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Old 15 January 2021, 11:43   #1
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Salcombe trips / rib size

Hi all, rib newbie looking for some advice.

Currently have a 10ft Sunsport we use for beach hopping in and around Salcombe every year.

Wondering about moving up to an actual rib but looking for some advice on what would actually be worth moving up to.

As it stands the little sunsport is perfect for its current job, I can keep it on the beach so no mooring costs, drag it up and down on my own, and can transport it down there deflated on the bike rack.

I guess really my question is whether it is worth me moving up to a proper rib bearing in mind the extra costs and faff, and if so how big do you need to go to actually be useful.
Currently we are obviously confined to the estuary, in reality there is no point in me getting anything else unless we could safely go further afield, eg round to Thurlstone would be my initial thought. Would a small 3.3 Brig or similar still be 2 small to want to do that sort of trip? Or would we really be wanting to aim for 4m+ to go outside the estuary?

Thanks all

Rob
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Old 16 January 2021, 01:15   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rjefferis View Post
Hi all, rib newbie looking for some advice.

Currently have a 10ft Sunsport we use for beach hopping in and around Salcombe every year.

Wondering about moving up to an actual rib but looking for some advice on what would actually be worth moving up to.

As it stands the little sunsport is perfect for its current job, I can keep it on the beach so no mooring costs, drag it up and down on my own, and can transport it down there deflated on the bike rack.

I guess really my question is whether it is worth me moving up to a proper rib bearing in mind the extra costs and faff, and if so how big do you need to go to actually be useful.
Currently we are obviously confined to the estuary, in reality there is no point in me getting anything else unless we could safely go further afield, eg round to Thurlstone would be my initial thought. Would a small 3.3 Brig or similar still be 2 small to want to do that sort of trip? Or would we really be wanting to aim for 4m+ to go outside the estuary?

Thanks all

Rob
If it's perfect then why change it? Change the way you get there.
If you want a change of scenery then Salcombe is central to the Dart and Tamar rivers and you can launch from Dartmouth or Plymouth. If you want to look around Thurlstone/Bigbury then launch from Hope Cove.

Outside the estuary in both directions you need to cope with tricky overfalls/tidal races and (as you suspect) 4.2m is really the minimum. A trailered RIB is LESS faff for us though and I purchased an anchor buddy to save beaching like we used to in the SIB. Costs will be far greater, £16/day parking at Batson. Would not be happy storing overnight at the boat park, expensive and has poor security so I store for free at the campsite/s. Then again things just got worse trying to park at South Sands if you currently launch from there.
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Old 16 January 2021, 04:02   #3
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If it's perfect then why change it? Change the way you get there.
If you want a change of scenery then Salcombe is central to the Dart and Tamar rivers and you can launch from Dartmouth or Plymouth. If you want to look around Thurlstone/Bigbury then launch from Hope Cove.

Outside the estuary in both directions you need to cope with tricky overfalls/tidal races and (as you suspect) 4.2m is really the minimum. A trailered RIB is LESS faff for us though and I purchased an anchor buddy to save beaching like we used to in the SIB. Costs will be far greater, £16/day parking at Batson. Would not be happy storing overnight at the boat park, expensive and has poor security so I store for free at the campsite/s. Then again things just got worse trying to park at South Sands if you currently launch from there.

Thanks so much for the response!
Would be nice to be venture outside the estuary but as you confirm I would need something noticeably bigger. I guess my reasons for considering a smaller rib rather than larger were purely around cost, ease of towing and ease of storage.

We do currently launch and store overnight at SS as we tend to stay there. Parking was even more of a nightmare there than previous, or was last year as even the small car park has gone due to the building work. The place we stay has parking though so i just launch early morning on the first day.

As you do though i certainly like the idea of not having to inflate / deflate and have the engine in the boot. Also whilst doable, the single handed drag up the beach at SS can feel like a long way when the tide is out.

Will keep an eye out for a 450 or similar within budget.

Thanks again!
Rob
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Old 16 January 2021, 05:49   #4
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It really does does depend on the weather and your skills. I used to be happier in my 3.83 inflatable then some people I was Out with in 6m ribs!

