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Old 12 January 2018, 16:55   #1
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My First RIB project

I have wanted a boat for as long as I can remember and last summer spent a few days on my mates RIB messing around the Solent and I decided I needed one too. Having never bought a boat I was blissfully ignorant and after a few false starts I bought a project RIB. Like everyone I was on a budget, in fact quite a tight budget, I was after 6 - 6.5m 150hp, something mechanically good but maybe a little tatty that would survive a season before I needed to spend too much money. I thought I had found a gem a Classic 1996 7.8m Ballistic with a 2006 Suzuki 250HP bigger than I wanted but it was the right price and who is going to say no to a big engine.

It was on ebay, I contacted the owner and arranged to see it before the auction ended, I couldn't take it for a test but the owner agreed to allow an engineer to give it a once over. I contacted an engineer, he was going to connect up his computer, test the compression and give me some guidance. Unfortunately he was unable to do much commented it was an old engine, had some corrosion and he needed it in his workshop to be able to assess properly - not a lot of help. With the auction closing and no time left I went for it and won it for a very reasonable price. It ticked all the boxes cosmetically it def needed work but I was hoping I could tart it up over the winter and get a season out of it before spending the big bucks on tubes and engine that an older boat would definitely need.

Now I very much look forward to the comments on this, but like a lot of people especially when it comes to boats common sense becomes distorted and I think I become a little over optimistic - check out these pictures.

Would you have bought this?

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The first thing I wanted to do was to see if those tubes inflated, I tried on my viewing before the auction ended using my SUP pump it didn't work so just assumed I had the wrong connection or just not fit enough. I had a cheap airbed pump and it worked, fully inflated. Using this forum I took the advice and used specialist tube cleaner and it worked a treat, used so many rags!!

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The deck was well used, apparently it had been lifted when the tanks were replaced the new deck is solid and robust, the jockey seats were all glassed in which I think is a good approach. The deck just needed a little TLC so it was rubbed down and painted. I also used a compound on the console and seat pods which took them from matt to gloss in just 2 days.

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Old 12 January 2018, 17:09   #2
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The console needed a lot of work, the wood was removed and replaced with plastic, I bought some new dials they all matched and relocated the VHF.It is a little dusty from all the rubbing down of the deck.

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I wanted to make this RIB look good, doing it on a budget took some imagination. I chose the theme green and black, the boat was black so I just needed to add some green. I undercoated and painted the flare boxes then found a local guy to make the cushions.

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It would have been great to have green and black Sea Deck but that will have to wait so it was painted with flowcoat and then grippy bits in Green.

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Old 12 January 2018, 17:24   #3
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Go Ballistico looks pretty good but not quite finished, I would like to add a screen to the console, being a classic unfortunately it is not possible to buy a replacement off the shelf. I created a template out of card, but it is not perfect as it doesn't quite catch all the angles, I would like it to have the same angles as the console. Havant Plastics has been recommended but if anyone has any ideas I would be happy to hear them. I would like to keep the green theme doesn't need to be perspex could be solid green plastic.

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Old 12 January 2018, 17:33   #4
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Nugent is your man for screens
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Old 12 January 2018, 17:39   #5
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You have done a great job, l like the green, goes well with the black. Not sure l like the console at the rear, just looks like it could be stern heavy with a lively bow. How is the engine running? If it all goes well thatís brilliant. Looking at big bills if any major engine work needed so fingers crossed it is sound. Well done on your diy skills.
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Old 12 January 2018, 17:40   #6
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You do know that green is bad luck on boats
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Old 12 January 2018, 18:24   #7
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Thanks for the recommendation, I will contact Nugent for the screen.

The console position is not perfect I agree but when running she gets up on the plane very quickly. On a budget I had to compromise, I wanted the console further forward with a suicide seat at the front and instead of jockeys I wanted a lean post.

I did not know green was bad luck, when you read the next part about the engine you may well be right.

So she looks good, I didn't spend too much money, the tubes hold air, the deck is painted, cushions replaced and console nice and neat. I spent a lot of weekends and just over £2k this includes some labour as well, for a lot of the work I just held tools and learnt.

Unfortunately the same can't be said mechanically, the fuel tanks have been cleaned out twice by two different people, the second chap did a proper job removing water, cardboard and cable ties. All the fuel lines to the engine were replaced along with new water filters. The boat had stood a while and I wasn't comfortable using the fuel.

This is the short version:

The engine engine starts first time and runs smoothly, so before taking her out I decided to do a full service, replacing everything recommended for the hours done (3200hrs - I really wish the first mechanic told me that). On the first run we started slow pottering around the harbour and filling her up with fuel and the engine worked perfectly.

