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Old 26 June 2017, 00:00   #1
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Took my 14' out in 25mph winds in the Pacific, RIB needed?

So this was an interesting experience in the Pacific. I'm somewhat new to boating but I'm very adventurous and wanting to explore.

I planned on a 7 mile trip from harbor to harbor and left in the morning. I checked the weather and the forecast was for a beautiful day with 1-2 swells at 15 seconds. On my 7 mile journey down, it got a little rough. Was exciting but nothing too crazy. Saw a ton of dolphins! On the back, I was fighting what seemed to be 6 foot swells in 15-25 mph winds. White caps everywhere. Took me an hour to get down, 2+ back. I wasn't fearful, but told myself this probably wasn't smart when I'd fall off the backside of some of these waves.

I had a terrible time getting to plane on the way back, and even if I could I'd bounce around and after 5-10 seconds it was lost. I realize I should have probably been more careful but did not expect that weather. I also didn't see anyone out past the harbor except large sailboats, so that probably should have been an indicator.

So while I think my SIB would be awesome in calmer weather, maybe a lake, today is a perfect example of why I would prefer a RIB. For multiple reasons.
  • Am I right in just assuming that RIB's with an actual V hull and more weight will fair better in the ocean?
  • I thought about 1000 times how I wish I had a wheel instead of a tiller. I could brace myself much better. Also a place to grab on to (other than the rope) to keep my body in the boat. My hand was tore up. I know lots of people sit on the floor, I just find that incredibly uncomfortable.
  • I also found that I would brace myself with the tiller in my left, rope with my right, causing me to either change directions or throttle and that would take me off plane if I hit a wave. But honestly, some of the waves I was hitting at 20 mph was just nuts. Didn't help my fingers would get slammed between the tiller and seat as well. The sea received lots of my 4 letter words.
  • Also, this is really going to shine on my inexperience, but I was 1000 feet off the coast and felt like the waves we're breaking and pushing me in. Is there a defined distance to prevent this? I know this varies depending on the locale, I get that. But with more severe weather, it there some recommendation?

In short, planning is a freakin awesome feeling. Grin from ear to ear. However, I was chuggin at 5-7 mph all the way home in those swells. Seriously considering a 14'-15' RIB in hopes that some of my concerns would be minimized as I'm not a guy that likes to hang around the harbor. We have beautiful islands off the coast of CA and want to explore.


Thoughts?

And a virtual beer to you if you managed to read all of this. PS, I was loaded with safety gear.
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Old 26 June 2017, 02:11   #2
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wind against tide will soon whip up into large waves and at 2m in most boats on the plane it will be a rough ride its all about driving to the conditions i recently went out in force 5-6 off shore winds but keeping in the lee of the land i got some flat water but in the rough down to displacement speed.in certain conditions you can tack at an angle to get a better speed but you have to know what you're doing and react to broaching a wave. but you have learned some important lessons more that you need to study the area ask the local fisherman what are the best/ safest winds to go out in. SIBS are great little boats in the right conditions as are all boats.
happy future ventures
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Old 26 June 2017, 03:05   #3
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First well done on getting out in breezy weather but it does seem better study of weather and tides could have prevented the difficult return run.

Re RIBs.... yes a deep V RIB and much more power will be in a different class coping with a difficult sea.

Re tiller being hard work and getting knocked about.... Sounds like you were pushing far too hard... or perhaps at the wrong times. When we are out in heavier weather I'm on and off the throttle plus changing angle to the waves all the time to give my crew the softest and safest ride. This can be a problem with a setup like yours with a large shallow V SIB and minimal power so when you are forced off the plane it takes a few moments to get back up again.

Re the breaking sea pushing you in... As Jeff says wind against tide can be completely different to wind with tide so if the tide turns while you are out conditions can instantly change from quite easy to very difficult. Also if you are near land and the tide starts to go out making it more shallow this can make the water rougher. So more study and planning needed regarding your specific area.

But yes you are right.... get going on the plane and it's huge fun.

