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Rib duty

Rib patrol boats – operating tips


  1. Before launching ensure the engine is tightly clamped to the transom of the boat and fasten with a lanyard (in case the engine jumps off the transom). Make sure the drain trunk is in the up position.
  2. Ensure that boat is properly equipped, including survival bags, paddles or oars – fastened inside of boat, anchor, fender, tow line, bucket, fire extinguisher and first aid kit.
  3. Check that the fuel tank is full. Ensure the arrow on the priming bulb indicates the flow direction of the fuel from tank to engine.
  4. Slacken off the air valve or fuel cap to vent the tank and prevent an air lock. Ensure tank is secured to the boat with the strap
  5. Launch the boat into sufficient depth of water so the engine and propeller will not be damaged when starting the engine.
  6. Pump the fuel priming bulb firm.
  7. Ensure the gear selector is in neutral.
  8. When starting from cold pull the choke fully out.
  9. As soon as the engine starts, put the choke in immediately and check that the cooling system is working by looking for jet of water. If no jet of water then shut off engine immediately and call the OoD.
  10. If the engine fails to start first time, try twice more with the choke out. If it still won’t start push in the choke and try again at least six more times. If by this time it won’t start go back to step 6 and repeat the procedure. After further failure call the OoD.


  1. Two stroke outboard engines should be worked hard. Two stroke outboard engines have their lubricating oil mixed in with the fuel. If there is poor combustion of the fuel such as at slow or idling speed the fuel will foul up the spark plug and cause poor performance later on when you open the throttle and when you come to start the engine sometime later, even the following week.
  2. When using the engines work them hard and when not moving with any purpose have the courage to switch them off and drift about. The engine is more likely to start in this manner than after being fouled by idling. If you are not confident to run the engines at full throttle then ask for some tuition in handling the boat.
  3. When on the water remember the following:


* Make sure you attach the engine “kill-cord” to you, fasten it to your life jacket or belt – it’s there for your safety.

* Keep a close look around you as to position of other boats, including to your rear (particularly as you slow down).

* Ensure your passengers are seated and advise them when you are going to change direction/speed.

* Maintain control of boat at all times – one hand on steering wheel (if appropriate), the other on throttle.

* In event of capsize of one or more dinghies speed is of prime importance, until you are satisfied that both crew members are out of danger (i.e. 2 heads above water). High speed dashes are warranted in such situations – however, when the situation is clearly NOT life threatening then caution and a more moderate approach is called for.

* Safety of personnel must ALWAYS take precedence over recovery/safety of boats.

Safety Procedures

  1. The Club has already issued guidance notes (pages 1-5) – READ THEM. If you have not got a copy, there are copies available in the OOD’s hut. Regardless of weather conditions ensure you have a crew and that you are wearing appropriate gear (i.e. a wet or dry suit).
  2. Always approach a casualty from downwind and to one side – if approached from upwind there is the risk that the safety boat will be swept down wind into the casualty. In general, DON’T RUSH IN – STAND BY until requested.
  3. If a dinghy is on a lee shore don’t join it. Anchor off and drift back on the rope until close enough, and still in deep water, to effect a recovery by passing a line to the casualty and towing off. If the safety boat ends up on the shore you’ll have difficulty getting off and may damage the boat and yourself in the process. If you can’t get the anchor up, buoy the line, and leave it to be recovered later.
  4. When coming to a halt don’t forget that wave your boat has been generating, which will still have a lot of energy when you stop. It can push you on in a wallow further than you want to go. To avoid this either slow down early or turn around into the wave, as this will stop you quicker and avoid any tendency for the boat to swamp.
  5. Keep the propeller away from sailors in the water and ensure engine is turned off before trying to recover people from the water.

Returning to Shore

  1. Slow down – remember that wave you have built up!
  1. Ensure that the engine can lift and engage neutral.
  1. Lift the engine before the propeller touches the bottom. A new propeller costs money.