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Old 16 March 2006, 14:08   #1
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Why RIBs?

Hi everyone,

I grew up boating on the great lakes as a kid (sail, power, runabouts) and I've finally pulled enough cash together to take the plunge and buy a boat of my own.

I've really been impressed with the advancements in RIBs over the last couple of years, but I'm having a hard time rationalizing why I want to go with a RIB as opposed to the fiberglass cruisng/skiing/fishing boats that I grew up on.

Ideally, I'm looking for something in the 25-30 ft. range that could be used as an all purpose boat.

I've been searching the Internet, but could really use some better direction as to the specific advantages of RIBs over the traditional fiberglass hulls. Any websites or personal stories are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 16 March 2006, 14:18   #2
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Ribs seem to be popular in places with rough seas and big tides. They will handle rougher conditions than most normal boats. Having said that they are also pretty popular in the Med these days!!!

Many people call a RIB the 4x4 of the sea - it's a bit like people who buy SUVs even when they don't need them!!!
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Old 16 March 2006, 14:41   #3
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Hi Mel,

If you do a search through this Forum you will find loads on the advantages of RIBs over conventional sports boats, but to summarise:

1. RIBS generally have deep V hulls, which cut through the waves and thus give much better rough water handling and a more comfortable ride than a sportsboat. RIBs can tolerate the reduced lateral stability of a deep V hull, because they have "roll dampening" and additional bouyancy from the inflatable tubes.

2. The inflatable tubes also act as a "shock-absorber" in rough seas, giving a more comfortable ride and also provide all-round protection for the boat, so no fear of scraping GRP coming alongside piers, other boats, etc.

3. With a well founded RIB you can fill the boat with water and it will not sink. Good scuppers mean that shipped water is quickly drained, so you can venture out in rougher seas without fear of swamping.

4. The best reason of all - they are the coolest looking boats on the water!

Hope this is of some use,

Jim
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Old 16 March 2006, 15:02   #4
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my reasons for choosing a rib were

1. lighter in weight than equivalent sized hard boat so easier to trailer with a standard car.

2. unsinkable so you can stuff it into a wave, swamping the boat and still cary on, meaning I can go out in rougher conditions.



Its funny as I here the question why buy a RIB quite often. but when I bought my boat I was thr other way round and was strugling to find reasons to buy a hard boat.

what ever yo choose one thing is for certain - you will have a great time and want a bigger one in three months time
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Old 16 March 2006, 15:09   #5
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Hi

Don't forget ribs are really suitable for dive boats, even the smaller ones.
They are also good for water ski.

Plus when you hit things they bounce !
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Old 16 March 2006, 15:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
Many people call a RIB the 4x4 of the sea - it's a bit like people who buy SUVs even when they don't need them!!!
Yep...

Can I draw a comparison here about people who don't know how to use their 4x4's when they need to?
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Old 17 March 2006, 04:24   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIY
Hi Mel,

If you do a search through this Forum you will find loads on the advantages of RIBs over conventional sports boats, but to summarise:

1. RIBS generally have deep V hulls, which cut through the waves and thus give much better rough water handling and a more comfortable ride than a sportsboat. RIBs can tolerate the reduced lateral stability of a deep V hull, because they have "roll dampening" and additional bouyancy from the inflatable tubes.

2. The inflatable tubes also act as a "shock-absorber" in rough seas, giving a more comfortable ride and also provide all-round protection for the boat, so no fear of scraping GRP coming alongside piers, other boats, etc.

3. With a well founded RIB you can fill the boat with water and it will not sink. Good scuppers mean that shipped water is quickly drained, so you can venture out in rougher seas without fear of swamping.