Edit: Did you ever change for a lower pitch prop?
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Old 26 June 2017, 04:29   #4
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Get yourself a copy of the best SIB book out there and a must for anyone into these little rubber boats, Dag Pike oldie but goodie 'Inflatables' - superb sections in there on handling these boats in rougher water. I have read and read it over, just a great all round read.

Flagged it up years ago...

http://www.rib.net/forum/f50/dag-pik...les-42877.html

...and it was hard to find but there are a glut of copies on Amazon for peanuts now:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-li...469155&sr=8-16

Not much to add to Fenlanders post - but *always* plan for the weather to change (we're in the UK so it's a sure bet), tack across big waves to increase the wavelength and turn or power away from the bigger breakers. Weight up front (trim in) for head sea, weight back (trim out) for following sea...etc

As I say - read Dag Pike - it's all in there.

A RIB (*proper* deep V) like a Searider will laugh all day at conditions that make even the best SIB drivers think twice.

Having said that - being out in the UK in a force 5 or more with an Aerotec and reading and challenging the waves and coming out on top is pretty invigorating and fun stuff too.
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Old 26 June 2017, 04:51   #5
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another one of his is the complete RIB manual published 2013
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Old 26 June 2017, 12:20   #6
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As you learned, SIBs can handle it, but operator fatigue is high.

18-21 ft (5.5m to 6.5m) is ideal for most near shore and offshore operation.

Wear gloves, remove the seats, and crouch on your knees. Gluing some EVA foam to the floor to provide some shock mitigation would be advisable as well.

Try not to sit on anything, or all of the shock will pass in to your spine where it is least comfortable.
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Old 26 June 2017, 12:47   #7
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Thanks for the thoughts guys.


-I'll take a look at some of those books.
-I did not change my prop. I discovered if I WOT immediately it eventually gets on plane. If I gradually wind it up, the back end just sits in the water.


Ironically, I was sort of tacking as some of you had mentioned here. I'd try and take angles to maximum time between waves. Going against at an angle and then riding them at an angle.


I think I just need to get out there much earlier as well to avoid the winds. I just drove by the beach and it looked like glass at 9am. I'm thinking maybe a 7am launch may give me ample time to mess around. I've been in tons of boats, but never a RIB so I don't know how they perform in the water. Not sure if they rent in Southern California. Would be interesting to see the difference between the 2.


Ironically, my dad and I looked at an AB Oceanus (13 or 14) last weekend that we liked. He likes to fish, I like to explore, so we thought it was a reasonable balance between the 2 of us. My cousin recently purchased a Zodiac 750 Pro Open, which looks like a beast. But way too big for me, need it to fit in the garage.
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Old 26 June 2017, 12:51   #8
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Originally Posted by Jlomb436 View Post
Ironically, my dad and I looked at an AB Oceanus (13 or 14) last weekend that we liked. He likes to fish, I like to explore, so we thought it was a reasonable balance between the 2 of us. My cousin recently purchased a Zodiac 650 Pro Open, which looks like a beast. But way too big for me, need it to fit in the garage.
Pro Open 550 has a folding console and will fit in a standard depth & height garage if the trailer has a folding tongue.


It has a lot of factory rodholders for fishing too. And a factory cooler mount. Lots of storage.

But, also will cost a lot more than your SIB did...
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Old 26 June 2017, 14:02   #9
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Before you splash your cash get more from local knowledge get out more in your boat, small boats are great fun there's no fun in any boat if your'e thrown about all day
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Old 26 June 2017, 16:04   #10
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Pro Open 550 would be awesome I bet! But $40K I don't have. Maybe if a nice used one popped up I'd be over that. They do look cool too. PLus they have large internal tanks, something I'd like for the islands.

I'd love to rent a RIB, so I'll start looking around to see if that's doable. I think there is a rent-share similar to Air BnB for boats in the states.

