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Old 08 July 2023, 17:15   #1
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Advice on Purchase of 22' Polaris

Hi folks,

I'm looking at buying my first RIB. The boat I'm considering is a 1994 Polaris 19'6 hull with an aluminum hull extension/pod bringing it up to 22', original hypalon tubes and a E-tec 150hp HO. The seller is a friend of a friend who takes good care of his things and the boat is beautifully setup for the type of wilderness camping trips that we plan to do. I have two questions.

1) The tubes are 29yrs old were painted with 2-part hypalon paint 4-5 years ago. The paint mostly looks good, there's a few places where it looks like it might need a another coat in the next year or two. Does anyone have any tips for assessing how their condition and how much life might be left in them? They hold air for a week before needing a top up, is that typical for tubes in good condition?

2) The seller says the hull extension/pod's main perk is that it eliminates tube drag while planing. It also creates a great space for the back bench. Do many people pod their boats to reduce or eliminate tube drag?


Thanks!
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Old 08 July 2023, 17:38   #2
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Originally Posted by SaltyTripper View Post
Hi folks,

I'm looking at buying my first RIB. The boat I'm considering is a 1994 Polaris 19'6 hull with an aluminum hull extension/pod bringing it up to 22', original hypalon tubes and a E-tec 150hp HO. The seller is a friend of a friend who takes good care of his things and the boat is beautifully setup for the type of wilderness camping trips that we plan to do. I have two questions.

1) The tubes are 29yrs old were painted with 2-part hypalon paint 4-5 years ago. The paint mostly looks good, there's a few places where it looks like it might need a another coat in the next year or two. Does anyone have any tips for assessing how their condition and how much life might be left in them? They hold air for a week before needing a top up, is that typical for tubes in good condition?

2) The seller says the hull extension/pod's main perk is that it eliminates tube drag while planing. It also creates a great space for the back bench. Do many people pod their boats to reduce or eliminate tube drag?


Thanks!
Hmm usually tubes are only painted as a last ditch attempt to eek out a little more life before the inevitable re tube. Here in the uk its a severe red flag & most educated rib buyers wouldnt touch it. The etec would also be a big downer for me as they get older they become a pita & faults seem to snowball, parts are getting harder to get as is tech backup which wont improve as they get even older. No idea on the pod but the tubes and engine would be a big no for me.
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Old 08 July 2023, 21:05   #3
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Thereís Rib.net members in Canada and state-side and the Rib of choice seems to be the Zodiac Hurricane, either ex-coastguard or such like. At 29 years old, the Polaris tubes are on the limit as to what you can realistically expect in terms of serviceable life.

As mentioned, painting tubes hides all manner of anomalies and whether cosmetic or porous tubes then itís only going to go one way.

If the price is right you could get a few years out of it, before retubing or sticking on a new engine. Wilderness trips sound wonderful. I was in BC back in the mid 90s, so love the coastline and wildlife. That said, you need the rib to be dependable as youíre frankly on your own if you head off-grid.
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Old 09 July 2023, 03:15   #4
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That all makes sense. I think I'm (perhaps foolishly) willing myself to think these things are not so bad. It has kayak racks, surfboard racks, two separately wired GPS units, sonar, VHF in a waterproof case with remote control at the helm, 200L Aluminum fuel tank above deck in the bow and a great mix of seating and gear space - even a fold down see through canvas over the bench seat to keep the wife/kids out of the weather. At the moment it's a turn-key trip-mobile, but I don't think it'll be cheap enough to justify adding $20k for tubes in the near future. The seller quite frankly says that they might last 2 years or they might last 10. It makes the (spine shattering) welded aluminum boat that I'm coming from seems pretty sturdy and straight-forward.

Is a week normal for tubes needing a top off?
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Old 09 July 2023, 09:28   #5
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Is a week normal for tubes needing a top off?[/QUOTE]

Not realy normal, good tubes will hold air almost indefinitely apart from air lost due to temperature fluctuations. Reinflating once a week isn't an issue especially a trailered boat but its not normal finding slow leaks like those is a pita.
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Old 10 July 2023, 18:09   #6
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I'd price it as though you do need to go for new tubes and an engine. Polaris makes a good boat so the hull should go for ever. Tubes out of the water on plane is great. The challenge with a new engine is I'm guessing a 4 stroke may weigh more than the two stroke that hull was designed for. A new engine might put your tubes back in the water. I run a 19.5ft boat and my tubes don't clear the water on plane. I probably lose some fuel efficiency but it's very stable. If you have surf board racks then you may be on the west coast of vancouver island. With a motor that old I'd want to put a kicker on it. I just got back from running around the Tofino inlet.
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Old 11 July 2023, 17:46   #7
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Yes, I’m looking at trips on the west coast. The motor is a 2017 that the seller bought new, I imagine it’ll be a good motor for some time, but will be pretty worthless if I have to sell in 5 or 10 years as e tecs become a thing of the past.
Any tips on where to price out tubes in our area? I emailed Polaris a while ago but they never responded and I’ve heard they have a huge wait list.
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Old 11 July 2023, 21:09   #8
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Got ya. When you said original hypalon tubes and motor I thought you meant the motor was a 1994 (scary). 2017 is not that old. Topping tubes up 1x/week isn't the end of the world.

For a re-tube - Polaris would be best since they have the specs on it.
Zodiac Hurricane in Delta.
Or mutiny inflatables in Vancouver.
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