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RIBs What is the best brand now??

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Hi everyone. I have a 10yr old Aquapro rib that is starting to fall apart. All the glued on attachments are coming off, the hull has a couple of creases and now two cracks, and it is rapidly approaching its use by date. It has really been abused, and has been an excellent dingy. It was made in NZ in 2001. Its a 2.7m SMR model, and has had a 15hp on it most of its life (manufacturers rec max is 9.8hp). We have used it for the kids to ski behind, towing biscuits etc, but primarily for a tender.


Aquapro has, in recent years, had some really bad press - since they moved production to China.


I'd like a hypalon alloy hulled RIB, 2.7-2.9m Anyone got any experience of recent models?


PS i'm in Malaysia, soon going to thailand, but still interested in any brands..

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Look at the adds to the right of the page and you will see "safety at Sea". They are the manufacturers of Southern Pacific inflatables which are the best. Ask Jono if they can make a new inflatble to go onto your existing hull.

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I've got the same Aquapro 2.7, although when I put the 15hp on it I stuck some webs in the back and it's been fine ever since. But yeah, the tubes are starting to fall apart on mine also. It's almost worth getting them re done....

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We export Southern Pacific all around the world. We primarily manufacture in welded PVC but also in Hypalon. Our alloy RIBs are well regarded by everyone as a quality brand.

Rather than PM I'll post for other people's benefit. For a person like yourself there are a couple of options.


If the hull is semi ok, you can get the hull patched. We then post up a new set of tubes and tapes. You take off the old tubes, find the local repair shop and get new tubes glued on. Use a 2 pack glue.

Advantages - quick, and no freight cost. Little down time. No real customs issues.

Disadvantage - relying on local expertise


We air freight you a new boat.


Nice new boat, relatively quick.


Need for proximity to international airport. Freight and clearance cost


Depending on how long you are going for welded PVC tubes are still an effective option. Your original boat has lasted 10 years and that was glued seams. Now they are welded.

Hypalon is better if you will be in the tropic full time for a while. More expensive.



Horsepower on outboards.

Our Shearwater 2.8 is rated for 10hp but we've seen more thn that. Our Shearwater 3.1 is rated for 15hp.


email me at manager@safetyatsea.co.nz. or sales@southernpacific.co.nz and we can work out options.



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This isn't a advert, blowjob or the likes more than just a comment by a user who has had some head to head comparison action.


I Waterwise a lot and our fleet has 4 3mt off RIB's to chase the kiddies around with. We had a fleet of Aquapros which were good but got tired after a lot of use. They are being used 4-5 hours a day 5 days a week. So they replaced them. Now we have Sth Pacifics.


My observations -

The Sth Pacs get up and boogie a hell of a lot quicker, the difference is quite astounding and has lead to a total fuel use reduction.

Lot smoother and drier ride in the chop.

Feel a lot lighter but at the same time feel a lot stronger.

Lot better finishing on the Sth Pacs

Lot less dickey bits on the Sth Pacs as well i.e. knot so much stuff trying to climb up into your bum when your using them. This also makes it a lot easier to slide floating kids aboard.


I like the Sth Pacs a lot more than the last lot. Some of the other users have commented the same.

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I spoke to Aquapro about my dinghy falling apart a year or so ago. They said if I could find proof of original purchase (e.g. receipt or letter from retailer) they would fix it, because obviously they're not supposed to do that, and I guess from the comments they have quite a few that are, so they know it's a manufacturing problem. They didn't care about the age. Only problem was mine came with my boat, so no receipt.

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Wavebreak from Nelson are also worth a look. Can be custom made.


GP Engineering Ltd.

Manufacturers of Wavebreak Rigid Inflatable Boats

High Performance Engineering for Personal Watercraft


Office: 120 Tahunanui Drive - Nelson, New Zealand

Phone: 0064-3-546-5065

Website: www.gpengineering.co.nz

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Aquapro's from two to four years ago are not the best( I own one). I was told they only warranted the handle attachment for two years thought they have a five year warranty on the tubes. ( sometimes wonder at the worth of warranties)

I would think that they are now every bit as good as Jono's Boats (Southern Pacific). i believe the Factories are very close.


