Advice on New Ribs
I am currently tasked with finding 3-4 new rigid inflatables for my company the for the 2022 summer. Currently we operate 6 ribs. 4-15ft AB Oceanus ribs with Yamaha 85's on the back, 1-19ft Carib with a 100 hp Yamaha, and then a old 21ft Avon pro with a Yamaha 150 on the back. The smaller boats are used for water sporting and short transportation while the larger ribs are used for transporting larger numbers greater distances and sometimes through rough conditions.
The issue with our currently fleet is that we usually have a lot of repairs going on. The Oceanus ribs all need fiberglass work and the 19ft Caribs transom has major structural cracks after 100hrs of run time. Part of the issue is that we push the limits for engine size and the boats are towed between destinations. I need to start replacing some of these boats and am looking for some advice.
What I am looking for,
I would like recommendations on a rib about 15-16ft in length that can take an 85hp or larger engine, be able to manage swells up to 4ft and most importantly, something that is built extremely tough. A carrying capacity of 6 is the minimum.
I also would like a larger 18-20ft rib to handle some of the bigger tasks. A 115hp engine or larger, be able to manage a 7ft swell and can carry a minimum of 9.
Currently I am looking at Highfield patrol series and like what I see. What are some of the draw backs of an aluminum hull? Does anyone have know the quality of the rubber used in their tubes?
Thanks, I am open to any advice and recommendations.