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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

I've been looking for a while for a project dive boat with fibreglass tubes and think I may have found a nice rib hull and console without tubes.

I specifically want fibreglass tubes to use them for storage, while still keeping the stability and similarity of a rib.

Not sure what it would be called a RFD?

Anyway, I know they are big in AUS and NZ but I can't get them here hence the notion of a self build...

But... I cant find info :(

Based on these sort of things

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPSO2L18e1g

this is plastic I know, but same idea

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21WXhZFbG5Y&feature=relmfu
 

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Yep Thats the one in the first vid... savage boat!
http://www.menaimarine.plus.com/menai rib_540 RTB.htm

I'd be fairly sure this is a single mold though... specifically I'm wondering if its been done to a rib hull...

I just have thoughts of the boat coming down after cresting a big wave and pulling off a tube :)
If you have a hull with no tubes, I would imagine building a plug for the tubes would be difficult?

But if you could get round that - how about building the tubes plug, mounting it on your hull, then making one mould that it the hull and the lower half of the tubes in one piece, then the top half of the tubes and the inner hull as the other piece? That way you wouldn't have a join at the critical hull to tubes 'join'.

There are some on here who could advise far better than me though - sounds like it will be a difficult job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
how about building the tubes plug, mounting it on your hull, then making one mould that it the hull and the lower half of the tubes in one piece, then the top half of the tubes and the inner hull as the other piece?
Spot on :)

I want smaller tubes so it doesnt necessarily have to be the same size so any plug would work. But I think I'd want to give it a few sea trials before committing to a mold.

I have a choice of a narwhal 4m or a narwhal 5m hull to work with.

I think the 4m could be great as a small single or two man fishing boat that is light and can be lauched very easily. It would cost less on materials and serve as a proof of concept for a larger boat.

Also the 5m could take more people, bigger engine and provide more storage in the tubes.

I have been thinking about the strenght... and I've been thinking about "P" shaped ribs which follow the contour of the hull and go into the round cavity of the tube. The tube would only protrude on one side (e.g. water side) and the inside would be vertical without the tube.

Just can't decide on a hull. The 4m has console, seating, steering and controls for 120 quid the 5m only has console and is for 150....

hmmmm
 

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Spot on :)

I want smaller tubes so it doesnt necessarily have to be the same size so any plug would work. But I think I'd want to give it a few sea trials before committing to a mold.

I have a choice of a narwhal 4m or a narwhal 5m hull to work with.

I think the 4m could be great as a small single or two man fishing boat that is light and can be lauched very easily. It would cost less on materials and serve as a proof of concept for a larger boat.

Also the 5m could take more people, bigger engine and provide more storage in the tubes.

I have been thinking about the strenght... and I've been thinking about "P" shaped ribs which follow the contour of the hull and go into the round cavity of the tube. The tube would only protrude on one side (e.g. water side) and the inside would be vertical without the tube.

Just can't decide on a hull. The 4m has console, seating, steering and controls for 120 quid the 5m only has console and is for 150....

hmmmm
Having used 3.5, 4.5, 5 and 6m RIBs, to me that would be no contest, it would have to be the 5m (for the price I'd buy both - the £120 to get the seating and steering from the 4m is a bargain - and you could always resell the bare hull and console and probably get all your money back) - apart from their punching above their weight seakeeping abilities, they feel much smaller than similar size 'normal' boats and I would find the 4m just too small and I found the difference between launching and recovery very little different between the smallest and the 5m - it's only when you get to the 6m you start noticing the extra effort - but a lot of the ease or otherwise of the launching depends a lot on the trailer and location of course.

The P tubes sounds like a good idea to free up more space - I'd go even further and make it a 'tall' P so you don't have the normal problem of waves splashing over the tubes when at rest - (easy for me to say, though, I'm not going to do it!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yep thought about raising them a little, but that makes it harder for diving.... as ingetting back in.... although I suppose I could find another way...