I have been told that boats in the pacific region (warmer Climes) Should be made in Hyperlon though I bet that PVC construction has come along way in the last ten years.


Not sure why people think a thin Membrane filled with air should last twenty years of boating abuse but then "there's Nout as Strange as Folk Lad"

By Cheap Chinese and replace it every three or four years. :D ( works for battery drills)

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Jono uses a very high grade PVC. It would also be well worth a look at his new design of RIB, where the PVC bags are able to be removed from the Alloy Hull. Very cool idea.

When I can finally afford to get a RIB myself, I am going to ask for a Bow Sprit thing to be glued to the front so as you can haul the anchor rope up without sliding it over the PVC material.

We originaly got one of the Asian Inflatables and it has actually lasted very well for it's abuse. It has been in constant Sun for 7years now and the material is still OK. We have lost a lot of the handles and such due to various mishaps over the years. But the main failures are the ply floor rotting out and the Transon play rotting out. Neither were treated timber. I am now having issues with the plastic part that joins the transom to the tunbes, so it's time for a new one.

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There's something compelling about the stability and fun factor of the Takacats.


Anyone have any experience with these?



Yeah im really curious to see someone do tow tests on them. Would like to see someone go out with a strain gauge and measure the different dinghys towing because on the smaller boats towing them makes a big speed difference and i have to imagine the Cats would probably tow pretty well? And track straight but i could be well wrong?

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I ended up buying a new takacat (lite 3.1m),have found it to be very good.

I also have a southern pacific shearwater 2.8, its also good but not as good as the takacat.

The takacat is a much more stable platform for to get on and off at anchor (wife and child both prefer it),and its more fun in the waves :twisted: :twisted: ..... as to being ok on the davits, well they are both good,i had them on the davits for my journey over here from Whangare(i have 2 sets of davits),

they are both similar weights,the takacat is fully deflatable if space is an issue.

I think i'd have a look at the newer model which has the tubes going across the front if i wuz doin it again,

jus my 2 cents worth......



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There's something compelling about the stability and fun factor of the Takacats.


Anyone have any experience with these?


Yeah I bought one, the 3.2 metre one.

Only had it out a few times, but so far so good. Very stable and fully deflatable are the two main reasons I went for it. I can fully deflate and stow under the cockpit for passages. Inflates in about 10 minutes which is pretty good. I haven't tried rowing it yet, and I don't like the seat which was much better on the old Aquapro. Also, the hulls rely on a thick rubber strip on the bottoms for dragging it up the beach. I will be watching to see how this lasts. Build quality probably not up to Sth Pacific standards, but not bad either. Flies with a 5hp outboard... :D :D


I'll report more on the takacat when I have had a summer cruise with it. Met the company director at the boatshow. Very pleasant young guy (Greg Sowden) and very optimistic and driven.. Good to see!


If I was going for a RIB, I would be buying Sth Pacific. Top quality gear..

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OK, after some serious thought, and a good offer from Jono (sorry Jono, would have probably gone ahead if i was in NZ), I have ordered a Takacat Lite.


Because, if I believe the advertising;

It can't fill with water

It's light and can be stored below for Ocean Passages

It has good performance with a small (er) outboard

It rows well


Price. Especially Shipping to Malaysia price


I can have it delivered here for less than the purchase cost of a RIB in NZ.


It WILL fit on the fordeck if I want, simply by deflating the deck and lashing the bows together.


Greg Sowden, the director of Takacat, answers my questions intelligently and promptly.


I'm sure it will get a good test out on our way back to NZ over the next year! :D

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Island Time. I will be very interested to hear what you think of it. Ours will get a thrashing over Summer cruising and I will report back. I don't think the build quality is up to Sth Pacifics, and like I said before, for RIBs I wouldn't go past them, but for all the other reasons (deflatable, stable, easily driven etc.. I have gone the Takacat way..

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Yep, thats the one! Smithy, yep, will do. It's the 3.0m one, so a bit smaller than yours. It will also be overpowered with my 15HP merc! Takacat say that should be ok, but too fast!! Thats why they recomend a 9.9HP max.


It will be interesting to see how it handles constant cruising use - virtually every day, and some "interesting" beach landings :D

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