After much searching for a rib in the 5-6m range I finally bit the bullet and just bought a 2014 zodiac 550 pro tour, the price was just too good to not give one a try.
I must admit that finding reviews on the boat had been very few and far between and frankly the comments on here were greatly putting me off even trying one.
Ive owned boats for 38 years and tend to go with performance offshore boats as I game fish 40-50km offshore on the south east coast of Australia. Often fishing in winds of 25-35 knots was starting to become not so much fun anymore with neck and back problems.
Over the years Ive always been very anti rib (partly due to the harsh sun and the fact that mako sharks always take a liking to my boats).
My first test in the 550 was in 15-20 kn SE wind with 1.5m sea on a 2m swell. I must admit as I headed out through our local bar crossing I was feeling quite doubtful that this boat would be a keeper and I was already picturing it back on the market. Wrong Wrong Wrong, this boat can handle the sea in all directions far better than any glass boat Ive ever owned, I even prefer its sporty fun handling over many of the bigger cats and tri hulls Ive been in over the years.
As for chine walking etc, back on inclosed sheltered waters where I was able to test at flat chat, there was no chine walk what so ever. All I can think is that those who experience it may of had a badly set up outboard (maybe 1 or 2 holes to low) or that the latest boats perform better. Saying that I do only have quite a small engine (Yam 70 4 stroke) which tops out at 64km (might be able to squeeze a little more with some prop testing). By the way the tour is lighter at 315kg which is why it only has the 70.
The 550 will be used 50km offshore targeting yellowfin and bluefin from this weekend as well as a dive and research boat.