The Fun of Owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB): 8 Thoughts

The Fun of Owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) @ RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat
Dokos island – © Panos Lazanas

Rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) are very popular amongst families and individuals.

They are versatile and can be used for various leisure activities such as fishing, speed boating, taking day trips or weekends and even wakeboarding or water skiing.

The fun of owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) is truly fantastic!

I had splendid times with my wife and kids in our family RIB for many years, powered by a Suzuki 140 hp. We took our Labrador along as well. The funny thing is that he wanted to jump overboard every time he saw a buoy, barking and swaying his tail.

Owning a RIB is fun and rewarding because they’re entertaining boats and you have a lot of satisfaction.

These boats are sometimes high-speed and can cope with challenging sea conditions which is why they are often used to rescue people from the water.

Recreational RIBs come in a variety of sizes and are trailerable up to 3.5 tons (in my country, Belgium) or 7,716 lb. Others weigh much more than that, are too wide and thus are no longer trailerable.

If you’re into buying a RIB, I have good news for you: out there is one especially for you. Find it! Pop your questions in our Facebook group. Get some idea of what used RIBs cost in RIBs ONLY Sales.

Let’s look at why owning a RIB is fun for the whole family.

Why Owning a RIB is Fun

While RIBs often look fast and furious, skimming the water’s surface and almost flying through the air, these vessels are actually very safe when the safety rules are followed.

People who own RIBs are taking fewer risks than they may at first appear. Rigid inflatable boats have a hard hull of aluminium or composites which makes them safe to travel at high speeds.

Many people choose to buy a RIB as they find the speed fun and exhilarating.

These boats are also very stable even in the choppiest of conditions. This depends on the shape of the hull.

Rigid inflatable boats are also available in various sizes and styles and can be customised to meet your needs.

There are many useful add-ons for RIBs and boat trailers, such as propeller protection, anchors, winches and repair kits. 

Rigid inflatables are fairly easy to manoeuvre and unsinkable (watch this video). Here are some of the advantages of owning a RIB.

Family Fun

The Fun of Owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) @ RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat
Thanks to © AB Inflatables

RIBs are considered comfortable as they have secure seating, making them suitable for family trips.

They also have storage space which means you’ll be able to pack a picnic and take everything you need for a great day out. That’s why owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) is fun.

Thanks to their special hull, RIBs can cut through the water very easily, which helps to create a smooth ride with fewer bumps.

This makes RIBs suitable for the whole family as even small children can comfortably travel by RIB, even in rougher conditions. They also have a “solid floor”, which provide these boats with excellent stability for passengers.

Bigger rigid inflatable boats are usually equipped with a wheelhouse and perhaps even a cabin, with toilet, bathroom and a small kitchen. These help to provide a safe place for your family to rest.

If you plan to teach your children how to drive or dock a boat, a RIB is an excellent boat to use as it has a protective inflatable collar so that the odd bump won’t matter.

I do recommend using fenders to protect the tubes once your RIB is docked.

RIBs also look stylish, so you won’t have to sacrifice style for functionality. The last decades we saw more and more big luxurious RIBs with a corresponding price tag. Some even exceed 1 million euro or 1,2 million dollars.

Great experiences

RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat
Off Hydra island © Panos Lazanos

If you’re into diving, fishing, or snorkelling, you’ll be able to have fun and engage in your pastime with a RIB. There’s plenty of space for all your gear, and you can dive or fish from the side of a recreational RIB.

These boats can also be used to tow wakeboards and water skis or banana boats, which will provide hours of fun and entertainment. Be sure to look for the safety rules in your country when towing people (Google is your friend).

RIBs are often used for deep-sea fishing as you can travel over large distances in an hour or two. If the fish aren’t biting, you can simply pack up and move to another location.

You’ll also be able to stop at a secluded beach or cove and have a barbecue meal which will hopefully include the fish you caught. 

Rigid inflatable Boats can be used in various water types from rivers and calm dams, lakes, and the open sea. This means you’ll be able to enjoy looking at a variety of scenery from your rib and, depending on where you live, can go on day trips to various areas along the coast.

The Fun of Owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat is that you have a sense of freedom.

For keeping it fun, you always adapt the speed to the condition of the passengers you have on board. To increase the safety factor, you must have an insurance and the mandatory safety equipment (Belgium, trilingual).

RIBs Can Be Used for Commercial Purposes

Gemini Waverider WR1060 GRP CABIN RIB
Fully equipped Gemini WR880 – © novi marine

RIBs can also be used for commercial uses, including sightseeing, tenders, sea rescue, customs, police, military, tactical purposes, port staff and lifeboats.

