April 28, 2006
Changing Ways...Owning a RIB often times involves changing the ways you’ve always done certain things. For example, when keeping your boat in a marina or at a dock, it’s important to remember that tieing a RIB up is slightly different than with a hard sided boat. You should avoid running lines up and over the tubes. For the bow, always run lines from the bow eye straight to the dock and at the transom, run from either the aft tow eyes or an A frame or radar arch if your RIB has one. Though the tubes are durable, prolonged wear from a line chafing over the tube will cause cosmetic and potential structural damage. Similarly, when trailering a RIB, never run a strap over the tube to secure the boat to trailer as you would with your 13’ Whaler. Securing a strap over the tube puts incredible stress and pressure on the tubes and can cause considerable chafe over long distances.... read more
April 27, 2006
Cleaning 101Even though I've spent countless hours cleaning boats, particularly RIBs, I'm always looking for new ideas, products and cleaning methods that others have discovered. Regardless of your tube materials, Hypalon, polyurethane, or PVC, the following is a good guide for keeping your RIB clean and well maintained. I start by rinsing off the hull, deck and tubes. With "Simple Green" as my soap of choice, I add a small amount to a pail, and fill with fresh water. I then use a sponge to wash down the console, windshield, seats, upholstery, engine cover and anything else that I feel a scrub brush would be a bit too harsh for. After thoroughly rinsing off these sections, I then scrub the non-skid deck using a heavy brush. For the tubes, I start again with a soft soapy sponge and work my way from bow to stern, removing dirt, dust and grime. For the stubborn spots I use a face cloth, or rag,... read more
April 20, 2006
Pre-Flight CheckIt’s great to read everyone’s thoughts on my last posting – keep them coming. With all this talk about safe boating I thought I’d put my own two sense in on some tips I found to be a great way to insure a safe boating experience. We’ve all flown and walked by the cockpit as we board to see the pilot and co-pilot going through a series of checks prior to take off. We as boaters should do the same. I recommend checking the engine, making sure the fluids, steering, and battery are operating properly and water is streaming out of the engine, just below the cover. Always make sure the navigation lights are working, you have a functional horn that is loud, and the flares haven’t expired, and there are enough PFDs for all on board. I always check the below deck compartments to insure there isn’t any water in the bilge and to smell for fuel. Additionally, you... read more
April 14, 2006
Safe Boating?I was flipping through a boating magazine this morning and counted four ads showing powerboats soaring out of the water looking, in my opinion, very much out of control. In a time when boating safety is moving to the forefront as it should, I’m amazed that manufacturers would show their boats in such a state. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t really make me think of safe responsible boating or that my experience on that boat will be safe when I see a boat flying off a wave with spray flying and propellers spinning in a blur – though in some respects it does appeal to my male ego and gets the testosterone flowing. To see an image like this suggests that either the boat is poorly designed or the manufacturer in some indirect way condones unsafe and irresponsible operating habits. With boating fatalities and accidents on a rise, I think all of us in the marine industry... read more
April 10, 2006
Tubes - Top Ten Things They DoEveryone at some point early on in their introduction to RIBs has asked, and no doubt all of us have been asked no tons of times “What do the tubes do”? Perhaps the question should really be; what don’t they do. But for now, I thought I’d give you the “Top Ten” things tubes do for RIBs.... read more
Comfort – The tubes offer a great place to sit with lots of handholds. Additionally, they provide a great cushion should you jump down into a boat from a high dock or accidentally fall.
Cushion – Also having to do with comfort, the tubes act as an oversized shock absorber at any speed and in any sea, providing a very smooth ride.
Dry - Not only do they provide a very smooth ride, but they also keep you nice and dry! The tube deflects spray from the hull down and away from those onboard. Additionally, with the added buoyancy, you’re less prone to swamping.
Easy Access – Divers have long loved the tubes for the ease of rolling off the tubes in full dive gear and then easily being able to pull themselves back in over the tubes by using the lifelines.
Fenders –The tubes provide great protection from damage when launching and retrieving the boat. Even more so, they provide an oversized fender to protect their boat as well as the boat they’re pulling along side.
Stability – A big favorite of rescue & safety professionals, the tubes provide great transverse stability. All on board can safely sit/ stand on one side of the boat and the RIB will never capsize in calm conditions – can’t do that with a hard sided boat.
Following Seas – The added buoyancy at the bow provides one of the most important performance factors, by preventing the boat from stuffing and swamping.
Buoyancy - No matter what you throw at them (or I should say, in them) – chances are the RIB can carry it. Incredibly forgiving, with the air filled tube a RIB is able to carry substantial weight. Not only can RIBs carry the weight, with the tube, they’re able to do so without sacrificing stability.
Speed – With the tubes, the overall weight of the boat is much less than a hard sided boat. This allows you to go with a smaller horsepower engine without sacrificing speed. In some cases, you can go with a smaller horsepower and get a greater speed.
Safety - God forbid you ever capsize a RIB in large extreme seas, the tubes keep the overturn boat afloat and high in the water which not only keeps victims out of the water, but makes it very easy to see. Additionally, if you’re trapped underneath, you have a large guaranteed air supply.