# 02 hotRIBS E-zine

Tony Le ElliottBellows

RIB Surfers Own Online E-zine
Lucky old you and a big thank you to Kevin for his effort to get this publication on stream and asking me to help inflate his ‘hotRIB’.

 

I have chosen ‘Bellows’ as its title because it is a chance for us all to let off a bit of steam, being a mixture of a load of old hot air and water, the two very necessary ingredients for RIBsters and their craft. So ‘Bellows’ is a column where I will have the chance to air comments about any controversial topic, providing it is to do with RIBing in its broadest sense.
I am here to listen to your ‘beef’ about events, shows, manufacturers, RIBs and general boating problems. I will help where I can and will call on other colleagues for their help. Your comments about facilities both on and off-shore, other water users, and anything that you can think of will be welcome. Let’s hear if you have been ripped off or indeed have had a good deal. Had bad luck with some gismo or got any advice for us from your recent experiences? Let me hear your views and we can share them with fellow RIBsters. So, what have I got for you in this our launch edition? Good news: Have you heard that RIBex 2000, a show dedicated to the RIB, is at Ocean Village in Southampton UK, in May. A fast-growing show for all you RIBsters. I liked the Georgian town of Weymouth, the original home of RIBex, but it was a question of time as to when the town and its quay-sides were going to be too small, so moving now was a good move, rather than later.

 

Southampton’s dryland facilities are excellent both for the show site and for entertainment and accommodation. There are lots of pontoons for the exhibitors but I cannot see that fast demonstrations are going to be allowed. We all have a few bad habits when going afloat and one of the most common, certainly in the UK, is not talking to the Marine Coastguard Agency, formerly Her Majesty’s Coastguards. This agency offers a fantastic service, it is there to be used and wants to be used. It is both correct and courteous that you should inform them when you are afloat and about to set off for a journey, even if it is out of the Hamble bound for Swanage.

 

Call them on Ch 16 and they will tell you to go to their working channel, usually Ch 67. They like to know what you are up to, makes them feel wanted and since the government is always looking to cut them back, you’re calling them helps keep them in the public eye. The most important thing is that you should have worked out when you are going to be back and call them again when you are safely back.

 

If they think you might have a problem, they will advise you. I broke down once and had to limp back to Hythe, Southampton, a journey that was going to take about 7 hours. Seven hours later we pulled into Hythe, very relieved, and went straight to the pub, totally forgetting to check back in. They were not best pleased …

 

Whilst I tell you this story and encourage you to use the MCA, I was challenged by them this summer, whilst training for a single-handed Round Britain attempt, to give my registered call-sign. This is all part of not only getting your VHF set licensed but also getting yourself licensed to operate a VHF radio. Take a tip: get two or three of you to go for the test together. Discussing it amongst yourselves and acting out voice procedure and calls really does help.

 

That’s it for this month. Do send your comments, recent experiences, problems, gripes, good news, advice, tips and praise, thanks or whatever to me at [email protected]