A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB)

A Beginner's Guide to Buying a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB)
Credits original image – enriched by Karel Overlaet

1. Introduction

RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats), are among the most popular types of boats on the market today.

Their versatility makes them ideal for use as personal or family centered watercraft.

If you’re considering buying a new or second hand rigid inflatable boat but aren’t sure where to start, this quick guide will help you on your way.

If you want to go deeper into this matter, this article is the one to read for you.

This quick guide will you get to know the RIB and the main things for you. It is not complete but it gives you some idea.

2. Rigid Inflatable Boats: What are they?

RIBs are a type of hard hulled boat that has tubes around it made up of multiple air chambers.

These tubes are usually made of high-strength Hypalon, with each chamber containing an inner tube and one or more valves. The air chambers can also be inflated by using a hand pump or air compressor. Do check the right (maximum) pressure to apply.

Inflatable boats are typically used because they’re lightweight and can also be used for recreational purposes if you want to go on an adventure without having to bring along all your camping gear.

They’re also called the 4 x 4 of the sea. ‘Nuff said.

But before buying, you need to know a bit more…

3. Who Uses RIBs?

RIBs are used by many different people like: military, rescue teams, customs, police, port staff an recreational boaters who need to cross rough terrain to name a few. Prices will vary a lot depending on the specific target.

4. Types of RIBs

> Recreational RIBs

Recreational RIBs are designed and built for fun. They are typically large enough to accommodate several people and some storage space, and they can be used in a variety of water conditions. Most recreational RIBs have sundecks in the bow and stern.

Highfield RIB having fun diving @ RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat
Highfield RIB having fun diving – Courtesy of Highfield

> Workboats

Workboats are built specifically for work purposes such as rescue operations in rough waters.

While they may be used for recreational purposes, their primary purpose is work related due to their durability and toughness.

They come in all shapes, sizes, configurations with varying degrees of stability based on their size as well as construction materials used during manufacturing process: aluminium, carbon, fiberglass or DANU™ (a sustainable and recyclable composite).

Fiberglass is made from sand, resin and other ingredients. It an be used to build a wide variety of watercraft such as boats, jet skis, fishing vessels and even houseboats. Carbon fiber is most notably used to reinforce composite materials.

So buying a RIB starts with the purpose you will be using it.

Novi Marine Contracted by Jan de Nul @ RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat
Novi Marine Contracted by Jan de Nul – Courtesy of Novi Marine

5. Safety Features to Look For

Safety features are another consideration when buying a RIB.

Like any boat, the purpose of your rig is to keep you safe on the water and make sure that you can get back to shore if something goes wrong.

It’s important to have life jackets with you at all times, as well as a fire extinguisher, first aid kit and manual bilge pump.

The life jackets are especially important because they will help you keep both yourself and others afloat until help arrives. Buying the is not optional.

If your RIB is equipped with safety harnesses and buoyancy aids (also known as flotation devices), these features add even more peace of mind when out in the wild blue yonder.

There are many different types of RIBs, so it’s important to think about what you want out of your boat before making a purchase.

6. Focus on the Safety of You and Your Loved Ones

You want your loved ones to have the best time possible on the water. Everyone on board should wear a life jacket.

When you purchase a RIB, you’re doing so because you want them to be safe and enjoy themselves.

You need to make sure that everyone is aware of their surroundings and how they can keep themselves from danger.

That means knowing what kind of RIB you’re getting into before setting out and how important it is for every single person in your party to know how to behave on board. A short safety demo is highly recommended.

If you’re unsure of whether or not your family and friends can handle a RIB, there are a few things you can do to help them out.

First, make sure that everyone knows how to swim; if they don’t, teach them how to float on their backs before attempting anything else.

The life jacket is indispensable in such a situation. A “man over board” could have been hit on the head …

Also carry at all times a first aid kit on board.

7. Conclusion

A RIB or Rigid Inflatable Boat is a very safe high-performance motor boat. They can be very expensive. Buying means you’re investing as well.

When you’re ready to go out for buying a RIB, don’t forget to consider the safety features of your craft. It might seem like an obvious thing to do, but it’s still worth reiterating.

You can never be too safe when it comes to boating, especially if you have children on board or if you plan on taking your boat out into rough waters.

Now go out and start your quest for the RIB that suits you best. Good luck!

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