Originally Posted by Matt Riley
I can't comment on the osprey, but the SR 5.4 is possibly the most durable small RIB out there at the moment. It is good to check that the tube valves are OK, because it is possible to keep air in searider tubes by just using the valve cap! The boats have good seakeeping ability, perhaps not as good as the newer designs because of the low bow, but very good nonetheless. Buy some decent waterproofs if you want to take the searider out in waves. It can get very wet inside! Always safe though. Avon's tubes which they put on these are possibly the most durable ones out there!
People say think of the P22 as the landrover of the sea. In reality, think of the SR5.4 as the SWB '90' version!
Oh, don't overpower the searider. Even the 75 merc is a bit on the big side!
Never found my Searider to be wet unless it was very heavily laden (9 persons) and you were going too slowly. Once up and running (25 knots) it is pretty dry.
90hp too much? If you are using the boat lightly loaded 90hp is more than you NEED but not too much. When you load the boat up with kit you will appreciate the extra power. Also it means you can do 30 knots at a sensible 3800rpm without thrashing the engine giving reasonable fuel economy. 60hp I consider to be the bare minimum on a 5.4m. 75hp is probably a good size.
That said, Seariders can chine walk at speeds above about 35knots, which is fun!
Less seaworthy than more modern designs? I don't think so. The navy are still buying them.
Durable tubes - yes - the best. Much better fabric than my Scorpion tubes.
Valves - check them - mines just had one renewed.
Mine is still for sale at JBT Marine - give them a call or PM RIVA and have a look.