I use my rubber tube mounted cleats all the time for mooring, rafting, towing alongside in calm water, and other random stuff. If the tubes are inflated properly to limit any distortion I think they are very tough.
However, I always avoid other peoples rubber cleats as I don’t know how well they are attached.
Obviously the Hypalon underneath has it’s limitations.
I don’t get too upset if I get back to my RIB and find a similar or smaller sized boat tied up to them, but if I found a 30foot boat tied up to them it might be a different matter.
I wouldn’t dream of rafting my 6.5M RIB up to a much smaller boat without being invited to do so, or running other lines elsewhere to limit the pull. I believe the problem simply lies with the disregard some RIB and other boat owners have for other peoples property.
I once returned to my RIB in Cowes town quay to find another RIB owner had ‘rafted’ bow-on to my RIB by simply attaching his painter to one of my console grab handles, his bow ring was rubbing away at my tube whilst his bow bumped into the console, and his stern waved about in the middle of the quay.
That particular idiot returned to his RIB to find every inch of the lines on his boat creating a spiders web of lines attaching him to the pontoon with some nice tight twisted knots that would have been very difficult to undo.
Had it been just me it wouldn’t have been worth the bother, but another boat owner who had returned to his RIB and noticed what had happened, plus the driver of the water taxi were more than willing to help.
RIBBED For extra pleasure.
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