If you live in an area that has many tourists, you may also like to consider the joy of powerboating with others by offering fishing trips or boat trips to view wildlife such as seals, dolphins … Here again check your insurance beforehand.

RIBs are often used for passenger-oriented trips such as whale watching tours as they give passengers a great view and are generally fuel-efficient; the cost of gas won’t eat into your profits too much.

On many of these kind or RIBs special shock mitigating seating like Ulllman seats has been installed for extra comfort and safety. It will really increase the fun of Owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB).

Fuel is generally the most significant expense in motor boating. The consumption depends on many parameters like how many people you have onboard, how fast you “fly”, distance, weight of the RIB, the tide and currents …

Make it a habit not to look over your shoulder at the fuel pump once your RIB is filled up.

The Feeling of Freedom

The Fun of Owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) @ RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat
 Having a BBQ in Newtown Creek, Isle of Wight © Andre Scott

While RIBs can be quite expensive, investing in a good quality boat will give you the fantastic feeling of freedom on the water.

You’ll be able to travel at high speeds, go where you like while feeling the wind in your hair and smelling the sea.

Shallow waters are no problem and make it easy to “beach” safely.

You’ll also have the freedom to go on day trips, and perhaps even stay overnight somewhere.

As long as you have the correct equipment including safety stuff, you can also engage in various water sports. All these great advantages can be enjoyed with your friends and family. 

Able to Race

Blastoff Racing & Team A-21 Racing – Poole Bay 100 – © EliteCinematics

Some rigid inflatable boats have long and narrow hulls with a deep V-shape. These are designed for high performance and can travel at fast speeds.

RIBs designed for rescues generally have also a deep V so that they can cut through the water and get to their destination quickly.

If you’re looking for a boat that’s fast and fun, you may like one with a deep V-shaped hull RIB; these are great power boats and can be used to race other vessels.

The deep V-hull also allows for great hydroplaning, which is fun and exciting.

Want to know more about the construction of the hull, read that article because the hull Is the most important part of the RIB.

The good news is that RIBs are very difficult to capsize as they have a solid construction that keeps the boat stable at high speeds. These boats are also very safe as they are able to remain afloat even if the hull becomes flooded.

Some RIB manufacturers do also the “swamp test” when the RIB must be SOLAS compliant. It’s fun to see how the RIB gets filled up with lots of water in the tub and still stays afloat.

A high-performance RIB can travel at top speeds of 30 to 70 knots and more. Well-trained racers are able to perform almost impossible jumps.

The Fun of Owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) @ RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat
Osprey RIB in a challenging sea © Karel Overlaet – Medianaut

The maximum speed of a rigid inflatable boat will depend on various factors such as its weight, overall size, the power of the engine(s), hull profile, sea and wind conditions.

A 19 ft RIB carrying six passengers with 110 horsepower is likely to be able to travel at a speed of up to 35 miles per hour or 56 km per hour. The absolute fun is that it feels like a very high speed. Your passengers will be thrilled.

RIBs are also available with wider hulls which have a shallower V-shaped hull. Many also flatten out at the stern to provide users with a more comfortable ride.

If you’re considering investing in a RIB, it’s a good idea to check out both types. It will increase the Fun of Owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB).

If possible, go for a test drive before deciding which one suits you best for your purpose and navigation area.

Safe and Easy to Manoeuvre 

Modern RIBs have been well designed so that they react to changes in motion and are very easy to manoeuvre. This makes them an excellent boat for the young and old alike.

RIBs can change direction at a moment’s notice as they are generally more responsive than other types of boats. Especially making turns with a RIB is jaw-dropping thrilling to say the least.

It’s important that you are able to handle a RIB and feel confident in your ability to manoeuvre the boat before you purchase one.

That being said, ribs are excellent for sensible novice drivers. They can “feel the sea” and learn how to drive the RIB with waves coming from different angles.

RIBs are also very resistant to low-impact collisions as they are manufactured using separate tube chambers that will negate any impact the boat suffers.

Most RIBs also come with a pressure release valve installed to prevent pressure from building up and rupturing the tubes.

Another advantage of a RIB is that they are very fuel-efficient due to the lightweight construction. This means that you can have lots of fun using your boat and won’t have to worry too much about fuel costs.

It takes RIB’s less power to get up to speed than other types of recreational boats.

RIBs are constructed using flexible tubes which mostly contain air. A RIB will keep you safe from the danger of sinking.

I hope you know now that The Fun of Owning a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) is in your hands.

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