What are RIBs and why a RIB is the boat for you

A RIB (rigid inflatable boat), as highlighted within the name, is a firm-hulled boat surrounded by inflatable tubes, providing buoyancy. The boat has shock-absorbing properties that make it suitable for all sorts of weather conditions and can perform at fast speeds, in a much safer manner than other boats.

Top reasons for purchasing a RIB


RIBs are made with robust features and characteristics, making them extremely versatile, with a large range of uses. In Britain, they originally gained popularity with the RNLI as lifeboats and have since become more common in uses, such as police and military work, diving expeditions, leisure adventures, guided cruises and so much more.

As RIBs are so versatile they have expanded their range to become a popular choice for many marine enthusiasts. No longer does the interior solely come with jockey style seats, instead, they are more leisurely and offer a varying selection of technology and gadgets to make the ride even more comfortable. For water sports lovers, these vessels also offer the opportunity to tow inflatable toys, wakeboards and water skis.


Their inflatable collar and tubes make a RIB virtually unsinkable, emphasising how stable they are. Even at such high speeds, there is no need to be worried about stability issues arising that may concern other lightweight watercraft. RIBs are chosen by the military and law enforcement for important operations, suggesting they are efficient and effective in a range of uses that require steadiness.


As RIBs were originally created for rescue missions, they have of course got to be sturdy and be able to support powerful engines. This high-performance design allows boaters to reach exhilarating speeds, easily.

Easy to manoeuvre

Rigid inflatable boats have a hard v-hull, making it simple to manoeuvre just like a traditional boat. Due to them being so lightweight, it makes them highly responsive when moving into small spaces and around other boats.


When out on the water, being safe is the priority, no matter what type of boat you are on. With an inflatable, safety is at the forefront, the inflatable sides help reduce any impact if there was an accident. Even in rough conditions, the inflatable sides provide soft cushioning for passengers, making the journey more comfortable.

Having comprehensive insurance is another important way to stay safe on your boat, GJW Direct has got you covered with amazing RIB insurance, with features that include a protected no claims bonus, machinery damage cover and road transit cover.

RIB vs Speedboat

Both these boat types provide a similar, fast-paced, thrilling ride, with the option for longer cruises. When it comes to safety, a RIB comes out on top when comparing the two. Being an open boat, it also offers more practicality than a speedboat, because the luxuries of seat covers, and carpets of a speedboat are not usually found on a RIB. Instead, you can simply hose it off after a long day out at sea to wash away the seawater and better preserve your boat.


When comparing a SIB (soft-inflatable boats) and RIB, the main design difference is the material of the hull, SIBs have a soft hull, and they are easy to deflate, transport and store. RIBs have a hard hull, making them more versatile, and safer and offering a smoother, more comfortable ride in rough sea conditions.

A RIB, which is higher-performing, can perform effectively when the sea is rough whilst keeping its passengers much more comfortable in comparison to a SIB. Due to this, the opportunity for nautical adventures is much wider. Also, some RIBs have storage for equipment, making it ideal for diving or fishing expeditions, or simply a lovely family day out.

All in all, RIBs have so many advantages in comparison to similar vessels. A reliable, safe, powerful and versatile boat, it’s hard to find a better boat than a RIB.

Find the perfect lunch location for you and your RIB, download our ebook.

Top launch locations for RIBs and Speedboats


Header image source - Ribeye

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