One of the underlying concepts of “Quality” is fitness for use. A 2×4 makes a bad baseball bat but a quality wall frame. A Louisville Slugger makes a quality bat but a bad wall frame. In our case, a fiberglass RIB didn’t make for a quality dinghy experience.
At 9′ 6″, it weighed in at 135lbs — not horribly heavy but awkward to deal with when hoisting. It also created dynamic loads on the davits that were creating gel-coat problems where the davits attached to the boat deck. Plus with the two of us and a 6hp Mercury, it left a larger wake than our boat and wouldn’t plane.
At 9′ 1″, the new one weighs in at 75lbs — The difference in handling is remarkable. In the main, it is lighter because the hull is aluminum (aluminium), but its chlorosulfonated hull material (Hypalon is a no longer branded) chambers are also made of lighter stuff and with smaller diameters. In davits, the dynamic loads are 30% of our former RIB’s.
We won’t know if the lighter construction has a significant downside for some time to come, or if the RIB will now plane, but for now, this dinghy promises higher quality for us.