Originally Posted by Sailmonkey
Are you looking at folding transom ribs or the folding hull ribs?
We've got an avon
folding transom rib, great boat, look like a bloated surfboard stowed upside down on our coach roof. However it's not a dry ride. The tubes are smaller in diameter than non folding models, and the hull shape is relatively flat compared to the solid cousins.
It's a compromise, that works very well for us.
I have the same RIB (Avon Lite 310) and the same experience.
It is definitely not as seaworthy
as the normal full size RIB (I had the Rover 340 with wheel-steered 25hp Mariner), because the tubes are quite a bit smaller, the bottom is flatter and single
BUT it does the job carrying up to four people (I think I've even had 5 in it) and groceries etc.
Like the OP -- I keep it on davits
, then for longer passages fold it and stow it on the foredeck. It is surprisingly compact when folded up. The bag is carp, however, and I'm going to have a new one made, and slightly bigger so it's not such a wrestle getting it in.
I am using an 8hp Selva four stroke with it. It's a one cylinder and weighs the same as 2 strokes of similar power (27kg).
The old RIB was a proper little motorboat which could be used in open sea (in reasonable conditions) and over long distances. You could even pull a water
skier with it. I loved it but it could only live in davits and it was a constant, constant problem. The folding RIB is not a little motor
boat and no good for open sea or long distances, but it is a perfectly adequate dinghy
. I bless it ever time I have to lift
it -- it is so light, that two people can lift it onto the deck
without any mechanical assistance. Simple mechanical davits crank it up -- even with motor
on it -- without any problem; one hand job.
The OP had exactly the same idea I had, and I think he will be pleased. This is a simply excellent compromise between stowability and liftability and seaworthiness.
I also forgot to mention -- that it is easier to inflate deflate and store than a roll-up air floor dinghy
. You just put the pump on it and suck the air out of it, and it folds right up to be something slightly bigger than a surfboard, very flat and easy to store. It only takes a few minutes. If the bag fitted better, it would really be perfect.
I leave the motor on it in the davits, and it works fine. Wrestling the motor off and on is so far the only difficult part of the process. We had a motor crane on the last boat, but I don't think I want something like that on this boat. Still thinking about the right approach to that.