A couple of years ago I did the RYA Powerboat 2 and safety boat so that I can help out with the Peanut and Cadet sailing sessions that Joseph is enjoying down at Hamble River SC. Both courses were quite fun and involved a lot of racing around on the club's ribs, all of which got me wondering if we should buy one as part of the family fleet.
Inevitably when you start thinking about things, you also start noticing things that were previously ignored. The top photo looked small enough to go on the drive yet big enough to get across to the Isle of Wight quickly and safely, until that is I noticed the engine. I'm guessing the rib is 18 feet or so, with over 100HP, quick it would be, safe; well it can probably handle that power, but the opportunity for error seems high, not to mention scaring the pants off the passengers.
This one brought home one of the major downsides to a rib, the tubes. Proponents will point to the fact that a rib can still function with deflated tubes which is a great safety factor, but the cost of repair and replacement of old tubes is high, and from a maintenance perspective not something that is easily done DIY, beyond fixing a small puncture.