So the Moody arrived with an Avon 340 rib, with no engine. Unfortunately, Maria has an unfortunate history with inflatables and seems to lack the ability to get in or out elegantly, she has the same problem with Lotus Elise’s 🙂
We knew if we were going to have a tender that Maria would be comfortable with in any weather then we would need to look at improving or changing. Maria is not a fan of the jockey console and we know people who have found these uncomfortable. I’m sure Maria’s reason is linked to their similarity to motorbike seats and her dislike of these for safety on the roads. So we would be looking at a bench seat and a standalone console. I looked at pricing these up from Outhill who had a vast range for a number of ribs. The ones for our Avon would fit and do the job. When I started pricing up these, including fitting and a new engine, the price was increasing rapidly. Although the Avon was five years old, it had hardly been used, but we explored alternatives thinking we would sell the Avon.
Mariadz is fitted with 300kg Simpson Davits which are excellent and how the rib is normally stowed. However, these are rated for 150kg each and I was keen that we wanted to be well within the limits of the davits. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, it was likely that the rib would be used for rubbish etc on passage, there was likely to be a cover for the rib which would be in addition to the weight of the rib and engine. Finally, water weighs a lot and a rib can hold a lot of water and I was concerned in case this happened for whatever reason, because it was likely that the weather wouldn’t always be good there would be a lot of water flying around! We didn’t think we could extend beyond the 340cm that the Avon had been since this did occupy the stern.
Having considered a number of manufacturers and gone to the boat show, we looked at the Walker Bay Genesis series. These are super lightweight and have a shape that seems to push water to the side rather than up, over and in my face. With a 20hp Suzuki motor (power start, power lift, remote steering) the whole setup was 150kg (ish) and I was comfortable that this was well within our limits. On the advice of Dan Cross at Boatsmart, we decided to have the thin-profile throttle which looks a lot smarter and navigation lights. As part of the deal for the motorhome we agreed that they would deliver the Rib when they collected the BMW which we had traded as a deposit for our motorhome. This saved us the delivery fee, the cost of fitting a tow and buying a trailer, or of sailing the boat to the South Coast to collect it. The delivery went without a hitch and the “lads” at Ipswich Haven Marina (you know who you are Phil et al…), took her in the big lifting cradle to put her in for us. Of course we went through the mandatory first time problems. Where is the lock for lowering the engine? Also being unable to start the engine through a combination of not pumping through fuel or not having the fuel cut off line inserted. Eventually she started and we took her back to Mariadz to become the new tender.
We have read a lot of blogs and have seen that quite often people will look to see what Ribs are tied up on the pier because this is a sure sign that the mothership is unoccupied. For this reason we were keen that the “tender to” signage was not too prominent. On speaking to our insurance company they were comfortable with her being named in her own right and having t/t Mariadz on it and so we engaged Geoff at Atlantic-signs again to help us.
But what to call her? As I’m sure you know Mariadz is not named after Maria’s intentions when she met Adam! And we have two feline crew…..so the Rib is called Connie after Clyde and Bonnie. So the decision was made and Connie, t/t Mariadz was named.
As you can see from the photo above Maria is comfortable to get in and out of this one ok :). And, as you do in these situations, we both had a little play while we got used to the new rib.
So play time was over and it was time to bring up the Rib onto the davits recently vacated by the sold Avon. This is where the fun started. The lifting points were in different places to the Avon and the internal shape of the boat meant that the chain that we had to attach the lifting mechanism to the Rib was the wrong length. This resulted in much cursing and several trips to fox’s chandlery we finally got the chain to the right length with the right connectors so we could lift the rib.
At this stage the davit mechanism’s started slipping but that is a whole different story for another time…..
So our final enhancements were to add a portable plotter with built in GPS so that we also knew the speed she was doing, we wouldn’t want to break any rules. She is now fitted with an anchor and ready to go.