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Old 17 October 2021, 05:29   #1
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Experience can be expensive

After fifty years of boat ownership and maybe of owning upwards of twenty boats ranging from 8í to 28í, oars to engines, petrol to diesel, sails to power I have recently found that RIBs suit my particular boating needs best. With advancing age I have to find agreeable compromises that allow me to launch and recover my boat without help and a boat that is stable and safe to use in fresh and sea water. My first rib was a 4.3 m Mercury with a 20hp outboard . This was a great introduction to rib boating as it proved ( fortuitously) to be as good as it looked and as it had been described by its previous owner. After four happy years with it I was tempted to part with it by a very good offer. Shortly afterwards I discovered that I had made a BIG mistake. I missed my rib much more than I had expected. Then began a sorry journey to try and find paradise lost. I foolishly thought my many years experience of buying ď regularĒ boats would stand me well. Was I wrong ! Nothing that went before prepared me for the scope that exists for trickery and misrepresentation that pertained to ribs in particular. In the space of six months I had bought three lemons. All looked ok on inspection and their vendors seemed plausible in their presentations, but all three had hidden serious faults. The first one had neither engine or trailer included and so I had to rely on a visual inspection, with the rib lying in the sellers back garden. After getting it home and finding a suitable engine and making a trailer to suit, I eagerly took it for its maiden trip. I had established it had no patches, that itís hull was sound, and that it held air in the tubes. I hadnít expected that the tubes were separating from the hull, and that within ten minutes of launch I would be ankle deep in water. A professional repair would cost more than the rib was worth. I salvaged what I could by separating the package into its three main parts and selling them . I subsequently bought, in quick succession, two more ribs that were not what they seemed . The most recent one was well tested on water before purchase and seemed to be a good one, but once again I was fooled. It had been scrutinised for patches or damage and had held its pressure for the few hours of testing, and I had been assured that the vendor had not ď recentlyĒ pumped it with air. After a week of ownership I noticed that one chamber had noticeably lost pressure. Hoping for the best I took it for a run. The deflation rate increased with the action of the boat over waves in a matter of hours. Although this rib was cosmetically the best of the ten or so prospective ribs I had viewed, itís seams were starting to fail due to deteriorating glue on the joints, because of age, an effect I personally can identify with. Otherwise this rib would perfect for me. So I have delivered it to a well respected professional rib repair company to make it good.
I now realise that all my years with wooden and GRP boats were of no help when checking out ribs. I am convinced that the only way to be fully sure that you donít end up with someone elseís rib problems when buying second hand is to get the seller to agree to a trial marriage of at least a weeks duration before parting with the dowry, and I suspect that youíd have as much chance of that as convincing your prospective father in law to agree to the same arrangement for his beloved daughter. The only answer to avoiding this minefield is to bite the bullet and buy only a new rib of a reputable make.
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Old 17 October 2021, 13:29   #2
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That's quite a long rant.

I'm sorry you've not had a great time buying RIBs but I'm going to say there are more ways than buying new to avoid some of the trauma.

1. You could buy used from a dealer. You can expect a warranty. It won't be 5 years. But it should be a few months. Enough to find any known issues.

2. You could buy a boat you know from someone you trust. No warranty so if it does go wrong, you still need to sort it at your expense (or loss), but you can hopefully be sure someone isn't hiding something.

3. Buy with a contingency. If you want a £10k RIB - buy a £7k RIB and keep £3k spare to fund any issues you later discover.
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Old 17 October 2021, 13:39   #3
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That's quite a long rant.
Rant?

He's from Kerry, he's just getting started on his greeting - the REAL story will follow in a day or so.

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Old 17 October 2021, 13:44   #4
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Thank you for your reply and I must try to be brief. I accept points 1 and 2 but not so much 3. There would be no guarantee that 3K would be enough and my funds can only stretch so far. I am hurting from my own lack of rib buying experience, but I am still certain that a rib is the way to go.
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Old 17 October 2021, 13:51   #5
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Haha Willk, I live in Kerry but Iím actually from Dublin. So you must adjust your prejudices accordingly. I feel better already for letting off some steam.i
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Old 17 October 2021, 15:36   #6
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Caveat emptor…. Buy from a dealer, pay the premium for the warranty or buy new…. Comes with the territory I nearly sold one of mine 2 hours later motor landed me a £1000+ bill who could have known? Not I “your honour” so I paid the bill it’s still worth what is was worth before I spent £1000+ on it! So I’m out a grand had it have happened to the buyer I would feel a sense of relief nothing more….


