Originally Posted by rbw156
I'm really pleased with my Solent 6.5. Difficult choice. Remind me who manufactures the XS
Having a local builder and outboard service agent is something I'd recommend you seriously consider.
Ok this is something we don't yet know. But that doesn't mean that they're not well built. The official line is that they are a major UK hardboat builder with huge production capacity. The service from Barnet Marine is top notch as well. I live in Cork, yet whenever I need anything or have any queiries they're the first people I ring and are normally quicker than my local service guys.
I never really considered Solent when buyin our first RIB, probably because I prefer the more traditional rugged type (Redbay, Tornado, Excalibur, Delta) like Hightower said. I've a sneaking suspiscion that the XS is better in the rough, but probably is not as quick/light a hull as the Solent.
There's an XS-750, XS-850 and XS-950 being launched at LBS '06 so the 750 is probably a better comparison with the Solent 7.5. Might be worth the wait.
Like I said before though, it'll be your personal opinion that will be the deciding factor.
One factor to consider if you didn't already know is that the XS has PU (polyurethane, not PVC!!) tubes and the Solent has Hypalon tubes.
Just opened a can of worms there (sorry!!
). Different people have different opinions on this. Been discussed many times before. PU is by far the better for fade resistance and abrasion resistance and tends to look new for longer, but is a lot harder to glue than Hypalon, it's still possible, just more complicated.
So how confused are you know??