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Old 20-12-2018, 12:50   #1
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New rib decisions?

I bought an Endeavour 51 in June 2017 and have been fixing it as the budget allows ever since. Im finally getting to the point of being able to use the boat soon. That said Im in need of making a decision on which dinghy will be best for our cruising lifestyle.

I built a beautiful fiberglass dinghy from scratch which would be perfect for my hobbies of flats fishing and spear fishing. However, at around 300lbs(hull only) it is just too heavy to deal with lifting it every day while cruising.

So my gf and I think a inflatable rib is the next best thing for fishing and diving. Weight being a huge concern now, we are leaning towards an aluminum AB 106 hypalon model which weighs 128 lbs. https://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?name=ab-10-al-aluminum-hull-inflatable-(rib)-10-6inch-gray-hypalon-2019&path=-1|215570|1794282|1831365&id=4463132

That all said, my gf works at west marine and with the discount have the ability to buy the fiberglass 310 double floor model weighing 130lbs for about $2,000.
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine--rib-310-double-floor-rigid-inflatable-boat--15044209?recordNum=11

Basically the same boat except one is fiberglass and one is aluminum. The AB has excellent reviews, the WM boat not very good reviews.

My question to you who have experience, is the AB really worth more then twice the price? Im all about doing something right the first time and avoiding the hassle of warranties etc... but for me more then double the price makes me cringe inside a little. Please help!

Sorry for the lengthy post but I wanted to be as informative as possible.
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Old 20-12-2018, 12:55   #2
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Re: New rib decisions?

It's better if you , go with a hard dinghy , rib has so many issues that really not worth the money in 2 or 3 years you will find yourself patching it out and constantly trying not.to.scratch it .

There are few good commercial ones like
http://www.portlandpudgy.com (quite expensive)
Or similar designs that are not heavy are unsinkable and may suit your budget .

You can always make a.custon pram dignhy my 6 feet hard pram was 30 kilos and unsinkable.

Benefits of a hard dignhy :
Roaring ability
Beaching ability
Less targeted for stealing
Lockers for storage
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Old 20-12-2018, 13:51   #3
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Re: New rib decisions?

Thanks for your input, but Im not made of money. $5000 is at the very top of my budget. Also Ive already built one dinghy from scratch and dont intend to do it again.
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Old 20-12-2018, 13:54   #4
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Re: New rib decisions?

personally as far as ribs go

I like the St Louis ones better than the Baby Back. I find them more moist and flavorful.
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Old 20-12-2018, 13:56   #5
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Re: New rib decisions?

There are issues with ribs of course ,mine is 4 years old and holds air just fine . It must be hypolon to survive. My experience is that a 310 rib can handle a lot more weather than a similar sized hard dingy. That said a lot of people who live on on anchour will switch to hard dingys .
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Old 20-12-2018, 14:00   #6
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Re: New rib decisions?

I will eventually be cruising full time. The South Pacific and beyond is the goal. Bahamas and Caribbean will naturally come before that.
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Old 20-12-2018, 14:06   #7
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Re: New rib decisions?

For a cheaper rigid you can try walker bay , they sell it in West marine .
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Old 20-12-2018, 14:17   #8
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Re: New rib decisions?

I’ve looked at walker bays and 100 other ridged designs. However for the amount of diving we will be doing, I don’t think any ridged we can comfortably lift or afford will be adequate. Keep in mind I built the exact dream ridged dinghy I wanted but it is just too big and heavy. So I’ve moved to looking at RIBs. I’d like to stay under 150 lbs and easily support 4 ppl with dive gear when we have guests.

Also speed is a important factor. Our boat drafts 7 feet so we will often be anchored farther out then most. Plus we will be motoring to dive spots.

My main question is, are the top end RIBs like AB worth spending $3000 extra over a west marine RIB?
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Old 20-12-2018, 15:01   #9
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Re: New rib decisions?

[QUOTE=Kalimniosjohn;2785322
My main question is, are the top end RIBs like AB worth spending $3000 extra over a west marine RIB?[/QUOTE]

IMO the answer is NO. If you search there are older threads about dinghy quality and the overall conclusion is the the newer ones are all crap and maybe a little better crap. If you get the less expensive crap that means you needs you probably can replace it every 3 years and by the 3th replacement still be ahead money wise over the more expensive crap.

If you want the crap we dinghy to last take some of the money saved and get a sunbella cover made and still be thousands ahead of the game.
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Old 20-12-2018, 15:26   #10
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Re: New rib decisions?

After owning several Avon, Achilles and other ribs bought a West Marine hypalon rib. My concerns were the same as yours. After 4 years of use New England in summer and Bahamas in winter couple of observations:
1) The design is excellent, Tubes are oversize keeping it stable and dry. A 15 HP puts it on a plane with 3 people and gear. It tows easily and the lift rings are substantial and balanced.
2) The weakness is execution. Simple mistakes such as not enough caulk to bed the lift rings is impossible to defend but easy to fix. West clearly understands that quality control is a problem. They partially redeem themselves with a long term guarantee and
back it up.
3) When on sale the discount is substantial
All in all I would buy one again
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Old 20-12-2018, 17:21   #11
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Re: New rib decisions?

Thanks, Tom and sailorboy1. This is more or less what I was thinking, but wanted to double check before making any purchases.

Anyone else recently purchased or researched RIBs?
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Old 20-12-2018, 18:56   #12
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Re: New rib decisions?

I have cruised and lived on board with a couple of different hard dinks, soft floor inflatables, inflatable floor inflatables and a RIB. Also have done a lot of diving and snorkeling.

For stability climbing in and out of the dinghy, hauling tanks and gear forget a hard dink. They cannot touch the stability of an inflatable. If you have the space and can handle the weight get a RIB. It will handle more weight, ride better and drier than any other option. If you can't, get the best HP inflatable floor dink you can.

Get a good quality Hypalon/CSM model and don't poke holes in it with spear guns or fish hooks and it will last you for years.
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Old 21-12-2018, 05:30   #13
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Re: New rib decisions?

I just switched from a Highfield to a Zar , both 310s. The Highfield was fine but I wanted a double flor and the the bow lockers . The zar is ver well made and the thicker hull in various places ,4 chambers a number of nice details on the tubes including the fact that the tube is not just glued on from the outside but has a strip on the inside as well . This keeps the sand from the tube and reduces wear
What ever dingy you get the double flor is important to the day to day use of the dingy . The dingy is just about the most important accessory on your boat
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Old 21-12-2018, 06:30   #14
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Re: New rib decisions?

Why don’t you install davits and just use the custom fiberglass dinghy you have already built?
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Old 21-12-2018, 06:42   #15
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Re: New rib decisions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I have cruised and lived on board with a couple of different hard dinks, soft floor inflatables, inflatable floor inflatables and a RIB. Also have done a lot of diving and snorkeling.

For stability climbing in and out of the dinghy, hauling tanks and gear forget a hard dink. They cannot touch the stability of an inflatable. If you have the space and can handle the weight get a RIB. It will handle more weight, ride better and drier than any other option. If you can't, get the best HP inflatable floor dink you can.

Get a good quality Hypalon/CSM model and don't poke holes in it with spear guns or fish hooks and it will last you for years.
This is great advice. Portlands and Walker Bay hard dinghys are much too unstable and slow. Get a ~10ft hypalon RIB with at 15hp and the deepest V in the bow you can find.
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