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Old 28-05-2017, 07:57   #1
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Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

Hi - we are planning to cruise from the Chesapeake to the Keys (and maybe Bahamas) this Fall on our 27ft Albin Trawler (cruises at 6.5 knots) and need the lightest RIB that would plane with the lightest motor. Of course, the dryer the better. We plan to tow most of the time but would also probably need to put on weaver davits so can't be much more than our 9'6 transom...preferably closer to 9 ft.

We have researched this quite a bit online and plan to shop around for a used one (if we are lucky) and bite the bullet in the fall if we can't get a better deal prior. We have a 1968 13 ft whaler with a tiller now, but never had a RIB so thought we would get additional advice from the group....

We are very curious about the Walker Bay Superlight. Seems cheaper than ABs or Highfields but haven't seen a lot of reviews on it. It's not the same as the Genesis Light.....it's about 40 lbs lighter. Does anyone have experience with these?

If you have other lightweight RIBs, would love to hear more about your experience, specifically with your engine size/weight and davit system you have.

Oh...thinking it might be good to wait until the Fall Boat Show to get a better deal...any thoughts on that? Thank you!
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Old 28-05-2017, 09:16   #2
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

Have you thought about Takacat?
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Old 28-05-2017, 09:25   #3
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

I'm not up on the current RIB's. AB were always very good. Try to find a single floor RIB... those are lighter. Everything is a compromise, you can live with the slight floor angle. I found the stability of my 10 ft AB much better than the later 9 ft I bought. But both were good.
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Old 28-05-2017, 09:31   #4
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

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Have you thought about Takacat?

No, I haven't. Looks pretty cool. However, it has an inflatable bottom. Looks like it is rigid at 10psi, allowing it to plane. But, most posts I've read says never buy inflatable bottoms.....we plan to fish and dive a lot so concerned it might not be solid enough. Thoughts?
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Old 28-05-2017, 10:07   #5
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft


We've recently bought a WB 240 Superlight (hypalon tubes, fibreglass floor, weighs about 66lb and about 8' long - it's the smallest one they do) We've only had it about two months, so can't give any long term feedback, but for the short time we've had it, we've been very impressed; never had to top up the tubes with air yet, so that's a good start. The good and the Bad:
It's light/easy to handle (we haul onto the foredeck with the spinnaker halyard for storage) and also to carry up beaches complete with it's motor, though I would've preferred more substantial/better positioned lifting handles for the latter - there are lifting eyes inside and we've fitted fore & aft lines to those which work better. We've also dumped the seat, utilising the aluminium fixing brackets to make a smaller timber one; I suspect that WB have a single seat design for all their ribs and in the 8' version, it's just too big.
We have a 3.5 hp 2-stroke Nissan motor on the back (light-weight/simple and we can carry it up the beach) and even that with just one person in will get the WB on the plane, the downside being that the little 2-strokes deafeningly noisy with that many revs on.
Aside from price, the other big selling point to us was that square bow, I'm not sure if it's any better at keeping you dry as claimed - though no worse - than the narrow-bowed competion, but if definitely makes the dink a lot more stable getting in/out (we found the aluminium Highfield very skittish) and also gives a phenomenal load capacity compared to the other small/lightweights.
Only one word of warning - given to us by another user, but not tried/confirmed: Unless you have the tubes pumped-up really hard, when you try to row these WBs, the oarlocks pop out of their mountings and disintegrate; no way to repair them, you have to go buy new/expensive replacements.
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Old 28-05-2017, 10:51   #6
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

We bought a 2017 Walker Bay 310 SLRX. 91 lbs, 10 ft. Love it so far. We wanted enough space to carry folding bikes and other gear...the 240 was very short. We put a Tohatsu 15 4-stroke on it- it zooms! Shallow "V" makes this RIB a little "splashier" but the square bow makes up for it. We keep it on davits for coastal and store on the foredeck for passage/making. However we are a bit bigger than you (53 ft). Got a terrific deal from Riverside Marine in Racine WS...shipped it right to us in the marina in MD. PM and I will provide contact for salesman - best deal we found:
Walker Bay 310 SLRX $2,763.00
Tohatsu 15DEFS $2,599
Extra seat $150
Hydrofoil installed $100
Packing and shipping $400
Total $6,012.00 no sales tax was charged.

