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Old 16 February 2012, 18:33   #1
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A frames - Do we need them?

I look after our sailing club patrol RIBs and am considering just removing all the A frames. As far as a mere sailor can see all they do apart from being handy for VHF aerials is get in the way. As we don't run at night so need no lights and could mount the aerial on the console can anyone give me a good reason for keeping them?
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Old 16 February 2012, 18:50   #2
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I look after our sailing club patrol RIBs and am considering just removing all the A frames. As far as a mere sailor can see all they do apart from being handy for VHF aerials is get in the way. As we don't run at night so need no lights and could mount the aerial on the console can anyone give me a good reason for keeping them?
Rib Bling
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Old 16 February 2012, 19:00   #3
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Currently my anchor light is on a 1m carbon fiber pole...but I'm thinking of adding an A-frame so that I have somewhere to mount the radar I plan on getting.

And, they just look cool!
(unless you have one of those boats with stripey cushioned seats)
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Old 16 February 2012, 20:03   #4
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It's something to hang on to when you need a wee. Sounds trivial, but if it's a bit rough it's invaluable.
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Old 17 February 2012, 01:28   #5
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It's something to hang on to when you need a wee. Sounds trivial, but if it's a bit rough it's invaluable.
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Old 17 February 2012, 02:19   #6
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They're quite useful to hold a small dinghy in place if recovering on board. Keeps it in place & clear of the engine when throttling up. Did a few kids topper regattas, one in particular got a bit nasty with at least 10 boats over at any one time and its a lot quicker to pull the boat in and across the tubes and head for the beach at full tilt rather than mucking about with a tow - especially when the kids are getting cold or bawling their eyes out.

Also protects the engines/aerials etc. from boom damage when coming along side.

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Old 17 February 2012, 02:34   #7
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It's something to hang on to when you need a wee. Sounds trivial, but if it's a bit rough it's invaluable.
got it in one
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Old 17 February 2012, 02:46   #8
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If you're doing close quarter stuff they do get in the way. You forget they're there and if you're do a bit of towing they're a bloody nuisance
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Old 17 February 2012, 03:47   #9
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I do a lot of Safety Boat duties with my RIB and have taken the A frame off. I managed to get an 18 footer rack tangled up in one last time I did a safety Boat for them and was taking it in with the rack sitting on a tube and got caught by some large waves.
Instead I have fabricated a mast further forward that now house the white nav light, GPS aerial, VHF aerial and a pair of LED flood lamps one facing foer and one aft. I have made the mast out of stainless steel and it will double up as a towing post as well, if needed. I don't imagine it will get much use for towing as the outboard is somewhat bulky and will need some sort of frame for the line to slide over to stop it catching on the cover. I have fabricated 2 large towing/lifting rings that bolt onto the transom that are big enough to hold onto when working around the rear of the RIB. The red/greens have gone onto the steering console.

I do a fair amount of photography from the RIB and the mast will make a good leaning post to shoot from.
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Old 17 February 2012, 03:56   #10
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Kind of useful to hang onto when moving about the boat but a PITA lowering and raising it every time to go in/out the garage.

I definitely think there is a bit of willy waving with these - kind of the boaty bull-bar; "mine is bigger and shinier than yours" etc....


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Old 17 February 2012, 03:57   #11
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Up till last year I had done 90% of the international events at Portland. My old girl was perfect
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Old 17 February 2012, 05:12   #12
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Lot of food for thought - we are on fairly sheltered inland water with the clubhouse never too far away so peeing over the side is not really a problem. I can see the bring a Topper aboard working but again being inland if we have a cold "victim" aboard we leave their boat whilst we take them ashore and fetch it later.

I can see 2 or 3 A frames appearing on the for sale board soon ......
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Old 17 February 2012, 05:58   #13
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Personally i like ribs without A frames but then im not into the rescue side of boating like others.

For the amount of time most of us are out in the dark some nav lights on the console and all around white on a pole is fine.

they are useful for flying flags from if you are an "official" boat but other than that, just something else to polish!
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Old 17 February 2012, 06:11   #14
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(unless you have one of those boats with stripey cushioned seats)
Wrong thread mate...
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Old 17 February 2012, 06:31   #15
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A frames have "grown" from simple lighting mounts into monsters. The use of self righting bags has probably fed into the equation too. A basic bar over the console would do the same job better and weigh less. It's getting close to the T-top idea, without the silly umbrella bit...

Personally, I like the look of them, but I do think it's more Fashion than Function.

The RIB below has both, both the console frame could do everything.


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Old 17 February 2012, 06:49   #16
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As well as draining main vein, lights and aerial height.

Safety wise. On an open boat should you throttle up when people aren't ready it gives them a place to grab before going over stern near engine.
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Old 17 February 2012, 08:29   #17
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As well as draining main vein, lights and aerial height.

Safety wise. On an open boat should you throttle up when people aren't ready it gives them a place to grab before going over stern near engine.
errr shouldn't that be "safety wise only open the throttle up after warning your crew"?


Back to the frames - My boat was built & fitted out in 1984-ish. I have an A- frame. (Trawl the "wake shots" threead for a visual). Definition of functional - it is two verticals and a horizontal bit of ally tube welded together (butt welds) with a plate big enough (just) to fit a single white light to. Back then I think you could run >7knots on a single white and it was only length that forced you to have R/G.

As for getitng stuff tangled i nthe frame, the getting caught in sheets / booms etc scenario is just as likely to happen round the engine (not that I speak from experience or anthing!), probably more so if the frame is perfectly smooth at the outer edges (i.e no cleats etc) as it will deflect the boom rather than allow the sheet to get flicked over the top a tapered pole... Every situation will be different, and the only way to really reduce that sort of nonsense at the stern is an A- frameless inboard diesel!


Dinghy racing happens by light of day - no need for nav. lights. Usually no need for GPS, as the course is usually about a mile or so in any direction, so you can see where you are and there's lots of other boats etc etc. If you got nothing to fix to it, no need for a frame!
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Old 17 February 2012, 08:55   #18
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Dinghy racing happens by light of day - no need for nav. lights. Usually no need for GPS, as the course is usually about a mile or so in any direction, so you can see where you are and there's lots of other boats etc etc. If you got nothing to fix to it, no need for a frame!
As a Safety Boat, you do not get stood down until everyone is accounted for. If somebody is missing you could all be searching into dusk or later, in my case out in Hayling Bay / The Solent.
it is not uncommon for fogbanks to come rolling in, in which case a GPS is invaluable, even in broad daylight.
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Old 17 February 2012, 09:01   #19
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As a Safety Boat, you do not get stood down until everyone is accounted for. If somebody is missing you could all be searching into dusk or later, in my case out in Hayling Bay / The Solent.
it is not uncommon for fogbanks to come rolling in, in which case a GPS is invaluable, even in broad daylight.

But to be fair if someone is missing that long the RNLI & coastguard will have been called so are far better equipped to deal with any search.....?
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Old 17 February 2012, 09:39   #20
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Gets your VHF Ariel away from head height. It wont then fry your brain if there is any truth in that rumor.

Somewhere to hang the pointless radar reflectors!

Lights, wee and all the others already listed.

Somewhere to attach the drag causing flags that some ribs can't seem to be without!!
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