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Old 27 May 2005, 16:57   #1
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Advice on Safety boat needed

Hi All.

My University Sailing Club is (hopefully) placing the order for a new safety rib within the next 2 months. Having looked at their rib of choice, I feel it needs a little refinement. They were looking at ordering an XS-500, with a 60hp 2 stroke Yamaha on the back, a frame, nav lights, Icom VHF, and Fishfinder, with a single jockey seat and external fuel tanks.

I am of the opinion that for safety work in a harbour with a 10kt speed limit, we should have a 4 stroke, the benefits as I see it being fuel economy, reliability, and towing ability.

I am also of the opinion that we should have 2 jockey seats, as there is minimal point having a fast safety boat which will permanantly have 2 people on it with safe seating for only one.

What do other people think? We will have a budget of £11-12k. We don't have room for anything more than a 5m (5.4 at a push) and weight is a huge consideration when we have to manually push it up a slipway. We are also poor students, so fuel economy, maintenance and durability are big on our list.

I agree that from what I've heard the choice of an XS seems a good one, as they have a good rep for build quality and sea keeping, but we are open to other brands.

Please don't post touting your boat for sale, as our Union will not even contemplate second hand, so don't ask!

It would be helpful, especially on engines, if you suggested different manufacturers and brands, as what with 2 stroke, 4 stroke, e-tec, optimax and all the rest of it, I tend to get quite confused!

Thanks very much for any help/suggestions.
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Old 27 May 2005, 17:03   #2
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I reckon that your ideas are spot-on!
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Old 28 May 2005, 01:53   #3
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Safety Boats

HI Jimbo,
For what its worth we ( HAYLING ISLAND SAILING CLUB ) run 9 ribs a mixture of Tornado and Humber all of them fitted with single jockey and a mixture of 50hp 4 strokes and now any replacements with 50 Evinrude Etecs . You may want to ring the Marine manager Nick 023 9246 3768 and ask his opinion on durability and economy as they have been keeping some records on fuel over the last year or two . The 4 strokes don't seems to last as well as the 2 strokes in the hands of inexperienced drivers !
The Humbers stand up to the abuse better than the Tornados .
There is also 1 Avon searider 5.4 with a 50hp 4stroke which has been around since Noah looks awfull but still in 1 piece and going strong.
My advice would be to get the simplest engine to avoid big maintenance bills .
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Old 28 May 2005, 03:23   #4
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We will have a budget of £11-12k.
and
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We are also poor students,
I wish I could be a poor student and get a new boat!!!

PW
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Old 28 May 2005, 18:07   #5
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In terms of how well they will stand up being driven into a wall by a novice, then it goes Avon searider, Ribcraft, then Humber/Tornado. If you were buying second hand I'd buy a used Searider 4.7 or Searider 5.4, but since you're not, and I assume that you are looking to keep this for quite a long time, then the best new buy is the Ribcraft (IMVHO).

If storage space and weight is an issue, then the 4.8 is an excellent little boat. Indeed I can think of 10 or 15 safety organisations and sailing clubs within dorset alone which use them. The 5.3 is also a good boat, but I haven't driven it so only can give an academic opinion about it. The XS ribs also look good, but dont have the same length customer list as the ribcrafts, who seem to appeal to quite a lot of pro centres, harbour masters, lifeboat organisations and very big clubs in comparision to XS-ribs, but this could simply be because XS are a little newer.

Mariner/Mercury outboards are the most popular among sailing clubs/organisations, and I think you're bang on with the comment on 4-strokes being best for what you're doing, however I will say that there is V.little in terms of performance and durability between the mainstream OB manufacturers (Yammy, Mariner/Merc, Honda, Evinrude). Suzuki and Tohatsu are less vouched for, and cheaper but also good if you plan to replace the engine on a regular basis (ie every 3 years). Looking at all these factors however, I'd recommend the Merc/Mariners as the Barrus support has always been good, and the 4-strokes are what I would call 'solid' engines for smaller ribs, and you guys seem to want to keep this rib going for a good few years.

I think it is generally regarded that the seat is the helms privelege on centre and club boats although a more practical reason might be to do with working space within the boat. It is quite difficult to work at the back of a 5m rib if it has a double jockey seat, as you compromise quite a lot of deck space. It might be worth contemplating towing posts and/or double A frames instead of the usual single one. Although they take up more space, they make towing a lot easier! I'm intrigued by the fishfinder - are you going to use it when one of the dinghies sinks? Or are there some student sailing club chairpeople looking to take the club purchase out on some fishing excursions?

£11-12 K should go quite a long way!

Good luck,

Matt
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Old 29 May 2005, 14:21   #6
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Thanks for all your responses, sorry for my slow interaction, been doing my Advanced Dinghy Instructor course at Thorney Island (yes, sailyboats!!).

We are a very poor sailing club, with a tiny budget, it's the union that are funding the safety rib!

