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Old 10 November 2012, 08:10   #1
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Country: France
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Boat name: Re lax
Make: Piranha 6m
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Which RIB for Water skiing

Anyone recommend a RIB that will carry 4 adults easily and be suitable for one of those adults to wakeboard or ski whilst the other three adults are still in the boat.

Must be under 6m. Ideally around 5.5m

SO - which RIB and engine best meets this criteria? Look forward to replies.
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Old 10 November 2012, 11:25   #2
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As always.. Avon 5.4 with a 90hp yam 2 stroke.
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Old 10 November 2012, 11:42   #3
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As Always .. Ribtec 5.35 75-95Hp 2 stroke. lol
had 5 on mine and ringoing as well as water sking.
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Old 10 November 2012, 13:34   #4
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Nick on here skis behind his SR4 with a Yam 50 stroke - anything with enough umph but agree Ribtecs are ideal.
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Old 10 November 2012, 14:15   #5
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Any 5.5m RIB with enough fun numbers on the transom will pull a skier ok. Bear in mind the following:

1. You need to have a rearward facing seat for an observer to keep an eye on the skier. Jockey seats are ok for this and side-by-side jockeys work better than a 2-seat inline jockey console, as the observer can communicate better with the boat driver.
2. The driver may wish to have a ski mirror, so check whether one can be accommodated on the console.
3. A high tow point is preferred by wakeboarders, to get good lift. If you intend to tow off an A-frame, make sure it's man-enough to cope with the linear and lateral forces imposed by a skier/wakeboarder.
4. If you use a bridle rope off the transom U-bolts, check whether the rope fouls the tube ends when the skier is carrying out slalom turns.
5. Ski storage is rare on RIBs. I once set up a ski locker below the deck, which was useful. Ski/wakeboard brackets for hardboat wakeboard towers can be fitted to an A-frame.
6. Not all skiers are able to clamber over the tube when they've finished, so you may want to think about a boarding ladder.

I run a 5.8m Vipermax with a 150 Opti and tow skiers/wakeboarders from a bollard fitted to the top of the (2") A-frame. The set-up works well for skiing and wakeboarding, as the motor copes well at low-medium speed for wakeboarding and is also good at higher speed for skiing.

If you take badbaws' advice and go for an SR5.4, you'll probably want to seal off the flooding hull system, as this really slows down the planing time, which is a PITA for a skier. The SR5.4 also fails on lots of the above points, so I'd be inclined to go for something different, if skiing is going to be high on the agenda for the boat.
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Old 10 November 2012, 15:33   #6
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Thank you for your considered views which were really interesting.

Take all your points about the rear facing seats and high tow point for a wakeboarder. I suspect a lot of A frames may not be strong enough to ski off. We have see a stainless loop which attaches each side of the engine with a ski pulley which the rope attaches to that looks good. Also has the advantage of stopping chaffing of the rope on the tubes. Downside is the low pulling point compared to an A frame or raised ski pole.

I agree a boarding ladder is mandatory.
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Old 10 November 2012, 16:48   #7
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Not many around but I owned a Ribcraft 5.45 with Merc 90. That would pull two skiers/kneeboarders / wake boarders / donuts. Twice as much fun :-) :-)
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Old 10 November 2012, 17:37   #8
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What about a humber 5.7 ocean pro with a mariner 125 optimax
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Old 11 November 2012, 03:38   #9
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All the major RIB brands should have A frames strong enough, unless someone's fitted a flimsy retro fit one. I've happily towed a rowing boat up the Thames with 11 people on it - I'd hope that the engine would run out of power before the frame bent.

You need to start doing some leg work to see a few boats and blag a trip or two.
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Old 11 November 2012, 05:49   #10
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Thomas - not all A frames will take the force of a large skiier on a turn but hopefully the ones I am looking at will.

As regards getting out and trying some RIBs - I don't want to impose on people and alot of the ones being offered to me are new and there is not the chance to try them out at the deals being offered.

Yes I am new to RIBs but started off with ski boats and then through a variety of sailing boats over 40 years so boating is not something new but yes the various/different characteristics of ribs/engines is important to get right.

Also as it will be based in France without the RIBNET and Solent network of contacts that I can call I need to make sure I have a rig that can be easily serviced and supported in France by myself and engine dealers particularly for engines still under warranty.

I also do not really need it until April as I have no-where easily to store it before we trail it to France. (Although we will want to use it over here a couple of times before we take it to France. ) It is also easier to get things like trailer and hubs locks over here and spare bearings and bearing pullers for the trailer over here. (Good old eBay)

Finally, it is getting the right deal; which means not leading people on for free rides but I will be negotiating hard on price as a cash buyer for the right rig.
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