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Old 27 February 2003, 12:06   #1
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New RIB user - advice please

I'm considering the purchase of a 5-6m RIB for skiing/ringos and generally messing about with the kids - probably always in light conditions and longest trip probably cross-Solent

I own a 31' motor cruiser and have owned a 21' inboard sports boat so I'm comfortable with boat handling in a variety of conditions.

I am considering an Apex 19 with 90hp Mercury 4-stroke and a Zodiac Explorer 6m with 70hp Tohatsu 2-stroke. I'd welcome any advice particularly on the following aspects:

- dryness of ride
- fuel economy
- adequacy of engine size for skiing (I'm 12.5 stone) with (say) 3-4 up plus skier?
- engine reliability/ease and cost of service and repair
- hull/tube reliability

Thanks in advance
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Old 27 February 2003, 12:46   #2
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Hi,

Let me be the first to welcome you to RIBnet!

I too migrated from a ski / sports boat a while back and have not regreted it - so much more you can do with a RIB!

I can't comment on either of the boats but what i can say is that the two engines you list could not be more different...

Merc 4-stroke - excellent, modern and economical

Tohatsu 2-stroke - usualy older carb. technology which DRINK petrol (although i beleive they have a few newer technology engines in the range now)

I would go for the 90 4-stroke any day, it'll be more economical by far than a 70 2-stroke and more powerfull too. Some people claim a 4-stroke is not as good for skiing as a 2-stroke (inital grunt is less) but the 20 extra HP will make up for this.

As for power i can pull 2 skiers with my set-up (old-skool 2-stroke 130) but have skied off a RIB with a 40HP so i reckon 3-4 people plus skier will be OK with a 90 4-stroke. I would say 70 2-stroke would be slightly underpowered with that number of people in the boat.

Hope that helps a bit, i'm sure there are far more useful comments to come...
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Old 27 February 2003, 12:56   #3
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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the clear advice. Do you know anythng about the Apex RIB? I don't recognise the name and haven't been able to find a website.

Cheers.
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Old 27 February 2003, 13:02   #4
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I had assumed these boats were new, but you're lack of knowledge of the boat would suggest they may be 2nd hand?

Never heard of Apex, worth checking this site (there is some info on manufacturers somewhere) and the RibInternational magazine website has archives of tests and links to some manufacturers.

One further peice of info i just thought of i do use a much smaller prop for sking than 'cruising' since i like to get higher top speed when cruising!

UPDATED

Plenty of hits in google

http://www.inflatableboats.net/apex.htm

Looks like what the purist RIBsters would call a fair-weather RIB though, bench seating etc. although the site does claim to be a deep-V.

Reccomended HP for the 19 looks like 115 with a maximum of 130, which seams quite high.

If thre boat is 2nd hand be sure to get a sea trial.
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Old 27 February 2003, 14:18   #5
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Hi and welcome

Their are many ribs in this range. I would always recommend getting out on the water in the boat before you consider buying. Are you considering the boats new or second hand and what would your budget look like. All of these factors determine what boat to get. If i was buying a 6m boat to ski with I would go for something with a new tec 2 stroke. Their are loads of threads on here discussing the different engines and manufacturers. I would prob get a small optimax 135 or maybe a ficht 115. The 2 stroke will give a more even amount of power through the range and with a really talky prop will put a crown with no problem at all. This would however bring down you top speed by several knots.

Have fun looking and If you have any questions just ask!
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Old 27 February 2003, 14:27   #6
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They're both secondhand. You can see pictures of these very boats at www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk !

Apex RIBs seem to be fairly popular in the US, and are designed for the sort of use you have in mind. They have a deep V at the bow which reduces rapidly to a moderate V at the transom. They should be reasonably quick and economical. Although this boat could take a motor bigger than 90hp you would probably be OK.

The Zodiac is likely to be a better sea boat, and is a bit bigger. I think you would probably be better off with a bigger engine though. I personally think that Tohatsu engines are fine, although they are certainly not cutting edge trchnology. The Zodiac has a proper console and jockey seats which you would probably come to appreciate even if you're not planning to go out in the rough.

Good luck!
John
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Old 27 February 2003, 15:53   #7
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New User

Afternoon and welcome to Ribnet.

I personally have never heard of Apex ribs. I would aim for a small ish tornado 5 or 6 mtr. They are well built good sea boats and will do you nicely,

Julian
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Old 27 February 2003, 20:43   #8
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New Rib User

Hi
I have just been through a similar process of finding my own Rib, It took about four months to find the right Rib to meet my needs.