Quote:
For what its worth we ( HAYLING ISLAND SAILING CLUB ) run 9 ribs a mixture of Tornado and Humber all of them fitted with single jockey and a mixture of 50hp 4 strokes and now any replacements with 50 Evinrude Etecs . You may want to ring the Marine manager Nick 023 9246 3768 and ask his opinion on durability and economy as they have been keeping some records on fuel over the last year or two . The 4 strokes don't seems to last as well as the 2 strokes in the hands of inexperienced drivers !
Cheers for that, I sail out of HISC every so often, and had a look at your ribs on Friday. They look to have weathered use well (although all look a little underpowered to me!).

I notice that a couple of them have Evinrude E-Tec's on them, what is your and other peoples opinion on these? I was chatting to a sailing coach who says that the E-Tecs are fantastic, as he reckons they give as good a performance as a 2 stroke, but with the fuel economy of a 4. I shall certainly be looking into them in more detail, especially as they look fairly small and light!

Quote:
It might be worth contemplating towing posts and/or double A frames instead of the usual single one. Although they take up more space, they make towing a lot easier!
This is something I am looking into, however, it all costs money!! I'm also considering ditching the a-frame, as we don't want inexperienced clowns trying to tow off it. Double A-Frames and tow posts are good, but a tow post uses up a lot of room, and a double a frame hits the budget hard. My preferred solution is to have 2 reinforced eyelets on the back, and connect a pipe covered rope to 2 snap shackles, creating a quick and easy bridle.

Quote:
I'm intrigued by the fishfinder - are you going to use it when one of the dinghies sinks? Or are there some student sailing club chairpeople looking to take the club purchase out on some fishing excursions?
With our larks, sinking is a real possibility...
I think the logic behind it was that we wanted depth, and a fishfinder was chosen for some odd but I'm sure well meaning reason! Might change that...
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Old 30 May 2005, 08:22   #7
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Will this new purchase mean you will be able to get out there for the occasional (practice ) blast Jimbo?


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Old 30 May 2005, 11:46   #8
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Will this new purchase mean you will be able to get out there for the occasional (practice ) blast Jimbo?


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Ooh, I think so! As long as I keep it quiet, should be ok, after all, I am the Vice Commodore!

Was out in the Solent today, teaching own boat on a 7.5 Scorpion...
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Old 30 May 2005, 18:08   #9
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I was looking for a new safety boat a few years back fot the University of Plymouth. We had a very good look at the RIBCRAFT 4.8 with a 50hp four stroke on the back cause it was very good value for money and its aimed at exactly the market you are in.

If you are looking just to potter alongside dinghies go for a four stroke whatever you do. Extra tube armouring is a must and don't get the rubber cleats fitted to the tubes. They will last about a week when some muppet tries to tow a wayfarer or something on them!

I know of a centre that exclusively use Tornados but I'm not to sure on some of the recent ones build quality and how much value for money u actually get! They do seem very expensive for what you get.

Make sure you consider getting the engine with a maintenence package too. Its a lot easier to sort out and means thinks don't get forgotten.

If you want to PM me for more details I`ll spill the beans on what we went through!!

Chris
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Old 31 May 2005, 02:25   #10
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The Universities of Portsmouth & Plymouth should add the possibility of going RIBbing to their prospectuses


BIG selling point

Wins out over the 'punters' of Oxbridge

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Old 31 May 2005, 04:09   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Jackeens
The Universities of Portsmouth & Plymouth should add the possibility of going RIBbing to their prospectuses


BIG selling point

Wins out over the 'punters' of Oxbridge

Us
Plymouth certainly do mention the courses that the Recreation Department run but not much is given over to the Student Uni Clubs!

Plymouth actually has a Sailing AND Powerboat Club. Its the only University that has a powerboat club in the UK. They run loads of trips in and around Plymouth Sound and often go travelling around the UK to support the sailing team. They have a 6m Humber with a 115hp Yam, 4 Polar Circle 'Pigs' with seventy fives, a orkney day boat, and access to 4 4.8m Tornados and 2 6m Tornados as and when!

Very good club and costs are kept to a minimum. As you can imagine most trips involve getting into a pub!!
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Old 31 May 2005, 04:44   #12
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Jimbo

I am a member of Emsworth Sailing Club, therefore in a similar location to yourselves. i.e. loads of mud and shallows.

ESC has a 10 year old BWM 5m with a 30hp Honda 4 st. and a tandem jockey seat mounted well forward.

The engine is far to small, and will not get the rib on the plane in under 1/2 an hour with 2 up. The descision to get a small engine was that it would stop people exceeding Chichesters 8kt speed limit! It stands no chance of keeping up with anything faster than a Wayfarer, which means that you find yourself miles away from the action at the gybe mark. Much better to go for an engine which will push along at 16 - 18kts with 3-4 up and able to get an injured person ashore in good time. Take the risk a speeding fine. I doubt you will get more than a warning in a real emergency.

The forward helm position gives a huge working area aft for stowing bent laser rigs, tired crew and casualtys etc.

