Inflatables and crocs

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Dave_S 5 months, 3 weeks ago. This post has been viewed 1571 times

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  • #2294


    Hi I am looking for any one with experience with inflatable tenders and crocodile interaction.

    I am considering a large 6.5m RIB as a exploration tow tender but I am a tad nervous of it getting chewed. I have seen what the crocs do to crab pots for fun!!

    Anyone had first hand experience ?? Good or bad?


  • #2295


    Mmmm, yummy 2 big long jelly beans. Reckon you’d be better off with a composite one in the 4 metre range, (crossxcountry) expensive or make your own (bowdidge marine design) you could use foam instead of ply. Take some epoxy,fibreglass cloth and some glue powder with you and if they get hungry you can fix him up,the boat that is ┬ácheers. Steve

  • #2296


    We had a RIB for 7 years cruising the Kimberley and NT coast. Never had it chewed, but we often pulled it out at night if we were anchored in rivers, or anchorages where we saw crocs.

    We have met 2 different couples who had their RIB or inflatable tenders deflated by crocs, one while they were in it. Plus we’ve heard stories about others. We’ve had plastic fenders chewed by crocs when they’ve been left tied over the side at night. I dont think they are being aggressive, rather they mouth them to see if they taste good, especially if the fender or RIB pontoon has been in contact with dead fish or smelly bait.

    Another down side of RIB’s is that you have to be very careful around rocks and oysters. Fish hooks and spikes on fish fins can also be interesting.

    Chances are, you wont have a problem, but take a few puncture repair kits anyway.



  • #2300


    Thanks Ross,

    Seems a common theme that its not common but can and does happen.

    I have the option of going a RIB style boat but with foam filled pontoons.

    This may be the best compromise to give me boat protection and crocodile protection!

    Thanks for the feedback and look forward to hopefully catching up in the Kimberley next year.

  • #2330


    a couple of points on crocs from Cambridge Gulf Area

    1. Be wary of 2m and larger

    Long story short in the good old days we shot a croc hassling our net, we dragged it out next tide and it measured 2.43m (8 foot). I was shattered when I realized Tarzan dispatching crocs with his bowie knife was just hollywood claptrap. At 2.43m they are powerful,heavy and well armoured beasts (granted the underside is vulnerable), good luck trying to hang onto a croc of this size.

    2. Size matters

    3.6m is the minimum size stated on this forum. I have a 3m tender and a 3.9m workboat, the tender is used for zapping back and forth to the yacht. I have fished out of it but not in mangrove lined tidal creeks or anything that looks croc friendly. The 3.9m workboat is towed behind the yacht when in croc country (if you’ve towed you know the pain) but i would not like a croc of the size mentioned above to land across the workboat as it would most likely capsize the boat. To say the least, as stated elsewhere in these forums trust your instincts and if they’re too close, too big, or too many; start the engine and get out.

    3. Their behaviour is unpredicable

    Since the Australian government decided it prefers crocs to humans, the only worry crocs have is a bigger croc or a group of sharks. When they’re stalking around your cruiser or dinghy they aren’t posing for photos, they’re using their i86 brainpower to figure out how to get you into their stomach.

    4. They can levitate

    Well not quite, but they can lift a fair bit of their torso out of the water using their powerful tail, Norm Stanley got his arm lacerated when a croc lept up and tried to pull him of his cabin cruiser at Cape Dommet; at Eric And Elsie Islands another bloke was looking over the side of the boat, felt something wasn’t right and pulled back to see a crocs jaw snap shut where his head had been, he still has bad dreams about it. More recently a woman walking her dogs by a creek in Wyndham lost her lower arm to a croc.

    5. Peeing

    Great male tradition even on boats with a toilet is “hanging it over the side ” so many sailors have been lost due to boat movement/balance/boom doing this and in croc country at night hanging well out over the side is asking for trouble ,use a container if there is no dunny you can rinse it (cautiously)at daylight

    6. Tourist boats

    Many amateur fishermen/boat owners in the Cambridge Gulf area blame croc behaviour around local boats and dinghys on tour boats feeding crocs. At King George River in April this year a 3m croc circled our yacht at about 10 to 15m away however when I threw the bucket over to get water for a wash, the croc headed straight for the bucket. But lets face it you have to be pragmatic, a Ginger Meadows every couple of decades is just good business Jack.

    cheers steve

  • #2331


    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for backing me up with your take on small RIBS and inflatables in croc country. I sometimes get the impression that some people think I’m pulling their leg about how dangerous crocs can be when you’re in a small dinghy.

    We’re currently in North Queensland on our way to Darwin on our boat, and it amazes me how ignorant many yachties are over there of the dangers of crocs. It’s not uncommon to see couples rowing ashore in a tiny inflatable, only just big enough to float 2 people. That’s suicidal behavior anywhere near the coast north of Cairns, and rapidly heading that way south of Cairns as well.

    We also see people swimming off their boats in FNQ. I’d be more worried about the Irukandji and Box jellies than the crocs.

    Cheers, Ross

  • #2341


    Had our 3.5m inflatable chewed by a croc just near Augereau Island in June 2015.

    Luckily I had some glue and fabric on board to affect a repair.

    Lesson learned though… from then on the tender was on the davitts whenever possible.

  • #2636


    Crocodile tries to Eat Boat

    When a Big Croc starts Eating your Boat…

    Posted by Blue Chum on Monday, 27 August 2018

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