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Old 29 January 2018, 08:42   #1
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Wanted: a new rib about 4m which takes a short-shaft engine

I bought an Excel XHD385 a couple of years ago. I'm disappointed with its handling and stiffness, particularly in roughish water. So I now realise I should have bought a RIB, not an inflatable.
My problem is that my engine, a 20hp 4-stroke Yamaha, is a (15") short-shaft unit. It's a great engine and I'd like to keep it.
Wherever I look for RIBs about 4m, they all seem to need a long-shaft (20") engine.
Does anyone know of a RIB, about 4m long, which has a 15" transom height for a short-shaft engine?
Sorry if this question has already been answered, but I can't find it in the searches.
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Old 29 January 2018, 09:50   #2
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A couple of lightweight aluminium ribs spring to mind - Highfield CL380 and Ribeye TS400
http://www.highfieldboats.com/classic-380/
https://www.ribeye.co.uk/models/ts-400
Then thereís the F-Ribs
http://foldablerib.com/
Bear in mind they are all lightweight shallow v hulls so will give a harsh ride in any sort of chop.
Slightly heavier and far pricier would be something like an XS360
https://www.xs-ribs.co.uk/xs-range/xs-360/
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Old 29 January 2018, 10:11   #3
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Keith welcome to the forum.

Good advice from Chipko above but...

What is it about the handling and stiffness you don't like of the current SIB? I assume it is the type with sectional alloy floor?
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Old 29 January 2018, 15:40   #4
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Boy, I typed a response and the forum then said it had logged me out, so I lost it all.
Thanks for the quick reply chipko, I'll research your suggestions.
The Excel has the sectional aluminium floor but since it only has an inflatable keel, directional stability is poor compared with other small grp runabouts I've had before, like the With 365 Dromodile, for example.
It seems to need a lot of power to get it on the plane and keep it there, and even small waves make the whole craft flex and flop about alarmingly.
I had storage space problems ashore and thought the inflatable would solve them, but probably too much of a compromise.
Manoeuvrability is difficult when going slow in tight spots, sometimes the only way out is astern.
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Old 29 January 2018, 15:44   #5
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Are you looking for new or used? To be honest with a 20hp you will probably need to find a fairly shallow vee as it's not goint to be a flying machine with a 20 on a 3.8 or 4m
But even a shallow vee will give a significantly superior ride to a sib
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Old 29 January 2018, 15:49   #6
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The forum will time you out after a set time UNLESS you check the "remember me" box on login.

Sounds to me like your SIB was underinflated. What pressure did you have in the tubes and keel?

A SIB should turn in it's own length. Weigh distribution can have a huge influence on directional stability.
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Old 29 January 2018, 18:09   #7
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Keith just a long shot thought...

My previous boat before moving to inflatables (for the massive advantages of storage and transport) was a With just under 4m. They are superb hulls and I would happily return to one if going back to a trailed craft.

Then over a 10yr period I owned 7 SIBs... while appreciating the storage/transport benefits I did wonder if I'd reluctantly return to a hard hull... until I found the only one that gave a totally satisfactory experience for our needs... when I bought my first Bombard Aerotec 380.

I was so impressed I very quickly bought a brand new one so we had a SIB to take us through many years. That was two and a half years ago and I'm still impressed by the performance (in the broadest sense) of the Aerotec every time we're on the water... as are my "crew".

If you don't know the type there's loads about them on here but the main factor is they have the deepest V by far of any SIB and importantly it runs right to the transom in a RIB-like way rather than flattening off like all other SIBs.

This gives it far better directional stability and ability/comfort in a chop than any other SIB I've owned and it doesn't have that excessive bow up waiting to get over the hump to plane feeling of a flatter hulled SIB, the transition is far more gradual and level. With the hull's V sitting deeper in the water it grips better at low speeds and doesn't drift about with the wind so much. I pride myself with precise low speed manoeuvers (particularly under the watchful gaze of the public approaching a pontoon etc) and you can place it to within inches.

When we started sibbing 10yrs ago after a lifetime of seagoing in hard hulls I must admit it took a few trips to get used to the feeling they were a "rubber boat" but now they feel the norm and so reassuring. If my life depended on coping with getting caught out in rough weather I'd rather be in the Aerotec than any of the other SIBs we've owned or the With.

A 20hp is an ideal motor for an Aerotec so if you value the storage/transport issue and want to lessen the issues you've found with the Excel it's got to be worth a thought??