Are you ready advocating dating boats?
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Old 17 October 2021, 15:51   #7
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I canít argue with your point although I would feel very bad for my buyer if there was a catastrophic failure immediately after the sale. Iím just smarting from two successive bad experiences. I feel itís the nature of ribs that many of their faults canít always be seen in the course of a viewing. A ten year old GRP or wooden boat is a much easier craft to access for signs of damage. I will have to hope that my present rib responds well to its repairs.
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Old 18 October 2021, 20:22   #8
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Ive heard of people having ribs for many years without issue but then sell the vessel they spray them with silicone based sprays to make them look new and shiny again. The silicone can then react with glue holding the tube sections together and to the boat breaking it down and causing separation. This of course can also be be something that a new boat owner might do to their boat without realising.

Not saying this is the case but is there any chance it could be with this one.
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Old 19 October 2021, 02:33   #9
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I haven’t heard of that before but I don’t think it was done to my rib, the surface was good but was not shiny. The problem with ribs is that apart from obvious damage like scuffing or patches there is no way to know how well it has been minded over the last few years. It might have been left out in strong sun, over inflated occasionally, or as you suggest , treated with unsuitable chemicals.
PVC is supposed to have an average life of 10 + years while Hypalon is supposed to be 15+ years. My PVC Brig 4.0 was 2005, so I should have been smarter but was taken in by its very good looks and the “history” that was offered, that it was only fresh water use and only as a tender to get to a large cruiser. After driving up and down the country for months looking at poor examples, mounting frustration played its part in the deal.
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Old 19 October 2021, 03:50   #10
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Now that I’ve got the bad stuff off my chest I feel I should balance the topic by some good stuff. I discovered ribs after fifty years plus of owning many types of craft. I was beginning to feel that, physically, I was getting too old to manhandle heavy fibreglass or wooden boats in and out of the water single handed. Often fighting strong cross winds and currents while trying to line up the boat and its trailer. Then I discovered the joys of rib ownership, the fact that I only needed a few inches of water to launch and that I no longer needed to immerse the wheels in the sea to retrieve my boat. Then I found that even a small rib was as stable at rest as a large cruising boat and if two or more of my passengers decided to unexpectedly go to the same side simultaneously that I needn’t worry about a capsize. At seventy plus years of age I had a whole new lease of marine life ahead of me. All the negatives that I have experienced in the last five years are as nothing compared to the positives. Now maybe I have redeemed myself in the eyes of those who might have thought that I was just a grumpy old man.
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Old 19 October 2021, 17:22   #11
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Originally Posted by jonp View Post
Ive heard of people having ribs for many years without issue but then sell the vessel they spray them with silicone based sprays to make them look new and shiny again. The silicone can then react with glue holding the tube sections together and to the boat breaking it down and causing separation. This of course can also be be something that a new boat owner might do to their boat without realising.

Not saying this is the case but is there any chance it could be with this one.
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Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
I havenít heard of that before but I donít think it was done to my rib, the surface was good but was not shiny. The problem with ribs is that apart from obvious damage like scuffing or patches there is no way to know how well it has been minded over the last few years. It might have been left out in strong sun, over inflated occasionally, or as you suggest , treated with unsuitable chemicals.
PVC is supposed to have an average life of 10 + years while Hypalon is supposed to be 15+ years. My PVC Brig 4.0 was 2005, so I should have been smarter but was taken in by its very good looks and the ďhistoryĒ that was offered, that it was only fresh water use and only as a tender to get to a large cruiser. After driving up and down the country for months looking at poor examples, mounting frustration played its part in the deal.
I was starting to think JohnP had a personality disorderÖÖ.. the. I saw it was jonp and JohnP
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