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Hey all. We're installing davits on our Beginnerteau, and I'm shopping for RIBs. One of the main goals is for the rig to be able to handle the dink with the motor. (Save your breath on the issue of going offshore with a dink on davits; we are not planning to do that.) So, weight is a meaningful consideration. Our motor is a 15hp Merc, which weighs about 87lbs. Based on the ratings of our davits, that leaves us with about 160lbs for the boat. We don't want to come anywhere near that for a number of reasons.

We are leaning heavily towards the AB 10AL, which is the only brand making aluminum hulled RIBs, as far as I can tell. It weighs 117lbs. We're also wrestling with maybe the 11 footer, which weighs about 15lbs more.

Does anyone have experience with the AB aluminum RIBs, and if so, what are your thoughts/experiences?

One question I have concerns bottom paint. Considering that the hull is aluminum, I assume you need special bottom paint. Or is the convention to use no paint at all, and just rely on the fact that the boat is out of the water so much because it's on davits?

Thanks for any thoughts on this.

DG
 

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moderate?
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Dan...I had a Caribe light 10 footer that I liked a lot better than the previous Avon. BUT...I too have looked at the AB's and think they are very nice and I would be thinking the same thing as you if buying today. AB has an excellent rep in the Caribe...so I wouldn't hesitate if you like it.
As to bottom paint...I'd leave it off so you don't mark up the boat offshore or get paint on stuff when you are messing around in the stern. . I'd use this stuff instead and lightly scrub once in a while:
DIY-BOAT.COM - Trailerable Bottom Coating
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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We considered an RIB for a while and AB was at the top of our list. With the AB, we considered going with aluminum because of its low maintenance and durability but I eventually decided against it. Aluminum may be tough, but salt water does affect it, and once it starts getting pitted, it gets to a point that if you somehow needed to do some repairs, it just can't be welded anymore. FRP may not be as tough, but it is easily repaired.
 

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The RIB discussions I've looked into have convinced me that AB has the best inflatable for us, mostly because of the 17-inch tubes. We're going fiberglass for the hull, but a lot of people swear by the aluminum because of it's weight and durability. Check out the SSCA Cruiser's Forum for some good RIB discussions. Good luck with your choice!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Has anyone read/learned anything about bottom paint and/or corrosion with the aluminum RIBs? I can't seem to find anything on that.

The problem I perceive about bottom paint is that putting copper on aluminum and submerging that combo in salt water is begging to destroy the aluminum in short order. Likewise, putting the aluminum boat in salt water for any period of time, untreated, causes me the same concern. We'll be storing it on davits, so it won't "live" in salt water, but we do plan to have periods where the boat will be in salt water for days or maybe weeks at a time. Aluminum RIBs seem to be becoming ever more popular for the obvious reasons (durability and weight), so I suspect I may be over-focusing on the corrosion point, but I can't seem to find anything out there on this topic. Maybe my googling skills are just not up to snuff.
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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I have a 10'06" AB Lite with a 15hp Yamaha 2 stroke and I keep it on my arch on my B393 all the time. Not a problem so you should be fine with whatever you get. The aluminum hulled AB's are fantastic. I saw three teenagers in one towing another water skiing all with just a 15hp Yamaha. I would not bother painting the bottom at all. Most of the time the dink will be on the davits. A scrub at the end of the season will be all it might need. Go with the aluminum AB and forget the bottom paint.

 

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Rib

I've had an Aquapro aluminum bottom for more than 10 years in salt water with no traces of corrosion even where the bottom paint has been scraped off by oysters and barnacles. Love the light weight.
 

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Nearly an Old Salt
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I have a Aquapro unit as well no problems, not sure what people are going on about seawater and aluminium, lots of lots of aluminium sailboats.

Note on your davits , be very careful at the types of weights your considering you need to allow for dynamic or shock loading , even in a rolly anchorage. I sailed a Jenneau with simialr sized davist and the whole back of the transom had to be strengthened, The Davitts themselves are not the problem. tread carefully. Beneteaus are not designed for davits. ( because they are designed for med mooring and i've never seen davist in france on them)
 
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