4. The best reason of all - they are the coolest looking boats on the water!

Hope this is of some use,

Jim
Now that is the sort of concise and relevant advice that makes forums like this such useful places for people like me that don't know much about the subject but want to get started
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Old 17 March 2006, 04:49   #8
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One other thing is the increased deck area compared to an equivilent sized hard boat, much more space for seating, access to the bow, beer, kids, dogs, beer, dinghys, canoes, beer, fuel tanks, BBQs, spare engines, beer and erm... beer. There is no space wased on un-useable bunks, impractical galleys and inaccessable heads.
Still not sure, try going for a walk on a ski boat.
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Old 17 March 2006, 05:35   #9
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This is not a characteristic of a RIB though. Its a characteristic of an "Open Boat" - An "Open" RIB actually has less deck space than the equivalent sized "Open" Hard Boat because you loose at least 0.5m all the way round to the tubes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Halliday
One other thing is the increased deck area compared to an equivilent sized hard boat, much more space for seating, access to the bow, beer, kids, dogs, beer, dinghys, canoes, beer, fuel tanks, BBQs, spare engines, beer and erm... beer. There is no space wased on un-useable bunks, impractical galleys and inaccessable heads.
Still not sure, try going for a walk on a ski boat.
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Old 17 March 2006, 05:39   #10
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allso depends on the config of the boat and seating arrangements and size of console, my boat is snug i would say, codders boat is huge in comparison with loads of room to walk around and have a party
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Old 17 March 2006, 05:45   #11
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True, but most (not all) RIBs are open boats. Also, most (not all) have open fore decks. The lost area from the tubes is no more than the side deck area of a planing boat. Perhaps I am just spoilt having 5' (1.52m) inside the tubes.Anyway, the open structure is one of my reasons for having a RIB.
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Old 17 March 2006, 06:08   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Halliday
True, but most (not all) RIBs are open boats. Also, most (not all) have open fore decks. The lost area from the tubes is no more than the side deck area of a planing boat. Perhaps I am just spoilt having 5' (1.52m) inside the tubes.Anyway, the open structure is one of my reasons for having a RIB.
Unless you have freakishly skinny tubes your internal beam is always going to be at least 1m less than your external beam there's nothing you can do about it - this is considerably higher loss of beam compared to any hard boats I have ever seen.

I'm not disputing "most" ribs are "open" but its still not a characteristic of a RIB.

Whilst I'm on the subject, having a "soft" ride in rough water is not a characteristic of a RIB either its a characteristic of a deep V hull - not all RIBs have deep V hulls.

The question that was asked "Why a RIB" actually has far less answers than people have given here as a lot of the reasons given are due to characteristics that are available on both RIBs and "Hard Boats"

Lets come up with a definitive list of things where being a RIB ie having inflatable sponsons and a Rigid Hull are the reason to own the boat not other things that are not specific to ribs and are available on other boats.

I'll start.

1. Lower over all weight to equivalent length and style of hard boat (this being due to the top half the boat being made of air. and makes the boat easier to tow with smaller vehicle)

2. The Tubes makes coming along side other boats and pontoons easy as no cracking of GRP should you come in too fast. (This makes RIBs excellent rescue boats)

3. Increased buoyancy and "unsinkability" a swamped RIB can easily be recovered because it wont sink even when filled with water. It can be emptied very quickly using the deck drainers (if fitted).

4. The rigid hull improves top speed and handling of the boat when compared to an inflatable only boat.

5. Ease of climbing over the side and the fact that the "soft" tubes wont damage equipment as its hauled in and out of the boat make them excellent dive boats.

6. At rest a RIB is an excelent platform for most activitiees as the sponsons stabalise the boat and stop it rocking around.

7. Load carrying - the extra boyancy provided by the tubes mean RIBs can carry impressive loads.

Some one else can carry on - there are more reasons - just not on the tip of my tongue
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Old 17 March 2006, 06:20   #13
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Roy

The points you put up are fair, and in favour of RIBs.
I am just saying that the open structure of a RIB is, to me and probably many others, a bonus. Its a bit more "Pick Up" than "Estate".

Your bouyancy bit is not correct. The bouancy is a reslt of water displacement, so unless you have your tubes submerged then the load carrying capacity is no more than the equivilent hard hull.

