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Old 17 February 2010, 19:50   #1
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What's better 6.5. or 7.5m?

I'm looking at purchasing my first large rib. I'll be crossing 10-15 miles of open water with a 30 mile fetch. Usually gives 4-6 foot short/steep seas with any wind 15kts or more.

I've been looking at used RIBS (north american variety Hurricane commercial units) that are 6.5-7.5m. The 6.5 seems much smaller with single power, the 7.5's have twin 150's.

I love the size/capabilty of the 7.5 but also like the economy that would be achieved with the smaller boat and a single. I'll generally only have 2-4 people on board and at times may be alone with my young son (age 7). With my hard boats I generally prefer to cross this stretch of water in my boats that have been 9m or more... would it be comfortable (not scary) in a 6.5 rib?

Any thoughts from you experienced ribbers from the other side of the pond? I can appreciate the redundancy that twins offer, the 7.5 seems much more capable in a sea... am I right? Am I wrong to be concerned crossing this stretch of water in a 6.5m rib?

Thanks for your thoughts...

(I'm pretty sure I already know the answer... bigger is better... but at twice the fuel?!)
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Old 17 February 2010, 20:13   #2
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Over the other way

Both of the boats are highly competent so you are going to get there and back OK, to me it would be a matter of how fast you need to do it, do you need to go or can bail out if the sea conditions get too uncomfortable, and what do your passengers think about it.

No question that the bigger boat will be faster and more comfortable in most conditions and way more sexy.

The single vs twin issues is regularly thrashed out on here but it seems to me, from a reliability perspective, most people are OK with a single reliable outboard and add an auxillary if in any doubt about availability of outside help / rescue.

Can you demo a 6.5 in the tougher conditions you might have to travel in?
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Old 17 February 2010, 20:37   #3
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There aren't many places that sell ribs here, let alone demo them. The 6.5 that I'm looking at is somewhat land locked and not near any real water.

I don't need to get there that quickly and should be able to turn back if I'm on my way out, my concern is that I'll be on the "other side" and wanting to get home... I don't want to wallow in the slop, I'd like to get it over with and get back.
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Old 17 February 2010, 20:48   #4
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My guess is the 640 would be all you need, but have a talk with Ocean Eco, or Stoo in your neighbourhood, and the UK guys will be along soon and have a look at the 640 threads which are quite helpful.
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Old 18 February 2010, 04:02   #5
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Originally Posted by Screaming04 View Post
I love the size/capabilty of the 7.5 but also like the economy that would be achieved with the smaller boat and a single.
the bigget factor in your fuel ecconomy will be your throttle arm. A 175 on a 6.5m boat sitting wide open throttle is not going to use massively less than twin 150's on 7.5m boat but used with a little bit of restraint.

Quote:
at times may be alone with my young son (age 7). ........ would it be comfortable (not scary) in a 6.5 rib?
it wouldn't be unsafe - but what you (and your son) find scary may be completely different from me so its impossible to say. The 7.5m will definitely be more comfortable and less scary.


I guess it also depends how often you will be out in those sort of conditions. If its nearly every trip - then its different from most trips being great and the odd unpleasant one.
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Old 18 February 2010, 06:04   #6
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Whilst the 6.5m rib is more than capable of providing your requirements I would contemplate a twin-engined 7.5m (with separate fuel feeds and batteries) if the area is remote and assistance in the event of a breakdown is limited.
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Old 18 February 2010, 17:16   #7
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The more I look at my question, the more I realize it's impossible to answer. I just have to prioritize the added benefits of size and twin power in my expected conditions vs. The economy and launch/recovery ease of a smaller boat.

Thank for the replies.
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Old 18 February 2010, 18:03   #8
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I imagine you are crossing from Vancouver over to Vancouver Island, so the Georgia Straits, right? I have a 5.6m Avon, single 115. What you describe is a "no way" in terms of taking my boat out in those conditions. I do spend the winter boating in the Strait of Juan De Fuca, but stay close to shore and bag it if the east wind gets over 15 knots.

Now, 6.5m is more boat than my Avon, so take that into account. I have been up around Lund in the wintertime and got my butt kicked coming back to Port going into a north 25 knot wind. We could do it, but had to slow down to 12-15 knots.

I'd say a 7.5m RIB is what would be needed, and the twin outboards would be nice as well.
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Old 18 February 2010, 18:09   #9
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That would be the crossing. I'd be doing it mostly in the summer. Northwest winds can really kick up.

Of course there are many occasions where I don't attempt it in my 28 footer with a solid hardtop. I do believe that a large rib is probably more capable than my 28. I'm still not sure how I'll feel out there in an "open" boat.

I have looked at 5.5m boats and thought "no way" just looking at them. (I've looked at some recreational 6.5's and thought the same.)

It would seem that the UK members on this site go out in some rough conditions although I can never tell how far they get from shore... Are they making passages similar to mine or playing around near the shore?!
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Old 18 February 2010, 18:53   #10
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It would seem that the UK members on this site go out in some rough conditions although I can never tell how far they get from shore... Are they making passages similar to mine or playing around near the shore?!
It depends on who and where! Although we're only a little country there are a wide range of 'boating areas' and so quite different circumstances. People cruising the west coast of scotland / ireland will often be undertaking the sort of distance you are talking about without many other people nearby etc. Some folk on the south coast will be doing channel island, scilly isles cruises, again going far from shore and a reasonable distance from help (but in busier waters) - they do at least get occassional sun shine though! Others may be boating in the solent which is busy, got loads of rescue boats and relatively sheltered. And I think many people here would consider going out in 5 ft waves "in company" with other RIBs but prefer not to do it alone in a smaller boat.

But actually the key factor is probably can you predict the weather / not go / stay on the island if it turns bad etc.
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