How, apparently, I’m not alone in my feeling towards RIBs…

I recently was looking at dinghy designs and this designers blurb caught my eye because he called his boat the anti-RIB.

I like this guy!

The boat in question is called “OONAGH” and here’s something from the study plans…

“In traditional boating circles, it is a long cherished tradition to rail against inflatables, and there are some good reasons.  Because rowing them to good effect is not possible, inflatables almost invariably wind up with an outboard on the transom.  Outboards produce several varieties of pollution – sound, air, water – and have a tendency to foster questionable skylarking by bored youngsters.   And recently, mankind has discovered that burning petroleum might just have another big drawback as well.

“The new generation of rigid bottom inflatables, or RIBs have some additional vices. They abandon what used to be the most powerful argument for inflatables – that they can be deflated and stored aboard for longer passages.  They feature deepish vee bottoms, which make rowing even more impossible, and only really show any advantage with the application of lots of petroleum.  When you try to use that horsepower, a RIB will first plow itself into a deep trough, then jump up onto a plane with unnerving rapidity – they have no sweet spot between the two.

“My hunch is that the rush to RIBs is driven by the fact that we baby boomers (the flower children who were going to bring us to the age of Aquarius, remember?) are losing our balance, muscle mass, joint mobility (and a bunch of other functions too embarrassing to mention), and are happy to have a dinghy that is as stable as a church, can be driven like a bumper car, and gives us an airtight excuse for not rowing.  Come on Flower Children, let’s take back the high road!

“Inflatable boats have some undeniable advantages.  First and probably foremost is their tremendous stability.  They also have wonderful built in fendering – no worries about coming alongside your perfect topsides when things are a little lumpy.  And when you get alongside, you can stand up on the inflated pontoons to get a boost for climbing aboard the mother ship.  OONAGH is my attempt to combine some of the best qualities of inflatables with the advantages of a traditional dinghy, and put it into a package that is a little less hostile to the planet.”

The guy makes a lot of sense…

… and he draws a pretty boat as well.

Albeit the “OONAGH” is going to be too big/heavy for a VolksCruiser-size boat you might want to keep an eye on Mr Hylans work for a smaller or lighter version to show up. Or, you could just buy the plans and adapt them to a lighter stitch and glue, two-part dinghy… Stranger things have been known to happen.

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