Ironically, there is a place in town that could potentially be the most popular inflatable boat place in the states. Inflatable Boat Specialists.

https://www.inflatableboats.net/zodi...a-four-stroke/
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Old 26 June 2017, 16:19   #11
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Avon SR 5.4 easily fits in the garage with a folding tongue.
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Old 26 June 2017, 19:16   #12
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I own a 550 pro and can't vouch for it enough in harsh offshore conditions, infact I'm about to head off on a 500-600km trip carrying enough fuel and supllys for the remote area destination.

When it comes to sibs, though I wouldn't be doing such a long trip as in my rib they can still be extremely capable little boats. This side of the pond (Australia) they are the go-to boat when conditions in bar crossings or surf become to bad for the larger rescue boats, they are also dam good fun as tiller steer in the surf. To use them in such conditions isn't something you can just head out and do though, it takes time to learne to handle them ( big wave surfing helps get used to the conditions).

In regards to your boat not plaining, maybe have a spare smaller pitch prop to use on days when you know conditions are likely to be poor. The smaller pitch will help with faster low speed control but drop off top end speed, by the sound of things you may already have to large a pitch prop anyway.

By the way my 550 pro with a Yam f70, heavy duty trailer Lowrance sounder and vhf radio etc cost $23000 at 5 months old with 40 hrs on the engine, or about £15000 your side of the pond and cost around $45000 new.

If you do look at the pro range, the tour is slightly narrower allowing to fit inside most garages inflated. The narrower shape also cuts through chop softer and allows for the smaller engine to still perform remarkably well due to the lighter weight of both boat and motor. My 100lt underfloor tank gives a safe range of 300km, though for my big trip coming up I will be carrying lots of spare fuel which will be dropped on offshore islands along the barrier reef.



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Old 26 June 2017, 20:10   #13
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I own a 550 pro and can't vouch for it enough in harsh offshore conditions, infact I'm about to head off on a 500-600km trip carrying enough fuel and supllys for the remote area destination.

When it comes to sibs, though I wouldn't be doing such a long trip as in my rib they can still be extremely capable little boats. This side of the pond (Australia) they are the go-to boat when conditions in bar crossings or surf become to bad for the larger rescue boats, they are also dam good fun as tiller steer in the surf. To use them in such conditions isn't something you can just head out and do though, it takes time to learne to handle them ( big wave surfing helps get used to the conditions).

In regards to your boat not plaining, maybe have a spare smaller pitch prop to use on days when you know conditions are likely to be poor. The smaller pitch will help with faster low speed control but drop off top end speed, by the sound of things you may already have to large a pitch prop anyway.

By the way my 550 pro with a Yam f70, heavy duty trailer Lowrance sounder and vhf radio etc cost $23000 at 5 months old with 40 hrs on the engine, or about £15000 your side of the pond and cost around $45000 new.

If you do look at the pro range, the tour is slightly narrower allowing to fit inside most garages inflated. The narrower shape also cuts through chop softer and allows for the smaller engine to still perform remarkably well due to the lighter weight of both boat and motor. My 100lt underfloor tank gives a safe range of 300km, though for my big trip coming up I will be carrying lots of spare fuel which will be dropped on offshore islands along the barrier reef.




Sir,

You and I think alike as this is exactly something I would do. I've been on 6000 mile motorcycle camping trips all alone and there is just something about be somewhere by yourself in nature. You have inspired me further!

I can completely see where SIB's would be useful, but I have never experienced a RIB so I wasn't sure how much better they handle the waves and chop. Considering I want to head out 22 miles to the islands, with weather that changes quickly, I would have been stuck in mud in my SIB that's for sure.

May I ask if you get 300 km, what is your cruising speed? And what about top speed with that 70? Thank you!
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Old 26 June 2017, 21:46   #14
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It depends on my load and which prop I use but mostly I stick to the smaller solas stainless which is a 13 x 13 pitch, the yamaha aluminium 15in pitch give a slightly better top end but not so good with 5 divers and gear (though it still copes).

