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F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby Phil » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:56 pm

Hi there,

First-up, I have to say this is a great forum. I’m looking at buying an F-Rib and have learned lots of useful information from browsing the pages of f-ribsandsibs.com about these relatively new little boats. I’ve got a couple of questions I haven’t been able to find out from existing queries and was hoping someone could help point me in the right direction.

I’ve been kayak sea fishing with my old man for 6 or so years, but we’ve got to the point where the kayaks have become a bit limiting. They’re bulky and not particularly easy to transport and, whilst we’ve been out in some pretty extreme weather, the currents we get in the Channel mean the paddling to fishing ratio has become a bit taxing for my old man (who’s now in his 70s), even when using anchors.

We got a taster for inflatables recently when I got my hands on a free SeaGo 240 and bought a 2.3hp Honda outboard to strap on the back of it. I was a bit sceptical that this was going to be in suitable for 2 adults in open water and my doubts were well-founded!

So, the Seago went on eBay, and I popped down to see Steve at F-Ribs in Southampton. I had a good look at the F-Rib 360 and was very keen to make the purchase, but found to my surprise that the 110x90x45 packed dimensions wouldn’t fit in the back of my estate car (2013 Merc C Class Estate). It would go in with the seats down easily, but that’s not really an option as I’ll need the use of the back seats when transporting the boat.

I didn’t try it on the day, but was tossing up the idea of whether a 330 F-Rib would fit. However, having tried the 360, I think the slightly smaller 90x90x40 dimensions still won’t squeeze in the car, and – from looking at the stats – it looks like you lose a significant amount of buoyancy (450kg vs 700kg max load) which, if similar to kayaks, I believe translates into a less stable platform. I think I’d also miss the extra foot of leg room when swinging a couple of boat fishing rods around!

I’ve also realised that the biggest engine I can get in my car boot is a Suzuki DF6, and that’s only because it’s designed so that you can rest it on its front without the sump oil coming out. From reading posts, I believe this will just about get a 360 up on a plane 2-up, but would be better with a smaller prop. If I buy an F-Rib, I’ll probably muck around with my existing 2.3hp in shallow water for a couple of weeks, before upgrading.

My main question is whether anyone has had experience transporting packaged up F-Ribs on car roofs? Annoyingly, they look a few cm too big to fit in a roof box, which would have been ideal. So, will the fiberglass hull be strong enough to be strapped directly (in its bag) on to something like a set of Thule WingBar Edge railings and has anyone found a good way of securing the packed boat to a roof rack so it’s not sliding around?

My second question is also hull-related. There aren’t many slips around the bit of the South Coast we usually head out to sea from, so we’re often launching and beaching from a stony beach. This includes riding a wave in and beaching the kayaks straight on to the stones at pace. I’m presuming the fiberglass hulls are less strong than the very solid FeelFree plastic kayaks we’re used to, but are F-Ribs strong enough to beach onto stones with the odd wave crashing around?

Many thanks in advance for any responses and help.

Cheers,

Phil
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Re: F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby Paul B » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:49 pm

Hi Phil. And welcome to the forum, Great boats are the fribs, and as you are aware there is quite a few owners on here,

Not heard of anybody transporting a folded boat on the roof as yet, but don't see any reason why this isn't possible, provided that you can lift it onto the roof , I believe Thule make various platforms to fit onto the roof bars so something suitable should be available,

A 6hp engine could struggle with 2 adults and gear on a 360, especially out at sea tide against,
With regards to beaching the boat at speed, not something I would recommend with any hull, the gel coat is tough but not that good, lots of guys have tapped the hull with keel guard to prevent damage
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Re: F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby Paul » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:02 pm

