Hello, fellow Ribbers (if thats the term!)
We're deciding on a brand sparkling new RIB boat to add primarely to an appartment at the beautifull Croatian coast as a rental. We assume the boat will be rented modestly up to about 90 days per year and mostly to leasure travelers and possibly families.
We have some experience with ZAR boats and less with others (have been more a hard-hull boaters) in our time but are more and more fascinated in the smooth wave ride of RIBs. Also, when it comes to renting the boat to relatively non experienced renters it presume its safer to offer RIB's.
We have narrowed down to Brig versus Grand. If you ask me why - don't
me - the design. We know leasure customers rent with their eyes and they are both very attractive boats. The second thing is it looks like you get a lot of bang for your buck. Our budget is around 55.000 EUR for a whole with an engine and a trailer to go with.
I am sure you have heard of both brands - from my investigation they have started as a Brig factory and have been involved with aerospace in the past (pre-1991) in Ukraine. Then, about 15 years ago they splitted into two compaines.
From my research there are not much details on any of them over the internet - at least not from the owners. So i'm trying to get as much feedback as possible to decide more easily.
The models we're attracted to are either
- Brig Eagler 6.7
- Grand Golden Line G650
They are very similar in the design and functionalities but from the first look it seems that Brig is more of a sturdy "military" look and Grand went into more luxurious way. They are in similar length (6.5 and 6.7m) and require similar engines.
Since the whole idea is to offer/buy a different and fully equipped boat we're thinking of putting on a lot of extras:
- 175 ccm drive by wire Yamaha or Suzuki (does not matter i guess but more towards Yamaha)
- Electric winch and anchor
- Simrad 7" GPS
- Premium Fusion radio & speakers
- cooling box
- bimini top
Now to the important thing - which one?
I know this forum has some posts regarding the quality issues with Brig and Grand. THere is lack of Grand details which seems its relatively new and maybe not so popular in the UK and around. From googling around i have found posts about Grand especially having quality issues but the posts involve older and smaller PVC boats. The two i am looking are Orca Hypalon tubes and should be different quality.
Does ANYONE have experience with the two boats from the past 5 years or so? I have found out Grand had some issues in the past (takeovers from different owners etc) and presumably found a new owner with money which means the production has increased and the quality should also. But as the boat models are relatively new (few years) there are not much owners around to tell. And its hard to get details from the retailers of them as i would like to get objective oppinions.
I'm worred that maybe both of them could be lower quality even though they don't look so. I dont want to be too subjective on the fact they are made in Ukraine. They can't be the best on the market for this price but it seems like a good optimum between price, performance and the design.
Both brands have a local retailer and distributor which would give us support in case of any issues but i'm a bit afraid by the fact that for any kind of unknown quality problems the rental season could be shortened or lost. I know people tend to do sh*t with other people's boats and that there are tons of drunk'n'driving and hitting stuff around at least on the adriatic coast.
Brig looks to me like a more rigid decision while Grand looks luxurious - what i'm worried that the additional gear that Grand has could be a problem in a rental like:
- the front Inox rails are "glued" to the Hypalon - are people going to rip that open when holding/jumping/getting off the water?
- the rear steps seem very practical but very fragile when going eg. from a gas pump for novice sailors. You bump that and its permanent.
I have also been given other warnings abour Grand quality but cannot decide if that is just competition talking (sure every distri will give you much subjective oppinion about their competitives) or is it honest?
I'm positive the seller would give me good support in terms of maintenance and everything but still i'm not able to decide.
Please HELP me with your experienced advices to decide ASAP.
And lastly - i would like to use it myself also, if it was only rental i would go cheap and bare boat as possible but for a combination - i rather give more and enjoy it myself also.