On the stainless I cruise at around 4500 for 40 kmh and a fuel burn of about 12 lt, flat out reaching 61000rpm I manage 57-60kmh with a fuel burn of around 23lth.

If you click this link you will see highlighted in blue a few power tests on boats over here F70XA Yamaha 4 Stroke 70hp Extra-Long Shaft EFI OUTBOARD FOR SALE | Brisbane Yamaha, each of these boats are heavier than my boat when my boat is not full of gear which helps give an idea of economy and performance. I know commercial tour operators who have over 7000hrs on these remarkable little engines and I cant recommend them enough.

Gopro's make waves look much smaller than they really are but even in these images you can get an idea of the chop we were able to cruise through at 40kmh







This is the trip I will be heading off on in just over a week, the reefs are about 70km offshore.

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Old 26 June 2017, 22:33   #15
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Just to add, I've been a boat owner for 40 years and have always used Australias most awarded deep v fibreglass hulls for their rough water handling capabilities. I've probably owned about 25 different boats over the years as well as worked and played on many more. I've also been a marine rescue volunteer in the past where I've had the opportunity to use some very good boats in very poor conditions, though these days my family take up to much time for the volunteer work.

I always said I would never buy a silly rib but here I am having the most fun I've ever had from any boat, yes the room is limited but the sheer amount of time I can now get out on the water even if the conditions aren't so good easely make up for that lack of space. I also tow my rib all over Aus as it's barely noticeable towing behind the 4x4. My kids are all confident at handling it and love it when conditions get tough, they are licensed boaters too and can easely drive it onto the trailer making my life much easier.

I also drive an ex fisheries Gemini 7+ dive rib which is extremely wet, unlike the zodiac that is remarkably dry. The older pro's had a slightly different hull with smaller chines that gave less lift and not quite so good handling as the newer ones but still very good.

I've been tempted to go bigger by this 650 pro http://www.boatsales.com.au/boats-fo...=0&pss=Premium. Which seems very well priced but my little 550 does pretty much all I want from a boat and the extra size would mostly be to just take more people ( maybe let them buy their own boat!!!)
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Old 27 June 2017, 11:33   #16
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Thanks Jon and others.

There isn't a ton of information online regarding the difference between the models, unless I'm missing something. There's the Open, Pro, Pro Open, but I'm noticing the Open is about $10K cheaper around these parts. I'm guessing because a slightly smaller motor (gen see them with 70's vs 90's or 115's) but I'm not entirely sure whats different in the boat. I'll keep researching.
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Old 27 June 2017, 12:06   #17
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Originally Posted by Jlomb436 View Post
Thanks Jon and others.

There isn't a ton of information online regarding the difference between the models, unless I'm missing something. There's the Open, Pro, Pro Open, but I'm noticing the Open is about $10K cheaper around these parts. I'm guessing because a slightly smaller motor (gen see them with 70's vs 90's or 115's) but I'm not entirely sure whats different in the boat. I'll keep researching.
Pro Open = deck has a molded console, molded seating, big bow locker, bigger fuel tank

Pro = Open configuration boat, console / seating can be altered (simply screwed / lagged / bolted in place). The base boat is a big open platform. It can be ordered "bare" with nothing on it, then you install your own console / seats / etc. You could even order the Pro cheaply with a "jockey" seat if you desired.
Zodiac Pro Chase 550 with Yamaha F60 EFI 4-Stroke
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Old 27 June 2017, 12:44   #18
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It sounds like we're basically neighbors, Jlomb436. I live in Moorpark. You should go out on my RIB one of these days and if you like it you can buy it!

http://ventura.craigslist.org/boa/6195130468.html
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Old 28 June 2017, 11:00   #19
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Hey Office,

That thing seems like a pretty reasonable deal!

Blue Man,

I'll check it out when I get home. I'm at work in which CL is blocked.
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Old 28 June 2017, 12:07   #20
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Or:
http://www.rib.net/forum/f45/availab...nia-66873.html


Smaller than Blue Man's but cheaper! ($8500)
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