Another type of setup where folks seem to be very happy is an alloy floor SIB around 4m of your type which is kitted out for touring so carry a lot more weight and are powered by 25hp motors. Of course these have to be trailed... I'm assuming you don't?
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Old 30 January 2018, 01:54   #8
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I know the aerotec is a well thought of boat however many years ago we built the rib pictured from a mould my pal bought it's slightly shorter than an aerotec and fairly shallow vee. Several of us used to holiday in pentewan Cornwall and one of the group had an aerotec so we had opportunity to run side by side many times over several holidays. I had an old yam 28 my pal a more modern yam/ mariner 25 on the aerotec. I can honestly say the rib was a better boat in every respect than the aerotec it was faster more stable cornered better and better in the rough and easier to sit dishing from.
I have to agree with the opinion that changing the current sib to a rib is a good move.
The engine in the picture is a 40veto short shaft which weighs over 80kg so I wouldn't worry about running a short shaft rib as the freeboard is fine

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Old 30 January 2018, 04:33   #9
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>>> I can honestly say the rib was a better boat in every respect than the aerotec

Except it wouldn't fit in the back of the car or on a shelf in the garage!

I wasn't comparing the Aerotec to a conventional RIB... just saying if Keith values the storage and transport aspects of a SIB then it's possible an Aerotec may improve the issues he's unhappy with enough to keep the convenience he seeks with decent on water performance... and still suiting his 20hp.
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Old 30 January 2018, 08:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith_williamson View Post
I bought an Excel XHD385 a couple of years ago. I'm disappointed with its handling and stiffness, particularly in roughish water. So I now realise I should have bought a RIB, not an inflatable.
My problem is that my engine, a 20hp 4-stroke Yamaha, is a (15") short-shaft unit. It's a great engine and I'd like to keep it.
Wherever I look for RIBs about 4m, they all seem to need a long-shaft (20") engine.
Does anyone know of a RIB, about 4m long, which has a 15" transom height for a short-shaft engine?
Sorry if this question has already been answered, but I can't find it in the searches.
hi mate have a look on here for scottish sib outing last year 6 different boats on that then go to youtube look for donny wilcox's channel same title you will see the boats on 4 videos in various conditions i sit on the floor with a foam cushion when its rough really comfy a small rib won't give you a much better ride in the rough. there's an excel & a aerotec on it for comparison
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Old 30 January 2018, 10:39   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstevens763@g View Post
hi mate have a look on here for scottish sib outing last year 6 different boats on that then go to youtube look for donny wilcox's channel same title you will see the boats on 4 videos in various conditions i sit on the floor with a foam cushion when its rough really comfy a small rib won't give you a much better ride in the rough. there's an excel & a aerotec on it for comparison
The man asked for reccomendations for short shaft ribs why try to persuade him a boat he's decided isn't for him is actually for him?
I've been in a aerotec next to my similar size rib and switched my cruiser tender from a 2.9m sib to a 2.8m rib and both are worlds apart from the former my 2.8m ribeye tender is even lighter than the 2.9m sib it replaced.
Apart from the storage issue a rib will out perform a sib almost every time
I know sibs are capable boats but I have to agree with the op that if you don't need the foldability then a rib will be a far better boat
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Old 30 January 2018, 12:00   #12
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>>>why try to persuade him a boat he's decided isn't for him is actually for him?

No-ones trying to do that.

The whole point of a forum is to offer a pool of opinions from which the OP can choose. When those opinions are based on real life experience they can be very helpful. In my case the fact I'd moved from the same make GRP hull as Keith (Bonwitco) to a SIB with great success (eventually) seemed quite relevant.

There are many cases where an OP has seen just one apparent path they need to take and advice offered has led them to a compromise or something they hadn't thought of which saved them money/hassle and was actually a better result for their needs.

That may or may not be the case for Keith... only he can decide. I am just as happy for him to say 100% RIB rather than SIB.
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Old 30 January 2018, 12:17   #13
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Why not look at f/rib 360 or 375 they both take 20 hp and can fold up???
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Old 30 January 2018, 13:09   #14
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You're going to end up with a compromise if you try and retain the existing standard-shaft engine and transplant onto a RIB, as the free-board and hull-shape dictate the shaft length, so it's in line with the base of the hull and the anti-cavitation plate on the outboard.