Hi Phil and :welcome to the forum :D
To get the best answers to your questions DouglasW is your man :thumbsup and being a fellow kayaker would understand your 'needs' for sure ;-)
On the question of transporting the boat on the roof there is this topic viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1513 :Link
From my personal experience of transporting an inflated 360 on a roof rack it was a struggle for two of us to lift, loading it inverted from the rear of the truck requiring our arms to be fully stretched however this was on a Nissan Navara Pickup, which is much taller than your Mercedes :|
Again you're lucky DouglasW owns a 330 with a 6hp OB uses it 2 up so can advise you accordingly.
With regard to stoney/pebble beach landings which I've done, I'm confident the hull will cope if you're not fussed about your hull's 'cosmetics' .... they come smooth as silk and scratch easily so fit some keel guard tape and put other scrapes down to 'damage in action' as I do :lol:
Hopefully Douglas will be along shortly .... but he may well be out adventuring around the West coast of Scotland :mrgreen: so give him time to respond :thumbsup
Good to have you aboard :cheers
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Re: F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby philpot » Mon May 01, 2017 9:17 am

The 330 is more than capable of doing what you ask and folded fits in my VW Passat estate with the back seats up. I don't think a 6hp is enough for strong sea conditions and would not be out with anything less than a 10hp but that is just me. As an ex kayak fisherman, I really do see why you would want to change direction and the 330 would be an ideal choice.

Phil
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Re: F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby Stray » Mon May 01, 2017 9:58 am

As for landing, I motor in with the transom wheels down, following a wave, as soon as the wheels touch I jump out and haul up the Beach. But this is on sand. Are you that limited to launch sites?
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Re: F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby Phil » Mon May 01, 2017 1:54 pm

Many thanks for all the responses and pointers. Very much appreciated.

My folks live just off Cooden Beach, a couple of miles outside of Bexhill. What I like about the idea of an F-Ribs is that it should free us up to explore other areas around the coast, but - with weekend time limited (I live/travel down to the coast from Surrey) - there'll be plenty of instances when we just want to go out close to home. Looking at boatlaunch.co.uk, we're 30mins drive between a £7/use slip in Rye and a £25/use slip in Eastbourne.

I'm not too bothered about cosmetic scratches and good to know about the hull tape Paul B. And thanks for the landing advice Stray. Presumably possible with the transom wheels supplied/fitted by F-Ribs directly? The beach on Cooden is stoney at high tide, sandy at low tide, but with lots of big lumps of muddy clay which you never know quite where they are. We're nowhere near any bays or shelter, so get the worst of the wind and waves (it's a popular kite surfing spot!).

We're not very good at getting up at the crack of dawn to take advantage of the calmest seas, so we quite often end up launching and/or landing off the beach with waves crashing around us. Coming in on a kayak, you have to dig your paddle into the wave so it doesn't flip you and ride it straight up the beach. Whilst I imagine an F-Rib is less flipable, with the hull and engine to worry about, I guess it might limit us a bit weather-wise when heading out/in straight from the beach

Thanks for the roof rack link Paul. It would be interesting to hear from LoznMary to see how they've got on with the rack they're sorting out for their Landy. It looks like they're building some sort of platform for it to sit on, which I was hoping to avoid if poss. Ideally, if the hull is strong enough and it's possible to secure an F-Rib tightly on a roof, I'd like to strap it down directly so I have the option of putting it on the rack for normal use, or chucking it in the boot with the seats down for short distances without a big plank of wood to worry about.

Good to know about your struggles with lifting a 360 onto a Navara too Paul. I could lump around a packed 360 myself reasonably well, but would definitely need a second pair of hands to get it on the roof and, on occasion, that second pair of hands may be my Mrs, who's not particularly strong! However, the 330 looks like it's only 5kg lighter, which I wouldn't have thought would have made that much difference. I could well be wrong.

Interesting to hear your steer on the 330 Philpot. Being a motorcyclist and general speed freak, I really wanted to strap on a 20hp and do some powerboating! Annoyingly, I'm really limited by the size of the boot of our car. It seems Mercedes sacrificed boot length for rear passenger leg room. My measurements are suggesting that I can only just squeeze in a Suzuki DF6 and that's only because, unlike most 4-strokes, you can rest this motor on its front. A packaged 330 looks about 10cm to long to fit straight in the estate boot and I think it's too deep to fit in on an angle and that's without taking into account an engine being underneath.

