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Rib inflatable vs. fiberglass hull

Discussion in 'Tenders & Dinghies' started by Pelagic Dreams, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    It's called professional responsibility, and it's taken seriously by lawyers and insurance companies looking for a scapegoat. I've gone so far as to sit in the back of a boat, as far from the helm as I could get, with my arms folded when an owner refused to heed my warnings.

    Just recently watching the People's Court (I have some free time this time of year:D), I saw 3 cases where contractors claimed to have told homeowners that they shouldn't do what they wanted to do. The homeowner insisted so the contractor complied. In each case it turned out badly and the contractor was held liable.
  2. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    I am sure the designers/engineers at BW would have a different opinion.
    By the way, the per person allowance is usually 165 lbs. each, the rest is for associated gear/equipment etc.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The rated it that way from strictly a liability standpoint with the idea that it was a beginning boat for kids and not because the boat couldn't safely handle a larger motor in the hands of an adult, it was also rated for a 25hp 2 stroke when initially designed and the 2 stroke could get the boat on plane with it's recommended weight carrying capacity, according to one of them. But you can no longer get a 25hp 2 stroke (at least in the Mercury family). A 30hp Mercury 4 stroke would be maybe a better compromise if you're overpowering it, IDK. The 25hp 4 stroke just doesn't have enough torque to get the boat on plane with a little weight in it. Either way, the 25hp would be pushed really hard on that boat and simply wasn't a good fit and there are dozens of people that complain about it's performance if you do a web search.

    Yes, but on an 11' Whaler, aside from lifejackets, a 5lb anchor, and a little paddle, what other kind of gear or equipment are you going to have.....Unless you're going snorkeling or something....The owner had 5 in it to go about 1/2 a mile from the anchored boat to the beach and maximum water depth was 6'. 3 guys that were all all 175lbs or less and 2 women that were 125lbs each or less.....combined with the gas and lifejackets, it was just under 845lb weight limit......

    BTW. Inflatables are not required to be rated by the USCG, so they are rated by the Manufacturer and quite frankly, a similar sized inflatable RIB is rated for a 40-50hp. And, they're a heck of a lot scarier and more dangerous to drive with their rated HP and speed with 1 person in them or even 2.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I'm sure Whaler knows the 25 won't plane it. Sounds to me like it was designed to be used as a tender, in the sense of taking four people from a calm anchorage to a dock at slow speed. Not as a toy or fun boat or to go long distances fast. Doesn't really matter why it's rated as it is. Just knowingly disregarding the ratings is a path I'd never take and my captains wouldn't either. I don't want the liability and I don't want to expose people to any undue risk. Just takes one time for things to go wrong.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I'm sorry Cap, but are you reading what you're writing? " The rated it that way from strictly a liability standpoint". and you don't think you should have the same concern?
    "3 guys that were all all 175lbs or less and 2 women that were 125lbs each or less". I like the girls, but that's sure a puny bunch of guys. Let's be real here. That's rationalizing. Once those kids are finished you don't think real people will ever use it?

    "The owner had 5 in it to go about 1/2 a mile from the anchored boat to the beach and maximum water depth was 6'." Ever try to swim 1/2 mile against the current? A lot of people have died swimming to shore that was only a short distance, and what does 6' deep have to do with it? Unless these were stick figures 7' tall that puts their mouth and noses under the water.

    You're trying to defend an indefensible position. Yes it's probably safe 99.9% of the time, and as an owner I might do it to get more speed out of my boat or to get my guests to the beach faster on fewer trips, but you're a businessman doing this. This could come back to haunt you 10 years from now when some guy's kid runs it at WOT and gets hurt or it gets swamped with a non-swimmer on board.

    Now you can do what you want with your business, but to justify it here could give someone with less experience the idea that it's ok, and it's not. Those capacity plates aren't there for decoration or as a suggestion. They're there because some people who probably know a lot more than I do did tests and determined those are the right numbers.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Whaler didn't want the liability with KIDS using it with anything more than a 25hp. Kids will not be using this particular Boston Whaler, as they don't have any kids. It was rigged for a boat that left for Venezuala, is being kept in Venezuala, and will never see the US again. They wanted it to be able to get on plane with either it's maximum weight in it, or people. The 5 people in it were 3 brothers from Europe and all were 5'9 or less and skinny (less than 175lbs) and 2 women that were a size 2. I don't condone overloading any boat weight-wise. It wasn't overloaded weight-wise. The plate reads a maximum of 4 persons OR 845lbs total of people and gear. The only gear was 3 gallons of gas and 5 lifejackets. Not to mention, it's unsinkable.

