The club’s pride and joy is a 5.8M Humber Destroyer RIB bought with the aid of a Lottery grant in March 1999.
Research into the right boat for the job lasted some 12 months, with a vast selection of boats and power units on the market, we had to be sure that it would fully meet our needs and give several years of trouble free service.
Points we considered;
Selsey requires trailer launching from a fairly steep ramp, which runs across then onto a shingle beach, making the trailer very difficult to manoeuvre once it is disconnected from the towing vehicle; this placed a limit on the size of boat.
Club diving ranges from shore diving to sites just south of the Isle of Wight, so the boat needed a working range of up to 17 nautical miles, with a back up “get you home” engine should main engine failure occur. This proved to be difficult, for example, it was cheaper to buy a single 115HP motor with a small 4.5 – 6HP motor as a back up, than twining up a pair of 40HP motors, boat performance was to be the key factor on this decision. Why use a large engine when a cruising speed of about 20 knots in an open boat is the optimum for comfort and fuel economy, 2 smaller engines which are correctly propped give fast “up onto the plane” properties and when installed with totally separate fuel/electrical supply circuits, provide a far better back up if 1 motor fails at sea.
Full safety and navigation equipment including an oxygen kit, was to be carried on board.
Humber Inflatables produced the package that suited our needs. A 5.8M well proved craft fitted with a pair of Yamaha 40HP motors and trailed by a Hallmark Roller Coaster 3 trailer.
This has proved to be the correct choice, we have been delighted with the boats performance and cannot believe how economical on fuel it is.
Although the boat is kept inside and under cover for the majority of the time, we do have a mooring just off the beach, which enables us to keep the boat afloat when demand dictates.
As part of an ongoing maintenance plan, in 2014 the Yamahas were retired and replaced with Suzuki 40HP 4-Stroke motors. These new engines have provided ongoing reliability as well as improved fuel economy and reduced engine noise. For the 2016 season, the cable steering was replaced with a hydraulic system that has made the steering much lighter making the rib a lot easier to manoeuvre.
Humber link http://www.humberribs.co.uk
Freedom of Selsey – owned by two Club members, will take 5 divers and kit in comfort.