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Old 18 January 2024, 00:27   #1
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Flying to China to visit RIB factory - what should I video?

Hello all,

I will be visiting a RIB factory in Weihai, China in 2-3 weeks. Coincidentally this is the same area where Highfield RIBs are manufactured - Shandong province.

What specifically are you interested in seeing about their boat building process? Iíll be touring the factory and have an opportunity to see any aspect of the build or process.

I know there is some debate about buying name-brand RIBs like Zodiacs or Highfields versus generic Chinese RIBs - so I decided to see it all for myself. Iím not sure what Iíll discover, but the more feedback I get from users like you in this forum, the higher the quality of information I can put together for a video.

What would you want to see?
What questions should I ask?
Would love some feedback from experienced boaters who know what to look for.

Cheers from Phuket, Thailand
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Old 18 January 2024, 01:30   #2
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Also did a quick New Member Intro if interested:

https://www.rib.net/forum/f64/hi-fro...bad-90504.html
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Old 18 January 2024, 06:20   #3
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I understand that over the road is a second factory and these 2 are the main source of Rubber boats from China. Interested if you can confirm this from your visit. Yesterday I took delivery of a 5.35 m rib that most likely came from this factory
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Old 18 January 2024, 07:14   #4
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I understand that over the road is a second factory and these 2 are the main source of Rubber boats from China. Interested if you can confirm this from your visit. Yesterday I took delivery of a 5.35 m rib that most likely came from this factory
Happy to take a look for sure. Apparently that whole region is the dedicated boat factory hub. Youíre talking across the road from Highfield right?
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Old 18 January 2024, 08:12   #5
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Happy to take a look for sure. Apparently that whole region is the dedicated boat factory hub. You’re talking across the road from Highfield right?
Yes Apparently across the Road.

Here is a thread to the Rib I got delivered Yesterday

https://www.rib.net/forum/f8/bought-...tml#post870781
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Old 18 January 2024, 08:38   #6
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Yes Apparently across the Road.

Here is a thread to the Rib I got delivered Yesterday

https://www.rib.net/forum/f8/bought-...tml#post870781
Nice! Funny seeing your English Breakfast - every restaurant here in Phuket sells an English Breakfast with the beans!
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Old 18 January 2024, 15:48   #7
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Nice! Funny seeing your English Breakfast - every restaurant here in Phuket sells an English Breakfast with the beans!
Yes we like our English Brekkies
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Old 18 January 2024, 18:15   #8
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Not sure, if they’ll tell you, but all technical details would be interesting. Like:
Used resin
Used tube material
Thickness of tube material
Thickness of gelcoat
Standards used for calculating hull and materials
Type and material for bonding hull and deck
Used decking

Happy to hear, how it was… Iam in contact with a Chinese factory and thinking about importing some ribs, but for me too unsure,what I will get…
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Old 18 January 2024, 22:00   #9
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Not sure, if theyíll tell you, but all technical details would be interesting. Like:
Used resin
Used tube material
Thickness of tube material
Thickness of gelcoat
Standards used for calculating hull and materials
Type and material for bonding hull and deck
Used decking

Happy to hear, how it wasÖ Iam in contact with a Chinese factory and thinking about importing some ribs, but for me too unsure,what I will getÖ
This is awesome feedback, exactly the stuff Iím looking for.

The RIB Iím having them make is a 6m Aluminum hull with hypalon tubes so maybe some of that wonít apply but some will. Maybe thereís some equivalent questions I can ask for Aluminum. Nevertheless, this factory makes fiberglass hulls as well - so I can ask.

Off topic - what made you decide on a fiberglass hull?
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Old 18 January 2024, 23:33   #10
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Some common issues across all builders - where various ducts and channels run before the deck goes on. A picture of the layout can help with routing cables and fuel lines etc.

Since you are aluminium... How to they QA the welds
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Old 18 January 2024, 23:40   #11
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Some common issues across all builders - where various ducts and channels run before the deck goes on. A picture of the layout can help with routing cables and fuel lines etc.

Since you are aluminium... How to they QA the welds
Ooo these are great. Ducts and Channels plus the QA for the welds. Question for you on the Aluminum, is there a certain grade I should be looking for? Thickness?
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Old 20 January 2024, 01:09   #12
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When I last visited a boat show there was a ali boat on display and the welds were shocking. And, this was on show.

I shudder to think of what the welds look like where they were hidden.

So checking out the welds in the hull, I think is important.

Incidently do you have permission to take photos or videos?

Not all manufacturers like that.
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Old 20 January 2024, 01:21   #13
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Originally Posted by Salty Pete View Post
When I last visited a boat show there was a ali boat on display and the welds were shocking. And, this was on show.

I shudder to think of what the welds look like where they were hidden.

So checking out the welds in the hull, I think is important.

Incidently do you have permission to take photos or videos?

Not all manufacturers like that.
Yeah that is surprising at a boat show to have such low quality welds. I will look for that for sure.

The factory staff has said it isnít a problem, but letís see what the story is once I get there. Anything else youíd be interested in seeing?
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Old 20 January 2024, 13:22   #14
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I guess the other question would be about painting. I don't know enough about painting but that's your protection against metal being damaged.
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Old 20 January 2024, 16:23   #15
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Ali Welds never look good that is the nature of those welds
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Old 21 January 2024, 05:22   #16
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Ali Welds never look good that is the nature of those welds
Ha ha, that's a good line to use if you are looking for a job as an ali welder. Nah my welds don't look crap, they're supposed to look like that.
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Old 21 January 2024, 07:36   #17
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Ali Welds never look good that is the nature of those welds
what a load of bollocks
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Old 21 January 2024, 07:47   #18
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what a load of bollocks
Your Picture is what a lot of people think is not looking good. Do you think that looks good. Thanks for proving my point
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Old 22 January 2024, 09:13   #19
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what a load of bollocks
As per usual I queried the quality of the ali welding with Highfield on their stand at the boatshow a couple of years back. I was told that they could "premium" weld the hulls for an additional cost
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Old 22 January 2024, 11:59   #20
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As per usual I queried the quality of the ali welding with Highfield on their stand at the boatshow a couple of years back. I was told that they could "premium" weld the hulls for an additional cost
my comment was in reply to another member saying all ally welding looks bad .i disagree a skilled welder can produce beautiful welds in aluminium
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