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Old 01 September 2020, 14:33   #1
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Buying my first rib...tricky and a bit confusing

To the good folks of the forum,

I am in the unenviable position of looking for my first rib and need some calming words of help and support.

We will be launching from the upper reaches of the River Hamble and looking to use the boat for cruising, fishing, trips around the Solent etc. We're a family of 4 (x2 adults, x2 teenagers 15 & 19). I've got about £5k to play with and a few ribs are on my uninformed shortlist: Ribcraft 4.8 60hp 4 stroke (£5k), Zodiac pro 420 40hp 2 stroke (£4k) and a Sillinger 4.8 40 hp 4 stroke(£5k).

I really need to get it right first time or I risk a family mutiny! Any advice, guidance or support would be so helpful to prevent me from ending my rib ownership before it got started!

Thank you very kind,
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Old 01 September 2020, 14:39   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futura 155 View Post
Ribcraft 4.8 60hp 4 stroke (£5k), Zodiac pro 420 40hp 2 stroke (£4k) and a Sillinger 4.8 40 hp 4 stroke(£5k).
Welcome to RIBnet

The list is Solid - on paper the goto is the RIBcraft but it comes down to condition, of RIB and engine. Of the three, the Zodiac is possibly the least capable but hard to tell. I'd suggest not linking Sale Details here as you'll risk being gazzumped. May post some basic details regarding Age, Condition, Engine. Engine condition and boat age are all important.
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Old 01 September 2020, 14:41   #3
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IMO you need to stretch to 5m as a minimum with 4 adults on board and preferably a bit bigger.
Then itís all down to condition and quality, plenty of advice to be had here!
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Old 01 September 2020, 14:44   #4
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Prices are sky high at the moment but will start to drop as the season closes. The RC4.8 are highly sought after & fetch a premium. If thatís a tidy example at £5k with a sound engine, I wouldnít hang around. Bear in mind that with 4pax onboard, all of those boats will be cosy. If you could stretch to 5.5m, the difference will be huge.
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Old 01 September 2020, 14:55   #5
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Hi
I have a Zodiac pro 4.7m which I have owned for 8 yrs. This size rib is just about large enough to fit four adults but it is quite narrow and with some kit it can be a little cramped.
I have a 60hp on mine and itís fine with 4 people onboard. As some have suggested I wouldnít go any smaller.
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Old 01 September 2020, 15:00   #6
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Folks, this is great - I wasn't expecting replies so quickly so thank you.

Ideally I wanted to limit the LOA (including the trailer) to <6m as over this the fees increase quite a bit and there's the distraction of buying food, clothing etc to think about!

General observations of the ribs:

Sillinger: Good condition, no repairs, engine 3 yrs old, jockey but very open deck
RB 4.8: Tubes need cleaning up, engine has 'bottom end' replaced, reasonable overall, double jockey.
Zodiac: Good condition, recent engine service, seem like nice people!

ummmmm - tricky...
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Old 01 September 2020, 16:16   #7
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I've owned two of these RIBs.

Zodiac 420
First off, it has a shallow V hull, so expect it to slap in a confused sea. I've been out in the Atlantic in a F5-6 and it's no fun.

In addition, the normal seating configuration is usually a rear bench seat and bow cushion. The rear bench is fine for two up. I personally wouldn't let anyone sit on the bow locker and cushion when underway unless it's relatively calm or they will spend most of their time airborne. One of your family could sit opposite the main steering console on the port tube as the console sits offset. The final passenger can sit on the starboard tube in front of the console as there are hand-holds to the console and the tube rope collar for safety.

Engine wise, 40hp is great for two-up, but with four-up it's going sluggish off the mark given the weight, regardless of how you prop it. I eventually sold mine as I couldn't source a second-hand Yamaha 50G 2-stroke engine, a favoured engine in the commercial fishing community with a reputation as a solid workhorse.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Zodiac brand, contemporary styling, patented slide-on PVC tube set, great quality accessory list and light for towing. If it were me, I'd only look at a 4.7m and 60hp. At £4k you're going to be looking at Zodiac Pro 420s only.

Ribcraft 4.8
I sold my Zodiac and moved to a Ribcraft back in 2010. Quite different boats compared to Zodiac. The Ribcraft is commercial grade in terms of its construction and build. Normally available with dual jockey seats, you can also find versions available with single jockey seat configurations. The single seat versions offer more deck space which has probably been a RYA sailing safety boat in a previous life with space to carry marker bouys and such like and tend to have a lardy Honda 50hp bolted to the transom.

Ribcraft now make a 3 seat version which looks the dog's danglies, but fully rigged from new you're talking around £18k+. Hypalon tubes, at least 5 separate air chambers, under-deck trunking and integral fuel tank what's not to like.

I was out at the weekend in the Moray Firth after a the tail end of a northerly had forced most to batten down the hatches. With dual jockeys and a deep v hull you can tackle most seas and with the two remaining passengers I'd have them up front near the console with a hand-hold on the console grab-rail and rope lace cuff.