Forget the A frame, as you say, it will be used as a towing point, and actually gets in the way when taking on a tow or working around the back of the boat. A bridle is a must.
You dont need nav lights unless you do night races.

Fish finder? I bet it gets knocked overboard by the end of the season.

P.S. Lurcher - Jaffa has gone to a new owner.
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Old 31 May 2005, 12:42   #13
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Originally Posted by CJL
Plymouth actually has a Sailing AND Powerboat Club. Its the only University that has a powerboat club in the UK. They run loads of trips in and around Plymouth Sound and often go travelling around the UK to support the sailing team....Very good club and costs are kept to a minimum. As you can imagine most trips involve getting into a pub!!
A well-rounded education on offer there!

Sounds excellent Chris. And an important consideration for boat-mad prospective students.

Also sounds like there are good opportunities at Pompey University Jimbob. All things being equal these aspects of Uni life are a worth considering. (The So'ton lot seem to do OK also )

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Old 31 May 2005, 13:03   #14
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4 Polar Circle 'Pigs' with seventy fives
And here they are.
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Old 31 May 2005, 13:23   #15
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They are indestructable boats!

I think they are nearly 9 years old and they have not had one days 'downtime' as a result of hull problems!!

Thats not bad going really. I mean they are not the most glam. boats but they do the job!
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Old 31 May 2005, 14:07   #16
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Michael Whelan from Plymouth powerboat school told me they're made out of oil pipes welded together!
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Old 31 May 2005, 14:10   #17
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Also sounds like there are good opportunities at Pompey University Jimbob. All things being equal these aspects of Uni life are a worth considering. (The So'ton lot seem to do OK also )
Grrr. They always beat us at sailing!

No, seriously, the Scummers are a very very very professional sailing team, who win many Uni and National events, but whether knowingly or not, they are not at all beginner friendly.

On the powerboating front, setting up a powerboat club is something I've considered, especially with several uni and ex uni ribbers in the area (I seem to remember Tim M is coming down next year).

As with everything, the problem is funding, so if anyone has a big new rib they want to sell us for £50 while we get started...

Being as busy as I am on the Committee of the sailing club, and having exams at the moment, I think I'm going to look into it a bit more in the new academic year. The Solent being such a fantastic place to be ribbing, I'm sure it could work!
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Old 31 May 2005, 14:21   #18
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Not quite but they are made of HDPE which is the same stuff they made gas pipes out of! They thermally weld them together and insert baffles to make chambers just like a rib collar. We were told when they were purchased that they Norwegian SBS equivalent swear by them! (Might be marketing spin!) I've seen a few up in Scotland also being used in the salmon fishery industry.

I was running a session with the Uni once and one of our not so bright students had a bit of a knock with another boat, needless to say the 'pig' was fine but the other boat, a dory, was toast!

The Uni like them for reliability and the fact that with the console at the back you can keep an eye on all the divers in the bow without much hassle. Three up in a 2 meter chop can be uncomforatble without the ballast/divers!!

They are used seven days a week so really they are at the top end of the commercial heavy use market. Ribs unfortunately are just not robust enough for that kind of use. Its a sad fact but if you dont own it people don't treat kit the way they should.

More pics here
http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/pages/view.asp?page=9342

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Old 31 May 2005, 16:25   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo
On the powerboating front, setting up a powerboat club is something I've considered, especially with several uni and ex uni ribbers in the area ...Being as busy as I am on the Committee of the sailing club, and having exams at the moment, I think I'm going to look into it a bit more in the new academic year. The Solent being such a fantastic place to be ribbing, I'm sure it could work!
Go for it!

It would be great for Portsmouth!

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Old 02 June 2005, 08:09   #20
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Jimbo

I am a member of Emsworth Sailing Club, therefore in a similar location to yourselves. i.e. loads of mud and shallows.

ESC has a 10 year old BWM 5m with a 30hp Honda 4 st. and a tandem jockey seat mounted well forward.

The engine is far to small, and will not get the rib on the plane in under 1/2 an hour with 2 up. The descision to get a small engine was that it would stop people exceeding Chichesters 8kt speed limit! It stands no chance of keeping up with anything faster than a Wayfarer, which means that you find yourself miles away from the action at the gybe mark. Much better to go for an engine which will push along at 16 - 18kts with 3-4 up and able to get an injured person ashore in good time. Take the risk a speeding fine. I doubt you will get more than a warning in a real emergency.
Thanks for that, it's certainly something we rate quite highly. It helps that usually if we're going fast they think it's an Outdoor Centre Rib, and also, 2 of the Harbour Master boat drivers are current University of Portsmouth Sailing Club, and one is Ex, so they tend to turn a blind eye if we're acting as safety.


I've e-mailed Barnet, to get a quote on an XS and a Tornado 5m, Ribcraft for a 4.8, and Solent for their 5.4.

Any suggestions as to who else I should e-mail?
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