Originally Posted by Jono71
Does anybody know if there are any rib manufacturers that use a mainly wood free construction ? I guess if all the wood is perfectly sealed it should last indefinitely, however I'm thinking in the real world wood free might have benefits. I think I once saw a pic of a redbay hull using foam core stringers but could be wrong.
If wood is used correctly it should have a very long lifespan on a RIB. Foam cores are fairly commonplace now. Redbay certainly use them in a wide range of craft. In addition, a number of their smaller ribs are constructed with fully moulded decks - reducing the places where timber and water can meet. They also use plastic "cellular" sheeting like Nidaplast as a light timber substitute in some applications. In some of the small RIBs, the only timber will be in the transom.
Often the issues with timber occur when fixings are inserted through the final finish into the timber and not properly sealed - i.e. transom holes and deck fittings like seats and so forth.