Engine wise, nothing smaller than 60hp for 4-up. It's rated for 60hp, with space for an auxilliary engine for peace of mind.

£5k is the very bottom end of the scale so you're going to be looking at an early 2000 boat and similar vintage engine and have to be quick off the mark as they sell quickly. I'd be inclined to dig deep and get your budget to around £8k, or you're going to be chasing issues.

Just my tuppence worth.
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Old 01 September 2020, 17:02   #8
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Difficult choice when your starting out ,especially when you have 4 people to accomodate ,however your needs may not include batttling the high seas with the mrs sitting on the tubes ! ,i suspect your needs may include watching the now aviliable computer weather forcasts ,and trying to pick predictable weather and tides ,athough i appreciate there are always risk of being caught out , but should this happen i would suggest anybody sitting on the tubes may not be the go too solution , imho you need 4 seats of some description ,and i reckon your budget will probhably buy a good boat with a poor engine ,or a good engine with a poor boat , if you were two then i too would be in the ribcraft camp ,but suggesting its right for 4 adults to go cruising is a little ambitious ,personall i have a r/c 5.3 which is worlds apart from the 4.8 at 2.3m beam ,however i am not comfortable for 4 adults with my current 2 inline seating layout athough the space is there , 5 k to get you out there safe maybe a bit ambitious
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Old 02 September 2020, 00:26   #9
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If your boating is generally to be on nice days and you are not into crashing through waves I think doats that are a little more refined and family friendly than the Ribcraft would be your best option. Ribcraft are in my opinion a little 'agricultural' with respect to Creature Comforts.

I agree that with 4 adults 4.8 m is a little on the small side and it is important that all have seats so you will need to move up to 5m .

If you do go for 4.8 Engine must be at least 60hp and a 2 stroke will be lighter
If say 5.2m a 80 - 90 hp as a minimum

Keep looking there are ribs to be found out there but your budget of £5k might be on the low side particularly at the moment
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Old 03 September 2020, 13:10   #10
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I am new & looking for a rib with your exact criteria. Having viewed a 5.5m rib we all agreed that we cannot go smaller & must all have seats with a deep V in my opinion. At the moment the market is too high so we are waiting. I am liking the Humber or Ribcraft.
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Old 03 September 2020, 13:13   #11
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If you are new to powerboats it would be worth you doing the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course.

There are a few providers in your area and most will probably be using RIBs around 5.5m to 6m as training boats. You could ask before you book. So, as well as getting your essential basic powerboat user knowledge and skills to have fun safely with your family, you will also get to try a boat and get a feel for space, engine performance, etc.

For what it's worth and to support other comments above, I have a 4.2m RIB which would be far too cozy for 4 adults.
Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 05 September 2020, 02:14   #12
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Well folks, thanks for all your advice and guidance.

On balance we decided to buy the ribcraft 4.8 because it had all it's sale papers from new and the nice gentleman had owned it for 10 years. Your insights on size were very useful but we thought that my wife Rachel and I are likely to be the main users as our teens have mountain biking, socialising, x box, tv and girlfriend distractions - ( ah I remember those days&#128580. First question of many I'm sure: the engine is a 2005 Honda 50hp 4 stroke, he ran it with a muffler on and it was very loud standing next to it. Is this because it was out of the water and the exhaust noise was not suppressed? This reminds me of buying my first 1995 land rover defender, very exiting buying it, then spend many hours worrying it was a bad choice - live and learn though☺
Thanks all
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Old 05 September 2020, 05:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futura 155 View Post
Well folks, thanks for all your advice and guidance.

On balance we decided to buy the ribcraft 4.8 because it had all it's sale papers from new and the nice gentleman had owned it for 10 years. Your insights on size were very useful but we thought that my wife Rachel and I are likely to be the main users as our teens have mountain biking, socialising, x box, tv and girlfriend distractions - ( ah I remember those days&#128580. First question of many I'm sure: the engine is a 2005 Honda 50hp 4 stroke, he ran it with a muffler on and it was very loud standing next to it. Is this because it was out of the water and the exhaust noise was not suppressed? This reminds me of buying my first 1995 land rover defender, very exiting buying it, then spend many hours worrying it was a bad choice - live and learn though☺
Thanks all
Yes it is massively quieter in the water
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Old 05 September 2020, 05:04   #14
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Come on then now you have it post some pics
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Old 05 September 2020, 09:39   #15
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Thanks Smallribber, nicely reassuring thank you.

I'm collecting the boat tomorrow and I'll get some pictures posted for your deliberation.

Cheers
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Old 07 September 2020, 04:26   #16
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It sounds like a great choice - a well cared for Ribcraft will be excellent. Honda arenít the best loved engines but Iíve never had a problem with them.
As already said, it wonít be noisy when itís in the water!
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Old 20 September 2020, 15:29   #17
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Still waiting for the photos, Futura 155! As a recent second-hand rib purchaser I'm interested to see others' recent purchases. (See, didn't say "in the same boat"! )
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Old 25 September 2020, 01:29   #18
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Yup where are those pics
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