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Old 01-06-2020, 19:05   #1
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Car-topping RIB

So, I have a lead on a great deal for a RIB. 9' Mercury with aluminum hull. The only problem is it is 250 miles away, which is fine, but my vehicle available is a Jetta Station Wagon.


So, how to transport it? I assume upside down. The tube centerline is just outside my roof rails, so it will snuggle very nicely against them. My roof is 7 feet long, so if I put the bow just out over the windshield, the transom will just clear the back window. I heard a suggestion to run ratchet straps THROUGH the car (open doors, tie down, then close doors). It will be 250 miles of highway speed.


I've heard a lot of suggestions to rent a truck, or use a trailer -- but none of these helpful folks had actually TRIED to do to this with a car, so their inexperienced opinions are just as useless as mine...LOL.


Anyone tried, and happy? Anyone tried and it was a disaster?


Oh, and anyone have any thoughts about a Mercury Hypalon RIB? I can't find much online, but it was bought from Defender and they still sell it -- and to me, that's a pretty good endorsement right there.


Thoughts welcome!

Harry
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Old 01-06-2020, 19:21   #2
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Re: Car-topping RIB

The Mercury RIB’s are of medium quality, Defender sells Zodiac too and I won’t go there.

If you can get car top carriers do so, I used to carry a canoe on my VW camper and never had any kind of problem.
If you go the cargo strap route, get several towels to pad where the straps go though the window area, in fact maybe have several towels to go between the RIB and the car to protect the paint.
I assume it’s not a newish high dollar car? Maybe take backroads to keep the speed down, or at least run the right lane and go slow.

Best if possible to find a jet ski trailer, I bought one $150 used of course.
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Old 01-06-2020, 20:08   #3
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Re: Car-topping RIB

Well, "newish high dollar" is relative. It is MY newish, high dollar car. LOL. Just a re-programmed 2014 VW Jetta Diesel with 50K miles on it. So barely into 5 figures. But I was planning on a LOT of padding -- if this car is like most of my prior cars, it's got 15 years and 200K left to go.


I actually have the VW bars for the rails, which would probably keep the boat from the paint. But without the bars, the boat would rest on nearly 6' on both sides, distributing the weight. And perhaps more important, it would move the forward and aft contact points farther forward and aft, making it more stable.


I could also put an ancient minivan into the mix. Much less concern about cosmetic impacts, but it's a lot higher in the air to load it and much less comfortable driving. Unfortunately, I can't deflate it and put it inside the van -- even deflated it is too long.


Mid-grade. Hmm... It's a 2018, less than 2 years old, 8'10" aluminum bottom hypalon for under $2K (he bought a bigger boat). At that price, I hope "mid grade" doesn't end up disappointing me.
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Old 01-06-2020, 20:15   #4
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Re: Car-topping RIB

It would take a large stretch of the imagination to conclude that you could make it 250 miles without rubbing off some paint or cutting through the weatherstripping on the car doors. Whether that matters is for you to decide.


I would run a bow line over the front bumper to the frame, or to a bridle for tow hooks. Stern line to a trailer hitch or the frame. Plus the lines holding it down to teh roof.
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:54   #5
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Re: Car-topping RIB

So why canít you use a small trailer?
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:41   #6
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Re: Car-topping RIB

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKA-None View Post
So why canít you use a small trailer?

* I don't own one.
* My Jetta wagon is rated for ZERO hitch load
* My van has a hitch, but gets horrible mileage (<20 vs >40 on the Jetta). And if I took the van, it would probably be good on top.
* A little trailer doubles the tolls (probably $50+ for the car, so another $50+ for the trailer).


Right now, after the earlier discussion about likely damage (minor, but still annoying), I'm leaning away from my nice Jetta and toward my 2002 Villager wagon. Heavier, larger roof surface, no sunroof, and no concerns if it gets some rub marks on the paint or if the straps cause any damage.


I'm always annoyed that a little passenger vehicle with a small trailer pays twice the tolls that a UPS truck pays. The car with trailer is shorter and lighter than the UPS truck -- but it's based on axles and a UPS truck has two, a car with trailer has 3.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:54   #7
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Re: Car-topping RIB

A roof rack should be fine if it attaches sturdily. There are lots of storage containers people use that travel cross country that way. Use a bow line to the car front though. I wouldn't drive 75.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:29   #8
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Re: Car-topping RIB

Harry, why not put two 8í 2x4s across the roof rails? That will keep the RIB from making contact with the Jetta. Tie, tape or clamp the 2x4s and tie down the RIB to the front and rear bumpers and tie across the RIB to the 2x4s.
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:38   #9
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Re: Car-topping RIB

Just figured that if I had the question, someone else might want to know how it turned out.

First, a trailer would have been a LOT more expensive than I thought. The tolls were over $100 round trip, and a trailer would have doubled that.

Decided that the nice new (well, in comparison...) VW diesel wagon would be too risky, even though it would be a nicer ride with better MPG, so we took the tired old RAV4.

Two ratchet straps around the dink and through the car (with doors open). A sheet on the roof -- I really think that wasn't needed. A line from the bow eye to the bumper for insurance. And a line from both stern eyes to the spare tire. Rode a dream (but very noisy up there!). 70MPH+, no significant handling impacts. Lot's of weird looks on the NJT. Zero damage to the car paint, weatherstrip, or the dink. The straps were really the ticket. FAA didn't need to cite us for low altitude flight.

Note, this was an 8'10 aluminum bottom RIB, 5' beam, 140 lb.
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