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June 28, 2006
Tube oxidation is something that can happen over time, especially for high pigmented color tubes like red and blue. The best way to prevent oxidation is always hose your boat down after use and in some cases to apply a non-silicone based protectant like 303 Aerospace Cleaner or Aurora PolyGuard. Should your tubes already have oxidation it can be a pain to remove, but it is possible. You have a few options that use different products. No matter what method you choose, you should start by thoroughly cleaning the tubes with fresh water and a good boat soap. Once the tubes are clean, let them dry. As a preventative method and for very mild cases of oxidation, I recommend using the 303 Aerospace Cleaner. This is very simple, just spray on and wipe (elbow grease may be required) with a clean cloth. As always, follow the instructions outlined on the bottle. The best place to purchase 303 is online at...
Posted by ribcraftusa at 10:40 AM
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June 19, 2006
The Three Types of Tubes
There are three different tube materials used by RIB manufacturers; PVC, Polyurethane, and Hypalon. We’re often asked what are the advantages and disadvantages of the three materials. As a manufacturer of professional grade RIBs, we prefer Hypalon for its overall strength and longevity, however the others do have their benefits. We just think that Hypalon has more – that’s why our standard tubes are made of Hypalon. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) As a material for building tubes, polyvinylchloride (PVC) has the disadvantage of being hard: it lacks flexibility. To make it supple, an additive is used with the polymer. This additive vaporizes as the material ages, making the PVC brittle which allows it to crack easily. A PVC tube is the cheapest option and lasts approximately five years. Polyurethane Tubes made of polyurethane (PU) are difficult to manufacture and even more difficult to repair. PU has the advantage of being very tough, but unfortunately to make PU airtight, it has to...
Posted by ribcraftusa at 05:43 PM
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June 14, 2006
Soaked, Battered & Hindered - Not In A RIB
It was the first real nice day of the season here, so I decided to head out on a RIBCRAFT 5.85. You could tell too by the number of SeaTow, Tow Boat/US and Harbormasters out responding to breakdowns - that for many this was the inaugural cruise of the season and the excitement of the moment didn’t magically put fuel in their tanks or fix their engine problems from last year. It was a rough day with a strong westerly breeze that made for a wet rough ride for anyone not in a RIB. I am still amazed to see the area Harbormasters and towing companies struggle with their hard-sided boats in theses kind of conditions. As I sped comfortably by at 25 knots, it was a sad sight to see the harbormaster in his 25’ hard-sided center console with a T-Top and blue light flashing slowly flogging their way out of the harbor. Not making more than 10 knots,...
Posted by ribcraftusa at 04:33 PM
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June 08, 2006
To Sea Trial or Not To Sea Trial – There Is No Question
Matt Provenzano, RIBCRAFT’s Director of Operations When folks ask me why I spend so much time on our boats, I quote Kenneth Graham’s famous line, “There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” My goal since I started at RIBCRAFT was to build the best RIB in the industry, period. And spending large amounts of time on the water on our RIBS as well as our competitors’ boats is the best way I have found to flush out desirable and undesirable characteristics. As everyone at this company will attest, I don’t go “boating” - I go out with the sole purpose to put these boats to the test every time I hit the water. The Sea has a way of finding any kink in the armor and exploiting it. My goal and job is to find that kink first. I typically spend at least two days a week on the water sea trialing...
Posted by ribcraftusa at 05:57 PM
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June 05, 2006
Trailer? What Trailer?
The BOAT TRAILER – it has been my experience that many owners overlook this critical piece of equipment. As I was waiting down at the town launch ramp the other day for my turn to splash a new 15’ RIBCRAFT 4.8 for a junior sailing program this sentiment was strongly reinforced. I watched in amazement - and at times even in horror - as boat after boat came down the ramp precariously placed on old rickety trailers that only made it to the launch ramp by habit. It surely wasn’t the skill of the driver or the strength of the trailer. Though I’ve talked about it before on this blog, I think it’s worth recapping what I do before trailering a boat (I mean every boat). First and foremost, I always make sure that the boat is not going to find its way to the pavement faster than it will to the water. Check the trailer winch to insure that...
Posted by ribcraftusa at 11:19 AM
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