Winter season is the best moment of the year to evaluate a purchase of a Rhib.
It’s the moment where to study new design, fix what needs to be done, test the engine, make everything to be ready to go on first day of good weather and enjoy the sea at its best with nobody around…
No purchase must be done sight unseen.
Experience teaches us that nobody is prepared enough on everything, so better ask a professionist, but here you have some good tips…
The parts of a Rhib are really a lot, but is a quite fast schedule to check:
Check for any scratch, deep or light.
A difference in tone of the color can lead to a previous fix which needs to be checked.
Better a hull without antifouling cause it can hide bad surprises..
Bad damages on the deck are really unusual.
What can be found are so-called SPIDER CRACKS which are just estethic issues. What you need to dig into are areas where you feel “going down” with your feet. That usually lead to a delamination and is quite an expense..
These issues can be checked opening the lockers and trying to see if the fiberglass splits.
Rust running down from them can be a sign of untied eyebolts and let water through.
This means the wood on the transom must have been soaked in water.
Same goes for the eyebolt ahead, which most of the time rust because of water standing in the front locker.
HINGES AND CLOSURES
Disallignment and rivets can lead to not proper closure of the hinges/locks of the lids/seats.
If rivets are present they must be changed to screws and locknuts. Ideallu use a sealant while puttingt he plate back in place.
Rust around keyholes and hinges is just a careless aspect. A good clean and maintenance will fix all.
LOCKERS AND STRAKES
Check the drainage system as first thing.
Delamination on strakes, water presence, dirt clogging the pipes..
Spidercracks here might lead to a possible problem.
Today’s strakes are made of polyurethane foam covered by resin, it’s much lighter but can crack easier.
Ask an expert to check for possible cracks on corners with separators and strakes.
A Rhib will never sink, but it can flood.
In order to avoid any issue it is important that all the connections are ABOVE water level.
A battery too aft, close to the transom for instance and connection made on wires are NOT a good sign, something cheap to be done, but which needs attention.
The fabric of the tubes can last forever, or go very soon accordingly to the maintenance done.. A 4/5 years old Rhib can look brand new or ugly just if a standard maintenace has been previously done or not.
If the tube is not shiny it means that the wax layer is poor and needs to be restored. If the fabric is shown then let a professionst check it as it might lead to micro air leaks. Or worst.. Nothing that cannot be repaired though.
Mildew is very hard to be taken away, but a good treatment restores it at a very high standard. The process not complicated, but can bring to damages to the fabric.
At Big D® we do use specific chemicals which are granting the following result:
Another important point is the outern ring which unglues due to the straigh flow of the water. Nowadays new techniques are being followed in order to delete this proble, but if present check its condition and in case it needs to be patched with a planing triangle (see HERE what it is and how can be fixed).
If it is Hypalon most of the time everything can be fixed without changing the whole tube but (if it’s the case), we do produce brand new tubes providing 5ys warranty.