Searider (4.0m) and Zodiac Pro 420 (4.2m) are a couple of RIBs I'm aware of at this size and would be seriously under-powered with 20hp, and probably need 40hp minimum. My suggestion is to sell the Yamaha. It'll sell privately no problem.

Searider fans will no explain the countless virtues of the 4.0m. It's hypalon, deep V hull and handles rough water. Zodiac on the other hand is more a leisure market RIB, normally PVC, mid-V hull, good dealer support network and more accessories than you can shake a stick at. Both are long-shaft engine combinations.
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Old 30 January 2018, 13:14   #15
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Humber's Sea/ Coastal pro range take a short shaft engine if I remember correctly and they are suitable for tiller steering. That said, they are fairly shallow v hulls. Do you want remote steering or the basic tiller set up?

The Bombard Commando range also take short shaft engines and, although SIBs, they do have a wooden keel which helps somewhat.
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Old 30 January 2018, 13:31   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beamishken View Post
The man asked for reccomendations for short shaft ribs why try to persuade him a boat he's decided isn't for him is actually for him?
I've been in a aerotec next to my similar size rib and switched my cruiser tender from a 2.9m sib to a 2.8m rib and both are worlds apart from the former my 2.8m ribeye tender is even lighter than the 2.9m sib it replaced.
Apart from the storage issue a rib will out perform a sib almost every time
I know sibs are capable boats but I have to agree with the op that if you don't need the foldability then a rib will be a far better boat
I don't think I was persuading him to do anything I was merely suggesting he watched the videos as a comparison for 6 different boats one being a PVC boat to compare to his boat and ride. A short shaft rib will perform better but will have a shallow hull which won't be a ride I think he's after, I suspect it's a bigger boat altogether to give him what he needs, I would try and get a ride in a boat that fits his budget, size etc and take it from there. Just buying a boat to fit the engine is not going to be the best option IMO. also he should consider driving position tiller steer on the tube or bench seat isn't for everyone that's why I stated I sit on the floor with my back on the tube I ve been out in force 5-6 with this seating arrangement very safe and comfy cost £60 better than a new boat.
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Old 30 January 2018, 15:44   #17
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Sometimes people are limited by what they want and can afford there are several ribs about that will suit his needs, which are to handle better than his current boat chipco came up with a few which probably fit the bill.He could also look at the Avon supersport range, caribe and walker bay may also suit.I'd say specifically an sr4 wouldn't be suitable,it's 4.2m for a start and the flooding hull and deep vee wouldn't suit his engine.
It may be he can afford to buy the boat now and maybe upgrade the motor later,many ribs will perform adequately with low power but can be upgraded to max hp later if desired
I'd say if he is going to upgrade to a rib then a centre console and remotes are a worthwhile investment
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Old 30 January 2018, 16:43   #18
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Jeff your sib is spot on and I must say very good bed to lol
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Old 30 January 2018, 18:43   #19
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Hi Guys

Thanks for all your replies, you've all given me a lot of food for thought.
I'm pretty sure I had the Excel inflated to the design pressure. I used a gauge and it felt pretty hard. I regularly drive RIBs on Rutland Water, since I also sail and do rescue duties at the Rutland Sailing Club, and thought I knew how hard tubes should feel. But I may have been wrong. I'll check more carefully next time out. Probably won't be until Easter!
I do trail the SIB, since its a fair way from the house to the beach, and it means I can inflate and prepare the night before we go out. The 20hp 4-stroke Yama is too heavy for a one-man lift, so I use a hoist from the beams in the garage to put it on. The SIB has got launching wheels which work well and means I don't have to put the trailer bearings in the water. I've got an Extreme bunked trailer which is great. I fitted 10" wheels which are much better that 8" (wheelbarrow) wheels, IMHO.
Thanks again for all your input.
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Old 30 January 2018, 19:01   #20
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Ahh so your use is quite different to ours Keith. We keep the Aerotec packed away on a racking shelf in the garage and transport to the sea with everything in the back of the car. I'm never alone so get help with the Suzuki 20hp which even at 44kg has the potential to hurt your back attempting a single handed lift with a bit of twisting.

The air floor Aerotec is a stress free assemble at the waterside but obviously slower than popping in a trailed boat.

If you are already storing and towing a trailer then moving up to a rib (or back to a With??) is no real problem for you.

So where do you go for your nearest/favourite beach?
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