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Since 2002 we have operated several different makes of Rib. We have concluded that for us, the best all-round brand is the British company Ribcraft. Based in Yeovil, Ribcraft is one of the few UK Rib firms left to have not ‘offshored’ their production. We find their standards of construction to be without compromise.
We operate both 7.8m and 8.8m Ribcraft Offshore models. Our boats are powered by Suzuki four stroke outboard engines which also we find to be reliable. We are reluctant to quote top speeds (although well over 40 knots) as this is irrelevant unless it is flat calm. We rate a boat if it gives a great ride when the conditions are poor.
Our boats have large underdeck lockers with Lewmar hatches. For safety, there are no seats forward of the console and we have only ‘jockey’ or sit astride style seating, giving passengers the best protection against shock forces by absorbing any shock loads through bent legs.
The 7.8m boats have comfortable full size adult seats for 8 people including the skipper, and the 8.8m boats have comfortable full size adult seats for 10 including the skipper. Both models are coded to carry a total of 12, so extra crew can be squeezed on particularly if young or the boats are being used for short transfers etc.
Both models of boat are coded by the Maritime Coastguard Agency for Cat 3 operation for a total of 12 people up to 20 nautical miles from a safe haven. Our boats are surveyed and inspected by the certifying authority to ensure they meet the code requirements.
The boats are fully equipped to Coastguard standards for passenger carrying with a safety inventory that includes, life raft, life jackets, flares, thermal protection aids and a first aid kit. All the boats have long range 270 litre fuel tanks fitted as standard and also have fixed VHF, DSC, sounder and colour chart plotter. The larger boats have Fusion waterproof Bluetooth stereos.