Buying Your First RIB – Part 2

Do Your Research

There are plenty of forums and websites out there geared around RIB ownership – www.rib.net is a good place to start online and RIB International magazine is a good read for the RIB enthusiast.Learn the terminology of the RIB world, talk to other owners on forums and don’t be afraid to visit popular RIB destinations such as dry stacks, marinas and of course RIB exhibitions and talk to people about RIBs By talking to RIB owners you will find out what problems they have encountered and how different kinds of RIBs handle from a perspective that is not possible from just talking to manufacturers.

When looking for a RIB you will want to consider the following:

Safety for you and your crew –are there features built in to your RIB that make it safe for you and your family? This is particularly important if you expect to have children onboard and you should pay particular attention to seating and grab handles around the RIB.

Physical Condition – are you happy to get stuck into a bit of marine DIY or improvements on an ongoing basis or do you want an immaculate package ready to use instantly?

Options and accessories – what do you expect from your RIB in the way of options? Many RIBS are supplied with an absolute minimum of equipment, others like Ballistic RIBs come as turnkey on the water packages.

Looks – this is entirely subjective, but do you want a sporty leisure RIB or a more commercial looking RIB? There is a full spectrum of RIB out there from med style RIBs that are a poseur’s paradise, to workboat and military style RIBs that ply their trade in the North Sea.

Performance – how important is this to you? Do you want top end speed or “hole shot” torque – are you a cruiser or a racer or do you want economical cruising with a RIB full of divers? Your RIB’s hull design and engine configuration will determine much of this and you should talk to owners about their real world experiences of performance before taking the plunge.

Cost – looking at the RIBS for sale stocklist, you can get on the water from as little as £5,000 and spend nearly £60,000 on a new Ballistic 7.8. In between (and beyond) is a world of options at a variety of price points. Determine your budget and add around 10-15% on top to cover essentials such as insurance and maintenance.

New vs. Used A brand, spanking new RIB can be beautiful to look at but you should be aware that it could also have its own problems. Just because it’s under warranty and you don’t personally have to spend time on maintenance and repairs doesn’t mean it is any less annoying to be off the water because of faults. New RIBS have almost as many teething problems as second hand RIBS, so put in some ground work before you buy!

Used boats don’t come without problems either and to find that perfect one on the second hand market can be a time consuming process.  If you are spending more than a couple of thousand pounds on your RIB, I would always consider having it surveyed by a qualified marine surveyor.

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