And, no I do not have skinny tubes, they are 500mm dia like many others. My RIB is a wide body one and the tubes are set further out than most. See the picy below.
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Old 17 March 2006, 06:35   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Halliday
Your bouyancy bit is not correct. The bouancy is a reslt of water displacement, so unless you have your tubes submerged then the load carrying capacity is no more than the equivilent hard hull.
The moment your Tubes touch the water they are adding to your buoyancy. They don't have to be under the water. Every inch of tube in the water is displacing more and more water, i accept in no different way than a hard boat - they then have the added benefit of not loosing the buoyancy when the water comes in over the top. I would therefore be far more comfortable in a heavily loaded RIB than a heavily loaded hard boat in the safe knowledge that my buoyancy is not dependent on a wave not coming over the side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Halliday
And, no I do not have skinny tubes, they are 500mm dia like many others. My RIB is a wide body one and the tubes are set further out than most.
so your large deck space is a result having a wide beam boat. take an open hard boat with the same external beam as yours and your internal beam would be at least half a meter wider.
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Old 17 March 2006, 07:19   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBeauMEL
Hi everyone,

I grew up boating on the great lakes as a kid (sail, power, runabouts) and I've finally pulled enough cash together to take the plunge and buy a boat of my own.

I've really been impressed with the advancements in RIBs over the last couple of years, but I'm having a hard time rationalizing why I want to go with a RIB as opposed to the fiberglass cruisng/skiing/fishing boats that I grew up on.

Ideally, I'm looking for something in the 25-30 ft. range that could be used as an all purpose boat.

I've been searching the Internet, but could really use some better direction as to the specific advantages of RIBs over the traditional fiberglass hulls. Any websites or personal stories are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
As anyone on this forum would agree, you cannot beat a rigid hulled inflatable in terms of sea keeping ability. Fun to run, fast, extremely stable, tremendous load capacity, nearly unsinkable, great economy, etc. What you trade off is the protection of a cabin, creature comforts. You will be out in the weather all the time unless you have a bimini of some sort or a cabin rib.
A rib will flat out outperform a conventional hulled boat overall. I have a 27 ft fiberglass cruiser as well as my Rib, If the weather is decent I will run the inflatable every time, it is just more enjoyable. The glass boat runs good, has twins, comfort, all the bells and whistles, but just cannot match the performance aspect of a rib. Nothing can.
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Old 17 March 2006, 14:54   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roycruse
2. The Tubes makes coming along side other boats and pontoons easy as no cracking of GRP should you come in too fast. (This makes RIBs excellent rescue boats)
Just for the record - this doesn't garuntee you won't cause any damage. A rib once took a 1" by 6" chunk out the gunnel of a wooden sailing dinghy I owned whilst coming along side far too hard (i'm not complaining they were retrieving us from the path of an oncoming ship after our rudder broke ).

But whilst they are much less likely to cause damage they can still damage the other boat (and potentially the tube) and putting your hand/foot in between the two boats is still extreemly dangerous.
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Old 17 March 2006, 18:46   #17
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Better than I could have hoped for!

Thanks to everyone who answered my "Why RIBs" question. You guys have some great reasons (as well as some rebuttals) for why a RIB is the way to go. Prior to seeing the responses, all I was really going on was my own experience. The RIBs I've been in have always seemed to outperform when compared to a traditional boat of the same size, but I could never really explain why. I think I've been sold.

Should I start the debate on manufacturers?

Thanks again.
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Old 17 March 2006, 19:25   #18
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what is the population of RIb's in you area presently also what size are you looking for and what will it's major use be?
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Old 18 March 2006, 01:30   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBeauMEL
I think I've been sold.

Should I start the debate on manufacturers?

Thanks again.
Not yet, I think you should first decide the length of rib you would like to have and max HP , also important where will you be using your rib. Your budget may also be a deciding factor.

Having answers to all those questions then you should select a manufacture and model

Happy hunting and happy ribbing
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Old 18 March 2006, 04:43   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBeauMEL
Should I start the debate on manufacturers?
I think your choices are more limited over there in the states. But in my opinion RIBCRAFT are fine solid boats - they are probably a bit on the heavier side so if your never going to do anything rough in your boat then you will be carrying around a lot of unnecessary fibre glass. If however you want an extremely strong boat that you can wave jump in all day long then they are definitely the way to go...

I obviously bought my Ribcraft from the UK Factory - but they do have a USA operation as well http://www.ribcraftusa.com/home.htm also check out the riblog link in my signature for more info and pictures of my Ribcraft.

I'm sure I will start a flurry of similar posts praising there boats now - and to be honest I've seen a lot of nice boats - you cant go far wrong.

Best advice i can give if you are looking for a tough boat - is find out how many organisations are using them commercially - then check with the manufacturer that their leisure boats are the same as their commercial boats (in construction I mean)...

What ever you do - good luck - and have a lot of fun
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