Is a RIB the Right Boat for You?

Who may offer finance for a RIB boat and why should you consider purchasing one for your business?  Why would you choose a RIB over other types of boats, and what are the pros and cons of ownership?  We have the answers to all of these questions.

What is a RIB?

A RIB is a Rigid Inflatable Boat. It is lightweight yet offers high performance and capacity, and is seaworthy thanks to its sturdy design, solid hull and floor together with flexible inflatable tubes around the outside.

The hull is usually made from glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), although aluminium and carbon fibre are sometimes used instead. The inflatable tubes are made from either Hypalon or PVC.  RIBs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with different engine specifications, so it’s worth shopping around and doing your research prior to acquiring your RIB.

Some RIBs have long and narrow hulls designed for high performance, while others have wider hulls that offer a more stable platform.

What you are using the RIB for, the frequency you’ll be using it, where you’ll be using it, the amount of distance you’ll be covering and your budget will all factor into your decision when it comes to finding the right RIB for your needs.

What is the Difference Between a RIB and a SIB?

One point to consider before you invest in a RIB is whether a RIB or a SIB would be best for your usage.  A SIB is a soft inflatable boat, and the difference is that these don’t have a hard hull.  This makes them more prone to flipping at speed, and they also sit lower in the water so you can expect to get wet more frequently.  However, they are good for shallow-water fishing and beaching and can also be used as tenders to reach other boats in the harbour.  While the soft hull can make them less rugged than RIBs, SIBs are easy to deflate and store, and they are often more affordable.

Meanwhile, RIBs are safer to use at high speeds and in choppy waters.  They also usually have secure seating and storage space, making them more comfortable than SIBs. But the hull design is complex and can make RIBs more expensive, as well as heavier to launch and bring ashore. Ultimately, the structure of the RIB makes it ideal if you need a fast, versatile and rugged powerboat for your business.

What Can RIBs be Used For?

RIBS are so versatile and durable that they can be used for almost any commercial work, as well as being used as fishing boats, rescue craft, safety boats for on-the-water events, dive boats or tenders for larger boats and ships.

Should You Buy a New or Used RIB?

Buying a brand new RIB can give you peace of mind that the boat is in good condition and is the right boat for you.  However, used RIBs can still offer great performance and you should be able to find one to suit your needs, providing you carry out the proper checks to ensure its integrity.

When buying a new RIB, you may want to ask a surveyor to ensure the RIB is built to the correct specification so you have peace of mind that the boat is suited to your needs.  You should also make sure the boat is built to minimum RCD standards and that you receive a builder’s certificate. Furthermore, ensure that you have a contract with an agreed delivery date and that sea trials are included as part of this.

A used RIB may be more suited to your budget if you have a little less money to spend, and you could still find a boat perfect for your needs even if it’s used. If you buy a used RIB through a broker, make sure they are a member of an industry-approved organisation. They will be able to direct you to local surveyors and advise you on the market and current prices so you can ensure you’re getting a good deal.

You could buy a RIB privately – a benefit of this is that the owner will be able to show you the boat and answer any questions from their first-hand experience.  However, you will need to be thorough with your checks without a broker to help you.  A thorough check includes looking for visible distortions and checking the propeller and the engine hoses and connections for damage.  It’s also a  good idea to find out how many hours are on the engine.  What is the history of the boat, has it been in any accidents or had any repairs, and is there any outstanding finance against it?

As part of conducting your checks, you should also carry out a sea trial to see how the boat handles in the water and get a feel for whether it’s the right boat for you.  You should be aware that you may be expected to pay the launching costs if the boat is out of the water.  It’s also a good idea to bring a surveyor with you for their insights.  The surveyor will carry out a survey of the boat and give you a written report, which will be required for insurance purposes.  You also may be required to pay for a lift-out so your surveyor can inspect the hull.

How Can You Finance a RIB?

Once you have found a RIB you would like to buy, Arkle Finance can assist you – we have a dedicated Marine Finance team ready to help you buy the RIB your business needs.  If you would like any help with financing a RIB for your business, contact us online using the form on the right or call 01933 304899.

Is a RIB the Right Boat for You?

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