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Old 29-05-2017, 09:37   #7
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

We had a Walker Bay with inflatable tubes, and a West Marine high-pressure-floor, but are now using an AB Lummina 9.5 ft aluminum RIB. We have been thrilled with the performance and ease of managing the AB. Ours is a double-floor model, which we really like because it keeps our groceries dry, but there is also a single-floor model that is even lighter.
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Old 29-05-2017, 09:47   #8
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

Air rigid 8.5 Walker day fits the needs perfectly. It planes with two people and a 5 hp two-stroke which we seldom use. It rows easily making the engine unnecessary. And just for fun it's salils as well as any small boat.

Wave as you go by. We are in Delray Beach thinking of trading a Ranger 25 for an Auburn 27. Would love to see yours. Thank you!
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Old 29-05-2017, 10:41   #9
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

Two pieces of info might help CF readers: How much weight do you want to carry and still get up on a plane? And how important is the dink's performance in open, choppy water (like diving in the Bahamas)?

Our first dink was an Avon 260cm RIB weighing about 90 lbs (I forget the model #). With an 8hp motor it would plane in smooth water with <350 lbs, but it was too short and flat bottomed for choppy conditions. It was also a wet ride.

Our next dink was an Achilles 260cm air floor. It was very light - ideal for the davits and carrying up a beach. With a 6hp motor it would plane with <300#s, in smooth water only. Not so good in chop. The air floor has less interior volume.

Our present dink is a AB Lamina 9.5 with a 15hp 2-stroke, weighing a combined 180 lbs. It will plane with more than 650#. It's comfortable in most conditions, because it's longer AND the hull has a more aggressive V-shape. More power is required to plane, but for diving in the Bahamas, or driving across a large bay with a boat full of groceries, fuel, and water, it is sweet.
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Old 29-05-2017, 11:08   #10
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

At the risk of suffering a lot of disagreement with other contributors, little RIBs are difficult to get on a plane and skittish once they do plane. If at all possible (and I understand your beam/LOA issue), try to find a way to get a 10'3" RIB, which is dramatically improved. A foot doesn't seem like it would make much difference, but they plane easier, carry about 40% more gear, ride drier, etc.

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Old 29-05-2017, 11:57   #11
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

Very helpful info...lots to learn!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarrar View Post
Two pieces of info might help CF readers: How much weight do you want to carry and still get up on a plane? And how important is the dink's performance in open, choppy water (like diving in the Bahamas)?
w.
Fortunately, hubby and I together weigh around 250 so we probably won't need more than 50lbs - 75 lbs of gear or fuel or provisions at a time, so something that can plane easily at 325 lbs would be good.

We prefer not to be in choppy waters but reality is, we will be in it if it's choppy where the fish are biting or if there's good diving we can't miss. Ultimately, something that we can rely on to safely get us to where we need to go is important. We prefer not to get soaked but a little wet is probably a realistic trade off to get something that isn't wider than our transom (heard of horror stories of waves causing the dink to tear off the davits).

Hard inflatable floors really look very interesting (especially the taka) but it does really seem like a preference. Curious if many go to boat shows to compare dingys or has your experience been more like buying any other boat?
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Old 29-05-2017, 12:14   #12
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

You should look at Hypalon (CSM) in the tropics and for a RIB that will be exposed to weather 24/7. The fabric tends to hold up better (than vinyl) to UV exposure, and is generally more easily repaired.


Also, take a look at the Achilles HB series, which have a single floor and are lighter weight. I would recommend fiberglass over aluminum, because fiberglass is more easily field repaired (without special welding equipment or skills) and you won't have any aluminum corrosion issues (electrolysis or paint bubbling).
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Old 29-05-2017, 13:03   #13
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

We bought an AB UL-9 a year ago. Have been very pleased. Only 68#'s so easy to get on the fore deck when transiting, and easy up and down on the davits as well. Have a 6HP Tohatsu 4 stroke that will plane the boat (rated for 8HP) with 300 lbs or less. More people just means we go slower, but still very stable.

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Old 29-05-2017, 13:42   #14
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

Fairly well rated on Amazon, this small inflatable has a hard floor and weighs only 50 pounds. There are two larger sizes. Almost worth trying at less than $400.
https://www.amazon.com/HydroForce-Ca...dp/B00CC8ZXTQ/
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Old 29-05-2017, 14:41   #15
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Re: Light hard bottom RIBs under 10 ft

We bought a Highfield , aluminum, single floor RIB last year. It served well between Toronto and Bahamas. I'd buy again.
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