The area to the West of you is pretty benign on a good day, yours will cope happily. Heading East it'll get lively but again if you're up to reading the sea then you'll have loads of fun.

Only issue is it gets uncomfortable on longer explores and where a rib really does confront its own, as does a bit of weather thrown in.

If you like going up river, you're in a better boat then is but if you want to come do the longer sea runs then something larger may work for you. But as with cars, it'll need to do what you want and each one is different.
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Old 16 January 2021, 09:38   #5
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As other have said lots to explore East and West of Salcombe. Great areas fantastic coastline and wildlife.

I'd consider the following:
What do you want from the boat -what do you really want to use it to do- purely beach hopping, coastal cruising / exploring etc...
How many people will you usually have on board for the trips you're likely to do- that will drive size to an extent
Storage, towing / launching recovery sites
Budget!
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Old 16 January 2021, 13:17   #6
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salcombe rib...ing

Hi, I upgraded to a 5m Zodiac a few years ago as I wanted to go further afield, normally venture out to Dartmouth, Hope Cove, Plymouth, Kingsbridge and a few other little places.
I keep my rib in a boat park Alston Farm camp site and pay the harbour fees for the whole year, if I'm there for a long weekend or longer I keep the boat on a paid mooring or leave it at Whitestrand overnight.
The best things with the bigger boat is using it for watersports at Starehole Bay then having a bbq on one of the beaches around the estuary or motoring out with other ribmates for a meal/drinks or a spot of fishing.
I appreciate that your running costs will go up BUT I'm having more fun with this boat than any other.
Regards
Jay
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Old 16 January 2021, 13:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rjefferis View Post
Also whilst doable, the single handed drag up the beach at SS can feel like a long way when the tide is out.
Rob
That SS haul was the final nail in the coffin for our SIBing days. Heavy and nearly 4m long and we always had plenty of gear. Mrs Limecc was getting chest pains pulling and I was completely knackered. No fun to us, sooner sell the damn thing.

Never looked back after getting a RIB however after getting an idea while in Reddish Marine we also sold that.
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Old 16 January 2021, 15:44   #8
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Pick your day and you’ll be absolutely fine, the only thing worth noting is there very few places to land once out of salcombe, you’ll be able to land at saw mill with enough tide but apart from that it’s only hope cove!
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Old 16 January 2021, 16:11   #9
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Finally something as a newbie I have experience of and can contribute to!
I think like most people have said, it depends on what you want the boat for, how many people you expect on board and how deep your pockets are. I've just upgraded (from our first boat - a little 15 ft Ranieri with 50HP on the back) to an older Zodiac 550. I'm hoping we can get out more and explore and it will make life easier playing with the towable toys at starhole bay. It is definitely more hassle than our 3.1m Avon Dinghy and 2hp on the back we started with instead of paying for the ferry, but we accept the costs of batson boat parking and a mooring as part of our holiday costs (and we stay at a campsite) but it brings a whole lot more (different) fun. It really is horses for courses thought. I wouldn't go bigger than 5.5m though as that's the size limit to stay at the back of the Normandy pontoon (which is why we never went for the 6m I initially wanted).
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Old 16 January 2021, 19:38   #10
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Never underestimate your boat. I have a RIB & a SIB, they will both take more punishment than I will. The SIB will take you further than you think. Just look at The Gurnard for inspiration.
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Old 17 January 2021, 03:45   #11
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Never underestimate your boat. I have a RIB & a SIB, they will both take more punishment than I will. The SIB will take you further than you think. Just look at The Gurnard for inspiration.
Yes but experienced individuals (like yourself?) Donny or Jeff who can exploit them are the exception not the norm.

We want the biggest safety margin. Rookie mistakes can be made. Never underestimate freak waves or how the sea state can suddenly worsen or not be forecast.

I took a screenshot from a recently taken video which makes the point.
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Old 17 January 2021, 05:33   #12
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Yes but experienced individuals (like yourself?) Donny or Jeff who can exploit them are the exception not the norm.

We want the biggest safety margin. Rookie mistakes can be made. Never underestimate freak waves or how the sea state can suddenly worsen or not be forecast.