On the second run she stated first time but when trying WOT outside the harbour she was sluggish but becoming faster and faster until all of a sudden she lost power and would not rev over 2500, when she should be at around 6000. Even when she was running well before the loss of power she was only getting to about 3500 - 4000 revs.

We tried a lot of different things but nothing worked, each time we tried something she would perform a little better but each time after about 20 mins she would backfire then lose power.

I have had so many people look at it and over Christmas I bumped into a mate who was with a mate who is a marine Engineer and hes spent a great deal of time on the engine and I am now confident that every avenue has been investigated. It turns out the compression is well down, there is a problem with one of the pistons he gave me a detailed report and the diagnosis is I could continue spending money with no guarantee of fixing it or buy a new (good secondhand engine).

So a new secondhand engine it is. I did well on the initial purchase, on doing up the hull and deck etc. I knew there was a big bill coming but was hoping it would be the end of the season. I am just a little gutted that I have spent £2500 on the engine so far but as I am quickly learning this is the joy of boat ownership!!!!
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Old 12 January 2018, 18:30   #8
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Tough one. If your funds are tight I would spend some more time looking at exactly what is wrong (within reason and if you can diy it) If the rest of it checks out rather than risk a cheap used 250hp which dont exactly grow on trees.

You NEED to do a leak down test (not a compression test, next to useless for this) on it and that will tell you where the issue is. It might just be a bad valve.....OR as it is a 250 I have read of them eating the butterfly screws off the variable air intakes. This sounds very possible based on what you are saying as the year and hours tie in....

https://www.thehulltruth.com/boating...u-got-one.html

What you are describing other than compression smacks of dirty fuel. I have first hand experience of what crap fuel does to the filters on my df200, it wouldn't rev over 4000rpm, changed engine filters (not the fuel tank ones!!!!) and fuel and away it went.

It sounds like you have more than 1 problem to me though.

What compression did you get? And what was the bad cylinder? Unless it was vastly different it wouldn't cause what you describe.

Any fault codes showing on gauge or the print out?

It is possible water has knackered an injector but that is easy to test for little money.

Has an outboard shop (a good one!) Looked at it?
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Old 12 January 2018, 19:00   #9
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Originally Posted by phoenixpete View Post
Not sure l like the console at the rear, just looks like it could be stern heavy with a lively bow.
There's a 225 litre fuel tank under the forward jockeys if it's in the same place as mine. It should be fine.
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Old 12 January 2018, 19:56   #10
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Do a naming ceremony with a extra bit a rum thrown in and put a lucky charm in the hold that will keep the bad luck away. The lean mean green machine.
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Old 13 January 2018, 05:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Ballistico View Post
Thanks for the recommendation, I will contact Nugent for the screen.



The console position is not perfect I agree but when running she gets up on the plane very quickly. On a budget I had to compromise, I wanted the console further forward with a suicide seat at the front and instead of jockeys I wanted a lean post.



I did not know green was bad luck, when you read the next part about the engine you may well be right.



So she looks good, I didn't spend too much money, the tubes hold air, the deck is painted, cushions replaced and console nice and neat. I spent a lot of weekends and just over £2k this includes some labour as well, for a lot of the work I just held tools and learnt.



Unfortunately the same can't be said mechanically, the fuel tanks have been cleaned out twice by two different people, the second chap did a proper job removing water, cardboard and cable ties. All the fuel lines to the engine were replaced along with new water filters. The boat had stood a while and I wasn't comfortable using the fuel.



This is the short version:



The engine engine starts first time and runs smoothly, so before taking her out I decided to do a full service, replacing everything recommended for the hours done (3200hrs - I really wish the first mechanic told me that). On the first run we started slow pottering around the harbour and filling her up with fuel and the engine worked perfectly.



On the second run she stated first time but when trying WOT outside the harbour she was sluggish but becoming faster and faster until all of a sudden she lost power and would not rev over 2500, when she should be at around 6000. Even when she was running well before the loss of power she was only getting to about 3500 - 4000 revs.



We tried a lot of different things but nothing worked, each time we tried something she would perform a little better but each time after about 20 mins she would backfire then lose power.



I have had so many people look at it and over Christmas I bumped into a mate who was with a mate who is a marine Engineer and hes spent a great deal of time on the engine and I am now confident that every avenue has been investigated. It turns out the compression is well down, there is a problem with one of the pistons he gave me a detailed report and the diagnosis is I could continue spending money with no guarantee of fixing it or buy a new (good secondhand engine).



So a new secondhand engine it is. I did well on the initial purchase, on doing up the hull and deck etc. I knew there was a big bill coming but was hoping it would be the end of the season. I am just a little gutted that I have spent £2500 on the engine so far but as I am quickly learning this is the joy of boat ownership!!!!


