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Old 11 February 2014, 01:33   #1
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Wooden hulled RIB - Would you buy one...?

I would be interested to hear peoples opinions on RIBs with wooden hulls i.e. Would you ever consider buying one?

I am not talking specific brands or designs here, just the basic concept of using wood as a building material.

All ideas and opinions (good or bad) would be interesting to hear.

Thanks
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Old 11 February 2014, 02:38   #2
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The first RIB I ever used had a wooden hull. A mate of mine had made it with his Dad, from a kit I think. As far as I remember it was GRP sheathed ply!
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Old 11 February 2014, 04:02   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJHE View Post
I would be interested to hear peoples opinions on RIBs with wooden hulls i.e. Would you ever consider buying one?

I am not talking specific brands or designs here, just the basic concept of using wood as a building material.

All ideas and opinions (good or bad) would be interesting to hear.

Thanks
This is a wooden boat, sort of. Just need some tubes Dolvik 26 — Dolvik Båtbyggeri AS
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Old 11 February 2014, 04:04   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJHE View Post
I would be interested to hear peoples opinions on RIBs with wooden hulls i.e. Would you ever consider buying one?

I am not talking specific brands or designs here, just the basic concept of using wood as a building material.

All ideas and opinions (good or bad) would be interesting to hear.

Thanks
The very first few experimental RIBs were made from plywood at Atlantic College.
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Old 11 February 2014, 04:13   #5
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Wooden boats generally take more tlc and so I'm out!
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Old 11 February 2014, 04:33   #6
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Two of the main Ribs used at MRI Stonehaven were timber. The first was the A24 the other was the original prototype P36. Both were incredibly strong and will be 43 years and 30 years respectively. I'm unsure of the fate of the A24 after it sustained some non structural damage in the storm which closed MRI. The P36, I believe was used in Aberdeen and sold on.

These were built at Wm Osborne's in Littlehampton and the craftsmanship was second to none. Many of the older guys were serving apprenticeships during WW2 so the skillset was incredible. There won't be many of them around now.

Most GRP craft have ply transforms, laminated ply decks, and under deck bearers even today? So you're not completely timber free anyway.

Would I buy one? Tricky question as the original timber ones will be very old and all commercial Ribs require an overhaul every 8 years on average, so if you buy one there will be cost involved regardless of construction material.

The big problem with them was the bronze screws they used, the slotted heads would rot and they were a pain to extract, then because the timber dried out during a refit, they would just spin when you tried to renew them.

The decks could suffer serious paint build up and if the timber was wet, you had to wait until dry before painting. Epoxy paint and glass bead was best.

I never saw hull damage other than gouges on rocks, when close handling at the base of cliffs.

The original boats were timber and much loved, I would have one if the timber was in great condition and a survey confirmed it was in good condition, if you are a joiner, you could fix it up.

The downside is that it's not everyone's cup of tea and resale issues could cause it to be difficult to resell.

If you love timber and have the skills to keep it maintained and loved, by all means buy one. If you want to jump aboard and not be overly concerned about maintenance, no.

There is a reason they are built from GRP, one is manufacturing cost. When you see the craftsmanship which went into a timber rib from Osborne's and the time & materials (mahogany) and (mahogany) marine ply, the build cost would be astronomical.

GRP Hulls are more maintenance friendly. Even if you put a hole in one of them. They are clearly much easier and less expensive to produce.

I think the questions are, do you want a floating and high quality museum piece and maintain it to that standard? Or do you want to follow the crowd and stick with GRP.
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Old 11 February 2014, 05:22   #7
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I think the questions are, do you want a floating and high quality museum piece and maintain it to that standard? Or do you want to follow the crowd and stick with GRP.
+1 The wooden boat would be akin to a vintage car, an enthusiasts piece that required time/money & love to keep it tip top. The GRP boat would be the Mondeo, get in, start, drive, but just one of the herd.
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Old 11 February 2014, 14:19   #8
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I've owned a few wooden boats (not ribs) and they where ALL a LOT of work and time.
But some really like all that time put in. But have to say, GRP has a lot going for it.
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Old 17 February 2014, 14:00   #9
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We have a good example locally of wooden versus grp boats, both owned by commercial boatmen that run trips in the summer. Both boats are lifted out at the end of September, the wooden one is an old lifeboat that is absolutely mint ,because the guy spends the whole winter rubbing it down, re painting it and generally fussing with it.
The other one is a grp fast fisher, the owner of that one goes to the Caribbean for the winter on his yacht. He comes back a week before its due to be lifted in, pressure washes it off , anti fouls it and services the engine and drops it back in and is straight back to work.
I know which one I'd rather be !
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Old 16 May 2014, 13:18   #10
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Thanks to everyone who replied to my initial question and apologies it has taken me so long to get back to you - your responses really have been most helpful. In particular, RIB Teccie, thanks so much for sharing your first hand experiences up at MRI, it must have been quite something being involved with those early development stages of the RIB! If you happen to have any photographs of those early boats, I would love to see them. I would also be interested in an OMR 36 type RIB if you ever hear of one up for sale. Thanks again.
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