This is a post about preparing your RIB dinghy the way the professionals do it. And if you get into a little adventure with the dinghy from time to time, then the following will offer a treasure trove of hard-learned tips.
We tend to look at things in a worst-case scenario in terms of structure and equipment, and dinghy usage is no different. We carry a variety of tools, flare kits, nav and comm gear, so that if something goes wrong we can work our way out of it. The degree of gear varies depending on the locale, and while we tend to favor higher latitudes, there are some cruising destinations closer to the equator that require a different form of preparation. The basics are the same. We need the tools to fix the outboard, spares like a rope starter cord, spark plugs, and prop, a hand held GPB, VHF, and nowadays a compact EPIRB. We also carry flares, and in remote areas, sufficient supplies to survive on our own should we become stranded.
But if you are really into adventure cruising, say the lovely Eritrean or Somali coastlines, then there several good ideas in the photos.
These folks have been cruising past us on the Intra Coastal Waterway for the past two days. Their RIBs are 35 feet long, draw three feet of water, and are 10 feet wide. Power is a pair of Cat diesels, and they cruise at a top speed of 40 knots. Their US Navy Special Boat Unit operators would have to be considered weapons capable. The dude sitting aft, with the partial balaclava covering his face, is probably a “shooter” (special forces team member). Not shown are topside plates for launching mortar rounds and smoke cover.
What we see on the bow and stern (and would be way cool on our bow) are M240 machine guns (7.62mm).
Spares include gun barrels (they get hot and need to be replaced after time) and a hammer with which to coax the barrels out. The blue/green bottle is gun oil. Note the ammo tray (empty). Can you imagine what it would be like to be on the receiving end of the output from these two weapons?
The boat crewmember on the right is well-endowed with personal fire power. He has a thigh pistol holster, which will have in it the Special Forces Sig Sauer P226 9mm pistol (more reliable and accurate than the Beretta that is standard issue). Of note are the ammo clips we can see on his body. There are pistol magazines on his chest, and other magazines for what appears to be an M16 on thigh and chest. This gentleman has the wherewithal to be a one-man army, just right for a cruise up the red Sea. The gold and blue arm patch designates Naval Boat Crew.
The dude on the right has another Sig Sauer in a chest holster.
Note the strategically placed handrail, and special issue boat shoes.
Another boat and we are seeing the ubiquitous M240 with its ever-ready hammer and gun oil lubricant.
We are here for another half day and then off to Cape Lookout. If we run across another fleet like this we’ll see if they’ll give us a tour.