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Old 06-03-2011, 08:38   #1
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Post Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

I know, I know, RIBs are better: faster, more stable, tougher bottom, etc, etc, etc. BUT using one detail, weight, that is a limiting factor for many cruisers, how would a smaller RIB compare to a larger, similar weight non-RIB.

For example, if you establish +/- 200 lbs as the max weight you can manage here are two options to compare.

1. Avon 9' 2" RIB

wt 135 lbs
cap 1014 lbs
eng max 10 HP (88 lbs)
tube 17"
cost $2399

2. Avon 11' 2" air floor

wt 101 lbs
cap 1289 lbs
eng max 15 HP (99 lbs)
tube 17"
cost $2079

On paper the Avon air floor wins on specifications:

1. lighter
2. larger max engine rating
3. higher rated carrying capacity
4. cheaper

Looking at some other brands and models the difference is similar or even greater. Achilles you could go for their 12' 2" air floor if you used less than the max rated engine.

So the question, in the real world how will they compare on the water, commuting, carrying passenger and gear, comfort, handling choppy water, etc.

- dry ride
- ability to plane with the same size load
- max speed and/or cruising speed (assuming the larger engine in the air floor)

Thanks
Skip
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:17   #2
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

One thing rarely mentioned about RIBs is that when comparing two similarly-sized boats, one a RIB, the other not- the RIB will have significantly less interior room. FYI.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:24   #3
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

Quote:
Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
One thing rarely mentioned about RIBs is that when comparing two similarly-sized boats, one a RIB, the other not- the RIB will have significantly less interior room. FYI.
You know I have not seen this mentioned. Another interesting point to add to the decision making process.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:55   #4
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

If you plan on landing on anything but a sandy beach then always the Rib is the thing to take, budget allowing.

A soft bottom dinghy and two jars of two-component dinghy glue are second best.

b.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:08   #5
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
If you plan on landing on anything but a sandy beach then always the Rib is the thing to take, budget allowing.

A soft bottom dinghy and two jars of two-component dinghy glue are second best.

b.
Have taken that into consideration in rest of the pro/con decision grid. Bottom line, I'm willing to trade off (within reason) durability, puncturabiliy, storability, cost, longevity and other factors IF the larger, non-RIB will be better in speed, dryness, comfort, stability and max load than the smaller RIB.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:12   #6
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

Your decision, but in my experience, anyone who's had a RIB dink never goes back to a non-RIB type. One's a real boat which can actually go, the other is just a raft. IMHO.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:23   #7
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

Don't waste the money getting the "starter raft" Just get a RIB and do it right the first time. Get the biggest one that will fit on the davits you have.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:52   #8
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

We went from a 9ft Caribe with no floor to a 12ft Caribe with floor, and locker in bow.The 12ft. will still get up, and plane with 2. We bought the 12ft , because family would be coming, and going all season. We wanted the room to gety ashore without shuttling.

The 12ft. is a lot to handle getting onto her platform between the sterns. Where the 9ft. I could do alone both launch, and retrieve. Once again it's a compromise. What I wish I had bought was the 11ft. without the locker & floor.......i2f
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:58   #9
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Your decision, but in my experience, anyone who's had a RIB dink never goes back to a non-RIB type. One's a real boat which can actually go, the other is just a raft. IMHO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amytom View Post
Don't waste the money getting the "starter raft" Just get a RIB and do it right the first time. Get the biggest one that will fit on the davits you have.
If you are talking a 10' RIB vs a 10' soft dink I 100% agree. Let me add that I have had plenty of dinks, starting with the classic Avon Redcrest, hard dinks and even used a 20' ski boat for a dink for a while (now that was the way to go but it was not too portable).

Perhaps I should bring up one reason for my question. At one time I owned a 65' steel ketch with a 17' Zodiac aluminum floor inflatable keel model, 60 HP Evinrude, steering wheel and console. I could pull a skier with that boat and would take it over any 10'-12' RIB on the planet for speed, comfort, performance, load, etc.

My point, at some level a larger soft dink will be better than a RIB, I don't think anyone can argue that and I don't think anyone could have called that Zodiac a raft. My question is trying to determine at what point the break comes, 2' longer, 4' longer?
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:39   #10
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I've had a range of tenders, some of which have been too small, others of which have been too large. I've discovered, entirely by trial and error, that 10' is the perfect size, both in terms of how we transport it on the mother ship, and how it transports us to and from the mother ship.

Given the right size, there are variables such as tube diameter, hull type, materials, cost, et cetera. The bottom line, however, is that if you get the wrong-sized dink, you're going to be unhappy with it, and sooner or later you'll end up spending more money to get the right-sized dink.

I realize that there are often budgetary limitations to these questions. When this is the case, I'd suggest shopping around for a used vessel the proper size rather than ordering a new vessel that will end up being too small.

Back to the original question: although I far prefer RIBs over SIBs, it would be more important to me to get a properly sized dink, especially for cruising. But if I had to choose between a new SIB and a used RIB, both in the proper size, I'd go with the latter choice.
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Old 06-03-2011, 13:21   #11
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post

(...) IF the larger, non-RIB will be better in speed, dryness, comfort, stability and max load than the smaller RIB.
The point is, it will likely not. Unless you want to compare apples with oranges.

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Old 06-03-2011, 13:32   #12
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

Other than a softer ride...a RHIB doesn't have that much or anything over a soft bottom...at least if you buy quality. As far as landing on shores other than sand...a soft bottom needs care but isn't all that fragile...the only thing I've had hole my AVONs is a sharp nail head rip a small tear in the bottom...never had a tube holed in 30 years of owning/cruising them.
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Old 06-03-2011, 14:08   #13
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

Have you considered the aluminum hull RIBs?

AB inflatables - Models The 10 footer is just 117 lbs.

There's an Australian maker, too, I believe.
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Old 06-03-2011, 14:36   #14
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

G'Day Skip,

I'd also suggest looking at the Alumimium hull RIBs. A couple of brands available here in Oz are Gemini and Swift. Our 3.5 metre Gemini weighs 47 kg empty, and has served us well. Swift actually makes the hulls for both marques, and I think that their hypalon is a bit better fwiw.

Another thing to consider: air floor SIBs are not IMO nearly as stable or rigid as wood or alloy floored SIBs. Further, the air floor takes up lots more of your available interior room (much thicker than the rigid floors) and has a shorter life expectancy in heavy usage. From personal observation, Avon only guarantees the air floor for one year (friend's experience with 18 month old Avon air floor dying, NOT replaced or repaired under warranty). Lastly, don't know which models of dinks fstbtms was referencing, but I've not seen that RIB's have less interior space than equal length air floors.

As always, YMMV, but having used both types, the RIB wins hands down for long term cruising usage.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Morning Cove, NSW, Oz
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Old 06-03-2011, 14:53   #15
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Re: Small RIB vs larger non-RIB

What ever you buy if it is to be left on a davit get a protective cover at the time of purchase not later. I am not happy with the results of my Zodiac but a cover would have helped to over come some of the design short falls which has shown up. Right now it is a work in progress to repair it. The idea of the RIB was the best choice & when it comes out for use again it will have retractable wheels fitted as well.

Regards Bill
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