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Old 22 May 2008, 02:34   #1
Country: USA
Town: Houston, TX
Boat name: Lady Ashley
Make: Avon SR 5.4
Length: 5m +
Engine: 70 Merc 2S
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 96
What size Rib

I have owned several conventional hull boats, but fuel costs have gotten me interested in Ribs. I live near Houston, Texas and would like to know what is the smallest boat I could safely get away with purchasing. I fish and dive offshore. The Gulf of Mexico is pretty tame, with seas running 1 to 2 meters all summer. Actually, the water looks like glass 20 miles offshore alot of days. I am not particularly worried about a smooth or dry ride, just safety and fuel economy. I have even taken my 3m kayak up to 1 mile offshore and caught sharks as big as my boat (well I didn't actualy bring them on board). I watched the youtube video of a group of 5m Ribs going around the coast of Britain and it looked like a Blast. Here is a link for Aquamax 15' and 17' boats that I am considering . For what its worth, you guys have a great site. When I mention fishing out of a Rib to anyone here, they look at me like I'm nuts. Thanks for helping a Yank see the light.

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Old 22 May 2008, 06:58   #2
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Country: Greece
Town: Aghia Marina/Evia
Boat name: Zuben 'Ubi
Make: Avon
Length: 7m +
Engine: E-TEC 200 HO
MMSI: Ti Nafto?
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 44
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For what it's worth, big enough is never big enough! I would start by asking the question 'How quickly do I need to get to where I want to go?' determine the size engine necessary to do so, then figure out what size boat I need to strap it to! If everything works out - size of engine, size of boat etc. then you have a useful starting point.

Bear in mind that often as not, your insurance will be invalid if you put an engine on a boat that is in excess of the boat manufacturer's maximum recommended rating.
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Old 22 May 2008, 07:31   #3
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Country: UK - England
Town: New Milton
Boat name: Jianna
Make: Osprey
Length: 6m +
Engine: 200 E-TEC
MMSI: 235076954
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,903
I am tempted to say that like s-x, the bigger the better (and also the harder the better) but of course that would not be the done thing .
I am not a fisherman, so cannot comment on that activity (or is it lack of activity )
The comment about engine size is relevant, but if you are going to dive off of it, you really do need a bit of space. Will it be just yourself who will be practicing bubble blowing, or do you do it in concert? If just yourself, I would say 5 metre minimum, and if two 5.5 metre minimum.These would give you enough space to kit up properly and in reasonable comfort, depending on the internal layout of seats, console etc. No doubt you will get other views, but this is what I have found when diving off of RIBs.
Your description of the seas out there has got me ever so slightly jealous.

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Old 22 May 2008, 07:43   #4
Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Length: 8m +
Engine: Suzuki DT225
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,791
RIBs tend to be designed for rough water so most have a very deep V hull - these need a lot more power than a boat with a flat bottom.

Having said that they are lighter than most boats and can carry a heavy payload for their size so you don't need as big a boat.

Biggest is not always best. I have a 9m or 30' boat. The hull is amazing but it's only fun when you have very big waves. I did my training in a 5.5m and it was great fun - we only used a few gallons when we were out. Think of a small RIB as a Pitts Special and a big one as Concorde. One is a lot "better" than the other but one is more fun!!!

Something with an 80 or 90hp 4 stroke outboard will be very cheap to run.
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Old 22 May 2008, 09:06   #5
Country: USA
Town: Houston, TX
Boat name: Lady Ashley
Make: Avon SR 5.4
Length: 5m +
Engine: 70 Merc 2S
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 96
thanks, getting there is 1/2 the fun

I appreciate the advice. For the most part I'll be fishing by myself; diving w/ the wife. I have the luxury of picking and choosing whether or not to fish protected inshore or offshore depending on the weather. Both are great and inshore is available year round. Having said that, I really am looking for the smallest vessel to get me on the fish. I love being on the water, and the less money I spend doing it, the more time I'll be out there. Speed isn't a huge concern, as I've fished on super slow trawlers (10 knots) when I haven't had a boat of my own. And anything I get will likey afford me more space than I have fishing from my kayak, which I love. And if I can Ihave a little fun on the way out that's just icing on the cake.
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Old 22 May 2008, 16:54   #6
Country: Canada
Town: British Columbia
Make: Gemini
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp 2 str
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,151
That aquamax boat you rerferred to looks very suspect for a few reasons.

There are a few large Korean plants that are pumping out alot very cheaply made, mass produced PVC inflatable boats which end up with many dozens of different labels slapped on them. It seems that everyone and there dog are starting an inflatable boat company with their own branding, but virtually none these companies actually manufacturing them.

$ 3900 is simply not a realistic price for a 15' RIB with seating, a full console and an arch bar. Unless I personally knew someone who has already owned one of these boats for a while and has used it extensively, I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

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