   #13
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There's wood in the deck. If there's been a botched seating install, it could mean the deck has water in. You won't necessarily feel if the deck is wet.

Get it surveyed and try and get permission to remove a couple of the screws from the seating install to check for water ingress.

Also ask for permission to check if the cut edges for the anchor locker were properly sealed when built-it appears Ribcraft may have employed a lazy terwat a few years ago who didn't seal some of them. (note, RC were extremely good about it and this, were quite shocked it hadn't been done and it doesn't occur any more)

You really don't want to have to change a deck after purchase.
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Old 19 June 2013, 06:07   #14
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Agreed. Wood is in the majority of decks and susceptible to water ingress, but most likely from the fitment of stuff on to it.

So in terms of water in the void beneath as per the OP I can't see it being a problem.

Though in a 3 yr old RC 585, with the cost being double digit thousands, a survey is a must for peace if mind on all matters!. Just like an HPI and check on a car out of warranty.
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Old 19 June 2013, 06:20   #15
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Agreed. Wood is in the majority of decks and susceptible to water ingress, but most likely from the fitment of stuff on to it.

So in terms of water in the void beneath as per the OP I can't see it being a problem.
Trouble is, if there's water trapped under the deck without being drained, it'll be permanently high humidity under there, so not really the best environment for any botched stuff to dry on its own.
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Though in a 3 yr old RC 585, with the cost being double digit thousands, a survey is a must for peace if mind on all matters!. Just like an HPI and check on a car out of warranty.
It's not 3 years old, just been owned by someone clueless for 3 years.

I'm not saying buying it is a bad idea, I'm saying be extremely careful about it. It could be a fantastic buy. On the flipside, it could be really badly FUBAR so a survey and very thorough inspection is a must.
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Old 19 June 2013, 06:24   #16
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I had my ribcraft 585 never had any water come out of the bung
As I live just down the road I would have a look at the boat with you
The seats on my ribcraft were all glassed to the deck so did not have that problem
Pm me a contact no if you would like to talk

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Old 19 June 2013, 07:32   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leapy View Post
Saw our RC 5.3 as a bare hull when being built. Not a fibre of bare wood to be seen. The whole lot was glassed in.

AFAIK this is the norm.
Not sure if many rib builders actually glass the under side of the deck or not.

Although this should not be a problem if the drain plug is left out for air to circulate like HP said earlier.
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Old 19 June 2013, 08:11   #18
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Here's my two pennies worth.

If in doubt, don't.
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Old 19 June 2013, 09:08   #19
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If your deck is a moulded deck the chances are that the underside will be glassed, if its not then the chances are that it ain't, it may ave had a coat of resin but that's about it, it's not hard to change a floor, just a lot of work
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Old 19 June 2013, 09:31   #20
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Mr Biffer, could you confirm the internals of the Humber OP from your experience.

Resin or glassed?
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