Originally Posted by Newport41
Thanks agian for the advice. I'll have to seriously consider the pros and cons of a RIB.
Let me know what you decide. After nearly losing the Zodiac 310 RIB and the prop when a davit snapped in five feet of Lake Ontario "sea" this year, I am convinced that davits are a mixed blessing at best and a positive hazard in a seaway. Fine in harbour, but I am going around in my mind for my 41 foot steel cutter with the following options:
a) Retube the Zodiac in Hypalon. Positives: Proven, a great tender, rows semi-well, tows very well, carries half a ton, hard to sink, very stable. Negatives: Quite heavy even without oars, engine, tank, AGM for lights, assorted crap. Blocks a lot of foredeck. Dodgy to launch or retreive when wind or sea is up, esp. if engine (four-stroke 9.9HP) must be taken on and off. Cost of retubing equals or exceeds complete replacement with other options.
b) Hypalon inflatable. Positives. Stowable in forepeak. Considerably lighter. Negatives: Doesn't track as well, doesn't row well, less capacity, costly, long time to inflate/deflate/deploy
C) AquaPro aluminum hulled RIB at nine-foot-length. Positives. Decent compromise at lower weight (70 lbs). New costs less than retubing existing RIB. Can plane with a smaller engine, say a 6 or 8 HP 4 stroke, or even just use a 40 pound 4 HP for putting in and out. Negatives: Less capacity. Durability a question and rep of AquaPro not yet gauged.
d) Walker Bay 9-foot polypropylene tender with inflatable ring at "rim". Positives: Rugged, good rower, tows well, inflatable aspect lends considerable stability, light weight (80 lbs.), takes a max. 4 HP motor, can be rigged as sailboat with add-on kit. Negatives: Capacity is two adults, stretched to man, woman and child with small cargo. Takes less space than Zodiac on deck, but still a fair bit. Possibly short enough to stow athawartships.
e) Portabote, 10 or 12 foot. Positives: Rugged, relatively well-attested quality. Light, compact, stowable, rowable, towable. Can be made into a sailing dinghy. Cargo capacity pretty good. Negatives: Stability issues? Time needed to assemble and break down probably similar to inflatable.
We haven't even discussed that a major part of a cruising tender's life is taking out lines, second anchors, lines to shore and various dirty jobs like fuel in jerry cans, etc. I've even lashed my RIB to the mothership's side and solved a dead engine and no wind issue by motoring home with the outboard. No wonder my seams are failing...
That's what I've come up with. If I could stow the RIB on deck painlessly (or on the pilothouse, but I want solar panels up there.
I'll report here if I have blinding flashes of inspiration.