Welcome to the world of

Break
Out
Another
Thousand
S

It can be a short, sharp, expensive learning curve.
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Old 13 January 2018, 07:05   #12
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I think you are right in going for a good secondhand "Warranted" engine rather than chasing faults as it seems to be an expensive and sometimes painfully ongoing saga. There could well be some deals on new earlier model 250s about? Worth talking to Mobile Marine in Axminster or Barry Winsor Marine Camberley i think? Maybe even Ribcraft themselves?

Still a really nice Rib
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Old 13 January 2018, 07:36   #13
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I have had a few good engineers look at the engine both at the marina where I bought it and locally here at Portsmouth. All have been very pragmatic approaching it in a structured manner and with the fact it is an old engine with very high hours in mind. There is a point where I will be throwing good money after bad, to be honest I should have been a little less optaimistic. Luckily my local engineer has found me an engine, I always knew I would need one at some point but I had hoped to get a season or two out of the original. This is expensive hobby but there really isn't anything better than messing around on boats.
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Old 13 January 2018, 08:34   #14
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With all due respect I don't think pragmatic/ good engineers can be used here when they don't know what is wrong after 2.5k thrown at it.

Out of curiosity, was a leakdown test done and if so what were the numbers if you know?

Btw I wouldnt be surprised if they didn't do a leak down test, I called 4 dealers near me and 3 of them didn't have the equipment ( the kit is about 150 quid for good stuff) and 1 didn't even know what it was! Yet, it is one of first troubleshooting steps for compression issues. It 99% nails down why you have low compression without tearing it apart and gives you an idea what to expect when you do, only takes about an hour to do all 6 cylinders.

Anyways, we will never know and glad you are fixed up with another motor.....enjoy.
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Old 13 January 2018, 11:34   #15
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Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
You do know that green is bad luck on boats
Bugger

I'm green with envy when I see most of the boats at ERR
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Old 13 January 2018, 11:53   #16
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Where do you keep her ? There is brilliant marine engineer who does most of the engines in E.c.a . He would be your man
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Old 13 January 2018, 12:09   #17
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Where do you keep her ? There is brilliant marine engineer who does most of the engines in E.c.a . He would be your man
If he can find a good recommended engineer my thoughts would be repair the current engine then you know what you have. Buying any used engine is a gamble and you could end up in the same position with the used replacement engine.
I'd invest a few hours labour to get the head stripped off and get a definitive diagnosis
A leakdown test will only point you in a certain direction hence a lot of engineers think it's a waste of time and don't bother.
The only sure way to diagnose a compression fault is take it apart
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Old 14 January 2018, 06:29   #18
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If he can find a good recommended engineer my thoughts would be repair the current engine then you know what you have. Buying any used engine is a gamble and you could end up in the same position with the used replacement engine.
I'd invest a few hours labour to get the head stripped off and get a definitive diagnosis
A leakdown test will only point you in a certain direction hence a lot of engineers think it's a waste of time and don't bother.
The only sure way to diagnose a compression fault is take it apart


Pardon my ignorance but what's a "leak down test"?
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Old 14 January 2018, 06:44   #19
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Pardon my ignorance but what's a "leak down test"?
It's what all the forumites claim to be the all telling test of a compression fault.
Basically you feed compressed air into the cylinder to determine where it's leaking from.
It can narrow down the leakage to piston or valve or gasket to waterway.
In reality it a waste of time as you need to strip the head off any way, the time you spent testing you could almost have the thing stripped for a proper diagnosis.
It won't tell you the leaky valve is a crack in the head or a burned valve. It wont tell you the leaky piston is a huge groove in the liner or a broken ring nor will it tell you the leak into waterway is a cracked or corroded head or block or just a failed gasket.
I've never done it in 35 years in the motor trade and never actually seen any of my pals or competitors doing it
Another Google find!
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Old 14 January 2018, 07:41   #20
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It's what all the forumites claim to be the all telling test of a compression fault.
Basically you feed compressed air into the cylinder to determine where it's leaking from.
It can narrow down the leakage to piston or valve or gasket to waterway.
In reality it a waste of time as you need to strip the head off any way, the time you spent testing you could almost have the thing stripped for a proper diagnosis.
It won't tell you the leaky valve is a crack in the head or a burned valve. It wont tell you the leaky piston is a huge groove in the liner or a broken ring nor will it tell you the leak into waterway is a cracked or corroded head or block or just a failed gasket.
I've never done it in 35 years in the motor trade and never actually seen any of my pals or competitors doing it
Another Google find!


Ahh! Cheers Ken
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