F-Rib (Foldable RIB) in the Tropics

Petronella

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I'm considering buying a 2.75m F-RIB, a foldable RIB, for use on Mehalah (foldablerib.com). It looks great for storing on davits or for rolling up on passage yet with the ride of a standard RIB. But it is PVC (Mirasol) and we'll be spending considerable time in the Tropics; back to the Caribbean and then hopefully onwards to the Pacific where dinghy rides are likely to be longer.

We'll cover the tubes with sunbrella or similar but £2,000 is a lot of money to spend if it's going to start falling apart after a year or two.

Does anyone have any experience of these tenders when used under the tropical sun?

Thanks
John
 

Ashman

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Can’t comment on the F-RIB but it’s a pity that there’s not a hypalon version.
We had a pvc that started to become ‘sticky’ after only two years of tropical sun so faced with a similar quandary of having davits but wanting to stow the dinghy away on ocean passages we bought an Achilles air deck floor inflatable made of hypalon, we would have preferred a rib design but the Achilles has proved very good, it is very light and planes easily. Wow the price of the chaps are expensive! We had ours made on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala two years ago for less than £200......Seeing that you are heading to the topics maybe it is something you could consider.
 

Kelpie

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Wow the price of the chaps are expensive! We had ours made on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala two years ago for less than £200......Seeing that you are heading to the topics maybe it is something you could consider.

I think the £2000 quoted is the price of the F-RIB, not the chaps.

How viable is a Portabote as an alternative to a F-RIB?
 

Seven Spades

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Why not just go for a HonWave with a pump up "rib". Either way you won't get either of them in a locker when not in use. I am sure that whilst cruising you will just end up with it on the deck fully inflated or towing it.

I think you money is better spent on Davits.
 

Petronella

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Thanks Guys

No ringing endorsements then for the F-RIB in the tropics so it's too much money to risk, nice though it would be.

Looks like it will be a Mercury CSM/Hypalon equivalent inflatable or similar. Achilles would be nice but apparently unattainable in the UK.

Let the debate continue!

Cheers
J
 

t21

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Yes, the kinda tropic-proof RIB you need likely isn't available in the UK. There is a lovely temptation to do/get all sorts of stuff before setting off but many of them best better done on the western side of the atlantic. Certainly would be likely better not having the thing on a transat. I'm in Trinidad, and all the way up these islands the longer-life RIBs are Caribe (From Island water world outlets) and bit cheaper are AB (from Budget marine). You can tell the Europeans who prepared a bit too much in advance - they have a lunking great 4-stroke and a not-Caribe/AB, but have already spent the dinghy budget. Target engine is 10-25hp yamaha 2-stroke. 15hp has good range for bombing around with 2 on board
 

rickym

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Met a guy up in Antigua last year with an F-Rib. Fabric was ok but the glue was coming apart. The construction was literally coming apart at the seams!
We had a PC dink when we came to the Caribbean lasted 12 months before it came unglued. Hyperlon every time.
 

Monique

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Yes, the kinda tropic-proof RIB you need likely isn't available in the UK. There is a lovely temptation to do/get all sorts of stuff before setting off but many of them best better done on the western side of the atlantic. Certainly would be likely better not having the thing on a transat. I'm in Trinidad, and all the way up these islands the longer-life RIBs are Caribe (From Island water world outlets) and bit cheaper are AB (from Budget marine). You can tell the Europeans who prepared a bit too much in advance - they have a lunking great 4-stroke and a not-Caribe/AB, but have already spent the dinghy budget. Target engine is 10-25hp yamaha 2-stroke. 15hp has good range for bombing around with 2 on board

Totally on target... we have an AB 9.5 UL with a Yamaha Enduro 15HP 2 ST. Great combi; can be in the davits on short passages on firmly tied down forward of the main mast.

GL in your search.
 

Kelpie

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What's the likelihood of picking up a secondhand RIB/engine once over the other side?
I totally get the argument about not dragging it with you all the way from the UK, but I don't think our budget is going to stretch to a brand new alu/hypalon dink.
 

KompetentKrew

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Yes, the kinda tropic-proof RIB you need likely isn't available in the UK. There is a lovely temptation to do/get all sorts of stuff before setting off but many of them best better done on the western side of the atlantic. Certainly would be likely better not having the thing on a transat. I'm in Trinidad, and all the way up these islands the longer-life RIBs are Caribe (From Island water world outlets) and bit cheaper are AB (from Budget marine). You can tell the Europeans who prepared a bit too much in advance - they have a lunking great 4-stroke and a not-Caribe/AB, but have already spent the dinghy budget. Target engine is 10-25hp yamaha 2-stroke. 15hp has good range for bombing around with 2 on board
A UK supplier has a Seago 280 hypalon airdeck for a fair price.

I'm planning to find a secondhand 10HP two-stroke.

Do you think this unsuitable and, if so, why?
 

geem

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I wouldnt invest in a new dinghy from Europe. Make do until you get the the Caribbean with a cheap dink and tiny engine. Once you get to the Caribbean a hyperlon rib is almost mandatory with either a Tohatsu 9.8hp 2s or a Yamaha 15hp Enduro 2s. Dinghy use is completely different here. Its all dinghy docks, steep chop, long rides and beaches. Dinghies need to be tough. They get a hard life here being dragged up beaches, scuffed on docks, banged through steep chop day after day. An airdeck just doesnt cope with the abuse that the average rib deals with daily.
The Yam 15hp Enduro 2s is tough. It feels like a Rolls Royce compared to the Tohatsu 9.8hp but its a heavy drinker and a heavy engine. The Tohatsu weighs 26kg where the Yam is 37kg. The Yam has a very poor turning circle where as the Tohatsu has lots more lock. Landing on the stern in choppy windy weather is so much easy with the Tohatsu. Mauling the Yam on to the dink is a chore whereas the Tohatsu is effortless. If you intend to have a small aluminium rib with no more than 2people aboard then the Tohatsu would be ideal. If you want to carry dive gear or have three/four onboard then go for the Yam 15.
 

Graham376

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A UK supplier has a Seago 280 hypalon airdeck for a fair price.

I'm planning to find a secondhand 10HP two-stroke.

Do you think this unsuitable and, if so, why?

Seago seem to be more popular with weekend sailors than long distance liveaboards, who generally want more durable product.

Hypalon is obviously best but at a price. Our ply floored Waveline 2.9 PVC is now in its 7th season, used daily for around 6/12 in Algarve sun and the tubes are fine, having been covered with chaps from new. Fittings started to become unglued at around 5 years. Previous one without chaps became very sticky after 2 - 3 years.

2 stroke engines are the way to go, new ones can be bought on Alderney if you happen to be passing. As it happens, I hope to be placing a rebuilt 9.8 2 stroke on ebay fairly soon, just need to find a dinghy locally (Conwy) to test it on first.
 

Neeves

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We have had a Portabote for 18 years now. Its the 10'6" model (I think) good for three or 2 with a decent load. We fold for long passages, sits on top of the davits like a surf board, and hang from davits for short ones. Rows well, good in lumpy seas compared to a solid fibreglass. We use a 2hp 2 stroke, bigger O/B means heavier and have never felt the need for speed.

I can carry it fully assembled, vertically, centre seat on shoulder - though would not want to go far :(

Don't quite understand the rather short lifespans indicated for your alternatives.

I suspect, much, cheaper to buy State side

Edit, Sorry - we are quite far south of our tropics, and now only venture even further south.

Jonathan
 
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