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Old 23-12-2019, 11:53   #1
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Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

Hello all, I am in the market for a tender. I have been looking at the West Marine RIB-260 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat. (Good price and size?) If anyone has or had the boat and would like to share their experience, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
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Old 23-12-2019, 15:22   #2
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

That West Marine RIB-260 looks decent, but is very small. The price is reasonable too.

The capacity is listed as 1,014 lbs and 6 hp.

It looks appropriate for slow, careful, flat water movement from boat to shore.

The thing that turned me off on the RIB boats was the disintegration of the hull tubes in southern Florida sun, not an issue for you in Alaska.

The tender solution I selected to avoid a repeat of the solar hull failure was to get a fiberglass and teak tender.
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Old 23-12-2019, 16:07   #3
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

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Originally Posted by wingless View Post
That West Marine RIB-260 looks decent, but is very small. The price is reasonable too.

The capacity is listed as 1,014 lbs and 6 hp.

It looks appropriate for slow, careful, flat water movement from boat to shore.

The thing that turned me off on the RIB boats was the disintegration of the hull tubes in southern Florida sun, not an issue for you in Alaska.

The tender solution I selected to avoid a repeat of the solar hull failure was to get a fiberglass and teak tender.
Thanks for your comments. I may build one in the future. I'm just finishing a 22' wood encapsulated in fiberglass Tolman fishing skiff and can't stand the thought of another building project. Cheers!
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Old 24-12-2019, 05:32   #4
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

We had a West Marine inflatable, said to be manufactured by Zodiac, worked OK, PVC (not hypalon) and it lasted as long as it should have. Perhaps you can also find info on OEM versions of the 260, see if that gives you more for consideration...

-Chris
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Old 24-12-2019, 11:57   #5
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

The WM dinghies I owned worked out well for me. Bought them on sale and they gave decent service for what they cost. I have since moved to a Highland which I very much like.
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Old 24-12-2019, 12:38   #6
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

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Originally Posted by Johnknutson View Post
Hello all, I am in the market for a tender. I have been looking at the West Marine RIB-260 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat. (Good price and size?) If anyone has or had the boat and would like to share their experience, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
DONT BUY IT !!!! Unfortunately I have owned 4 of them over the past six years. Each one lasted a little more than a season before deteriorating from UV exposure. West Marine replaced each of them, as at the time they had a 5 year warranty. That warranty is no longer offered. So cudis to west marine but the inflatable is a terrible product. Here’s some additional info. I treated each one with a regular coating of UV protectant and the inflatable was used in a northern climate for less than 6 months a year. If you can afford to buy a new one every year, then it won’t be a problem. Otherwise stay away !!!
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Old 24-12-2019, 15:51   #7
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

If you want to go slowly and dry, get a fiberglass dinghy. It will last a lifetime.
If you want to go fast and dry, get a 10' RIB that is rated for at least 15 HP. I have found that a RIB that is not planing is wet in a chop. I have been able to plane with 3 people with 15 HP.
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Old 24-12-2019, 16:26   #8
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

I sourced and tested inflatable boats for West Marine for about 15 years. We used Avon, Zodiac Force 4, and Sun Selections for virtually all of our boats. Like most brands, we offered glued Hypalon boats (but actually Hypalon was discontinued by duPont, as I recall, so we used a synthetic rubber from Haku or Pennel that was similar) as well as PVC boats that were welded.

As most of the followers of this forum will know, PVC has excellent air holding, can be welded, is pretty chemical resistant and is frequently used with polyester fabric. Hypalon has to be glued (more labor and variation in the outcome), is very chemical resistant, is very UV resistant, and is generally used with nylon cloth. Both materials are available in a variety of weights, from 550 decitex (dinghies) to 1650 decitex (riverboats).

PVC boats have to be used either sparingly in tropical conditions, or have to be covered whenever they are not in use. As the exposure lessens with latitude and shorter seasons, they have a reasonable life. And, as one would expect, there are better and worse PVC fabrics.

Hypalon boats will eventually deteriorate due to UV, but it takes perhaps 10X more than PVC to make this happen. I should know the exact number, but I don't.

