Ribs in workshop

Fleet Updates and Refurbishments

Christmas is behind us, we’ve made our first steps into the New Year and the days are only getting longer… which means we’re just a few months away from the start of our 2020 season on the water! During this quiet period our ops team get the much needed time to run our fleet through refits to ensure they’re up to scratch and ready for the season ahead. Over the coming months, all of our Ribs will be having some well-earned TLC after the busy summer season. We take extreme pride in keeping our fleet in top condition, which not only gives reassurance and peace of mind to us but also to our customers.

Refits are never a small job, overall it takes approximately 3 days per boat to complete the job, which is no small feat when you have over 20 boats to get through. This year we have some key updates happening to the fleet and have decided to list a full report below.

300bhp Suzuki engines Empty gauges on Rib Exposed engine on Rib

Engines

This year we have decided to upgrade all of our corporate fleet (Black & Yellow Ribs) from 250hp Suzuki engines to 300hp Suzukis, which in our eyes is probably the most exciting change to the fleet! It’s not why you might think, the 300’s may offer that extra bit of power (which is always nice) but the main reason for the changeover is that they are more fuel efficient. With the change of engine we are also having to replace the throttles to a fly-by-wire system & a range of new gauges – meaning it’s no quick job!

Batteries

Every boat on our fleet will be fitted with a brand new battery, some of our fleet still had their original batteries and we thought it was about time to replace the lot. Again, this gives us the confidence over the next season that our Ribs shouldn’t have any battery based issues.

Bilge Pumps

All of our old bilge pumps will be removed and replaced with new ones that are more secure and reliable. This means not only are we replacing the pumps but will also have to replace all the cabling as well.

Re-gripping the decks

Every one of our boats will be having the deck sanded down and then fresh grip applied. Over time this has worn off from constant use so it’s well worth stripping it all back and re-applying fresh grip to make sure our clients aren’t stepping onto a slippery surface.

Re-upholstering and repairs

Any seats that have damage to their upholstery will be replaced and fixed, along with this, all horse shoe and switch covers will be replaced where required and any other general maintenance needed on all furnishings.

Top ups

The engines that aren’t replaced will have full services and oil levels etc will be topped up, as well as draining and replacing all of the steering fluid to make sure the levels are full on every boat and to flush out any old fluid that has become contaminated over time.

Clean up

Finally, every boat will be completely stripped back to a matt finish to remove all of the dirt and lacquer build up. Once dry, we use a solvent solution to clean the tubes and then apply a coat of UV protective lacquer which not only gives the tubes extra protection through the summer but also makes them shine like new!

With close to 30 boats to attend to, it’s a long old job for our ops team but worth the time and effort to ensure our Ribs remain immaculately presented year out. If you’re interested in chartering with us for the 2020 season then please contact our team on 01590 607101 or email admin@solentribcharter.co.uk.