Incidentially, these rigid tubes are apparantly really good for livewells and iceboxe as the air in them acts as a great insulator :)

I would plan for a diving and fishing version :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ladders arent ideal with fins on.
The danger is loosing a fin if you must take it off while treading water next to the boat.
Ribs are low to the water and can climb over the tube, some even have divers doors... not sure how safe they are really... perhaps for SAR operations maybe, but not in a leisure craft.
http://www.zodiacmilpro.com/hurricane-ribs/products-innovations/

Actually there are some diving ladders which can work with fins
http://www.anchoring.com/images/Windline-Dive-Ladder-Main.gif
but they take up space and add weight when not in use.

Small light fast and ergonomically designed. My profession is usability so I think I can make a usable boat for diving and fishing, I am just not a boat builder or architect and I'll need advise on strenght.

I've asked the guy about the 5m... fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PS, I'm not mad :)

Dive boats have long been ribs and had their benefits... but also their faults.
Its explained well here.
http://oxfordscubadivers.com/about-us108/in-depth61/boats80/34-isis

We do use a wilson 17 to both dive and fish from. Fishing its fine, but I prefer my orkney 590tt much more comfy. Diving its ok, its hard to get back in but it has a low freeboard so its easier than most boats.

I just think a fiberglass center console rib would make a great dive boat (rib/dory hybrid).
And like you say clinker, raise the gunnels and add a fiberglass cuddy and it would make a great fishing boat (rib/warrior). Storage on inside, stability on outside, and a much deeper v (due to fiberglass tubes) makes it faster and more comfy.
 

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Ribs are low to the water and can climb over the tube
Given that most of the water splashes over the forward part of a RIB when at rest, you could make the P shape the same height as tubes for the rear part of the boat (for whatever length a diver needs to climb over), then rise towards the bow - you could add a spray rail/moulding around the bow area as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Given that most of the water splashes over the forward part of a RIB when at rest, you could make the P shape the same height as tubes for the rear part of the boat (for whatever length a diver needs to climb over), then rise towards the bow - you could add a spray rail/moulding around the bow area as well
^^^^^^
That
^^^^^^

is an awesome idea! And it does look like an awesome boat!

Kinda reminds me of the classic American muscle pickup :) :)
http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/131/a/6/Ghost_Flame_Truck_by_AmericanMuscle.jpg

I might just use that! Even with a cuddy it would look good!

I just wonder about balance, as it stands a rib is fairly well balanced, I wonder how the extra weight at the front would hold up?

Maybe it would be ok... the rear fiberglass tubes will need to be heavily reinforced as they will be hitting the water when planing, so I guess the forward tubes could be less reinforced and lighter so it could work!
 

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I might just use that! Even with a cuddy it would look good!
Like this?


Don't ask me about strength or weight though! no getting away from the weight the cuddy would add I guess, you only have to take a look at a warrior at rest to see they're bow heavy - perhaps ballast might be needed at the rear - a 300hp outboard might do it!
 

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Thats pretty cool alright!
I think pilot houses take up a lot of space and weight but the warrior arrangement could work...

(PS your sketches look a bit better than mine :) )
Wasn't meant to be a pilot house - that would be a lot taller going by the pics of the Menai RTB - on a 5m RIB I think a cuddy will work out that high - you have a lot less depth of hull to balance the cuddy. I think you will need the actual boat to measure before you can work out specific dimensions though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
True, but great ideas so far!
Thanks!!

Pleanty to think about! I think if you blocked the front of the boat and just looked at the rear it would look like a rib. And if you blocked the rear of the boat and looked at the front, it would look like a fishing boat...

Hmmm, I like it!

Now to find a fiberglass supplier to ship to Ireland :)
Very expensive here unless buying in bulk!
 

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Its surely cheaper than 2000-4000Euro (price of new tubes) and will not need to be replaced in 5 years?
If you want a cheap boat it's probably not the way to go, but if you want a unique boat that should in theory have great ride and handling and serve you for diving and fishing, it's probably the only way.

And if the ideas are a success we can register the design, sell a licence to build the boats, and hey presto, money recouped :)
 
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