The problem with a 2.6M boat is that they are very difficult to plane, so are limited to putting around. Yes, with a single person and 6HP, you may be able to get it on a scary, wiggly plane, but it's not happy doing it. those who want to plane reliably should consider a 3 or 3.2m boat with 10hp. Or an old Nissan two-stroke 8hp, arguably the best outboard made for dinghies.

Cheers,

Chuck
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Old 25-12-2019, 14:18   #9
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

This is your lucky day. Merry Christmas. Forget about anything with tubes. Buy a plastic boat like a Porta-bote. They are impervious to the sun. They plane well with 3-4 hp engines. They row excellently. They collapse to the size of a large surfboard. They can handle rocky shores.

They are in the 2k range. Buy one used for under a thousand. It is absolutely a no brainer. The YouTube couple who blog “free range sailing” ( IMO-the best sailing blog ever) highly tout it for all the reasons I just mentioned. Yes, I own one and it works out well for me. I have a trimaran and when sailing just throw it up on the nets and lash her upside down. I don’t even use a motor on it because my trimaran draws only 18” when centerboard is up. So I row. She rows beautifully. I have the 10 foot model and picked her up for 400 dollars. When collapsed I can carry her under one arm. I guess she weighs in the neighborhood of 50 lbs. I have an old sail bag that I carry collapsible oars and seats in. All told... maybe 65-70 lbs.

I tell you.. you won’t be sorry. Check them out. Watch some video’s of usage.

Look, when you use tubed dingies... they need a pretty good size motor to plane them. Which means more gas to carry. I have a 4 hp 2 stroke Johnson. My 10 foot porta bote planes fine and tracks beautifully. She rows sweet. You won’t get that with any dingy I have seen. The better dingies are heavy and expensive as heck. They all suffer from sun exposure. Porta bote won’t rot in the sun or deflate. If you fish you won’t have to worry about hooks, gaffes, or beach landings on coral or rock. I could go on for another page or two. But I’m too lazy.
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Old 26-12-2019, 08:54   #10
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

WE had two of the 11.5 ft West Marine RIBs. They are a 5 year dinghy at best! I do not recommend them. WE found the Apex to be better for not much more in cost
but, the AB, Caribs, and the Achilles are the best.
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Old 26-12-2019, 10:39   #11
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

I'm happy with the Walker Bay with Hypalon tubes added. It's not planing, but we've only occasionally wanted that. The dinghy is just that without the tubes, and can sail if you buy the kit. Add the tubes, and you've go super stability and flotation. A five HP Tohatsu four stroke does fine.
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Old 26-12-2019, 18:49   #12
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

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Originally Posted by Phennessey View Post
DONT BUY IT !!!! Unfortunately I have owned 4 of them over the past six years. Each one lasted a little more than a season before deteriorating from UV exposure. West Marine replaced each of them, as at the time they had a 5 year warranty. That warranty is no longer offered. So cudis to west marine but the inflatable is a terrible product. Here’s some additional info. I treated each one with a regular coating of UV protectant and the inflatable was used in a northern climate for less than 6 months a year. If you can afford to buy a new one every year, then it won’t be a problem. Otherwise stay away !!!
Thank you, I think you saved me some heartache. Cheers!
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Old 26-12-2019, 18:50   #13
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

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Originally Posted by davecalvert View Post
WE had two of the 11.5 ft West Marine RIBs. They are a 5 year dinghy at best! I do not recommend them. WE found the Apex to be better for not much more in cost
but, the AB, Caribs, and the Achilles are the best.
Thank you! I decided to pass on the West Marine RIB.
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Old 26-12-2019, 18:55   #14
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Re: Question about West Marine RIB-260 RIB

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Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
I'm happy with the Walker Bay with Hypalon tubes added. It's not planing, but we've only occasionally wanted that. The dinghy is just that without the tubes, and can sail if you buy the kit. Add the tubes, and you've go super stability and flotation. A five HP Tohatsu four stroke does fine.
Thank you. I have been looking at the Walker Bay boats. We may go this route.
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