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Old 21 July 2021, 10:32   #1
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Aluminium hulls

I am considering a Highfield SP650 which has an aluminium hull. Any thoughts on this from you experienced guys? This will be my first proper rib, not counting small tenders. Are there other brands/manufacturers that I should consider before going for a Chinese import? They say the PVC material for the tubes is reliable and robust. Is this true or would you pay the extra for hypalon?
Many thanks,
Bobio
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Old 21 July 2021, 10:38   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobio View Post
I am considering a Highfield SP650 which has an aluminium hull. Any thoughts on this from you experienced guys? This will be my first proper rib, not counting small tenders. Are there other brands/manufacturers that I should consider before going for a Chinese import? They say the PVC material for the tubes is reliable and robust. Is this true or would you pay the extra for hypalon?

Many thanks,

Bobio
My thoughts are stick with fibreglass & hypalon & avoid Chinese. Its a well proven formula
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Old 21 July 2021, 10:57   #3
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I'm running a 6m Highfield Patrol and all is good so far. The ride is comfy and all looks and feels robust. They sell enough of them on the continent to give confidence that all is good. There are also plenty of build videos on the internet showing the design and factory.

If you look across the internet there are enough Hypalon V PCV discussions and arguments to make Brussels look like a coffee shop - and personally its a bit like the AA and RAC. Both are great and both are useless depending on your view of it. I've had both types of tube over teh years and so far I'm happy with the PVC, but I do keep my rib indoors - thsi si a really good article on the two https://safequip.co.uk/wp-content/up...nformation.pdf

My previous rib was an X-pro Defender, a Chinese import by all accounts. I'd have another, and it's well documented on here why.

Others will tell you that if its made in china you'll die the first time you take it out, others will show you evidence of British made ribs that are so thin they fail on the first buoy they catch.

Have a search on Chinese made ribs on both here and the facebook forums, they aren't as bad as they were if you stick with the known ones.

I was out alongside a 650 sport the other week, they look very well laid out, especially the fridge!!
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Old 21 July 2021, 14:12   #4
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The advantage of the Ali hull is it's a lighter boat. So can take a smaller engine.

Some will say the disadvantage is it's harder to repair while others will say if you need to repair an Ali hull, you'd have a big fibre glass repair to do anyway...

Tubes - my understanding is the decision is about UV exposure. If you can store under cover you may not have any concerns
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Old 21 July 2021, 16:07   #5
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Thanks for the useful advice Andy. They did not tell me about the fridge but it is obviously an essential item to keep the beers cold in this weather!
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Old 21 July 2021, 16:11   #6
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The advantage of the Ali hull is it's a lighter boat. So can take a smaller engine.

Some will say the disadvantage is it's harder to repair while others will say if you need to repair an Ali hull, you'd have a big fibre glass repair to do anyway...

Tubes - my understanding is the decision is about UV exposure. If you can store under cover you may not have any concerns
Thanks for the comments, pretty well what I thought. Like the idea of Aluminium hull and I can probably live with PVC, with a storage cover.
Regards,
Bobio
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Old 21 July 2021, 16:24   #7
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In general I have no issues with aluminium as a hull material, assuming the correct grade of material is used, there's good framing to support the plates, it's properly welded, etc. We've had an offshore sailing yacht made entirely of aluminium for 17 years now with no issues, and a 100% aluminium hard dinghy as our little harbour runabout which we equally love.
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Old 22 July 2021, 01:52   #8
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In general I have no issues with aluminium as a hull material, assuming the correct grade of material is used, there's good framing to support the plates, it's properly welded, etc. We've had an offshore sailing yacht made entirely of aluminium for 17 years now with no issues, and a 100% aluminium hard dinghy as our little harbour runabout which we equally love.
Paul, thanks for the reply. So, aluminium is good if it is engineered properly. Supply is the issue now, everyone is sold out!
Regards
Bobio
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Old 22 July 2021, 03:56   #9
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Originally Posted by Bobio View Post
Paul, thanks for the reply. So, aluminium is good if it is engineered properly. Supply is the issue now, everyone is sold out!
Regards
Bobio
Have a chat with Rupert at Rob Perry Marine, if there's one to be had - he'll know where it is.

https://www.robperrymarine.co.uk/

Highfield are happy to show you their practices and factory -
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