Solid Tube RIB from recycled fiberglass tube

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Ooks, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. Ooks
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

    Ooks Ian

    I am working on a project where we will be shortly demolishing a small plant that includes roughly 15m of straight length 450mm diam fibreglass tubes and a number of elbows etc.
    I keep looking at it and thinking it would make very solid tubes on a RIB style boat. I can't see much deterioration to it, only the system is now undersized and being replaced with a larger system, so this stuff is getting junked.
    It would not be light - it is either pultruded or wound solid fiberglass, roughly 6mm wall thickness. I am only really interested in taking it on if it is not just fanciful thinking and also actually a fairly cheap way to put a boat together. Not looking to put a huge motor on it - probably 50HP max, as a fishing/diving platform.
    Looking for some general suggestions of if it is worthwhile pursuing - and realistic ideas of what I might be getting myself into.
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    It will be a heavy boat. The advantage of a rib is that the tubes are relatively light and flexible so they can absorb impacts. If you are thinking cheap, plywood is the way to go on a smaller boat.
  3. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    I do not know if it is worth your project but, of course, it is possible. See an example of an aluminum boat similar, I think, to what you are looking at.
  4. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Michigan

    kach22i Architect

    I think you have other options open to you, and sketching them up on a notepad might help you to sort them out.

    1. RIB style, with some sort of honeycomb fiberglass floor bonded to the tubes, or wrapped fabric floor?

    2. A sort of canoe/kayak with seat and foot rests mounted to the topside- and an outrigger to prevent capsizing.

    3. A pontoon or tri-toon with flat deck above.

    4. A raft

    5. A dock

    6. A semi-submersible (weight issue resolved?) with conning tower. How narrow are your hips? The tower can bulge out for shoulders..

    7. A multi-tube hull made by slicing 1/3 off two tubes, then bonding them together, a canoe/kayak wide enough for fat bottom girls.

    8. Use the tubes as part of a scale model you can ride in, they become torpedo tubes or missile tubes, make money selling rides.

    DISCLAIMER: most of the concepts above involve fabricating end-caps front and back but avoid what are bound to be odd looking elbows.
  5. Ooks
    Joined: Oct 2013
    Posts: 43
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    Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

    Ooks Ian

    TANSL & kach22i - Thanks to both of you for taking the time to respond.

    I was thinking of something similar to TANSL post. I have since discovered this type of boat is referred to as a Rigid Buoyancy Boat, RBB as opposed to RIB. I think I will just wait and see have much time I have when they become available and make a call then to proceed or not. I have been watching out for donor boats and would hope to find something that I can match to the tubes if possible.

    kach22i - hey I love your ideas - thanks for throwing them up there. The RBB seems the most usable to me still, but I do appreciate the ideas. Semi-submersible with a conning tower - that definitely got me pondering for a while.

  6. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Barry Senior Member

    I would spend some serious time on the internet trying to find a RIB that the tubes have pretty much lived out their life and a seller does not want to spend the money to replace them and is
    selling the boat at a large discount
    Say a 10 - 15 year old boat. I expect that your country has a site for government surplus boats, boat used for interdiction work, rescue, cities, counties etc.
    So if you can find a cheap hull, console, controls and motors, you may be able to add in your "free" glass tubes, fibreglass them into the hull and you could have an extremely cheap
    boat, though with engines used etc. Often they may come with complete electronics packages. The advantage with government surplus is that up until decommissioning, the maintenance is
    often top notch so even if the boat is old, the engines etc have been well maintained.
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