I bought a Humber Rib excellent Sea keeping & Handling, ride can be a little wet, although probly down to in-experience rather than boat design.

I run a 90Hp 2Stroke with a 13.25 X 20" good pulling power, I am learning to wake board from it. Burn 2/3 gallons Hour when playing hard.

I think the build quality is sound with very durable hull.

My only advice is to look carefully ask lots of questions.

All Ribster who use this forum always have something to say! be it good, bad or indifferent.

Happy hunting
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Old 27 February 2003, 21:43   #9
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Good advice AY, I like the Humber as a Open offshore Rib as it represents good value for money,it has the Beam and is a good Sea boat.

My advice withought getting into a load of upset is, If your going offshore get RCD cat B hull.

Engine ? Watch out for proposed emmisions regs.

Then enjoy it.
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Old 01 March 2003, 13:19   #10
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Re: New RIB user - advice please

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Observer
[B]I'm considering the purchase of a 5-6m RIB for skiing/ringos and generally messing about with the kids - probably always in light conditions and longest trip probably cross-Solent

Given the above statements cleary sends out a message that you want this boat to be a fun boat ( and why not!) and considering you are towing water toys, Then I am not sure that dryness of ride and fuel economy are big issues to you.

- adequacy of engine size for skiing (I'm 12.5 stone) with (say) 3-4 up plus skier?
Thats really important and you have gotta have a grunty 2 stroke The snap is so much better from a two stroke. I own three engines 2 two strokes and a 4 stroke. A Yamaha, A Mariner Optimax and a Honda. I think the best made engine by far is the the Yamaha 70 Betol. The Mariner 150 Optimax is a superb power plant but backed up by an appaling distributor Barrus. ( I have been waiting six months for new starter motor)

The 4 stroke is heavy as most of them are and this wont help you reach your goals.

Servicing is readily availanle in the Solent area on any make of Outboard. Fairweather Marine are well reckoned, SAL in Lymington, Burseldon Outboards are pretty good and theres a couple of good mobile guys out there also.

In my opinion you should stick with Yamaha Merc/Mariner or Honda, it will also help come resale time

- hull/tube reliability
This is so important and for this reason I think you are lookiing at the wrong boats. Remember the sea is never your friend and can turn nasty very quickly. Stick to Ribtec, Ribcraft, Avon (yummy), Humber

If you are getting skiers clambering over the tubes you need to look at reinforcing strips/patches. Small Ribcrafts have an enviable reputation


Pete7 has a Superb Ribtec 6 mtr for sale, there are plenty of Searider 5.4 around and if you want one that looks nice then I believe you can pick up an Avon adventurer 5.6 with a 115 engine for around 10k.


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Old 03 March 2003, 13:00   #11
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Weelcome to RIBNet

Your question will produce many different answers.
I have a test on an APEX and a ZODIAC Medline and when I dig it out will email a copy to you.
The APEX boats (apparently) are hot in the US due to their very low price. They are built in SAmerica (if I remember correctly-hence low labour costs) and they are supplied with full kit including bimini, trailer and 4-strokes engine.
APEX seems to perform OK in test and comments are good about storage space onboard etc. But when did you find a test in a magazine that does not make the boat that they test the best of the best and even better than the previous boat they tested.
I think you need to go on board a boat you want to buy and test it your self.
Regarding the water spray, On a RIB is a fact that one way or the other you will get wet (even if this means a small splash) so they are all the same or similar on this aspect whatever people say (probably I dug a hole for my self here LOL ).
ZODIACs are good boats, have great packages (engine/trailer/boat) because people feel apprehensive of their tube material (PVC instead of Hypalon) and from what I am told ZODIAC has not sold many boats in Europe this year.
However, spoken to manufacturers and have got some tests for both tube materials both perform great and they have no differences in durability (both last for 10 years).
Engines, I am a 2-stroke man my self (they have been around for longer time than 4-strokes) and I would say 90 bhp will be OK with a lower pitch prop so you get the acceleration for the skiers (I also water ski and I am 14 stone).

Re Cat B (offshore any weather) and emissions I think that although you can have it in mind, for the purpose you need to use the boat just forget it. It may come into force sometime never.
There are many people who cruise out here with Cat C boats and 2-strokes engines. Just to clarify Cat C means that the boat can cruise in inland waters (what is considered 'inland waters' is a matter of each authority to determine - in Greece is everywhere in the Aegean and Ionian Seas and in the UK covers even the Channel ) with waves of 2 mrs or less. So what do you do when you start with nice weather which deteriorates further on to a force 6 or 7?? No one has answered that one yet!! .