I took a screenshot from a recently taken video which makes the point.


Conversely having a “bigger boat” could give the rookie a false sense of security. A smaller craft would keep the rookie on his guard & not tempt him to allow his ambition to exceed his ability. My point being, that even in experienced hands, the boat is generally more capable than the operator.
Re your freak wave; RIB, SIB or hardboat, that’s gonna hurt.
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Old 17 January 2021, 07:49   #13
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Conversely having a “bigger boat” could give the rookie a false sense of security.
Realistically that's not true it just means less anxiety. Enjoy the sea but have situational awareness and never let your guard down.

We made a trip Salcombe to Thurlstone one time after checking the forecast carefully. We were ok on the way out, pancake flat, but the tide turned and there were breaking overfalls on the way back spoiling enjoyment of the journey/our day. Less of an issue for our current boat than the Excel SIB we were in then.
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Old 17 January 2021, 17:45   #14
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Yes but experienced individuals (like yourself?) Donny or Jeff who can exploit them are the exception not the norm.

We want the biggest safety margin. Rookie mistakes can be made. Never underestimate freak waves or how the sea state can suddenly worsen or not be forecast.

I took a screenshot from a recently taken video which makes the point.
What’s this supposed to represent? A reef or bar that would be clearly marked on any chart?
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Old 17 January 2021, 19:10   #15
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What’s this supposed to represent? A reef or bar that would be clearly marked on any chart?
Its not a reef or bar, it's offshore. The Bay of Biscay has an extremely large fetch making for some spectacularly big waves filmed from the inlet at Capbreton, France.

Here's the video, skip forward 2.1/2 mins
It's a good channel to subscribe to, makes Haulover Inlet look tame.
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Old 17 January 2021, 21:03   #16
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Terrifying accident at the 5 minute mark:
Things can go wrong very quickly.
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Old 18 January 2021, 08:56   #17
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We made a trip Salcombe to Thurlstone one time after checking the forecast carefully. We were ok on the way out, pancake flat, but the tide turned and there were breaking overfalls on the way back spoiling enjoyment of the journey/our day.
That was a trip of about 15 -20 mile Nm return (depends wether you just went to Thurstone Rock, or onto Bigbury)................ YOU made a schoolboy error by not planning your trip adequately to take into account tide and wind ............

Do think when I fish the wrecks at 40 miles out that I just look and think, 'yes, a nice day we will go' ........... NO, I plan it around the wind and tides and always have a plan B up my sleeve ...........

Passage planning doesn't have to be written ........... just a plan in your head taking into account all the factors that effect a safe and doable passage.

I hope you have learnt from your mistake !
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Old 18 January 2021, 10:42   #18
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I hope you have learnt from your mistake !
Hopefully. In addition to above,
-Sold the SIB for something far more seaworthy
-Went on a PB2 course (Salcombe Sea School)
-Got a radio and charts before going somewhere new
-Self inflating life jackets instead of buoyancy aids
-Can't beat local advice/knowledge
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Old 24 January 2021, 03:40   #19
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You want to go for a 450 with a 40 hp minimum to travel to thurlestone , nossmayo or around start point on a fair day , that set up works for us and have recently upgraded size and engine again due to family growing! A 450 is the perfect all round boat and still easy to anchor in shallow water around the estuary, but more than capable around the coast , even a small car can tow it safely Click image for larger version

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Old 24 January 2021, 18:57   #20
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Am I missing something or just being nieve? 3.3 Brig or a 360 SIB, if the conditions ain't right, then the conditions ain't right!
I was in Kingsbridge last summer and was desperate to get out of the estuary to Hope Cove but there was only one day out of the eight when tide, weather, wind, would have been right for us to be able to do so. Sods law, we was on the Dart that day and had a brilliant time. Totnes to Compass Cove, picnic on the beach, well a butty and a coffee, and back to Totnes on the incoming tide. My point being, would a small Rib have made a difference? I honestly don't think it would. I don't think I would have ventured out of the shelter of the estuary on any of the other seven days days whether I was in a small Rib or a SIB.
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