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Old 10 August 2006, 18:36   #1
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Where to start?

I working on a business plan for a small scale custom cruise operation. The cruise will take place on an 85' boat and I need a tender/shoreboat for 10 passengers + captain. It's an expedition style vessel and have the capability to pick up RIBs around 20' (or so I'm told). I really have no knowledge of the RIB market so the only thing I've found so far is the Zodiac Pro 15 Man. I'm confused about the passenger specs though "5 (cat B) / 15 (cat C)". I am unfamiliar with cat b or c waters and would love to be informed. I am also taking other considerations for boats to look into. I would love to find a used boat as costs are high enough as it is for startup.

Thanks in advance and after reading through this forum a bit I'm sure I will get some very good responses.
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Old 11 August 2006, 05:58   #2
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Seax
Not wishing to sound like dumb advice, but go an talk to Ribtec USA and Zodiac USA and look at the profesional hulls, they used to have used boats listed. Also for a comercial opperation I expect you will need to be coded and hence it is often eaiser to code a purpose built boat then a cheap leasure boat - assuming you want it to last and have some ressale value.
Good luck
Jelly
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Old 11 August 2006, 06:29   #3
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In Europe Cat B and C refer to in the Recreational Craft Directive to "categories" of water - essentially they describe the wind speed and wave height. Off the top of my head Cat C is F6, and 2m waves - Cat B is worse than this - but not as bad as Cat A - which is full ocean going. Commercial boats in the UK also are categorised - its outside my knowledge area but I think they use an A-D scale too (not sure if this is on the same basis or not).
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Old 11 August 2006, 08:21   #4
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The RCD figures are pretty meaningless - my Quicksilver 310 is a cat C - and so is my 9m deep V RIB - they are like chalk and cheese!!!
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Old 11 August 2006, 16:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelly
Seax
Not wishing to sound like dumb advice, but go an talk to Ribtec USA and Zodiac USA and look at the profesional hulls, they used to have used boats listed. Also for a comercial opperation I expect you will need to be coded and hence it is often eaiser to code a purpose built boat then a cheap leasure boat - assuming you want it to last and have some ressale value.
Good luck
Jelly

Can you tell me more about "coding a purpose built boat"? My captain is not available for me to consult right now so I'm trying to figure this on my own. I will take your advice and talk to both of the companies you mentioned, but I want to have some more information first.

As far as the category stuff goes... I'm looking to use it as a tender and to travel very short distances between the ship and the shore so it sounds like I don't have to worry about it.

Thanks for the timely replies!
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Old 11 August 2006, 17:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seax
Can you tell me more about "coding a purpose built boat"? My captain is not available for me to consult right now so I'm trying to figure this on my own. I will take your advice and talk to both of the companies you mentioned, but I want to have some more information first.

As far as the category stuff goes... I'm looking to use it as a tender and to travel very short distances between the ship and the shore so it sounds like I don't have to worry about it.

Thanks for the timely replies!
Coding is the process of getting aproval (under the relevant code) to use a boat commercially. It is required in the UK (see: www.mcga.gov.uk) presumably there is a similar requirement in the US. Suggest first port of call is USCG. Unless there are any US commercial operators on here.
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Old 11 August 2006, 17:25   #7
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If you will be carrying passengers who are paying, I believe you will have to have the vessel inspected by the USCG. I do not believe we have "coding" such as our friends across the pond do.

There are a bunch of other regulations you're going to have to follow, as well (mostly involving safety of passengers), but your ship captain should be able to clarify most of those.) Best place to start would probably be to pose the question to your local CG station.

Ribcraft and Zodiac are a good start; you might have a look at some of the custom boat builders (depending on where you are, of course); there's a few in the eastern Gulf region, and a bunch in the Pac Northwest.

Polaris Inflatables, Northwind, Otech, Titan; there are a host to choose from.

If you're looking for a more off-the-shelf boat, Zodiac, AB, Caribe, and a bunch of others do good size RIBs that are at least somewhat available in the US.

jky
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Old 11 August 2006, 23:51   #8
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To certify a boat to carry paying passengers in the USA the hull must be made in the US. You are not able to use boats made in other countries. Armstrong marine makes very good RIBS in the US.

http://www.armstrongmarine.com/commercial/26sar.htm
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Old 12 August 2006, 04:45   #9
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Originally Posted by OceanEco
To certify a boat to carry paying passengers in the USA the hull must be made in the US. You are not able to use boats made in other countries.
Ahhh - free trade - you can't beat it!
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Old 12 August 2006, 13:46   #10
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If you can keep the passenger count to 6 or less then the boat would not have to be inspected. It will still require a licensed Captain with at leat a USCG rating of OUPV, Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel. The rule is a max of 6 passengers plus crew. Otherwise the USCG will have to inspect the vessel and insue a certificate which will state the max passengers allowed.

If you're going to have a "tender" in the 20 foot range then I would recommend a boat that will also be capable of multiple duties. A well made, seaworthy RIB will provide loads of fun for your passengers and be able to take them places the big boat might not be able to.

Ribcraft USA makes a great boat and will be more manageble than the Zodiac Hurricanes. They handle extremely well, are lighter, and very well built. They will also build it to your specs and are great to deal with.

Where in the US are you? If on the west coast, you're welcome to come and check out our Ribcraft. It's a little over 25 feet but will give you an idea of their boats and the samller versions are built with the same quality and have simular handling characteristics.
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