    As for putting a 40hp on it, it was the best thing the owner ever did. NOBODY is going to run it anywhere near WOT, but for getting the boat on plane with 4 people, being able to run 20 knots (a prudent and reasonable speed) without taxing the motor, and programming the smartcraft system where it won't go over 5,000 rpms ( about 30hp) regardless of throttle, unless you went into the smartcraft system and reprogrammed it, it's fine for an adult operator. Maybe not from a pure liability standpoint if you want to split hairs. But, it now has the low end torque to get on plane and to be used like it was intended to as a tender and carry 4 people at 20 knots. It will do 20 knots WOT and get on plane with 2 people, but not with 3 or more with the anemic 25hp. If it had an old school Mercury 25hp carberated 2 stroke it would get 3-4 people on plane......

    It's a hell of a lot safer than a 12' Rendova I ran with it's rated 50hp Yamaha, that did 33 knots and was so squirrelly after 24 knots. It scares the hell out of anyone that uses it and it's not overpowered according to the manufacturers plate. And every other RIB tender I've ever driven in the 10-14' size range with the manufacturers maximum rated power on it.
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Cap, I've come to expect better than this from you. Please look at what you’re writing. A capacity plate is not written for children or it would say that. Then do your math. You said the maximum capacity is rated at 4 persons or 845 lbs. That's motor, persons and gear.

    Motor weight: 260 lbs.
    3 little men: 525 lbs
    2 skinny women: 250 lbs
    3 gals. gas 18 lbs
    Anchor 5 lbs

    That’s 1, 058 lbs. by your numbers, 213 lbs (almost 20%) over capacity. Anybody wearing shoes, carrying a cooler, eating lunch or holding water weight? Again, 99.9% of the time they'll get away with it. Most of us have overpowered or overloaded a boat. A friend of mine once built a one use boat. We had to drop it and go before sinking because of the engine weight. But you rigged it, and you're a professional. You don't want to face a lawyer or insurance company with the rationalizations you've given here. You're giving bad advice.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You're flat out wrong. The motor weighs 216lbs. 2 of the men weighed around 150lbs and one was just under 175. ON the Boston Whaler, it is rated for a maximum weight capacity of 845lbs (persons and gear ((NOT motor)) AND a maximum motor weight of 180lbs (yes it was 33lbs over the motor capacity), that equals 1025lbs boys and girls. Swamped Capacity by Boston Whaler is rated at 1200LBS "Total weight of persons, motor, and gear boat will support if filled with water." It was under the swamped capacity, so therefore even if the boat completely filled with water, the total weight was still over 10% underneath the maximum swamped capacity. So if the boat is full of water, it is still floating and nobody is swimming.

    Secondly, I did not buy the boat, sell the boat, or rig the engine on the boat (meaning install the 40hp). I just took the boat with engine installed from the boat ramp, test ran it, swapped propellors on it, ironed out the lifting harness, installed a gps/depth, installed a racor, smartcraft tach/gauge, automatic bilge pump, cradle and lifting harness with UMT on the big boat and test ran it again before loading it on the big boat.

    Here is a proper definition on capacity plates:

    Capacity plates should never be removed, altered, or tampered with. While it is not a Federal violation for a boat owner to exceed the listed capacities, many states do have statutes prohibiting the carriage of people and gear in excess of the stated capacity, or the installation
    of a motor that exceeds the recommended horse power

    Sailboats, canoes, kayaks and inflatable boats are exempt from this standard. Some states do have statutes prohibiting the carriage of people and gear in excess of the stated capacity, or the installation of a motor that exceeds the recommended horse power limit.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Capt.J, I didn't get that out of thin air. In post #45 you said “I just rigged a 110 Boston Whaler and it was a great boat/tender. We put a 40hp Mercury 4 stroke on it” and “I'd do it all over again”. The wieght I got from the BW website, and you said 5 persons.