Any way good luck with the purchase of a RIB!! Which I may add you will enjoy better in a warmer climate.

PS A friendly advise, NEVER BUY A SECOND HAND RIB unless you are absolutely desperate
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Old 03 March 2003, 16:37   #12
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Re: Weelcome to RIBNet

Quote:
Originally posted by Manos
PS A friendly advise, NEVER BUY A SECOND HAND RIB unless you are absolutely desperate
Why so adamant about not buying secondhand Manos?

Many people buy the first (& second, third etc) RIBS second hand. Like any large purchase a degree of research is to be recommended so you know what you are looking for/at. Taking a knowledgable friend or aquaintance with you is also to be recommended if you don't feel confident in your own abilities. RIb.NET surely is a help here.

I bought new first time and ultimately got a dog. Second hand and I have a great RIB at a good price.

Not a case of "why buy second hand when you could buy a new RIB from oh, say S Africa at the same price!" surely?
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Old 03 March 2003, 17:37   #13
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Alan, Why not to by 2nd hand ?

The reason is (and I am not generalising here) that most of the time you get a boat that has been used and abused.
Engine not serviced properly, pontoons just made good just to show etc etc. and why risk it if you can afford to buy a new one.
I think if you buy 2nd hand you should buy it from a friend where you know his boat, you know what he has done with it and how he has used it over time. If not is better to stay away.
That is only a very personal opinion.

And I agree there are people out there (certainly many in RIBNet) that look after their boats and if you buy a boat of them it will be a good boat.

...and (finally) by the way no one said anything about SAfrica or Uganda SAmerica is the place now!!!
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Old 03 March 2003, 19:08   #14
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Im also not so sure that buying a second hand boat is a lottery, but then I have kicked around on a few and over the years given some of them some wear and tear (normaly accidentally of course, but you do a leeshore rescue between rocks then things happen!)

With experiance you can say its this or that, but even an untrained eye can spot cracks, waves in the finish and soggy floors. That said, I couldn't tell if the boat had hit a wave at 30knts and suffered internal damage!

Without droning on about what to look for, secondhand is much more cost effective with all the toys anchor & rope etc (you hope) and most newish (5 years) boats will have been looked after, it will show in their presentation also. If its sold here, you still need to look out. Buyer Beware!

As before, simple choices are Ribcraft, Tornado, Avon, Ribtec, Ribeye, which are all very solid performing boats that can see out a F5 no problem.

I am not a fan of Humber (but I know many are) as the gelcoat on some of the boats I have used has been very thin, but they do have well designed hulls.
Answer is, dont scratch it!!!

I still believe 4 stroke is the way to go normally, despite the extra weight, but in your case I would find a good hull to suit your needs and a powerfull engine be it 2 or 4 stroke. The new 4 stroke Mariners have a great deal of torque so dont write them off.

As for size i think that with 4 in the boat you need at least 75 and pref 90+ hp and the correct prop!

If you but new, look at the soecs and try to get the highest power for the block to improve the power to weight ratio.

Again as said before, Yam, Mariner/Merc, Honda are best.

Tiger
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Old 03 March 2003, 19:35   #15
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I would disagree with Manos to the extent that I would say the opposite: Don't buy a new RIB first time round.

Until you have owned and used a RIB for a while, you propbably won't discover what is that that you need or want. Most people seem to change their first RIB within one or two seasons.

Buying a second hand RIB is no different to buying anything else second hand. You will certainly not suffer the depreciation that you would if you bought new.

You will probably find that you can run a second hand RIB for a season or so and if you look after it you'll find you get almost all of your inital purchase price back when you sell it.

John
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Old 03 March 2003, 21:26   #16
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Definitely go secondhand, all my three boats have been preowned and I have had two excellent purchases and one that was OK. Make sure when you go to buy it you take somebody that knows what to look for. There are a couple of other threads about this very subject initiated by the following people. Spud, Flanker and Cliveg Try reading through them
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Old 04 March 2003, 16:21   #17
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Fun boats

Can I say this?

Try my Extreme 5.5 price is very negotiable as people tell me its too expensive!! Never make a salesman would I!!
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Old 06 March 2003, 11:16   #18
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Deffently by a second hand.

If you can, buy one from other members of this forum, they are nice people who looks after the boats.

I bougt a second hand RIB (Osprey Viper) from Pete7, and I had never had a Rib before. He helped me alot and he sold me a very nice Rib. I's a few years back, and I still use the boat.

Take a look at the boat he's selling now. He won't let you down on a boat deal.

Regards
Rene
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