Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 
Old 05 April 2024, 22:55   #1
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: San Diego California
Boat name: Inmar Patrol
Make: Inmar
Length: 6m +
Engine: 60HP Suzuki
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 12
Is Highfield as good as they seem?

I have an Inmar 470R-PT with a 60HP Suzuki, featuring Hypalon tubes and a fiberglass hull. It's a nice patrol RIB I use for fishing. However, the other day I saw a YouTube video for the Highfield 540 Patrol with a 115HP engine and fell in love.
Locally, here in the states, we donít see many people with Highfield, and the setup is priced at around $50k, so theyíre not cheap for a 16í RIB.
Is there anything bad about Highfield? I noticed the factory is in China, however, I watched a video and the place looks top-notch. Am I correct in liking that RIB? Is it all that it seems? By the way, I looked at the 3D Tenderís also, and all the boats on their web page state ďout of stock.Ē Anyway, I think the Patrol 540 is nicer than the Zodiac PRO5.5. Iíve been looking for a discounted 540 with no luck. Am I on the right track for loving this boat and wanting to replace my Inmar 470? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
__________________
Hypalon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 01:33   #2
Member
 
Peter_C's Avatar
 
Country: USA
Town: NorCal
Boat name: SHARKY
Make: AB
Length: 4m +
Engine: Honda BF75 & BF5
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,929
Highfield's are fairly common in the USA. More so in Florida. They are very nice boats, and highly regarded for tenders/dingys. I wish I had one...
__________________
Peter_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 02:30   #3
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: San Diego California
Boat name: Inmar Patrol
Make: Inmar
Length: 6m +
Engine: 60HP Suzuki
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 12
I see the vibe in Florida is totally different, I watch the Chit Show w/ Alfred Montaner on youtube and it’s obvious RIB’s are more popular in Florida than Southern California, unless it’s a yacht tender. I had a Zodiac, then got the Inmar, they’re somewhat popular in San Diego since they’re made here, and their corporate head quarters are here too.
When people talk about the RIB’s from China, they’re not referring to Highfield, although they’re made there, they’re known to be a solid boat?
Do you know if the HIN is stamped CN, since that’s where they’re made?
__________________
Hypalon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 04:56   #4
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Colchester
Length: 5m +
Join Date: Apr 2023
Posts: 824
High fields are very good ribs as are many of the other Ribs and products made in China
__________________
Easedalenovice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 09:02   #5
RIBnet Supporter
 
willk's Avatar
 
Country: Ireland
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 14,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easedalenovice View Post
High fields are very good ribs as are many of the other Ribs and products made in China
__________________
I'm sorry, but there IS no Mars Bar.
willk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 09:37   #6
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Colchester
Length: 5m +
Join Date: Apr 2023
Posts: 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by willk View Post
No idea how old you are but If you remember Japanese Motorbikes they were originally called Jap Crap. Now they are probably the best in the world.

Perhaps you need to look at the date and have a little think
__________________
Easedalenovice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 09:49   #7
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: north ayrshire
Boat name: charlie girl
Make: S/R5.4/regal3760
Length: 10m +
Engine: Suzukidf70 2x6lp 315
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,790
[QUOTE=willk;872216][IMG]https://believe.art/wp-content/uploads/believe_chairman_meow_equal.jp

Unfortunately not everyone appreciates a quality boat 😉
Nor the value in buying local products
__________________
beamishken is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 16:53   #8
Member
 
Pikey Dave's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: South Yorks
Boat name: Black Pig
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5m +
Engine: DF140a
MMSI: 235111389
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 11,931
RIBase
It all depends on how high your bar is set. Personally having had a very close look around one at a boat show, I wouldn’t buy one with your money.
__________________
Rule#2: Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level & then beat you with experience.
Rule#3: Tha' can't educate pork.
Rule#4:Don't feed the troll
Pikey Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 17:07   #9
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: San Diego California
Boat name: Inmar Patrol
Make: Inmar
Length: 6m +
Engine: 60HP Suzuki
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 12
I appreciate everyone’s opinion. My business sells integrated circuits to OEM’s and I’ve seen how the counterfeit market which predominantly originates in China has negatively impacted an entire industry. Chinese manufacturing is really good and making a product appear as trustworthy as the product it’s imitating, however in reality it’s often inferior in every aspect.
That’s why I’m skeptical of anything made in China. However, when I watched the Highfield factory video I was blown away, it’s impressive. That’s why I asked the question.
So far, nobody here has anything negative to say about Highfield.
I purchased my 1st Zodiac in the 90’s, and back then it was Zodiac, AB, Novurania and Avon. We didn’t see all the RIB manufactures like we see now, and truthfully here in the states we still don’t see all the RIBs like you do in Europe, I’m honestly a bit jealous when I see what’s commonplace in the UK.
My dream RIB was always the AB Profile A18, but now it’s the Highfield 540.
__________________
Hypalon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 17:07   #10
Member
 