    J, I'm not looking to argue with you. I just want to keep bad advice from being put out. As professionals we do not knowingly overload boats. We do not advise clients to overload them, nor to disregard capicity ratings. We certainly don't have any hand in rigging one over capacity. What we do is direct our clients to a boat that will do what he needs within the limits we're stuck with. If that means going to a RIB we go to a RIB, even if we'd prefer a BW. We do not assume that because the owner is 150 lbs. all his guests over the next 10 years will be skinny. If the capacity plate says 25hp and 4 persons, we accept that. We don't say 'Well the manufacturer really meant that for kids, and the 25hp was only a suggestion'. We say, ok the 110 BW won't work for you. Let's keep looking. Now let's just drop this tangent.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I understand and agree and normally wouldn't overpower a boat nor would recommend it. However, a larger motor makes that whaler perform extremely well as a tender....but I think a good compromise would be a 30hp. With the 25hp, it just doesn't have enough torque to get on plane with more than 2 people, you're also at WOT with 2 people in it just to stay on plane. As a kid, every single one of us had a motor on our whalers that was above what they were rated for, but today is a different world. Problem was, he was limited to 11'. He really wanted a 13' sport with a 40, it just wouldn't fit. An 11' RIB realistically has room for 2 people, maybe 3 if you're really close friends so that was ruled out. He put 5 people in it, which was still under whaler's maximum rated swamped capacity to see what it was like and how it handled it to take them all of a 1/4 mile or so to the beach. They decided it wasn't worth cramming more than 4 in it anyways and 4 people are very comfortable in that little 11' boat as it's very roomy inside. That's what they plan on doing in Venezuala is anchoring in Los Rocas and going 1/8 mile 1/4 mile to the beach, bringing chairs, ez-up type tents and stuff and a RIB was a little delicate with the rubber tubes for that. Honestly, you could swamp a normal 11' whaler with the 25hp, if 2-250lb guys stood in the back of the boat and still be way underneath every single capacity on the boat. I spoke to one of the engineers from whaler after the fact, and they said while they won't condone it on record, but off the record the boat will handle it ok, the transom was strong enough, it doesn't upset the balance of the boat too much and it shouldn't be a problem providing you're not using it to jump 5' seas at WOT.

    On another note, the small 4 strokes on all of the little tenders are a problem as they have such little low end torque compared to the old 2 strokes. You have to underprop them, so whatever they're on will get on plane with any kind of weight in the boat besides 1 or 2 people. That new Mercury 4 blade aluminum prop is amazing at getting a little tender out of the hole though, whether it be a rib or traditional boat, it has a lot of stern lift and it also doesn't unload when turning on plane like a lot of the 3 blades like to do on a lot of the rib's. It will also fit any brand of motor as it has the torqueflo hub and is cheap at around $150.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    IMG_3450.JPG
    Now we're in complete agreement. Much better.:) And yes a Whaler can handle way more than they're rated for. I just can't recommend that people do it. On the 56 Hat we have an 11' Zodiac that very comfortably carries 4, plus good storage, and she could handle 5 if friendly. She fits very well up top with our 18' beam, has a 40hp. Some people shop for a tender when they really want a speed boat. They need to get the right boat for the purpose intended. Lots of choices out there.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Where do you fit 4 comfortable in that for more than a 10 minute ride? There is no legroom in the foward section.....I can see 2 side by side on the rear seat and 1 either on the middle seat or foward seat........and I don't see enough width for 2 guys sitting on the rear seat.....maybe a guy and a girl
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Space limitations are a bit of another plus for jet ribs. You can basically get two feet more boat into the space without an engine hanging off. Now our garage on the 63 wouldn't accommodate anything else. But a lot of boats have such a limitation. Now I do fully understand those who for other reasons don't like jet ribs. Just if you have a real space limitation they become advantageous. Ours is 10' 10" and that's all inclusive. Seats four. Plane within probably 6 seconds. Next size up is 12' 6" and five passengers.
  14. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    I looked that 'Alert' vessel up and I did not detect a foam collared boat.

    I do remember they built such a vessel, but I believe it was considerably bigger,....like maybe 21' ??

    I'll have to go back to some old brochures that I have, as I'm sure I saved that. I think it may have been a targeted item for the Coast Guard and/or military.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There are several people who make foam collars for boats. CPI and Kapten are two examples. I love what Kapten says, "The Ultimate Dinghy Performance Enhancer."

    Safe Boats is also an interesting vendor/site. They make foam collared boats for the Coast Guard, Navy, Customs, and other government agencies. The collars are added to aluminum boats.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    If the guys are 5'9", 150 and the girls are 125 lbs. no problem.:D Actually, the boss and I are both about 6', 200 and we fit all seats fine, and I can always find a spot for a slim girl or two.:D Anybody in the front seat (on any boat) is a no-no for me when running though.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Sorry, I was wrong. It was a 12' Boston Whaler Impact (not alert). They were sold to normal consumers at your local whaler dealer, they ran good, but problem was it just didn't take sell. You can find pictures of it if you just google it. We had one on a 74' Sunseeker as a tender and it was a great little boat, but heavy for it's length.
  18. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    I think if you look back at my posting #26 you will find I was aware of those.
    http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/185167-post47.html

    The specific question we sought to answer is what was the foam-collared vessel made by Boston Whaler,....and why it didn't stay around on the market.
  19. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Sorry. But post 26 was a while ago and I didn't look back.