Originally Posted by mike74
Any advice on what to steer clear from.
Well, for the indicated budget, you're in the 'Pre-loved' market so rather than focusing on particular manufacturers or brands at this stage I'd get out there and view a healthy cross-section in order to give you an idea of the range of absolute crap that's offered for sale around this price-point.
You may end up revising your thinking downward to (say) a SeaRider 4m or increasing your budget. Either way, be prepared to invest a deal of time and money on a refurb which is actually a great way to learn about ribs in general and your rib in particular. There are also many great refurb threads on here to guide and inspire you.
Personally, at this level, I'd rather buy on the basis that I'd probably need to invest 50% of the purchase price in replacement items such as new trailer bearings, impellor, spark plugs, lowercase seals and general tidying of tubes, gelcoat repairs, etc and know that they were properly sorted rather than take a seller's word that things were ok. Every trailer for sale seems to have had the wheel bearings 'replaced last year mate'.
Documentary evidence goes a long way too. Has the seller got the bill for the last engine service that itemises precisely what was replaced, or is there actually not even a scrap of paper to support the fact that the seller even has legal title to the RIB he's trying to sell you?
Major items to look for are spongy decks and cracked transoms which are both signs that you should probably walk away unless you possess the skills and facilities of 'Biffer', or are prepared to pay for someone's (considerable) time and materials.
Anyway, having said all that, someone will probably post a cracking boat for sale at £4K on here this weekend that will need nothing doing to it and will be your pride and joy for years to come.