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Old 03 January 2012, 15:44   #1
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Country: USA
Town: Boston
Boat name: Somers' dream
Make: Hunter
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
West Marine or Mercury 350 RIB?

Hi, I am hoping for some purchasing advice. I need a RIB for 2 adults and 3 kids for use as a sailboat tender and as a general runabout. Obviously as a tender I am trying to keep the weight down as much as possible.
I am leaning towards the West Marine or Mercury RIB 350 with a 20HP Honda outboard.
The West Marine boat is only 160 LBS, has 18 inch tubes and has a few inches less internal beam.
The Mercury Marine boat is 193 LBS, has 16 inch tubes and has 37 inches of internal beam. The extra beam is helpful for the family and a potential jockey console that I may install at some point.

The WM boat superficially seems OK but does not appear to be made by Zodiac as some of their other boats are. Did they achieve the light weight by cutting corners somewhere? The Mercury Marine boat is actually cheaper. Should I be concerned by the extra weight, smaller tubes? Is the quality of this boat better or worse than the WM RIB?

Any advice you can give would be helpful.
Thanks, Will
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