Rib Charters in the Solent - Choosing the Right Rib

By: Keith McGregor

The main reason for Rib hire is simple - there is so much to see and do in the Solent and most people only can only take one day or a weekend away from work. Ribs allow you to travel around the Solent at great speed meaning you can visit many more places in any given time. Ribs are not only a very exiting mode of transport but also a very safe one. The tubes around the hull make them virtually unsinkable!

When trying to find the right Rib to charter it is a good idea to go for a lager boat not only because it will give you more space and generally the capacity to carry more people but if it gets rough they are far more comfortable. A Rib over 7m in length would be fine and to get the most out of your day choosing a boat with a large outboard is guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping. The Ribs available for charter in the Solent have top speeds varying between 25 and 50knots.

Once you have picked a good Rib you need to decide whether you are going to go for skippered or bareboat charter. Skippered Rib hire means that the Rib is supplied with a skipper (helm) and bareboat is when you intend to skipper the boat yourself. In order to hire a Rib bareboat you would need a minimum of a RYA level 2 qualification. Skipped charter is normally more popular and has the benefit of adding a fountain of local knowledge to answer any questions and to suggest good places to visit.

Next you need to book a date; you can normally get a good deal on mid week charters as this is when charter companies have greatest availability. You should try to book well in advance to avoid disappointment. Unfortunately this means you are facing a real lottery with the weather. If the weather is really bad the carter may even be cancelled but this is down to the digression of the skipper.

Finally all you need to do is turn up on the day at the agreed pick up point. It is a good idea to bring some warm cloths and waterproofs if they are not supplied by the charter company. Try to visit as many places as you can but don't worry if you have left a few places out you can always charter a Rib at a later date.

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