|RIB’s – Buying Second Hand?|
Buying a preloved RIB can be a great way to try this type of craft on a budget, but as with any second hand motor purchase, can be fraught with dangers. If you are buying privately rather than through a broker, there are many pitfalls to avoid as you wont be protected legally from problems, and if you have chosen to use a reputable broker which really you should, it is still a substantial investment, so you need to ask the right questions A thorough inspection of the vessel should ensure any obvious flaws are spotted before you get the surveyor in, and our handy guide gives you the basics:
Dependent on what the boat you are looking for has previously been used for, the look is obviously the first thing you will notice. Some boats may look rather plain if they were for commercial purposes, but this in itself may make for a sturdy, safe sea going vessel; where something with more obvious kitting out like instruments and seating may look flashier, but may not be quite so suitable for typical British weather! The description you saw in the advert may not match your specifications, but if you are realistic then you should find something to suit your budget and purpose.
Checking the engine is vital. Engine issues can be the most expensive to repair and you will need to employ someone well qualified to fix it. Fuel and water pumps are equally hard to check but can cause serious problems with breakdowns at sea. This is another area where you can check all joins, outlets and so on for signs of problems, and the smell of the fuel should give you some idea if it has been polluted, but again a professional will be able to give you the full lowdown on the RIB you are buying. Check all tube and join attachments as you would on any motorized purchase, for signs of wear, glue stains suggesting poor repairs. The buoyancy tubes should be checked for major repairs, and you ought to be able to see, and ask the seller, if these have been professionally carried out. If they have been done by the owner, get them repaired soon or think again. Baffles, which are the divisions between the air chambers will need to be checked – if they are blown you will be able to check this by deflating an adjoining chamber and inflating the inflated and listening for air transfer between the tow. Your broker if reputable should be able to tell you if any cracks or grazing in the hull is serious structural damage or something more minor, but again, find a professional surveyor and you will get the answers you are looking for.
Once you are satisfied, then the time has come to call in your surveyor to go over the finer details, or talk to your broker to get a more in depth picture of your chosen rib, and you can begin to organize your finance and plan your boating.
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