If the 330 is going to be more manageable and more capable with a smaller an engine, it might be a better choice for me. My worry is that I'll miss the extra foot of leg and rod-swinging room with two adults fishing. But, more importantly, that the boat would feel significantly less stable than the 360. Any first hand experience of this would be appreciated. I'm about 6'4" and around 14 stone. My old man's shorter, but a similar weight. The Seago 240 we went out was a fair bit smaller, and with only one seat, but completely unusable for what we wanted to do.

The Seago is supposed to be good for 3 people and a 210kg of weight, but was very cramped and did not feel anywhere near stable or buoyant enough on the open seas. To be fair, I understand this sort of boat is really for use as a harbour tender, or on calm fresh water. Perhaps I'm overcompensating by wanting to go all the way up to the 360, but it looks like a significantly more capable craft with an additional 250kg max load for only a couple of hundred quid and 5 kilos more. Very open to hearing otherwise if you've got experience to the contrary. Hopefully hear from DouglasW soon.

Cheers,

Phil
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Re: F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby kaman » Mon May 01, 2017 9:03 pm

Just a thought Phil - have you considered an air floor sib?
The likes of Honwave make numerous sized high pressure air floor Sibs which are going to be a bit cheaper, lighter and more compact than a frib.
I run my Honwave t3.8 up on several shingle beaches with no worries.
A 3.2m would accommodate you and your old man fishing and would fit in your car.
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Re: F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby LoznMary » Mon May 01, 2017 9:19 pm

Hi Phil, and welcome to the forum.

Ok, roof loading. Basically, we had little choice as the 360 folded with engine rendered all of the rear passenger seats useless in our Disco. Although the dimensions are appealing, given what a 360 is, ( a great boat with loads of space),it really is an awkward lump to stow in a car. So, after much thinking and digging, we decided to use the Karitek roof rack system, although modifying it to suit the 360 using a base.

I have made the base or platform, which bolts directly onto the Karitek sliding bars. With numerous lashing eyes fitted, the 360 sits there as happy as can be. We have done lots of trips out, regularly travel at motor way speeds with no problems at all. On a plus point, it evens travels quietly.

As for lifting onto the roof, I don't think I'm brave enough to try it on my own!! Me and the good lady can load it, and lift it using the sliding roof rack with no problems at all. Unloading is even easier as gravity also lends a hand. The total load including the Karitek and Thule roof bars, base, made of buffalo board, with the 360, weigh about 70KG so if you or anybody else are thinking of this route, perhaps worth checking what your vehicle roof load could carry. If you need any pictures of what I am using, just ask and I will sort some out for you.

Regards

Loz
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Re: F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby Martin » Mon May 01, 2017 11:02 pm

Hi there Phil and welcome to our dedicated sib and frib friendly forum.. Apologies for my late response.. you must have slipped under the radar :lol:
We've a cracking crowd on here as you've already no doubt found out.

The frib is superb, but as said they can be a little heavy but not much heavier than the honwave air floor type sib.
The sibs do lend a storage hand in as far as the long by narrow package compared to the wide square store of the frib, but a larger hp motor will be required compared to the frib should you go the air floor root. The sleak hard hull of the frib really does allow every ounce of power from the outboards. :drive
Daft question, but have you thought about standing the outboard up in a passenger foot well ? :scratch

LoznMary wrote: If you need any pictures of what I am using, just ask and I will sort some out for you.
Regards
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I'd love to see some images of your handy work please, and i'm sure they'd go down a treat with other guys on the forum... :respect
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Re: F-Rib roof rack mounting and beaching

Postby Paul » Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm

Another point mentioning perhaps is the latest Yamaha and Suzuki OB's can be transported on 3 sides now, which might be advantageous :idea:
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