Why a RIB is the boat for you

A RIB (rigid-inflatable boat), as suggested in the name, is a solid-hulled boat with inflatable tubes (known as ‘sponsons’) around the outer edge to give it buoyancy. The boat’s shock-absorbing properties make it able to cope well in choppy conditions and easily handle faster speeds, all in a much safer environment than other boats.


Their robust characteristics make RIBs incredibly versatile, with a vast range of uses. Having started out as lifeboats for the RNLI, they have progressed to an array of commercial uses, including military and police work, guided cruises, diving expeditions and much more. In more recent years the market has expanded to include RIBs as leisure boats too, affording all of us the opportunity to enjoy these lightweight, high-performance powerboats a popular choice amongst marine enthusiasts.

These leisure boats have evolved from the traditional jockey style seats (some of these even have suspension) to much more leisure-style double seats with a console and array of gadgets included in most current models. It also offers the potential to tow a water ski, wakeboard or inflatable towable toy, expanding the potential for the fun you can have out on the water.

RIB buyer's guide


The main design difference between the two lies in the material of the hull - SIBs (soft-inflatable boats) have a soft hull, making them easy to deflate, transport and store, whereas RIBs have a hard hull (normally manufactured from GRP, but in some cases aluminium), which is a lot more versatile, with the benefit of being much safer and offering a smoother, more comfortable ride in rough sea conditions.

A RIB, the higher-performing boat of the two, is able to contend with a rough sea whilst keeping its passengers safe and much more comfortable than a SIB. It offers the opportunity to be used for a wider array of nautical adventures because of this. Some RIBs have storage for equipment, which make it an ideal vessel for diving or fishing expeditions, or a general family day out.

RIB vs Speedboat

Both these boat types offer a similar, high speed, exhilarating ride, with the potential for longer distance cruises than would ever be possible in a SIB. Safety-wise, a RIB is the superior option of the two. Being an open boat, it is also more practical than a speedboat and its delicate seat covers, carpets and other luxury finishes not often found on a RIB - with a RIB you can simply hose out at the end of the day to wash away the seawater and better preserve your boat.

All in all, a RIB offers many advantages over its counterparts. A reliable, safe and versatile boat, it’s hard to find a better boat than a RIB.


Looking to upgrade your RIB, but unsure which to opt for? Check out our RIB Buyers Guide to find the perfect boat to suit your needs.

RIB Buyer's Guide


Header image source - Ribeye

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