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Old 26 August 2023, 19:10   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Christchurch
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Knackered old ribcraft 545 - light refresh

So a few months ago I stumbled upon a ribcraft 545 that had been sat in a dry stack for 4 years unloved. The price slowly dropped over the course of a few weeks until the point that I hopped on a ferry to the Isle of wight for a gander.

The first pic is what I was greeted with - it had seen better days!
Anyway the guys at the yard pulled it out of the stack for me and we stuck some flush muffs on it, turned the key and miraculously it fired straight up on the original battery. Checked systems and everything worked, nav lights, vhf, plotter, bilge pump - everything!!
Floor and transom solid as a rock so I decided I'd have it!

Left a deposit and waited for the right tides and headed back over a week or so later. Safety kit, loads of fresh fuel, oil, new filters and some spark plugs in tow, I spent an hour getting it a little more up together and we stuck it in the drink.
A few minutes spent alongside the pontoon making sure she was running well and pumping water strongly, I set off on the maiden voyage from Bembridge up to saxon wharf in Southampton.
It was a beautiful day and I made good progress and landed in Southampton an hour later.

It spent a couple of nights alongside in Southampton, given a wash and polish and any other little bits sorted and then one Sunday I took her on the run back down the coast to christchurch.

I've spent some time giving it a general tidy up, new bits and bobs such as VHF unit, new all round white etc. Fitted a lovely fusion touch screen stereo and some fusion speakers and had the front seats reupholstered as they were old and cracked.

I have done something sacrilegious and painted the tubes as it was in real need for a retube and I'm putting some money in a pot for this for next year as it's definitely worth saving. The new tubes will be in the original dark blue, I wasn't expecting them to end up so bright but they've actually grown on me!

Everything has been coated in 303 uv protectant and I've just got on and used it really. Many runs to the Isle of wight, lymington, out to watch the powerboat racing etc and she's handled it all amazingly, such a good hull!
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Old 26 August 2023, 19:30   #2
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Originally Posted by patchb View Post
So a few months ago I stumbled upon a ribcraft 545 that had been sat in a dry stack for 4 years unloved. The price slowly dropped over the course of a few weeks until the point that I hopped on a ferry to the Isle of wight for a gander.



The first pic is what I was greeted with - it had seen better days!

Anyway the guys at the yard pulled it out of the stack for me and we stuck some flush muffs on it, turned the key and miraculously it fired straight up on the original battery. Checked systems and everything worked, nav lights, vhf, plotter, bilge pump - everything!!

Floor and transom solid as a rock so I decided I'd have it!



Left a deposit and waited for the right tides and headed back over a week or so later. Safety kit, loads of fresh fuel, oil, new filters and some spark plugs in tow, I spent an hour getting it a little more up together and we stuck it in the drink.

A few minutes spent alongside the pontoon making sure she was running well and pumping water strongly, I set off on the maiden voyage from Bembridge up to saxon wharf in Southampton.

It was a beautiful day and I made good progress and landed in Southampton an hour later.



It spent a couple of nights alongside in Southampton, given a wash and polish and any other little bits sorted and then one Sunday I took her on the run back down the coast to christchurch.



I've spent some time giving it a general tidy up, new bits and bobs such as VHF unit, new all round white etc. Fitted a lovely fusion touch screen stereo and some fusion speakers and had the front seats reupholstered as they were old and cracked.



I have done something sacrilegious and painted the tubes as it was in real need for a retube and I'm putting some money in a pot for this for next year as it's definitely worth saving. The new tubes will be in the original dark blue, I wasn't expecting them to end up so bright but they've actually grown on me!



Everything has been coated in 303 uv protectant and I've just got on and used it really. Many runs to the Isle of wight, lymington, out to watch the powerboat racing etc and she's handled it all amazingly, such a good hull!


Nice find, well done[emoji106] The 545 is a cracking hull & punches well above itís weight. Itíll never win any races, but itíll keep going when the lightweights have to turn around. They do like plenty of power, look after that FICHT & donít skimp on the proper oil.
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Old 26 August 2023, 19:36   #3
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Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Nice find, well done[emoji106] The 545 is a cracking hull & punches well above itís weight. Itíll never win any races, but itíll keep going when the lightweights have to turn around. They do like plenty of power, look after that FICHT & donít skimp on the proper oil.
I've noticed already compared to my mates Ring rib it will handle a lot more varied seas despite a much slower pace!

She'll do 35-36 knots so it's not terrible but I did find a 135 optimax that was tempting but I'm gonna stick with the 'rude for now.
I've had plenty of evinrudes and love them, people get scared of the ficht engines due to the reputation that was given to them by the 6 cylinder models but the V4's seem to be bulletproof. Stocked up on evinrude XD oil and got plenty of plugs as they need indexing on this engine but so far it's been a case of turning the key, it starting hot or cold and running lovely. I did have to clean the gauze in the high pressure fuel pump as I was getting a drop in fuel pressure but now it sits at 30psi all day!
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Old 26 August 2023, 19:39   #4
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I was quite drawn to the fact that it has side by side jockeys and rear bench from factory as most small ribs have awful seating configurations for a leisure boat, most 545s seem to be setup for diving which is understandable as I think that was the design brief!

I'm gonna get a cushion made up for a bow section for somewhere extra to chill at anchor
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