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Old 21-05-2012, 11:28   #1
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RIB vs Inflatable Zodiac

Hi, we are needing to upgrade our tender from an old AB 12' RIB. At this point I have considered some usual suspects such as AVON. However, the other day I came across the Zodiac Classic Mark 2 HD, inflatable, not a RIB. We have teenage kids and are very acitive on the water, snorkeling, scuba, tubing, beaching, etc. Our boat has davits and stowage on the foredeck for open water crossings. The weight and rollup characteristics of the Zodiac seem appealing, as well as utilizing a smaller HP motor. Any of you think we will be not satisfied moving away from a RIB? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 21-05-2012, 11:39   #2
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Re: RIB vs Inflatable Zodiac

Are you comparing air floor ribs with rigid rigid floor ones.
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Old 21-05-2012, 11:55   #3
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Re: RIB vs Inflatable Zodiac

A good RIB lasts a long long time. A 10 ft AB cam e with my catamaran. It was new in '92. I sold the cat in 2000 and the RIB was still flawless, even with a patch on one tube. Any other Non-RIB inflatable is bendy in a chop or rough water.... completely differnt boats really.
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Old 21-05-2012, 12:11   #4
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Re: RIB vs Inflatable Zodiac

Quote:
Originally Posted by swdreams88 View Post
Hi, we are needing to upgrade our tender from an old AB 12' RIB. At this point I have considered some usual suspects such as AVON. However, the other day I came across the Zodiac Classic Mark 2 HD, inflatable, not a RIB. We have teenage kids and are very acitive on the water, snorkeling, scuba, tubing, beaching, etc. Our boat has davits and stowage on the foredeck for open water crossings. The weight and rollup characteristics of the Zodiac seem appealing, as well as utilizing a smaller HP motor. Any of you think we will be not satisfied moving away from a RIB? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
If your AB is one of the aluminum hulled ones.... KEEP IT! you can re-tube pretty cheap and basically have a brand new boat!
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Old 21-05-2012, 22:58   #5
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Re: RIB vs Inflatable Zodiac

Our AB was a fibreglass hull which had some cracks and the tubes were coming apart...not well taken care of before we got it second hand. I investigated new ABs but heard the mfg has moved and quality had gone down. We are looking at the Zodiac which has an aluminum floor, factory welded seams and good ride in up to medium chop. The dealer claims this boat gives a firm ride and good payload capacity.
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Old 22-05-2012, 02:07   #6
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Re: RIB vs Inflatable Zodiac

Due to space limitations (i.e. only inflatable), we went with Zodiac Cadet 3.2 with high-pressure floor and all the other stuff. We're moderately happy with it, but every time we ride, we wish we had space to carry a RIB with us.

Reasons [note that we have an automatic pump that pumps the dinghy up to the requried psi, including the floor]:

1. Doesn't track as well, so uses more gas.
2. Doesn't cut through the chop well, so less control and uses more gas.
3. RIBs with 1/2 or 1/3 of our engine hp easily overtake us in any chop, even with fully inflated floor.
4. Takes more hp to get to plane.
5. When getting close to corals or rocks or when beaching, huuuge anxiety not to pierce that high-pressure floor.
6. Should you leave the boat in the water and barnacles take hold, they thin out the material. Yes, it's enforced, but still more chance for easier piercing later.
7. High-presure floor or not, once you load up the inflatable with people and groceries, the dinghy tracks even worse.

Between a RIB and an inflatable [with collapsible alum floor or without], for us it's a no-brainer - only RIB if there's space for it. Smaller RIB is better than bigger inflatable.

To save on weight, as other people suggest, maybe go with a lighter RIB, like alum or Walker Bay, but still a RIB.
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Old 22-05-2012, 09:53   #7
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Re: RIB vs Inflatable Zodiac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Due to space limitations (i.e. only inflatable), we went with Zodiac Cadet 3.2 with high-pressure floor and all the other stuff. We're moderately happy with it, but every time we ride, we wish we had space to carry a RIB with us.

Reasons [note that we have an automatic pump that pumps the dinghy up to the requried psi, including the floor]:

1. Doesn't track as well, so uses more gas.
2. Doesn't cut through the chop well, so less control and uses more gas.
3. RIBs with 1/2 or 1/3 of our engine hp easily overtake us in any chop, even with fully inflated floor.
4. Takes more hp to get to plane.
5. When getting close to corals or rocks or when beaching, huuuge anxiety not to pierce that high-pressure floor.
6. Should you leave the boat in the water and barnacles take hold, they thin out the material. Yes, it's enforced, but still more chance for easier piercing later.
7. High-presure floor or not, once you load up the inflatable with people and groceries, the dinghy tracks even worse.

Between a RIB and an inflatable [with collapsible alum floor or without], for us it's a no-brainer - only RIB if there's space for it. Smaller RIB is better than bigger inflatable.

To save on weight, as other people suggest, maybe go with a lighter RIB, like alum or Walker Bay, but still a RIB.
Very well said and very true. No comparison. I'd take a 9ft RIB over an 11 ft inflatable any day with the same load.
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