Steve509926's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Appley Bridge
Boat name: RedNeck
Make: Excel SD360
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mercury EFI 20HP
MMSI: 235924407
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 2,956
Hi PD, for that day in the future when I may ditch the caravan, buy a motorhome and a small rib. Why wouldn't you buy a Highfield, what would put you off? What would you get sub 5mtr instead.
__________________
Steve509926 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 20:32   #11
Member
 
Pikey Dave's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: South Yorks
Boat name: Black Pig
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5m +
Engine: DF140a
MMSI: 235111389
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 11,931
RIBase
I’ve voiced my opinions on the quality of Highfields before on the forum. The quality of the ally welding leaves a lot to be desired. When I pointed this out to the rep at the boat show, he informed me that they offered a “ premium” welding option at additional cost. At that point I walked away.
__________________
Rule#2: Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level & then beat you with experience.
Rule#3: Tha' can't educate pork.
Rule#4:Don't feed the troll
Pikey Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 20:34   #12
Member
 
Pikey Dave's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: South Yorks
Boat name: Black Pig
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5m +
Engine: DF140a
MMSI: 235111389
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 11,931
RIBase
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypalon View Post
My dream RIB was always the AB Profile A18, but now itís the Highfield 540.
Itís a fine line between a dream & a nightmare
__________________
Pikey Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 21:16   #13
Member
 
Steve509926's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Appley Bridge
Boat name: RedNeck
Make: Excel SD360
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mercury EFI 20HP
MMSI: 235924407
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 2,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Iíve voiced my opinions on the quality of Highfields before on the forum. The quality of the ally welding leaves a lot to be desired. When I pointed this out to the rep at the boat show, he informed me that they offered a ď premiumĒ welding option at additional cost. At that point I walked away.
that's incredible! You'd like to think that something as integral as welding would be done to a quality standard no matter what.
__________________
Steve509926 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06 April 2024, 21:20   #14
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: San Diego California
Boat name: Inmar Patrol
Make: Inmar
Length: 6m +
Engine: 60HP Suzuki
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 12
The Highfield dealer in my area has a 540, but it’s still in the crate and they need to basically assemble it, so I’ve never seen one, only the videos on line.
I like the Patrol style boats, my Inmar 470R-PT is a nice boat, but I want a 16’ with more range. Right now, my boat has a 6-gallon tank, I love the size of the fuel tanks like the Zodiac Pro 5.5, or of course the Highfield 540 which are integrated into the hull. so Pikey Dave isn't impressed. The highfield warranty is 10 years on the tubes, and 5 years on the hull, which is impressive. Have you heard of reliability issues?
__________________
Hypalon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07 April 2024, 06:18   #15
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Colchester
Length: 5m +
Join Date: Apr 2023
Posts: 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve509926 View Post
Hi PD, for that day in the future when I may ditch the caravan, buy a motorhome and a small rib. Why wouldn't you buy a Highfield, what would put you off? What would you get sub 5mtr instead.
Your Sib and most of the sibs made are made in China. Are you happy with the quality you have in the Excel. Indeed PD has one also. Go to one of the Boatshows and see the Quality yourself. Far better than relying on views from this forum
__________________
Easedalenovice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07 April 2024, 07:29   #16
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: north ayrshire
Boat name: charlie girl
Make: S/R5.4/regal3760
Length: 10m +
Engine: Suzukidf70 2x6lp 315
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypalon View Post
The Highfield dealer in my area has a 540, but itís still in the crate and they need to basically assemble it, so Iíve never seen one, only the videos on line.
I like the Patrol style boats, my Inmar 470R-PT is a nice boat, but I want a 16í with more range. Right now, my boat has a 6-gallon tank, I love the size of the fuel tanks like the Zodiac Pro 5.5, or of course the Highfield 540 which are integrated into the hull. so Pikey Dave isn't impressed. The highfield warranty is 10 years on the tubes, and 5 years on the hull, which is impressive. Have you heard of reliability issues?
You will probably find the majority of experienced folk here who have been in & around ribs for decades wouldnt buy a highfield they are popular due to cost but their a bit like mass produced furniture functional but just not as nice as a quality piece of furniture. Im with pikey dave I wouldn't buy one either I'd be looking for a fibreglass hull with hypalon tubes from a quality builder
We own an aluminum hull tender & its great for its purpose but we generally consider small tenders /sibs etc as disposable boats. As they get larger the quality, fit & finish of a domestically produced boat becomes more important.
Your new here so maybe don't realise Easdalenovice is the resident troll who will always say the opposite to the experienced masses & is largely ignored by the older members as arguing with him just feeds him. You may notice he just bought a new rib which isnt a highfield so perhaps that tells you something.
__________________
beamishken is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07 April 2024, 23:31   #17
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: San Diego California
Boat name: Inmar Patrol
Make: Inmar
Length: 6m +
Engine: 60HP Suzuki
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 12
I had my Zodiac for years, and then recently purchased an Inmar patrol RIB, and after taking it out a dozen times I wish I had something with more power than the 60HP, and a fuel tank integrated into the hull to hold more fuel. I’m currently limited on range unless I bring additional fuel cans, and that’s a bit of a pain.
I’ve always assumed the aluminum hulls were far superior to the fiberglass, and that’s what attracted me to the Highfield, and of course the AB Profile A18. The AB is just too expensive.
I keep my RIB in the garage, which means 18’ is about as large as I can go.
The Zodiac Pro 5.5 is similar in price to the Highfield 540, but I liked the Highfield because of the hull- Could an argument be made that the Zodiac fiberglass hull is superior to the Highfield Aluminum hull?
__________________
Hypalon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08 April 2024, 05:20   #18
Member
 
Peter_C's Avatar
 
Country: USA
Town: NorCal
Boat name: SHARKY
Make: AB
Length: 4m +
Engine: Honda BF75 & BF5
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypalon View Post
I had my Zodiac for years, and then recently purchased an Inmar patrol RIB, and after taking it out a dozen times I wish I had something with more power than the 60HP, and a fuel tank integrated into the hull to hold more fuel. Iím currently limited on range unless I bring additional fuel cans, and thatís a bit of a pain.
More POWER My older AB 450 has a Honda 75HP, and it does well, but maybe just a little more would be nicer. I get 45mph max. It is very comforting having 25 gallons of fuel down low, plus a small 3 gallon tank for the kicker, or main.

I do believe all fuel "cans" onboard need to be Coast Guard approved. All modern marine fuel tanks should be USCG approved.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypalon View Post
Iíve always assumed the aluminum hulls were far superior to the fiberglass, and thatís what attracted me to the Highfield, and of course the AB Profile A18. The AB is just too expensive.
How many river jet boats do you see made out of aluminum vs fiberglass? 100% are aluminum. Rental canoes are made out of more expensive aluminum than fiberglass for a reason too...longevity and toughness. The Coast Guard, and every Sheriffs boat around Cali is aluminum. Check out Moose Boats, made in NorCal. Most of NOAA's smaller fleet sub 100' are aluminum. NOAA's catamaran that we often see is sweet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypalon View Post
I keep my RIB in the garage, which means 18í is about as large as I can go.
The Zodiac Pro 5.5 is similar in price to the Highfield 540, but I liked the Highfield because of the hull- Could an argument be made that the Zodiac fiberglass hull is superior to the Highfield Aluminum hull?
I assume that 18' is with a folding trailer tongue? I would pay extra for a far lighter aluminum trailer too. Better fuel mileage towing and less wear and tear on tow vehicle. Bonus is, more acceleration.
__________________
Peter_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08 April 2024, 08:06   #19
Member
 
Fender's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Make: Zodiac
Length: under 3m
Engine: Scull
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 530
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easedalenovice View Post
Your Sib and most of the sibs made are made in China. Are you happy with the quality you have in the Excel. Indeed PD has one also. Go to one of the Boatshows and see the Quality yourself. Far better than relying on views from this forum
Couple of seasons ago I was in a boatyard's workshop where a new Highfield was being fitted out for a customer, part of the fit-out included regluing numerous tube tapes and fittings that were already coming away from the tubes
__________________
Fender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08 April 2024, 10:22   #20
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Manchester
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzuki 140
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 34
We have various friends with Highfield 460s and 500s and they are perfectly fine for occasional summer use as fun family boats. When you sit them next to nicer boats like Ribeye or Ribcrafts then you can see where the savings are being made, general fit out, size of a frames and fixtures, how bits like console are attached etc. basically they are a decent budget boat and if you approach them like that then I don’t think you’d be disappointed.

We also have friends with Brigs that have been a lot more hassle with tube delaminating etc than the Highfields which rarely have any issues. Brig/Grand etc seems to charge quite a bit but you get similar fixtures/fittings to Highfield so seem like worse value to me.

Ultimately you need to go and look at boats and decide for yourself what is worth paying for.
__________________
cdbxyz is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT. The time now is 06:11.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.