RIB Report: Manufacturers Review

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Sturdy Hulls Go Nearly Anywhere

AB Inflatables offers its Profile line of aluminum hull RIBs. The rugged, 3.28-mil hulls are lighter than comparable fiberglass hulls and are perfectly suited for operating in lakes and rivers or along rocky coastlines. In these environments, the aluminum bottoms also help resist abrasions from coral and sandy beaches. An extra air chamber between the hull and the floor keeps the Profile models buoyant even when flooded. The large-diameter tubes of the boats are made from 1670 decitex Hypalon/Neoprene fabric. They include wear patches along the top and a heavy-duty rubrail. Decks are non-skid and sealed to the hull with epoxy. The A12, A13, A14 and A15 Profile models are new to the line, and are designed for professional applications, such as rescue, police, fire, coast guard and military operations. The craft come with two stern towing rings, four lifting points, an aluminum engine mounting plate and oversize drain sockets.

Achilles Enhances Tender Line

Achilles has taken its product base up a notch for 2003 with the addition of new enhancements on all three of their HB tenders. Featuring new Hypalon grab handles on the tubes for added safety and security, while new double heavy duty rubbing strakes add more protection to the boats while providing a drier ride. Available in three of the most popular tender sizes, Achilles RIBs represent the culmination of many years of experience in the manufacturing of Hard Bottom Tenders. Their lightweight double-hulled fiberglass construction provides one of the lightest RIB products on the market. Large 17-in. buoyancy tubes on all three models combined with the level non-skid floor (made possible by the full deck liner), offer a stable, durable tender.

Almar Boats Delivers Overseas

The Israeli Oceanograhic Institute Recently Took Delivery Of a new 30 x 10-ft. (9.1 x 3 m) Beam Almar Landing Craft. The boat is powered by a 315-hp Cummins 6BT turbo diesel coupled to a Hamilton 274 jetdrive.

It was also equipped with a ZF 1:1 marine transmission to allow back flushing of the jet should it get any debris caught in the intake. A flush mounted Fernstrum keel cooler and dry exhaust were also utilized. These items along with the jetdrive allow the boat to work in very shallow bays in Lake Tiberias without clogging the cooling system with sediment or damaging the drive system. This boat achieved a top speed of 29.8 knots on sea trials & cruise of 24 knots. the boat is used for hydrographic survey

Bullfrog Boats Offers Versatility

A designer of boats who lives on a 42-ft. (12.8-m) sailboat, Craig Henderson of Bullfrog Boats looked at the harbor boats in his neighborhood and decided to build a truly useful one. The result, a Bullfrog boat, is his answer to a working raft. Instead of rubber or soft plastic chambers, the Bullfrog boat has polyethelene pontoons fitted to the aluminum hull by a secret process-in a sense, like a miniature catamaran - and no punctures at the worst moment of need. The polyethelenec used is similar to that for whitewater kayaks, a durable, virtually indestructible material. The Bullfrogs are available in sizes from 10 to 21 ft. (3 to 6.4 m) and are powered substantially. The 10-ft. utility tender uses up to a 15 hp motor and the 21-ft. Ranger up to 200 hp. British Petroleum's Ferndale refinery crew appreciated that power late in 2002. A whale had beached itself next to the company pier and died there. Since no tide reached in to float the carcass off, its stench was becoming unbearable. The company recently bought the little 10-ft. Bullfrog as a fast transfer boat, transfer of personnel from oil tanker to shore and other minor chores around the docks. Figuring that it would work to remove the whale from its environs, the crew attached a stout line to the whale corpse and revved up the little Bullfrog's motor. Off the beach came the whale to be towed to deeper waters and disposed of. Bullfrogs are a new design but are proving their worth elsewhere. With outstanding power for their sizes they are fast and comfortable. Except for the 10-ft. tender class the larger models have a canopy overhead and a windshield to minimize the weather and spray. The operator faces forward standing up for greater visibility when searching for a man overboard or a boat in trouble.

The preceding was written by JoAnn Roe, a freelance writer and photojournalist.

U.S. Coastguard Opts For VT Halmatic Rescue Boat

Chatham Bar is one of the most notorious stretches of water in North America, with vicious surf, tricky currents and continually changing shoals - not a place for the faint of heart.

The United States Coastguard station at Chatham Bar often has to respond to emergencies at sea in storm force conditions. But their existing 44-ft. (13.4-m) rescue boats are becoming worn out and the replacement 47-ft. (14.3-m) craft cannot make it over the bar. To find a replacement for the Chatham Bar 44 footer the Coastguard searched world-wide for a suitable craft, opting for the Halmatic Pacific 32 near shore rescue RIB. The newest rescue boat in the Coastguard fleet is fitted with an enclosed air-conditioned wheelhouse with suspension seating for the crew and is fully self-righting. Power is provided by twin marine diesel engines driving waterjets to ensure excellent maneuverability. The new boat achieves a service speed in excess of 30 knots with the ability to stop within 1.5 boat lengths.

As there are no charts of the Chatham Bar area a comprehensive navigation system is essential so the Pacific 32 is fitted with radar, chartplotter and GPS integrated into two computer terminals with displays for the helmsman and navigator. A large working area on the stern contains towing braces, a rope winch and a diving platform. In order to further aid its American presence, Halmatic is actively seeking a suitable long term partner in the U.S. to help market and manufacture its boats for the U.S. commercial and military market place.

Nautica International

Nautica has released a new rigid inflatable boat model, the RIB 28 CAT. The largest of the catamaran series, it is another addition to Nautica's commercial/rescue line.

The RIB 28 CAT is an unusual craft: a Rigid Inflatable Boat with a rigid catamaran hull. Originally designed as a landing craft with a bow area loading ramp for commercial work, it fulfills many functions. Its cargo/ passenger deck measures 110 sq. ft. With its 5-ft. opening, the bow loading ramp lowers to facilitate easy loading of cargo, wheel chairs, stretchers, even 4-wheel ATV's. It is ideal for dive training, dive/snorkel tours, and dive/rescue as the ramp can be lowered into the water to create a swim platform.

The Nautica RIB 28 CAT is a versatile military, work or pleasure craft, which handles superbly with a light load or fully loaded to its 4,120-lb. weight capacity. Its broad cargo deck provides room for two stretchers or cargo pallets. The effect of the Catamaran hull plus inflatable tube creates a stable work platform when at rest, without the bobbing or tipping seen in conventional type boats.

Our exclusive catamaran hull provides a faster stable ride requiring less power. Power options range from a single 200hp outboard or inboard diesel, to up to twin 225-hp engines.

The spacious deck layout is available in many versions and features a choice of different consoles, addition of driver's seat/ leaning post, and bench seating. Customized features for commercial use are options, such as diamond-plate decking, towposts, tiedown attachments, T-top, and dive tank rack.

Novurania Introduces Equator 500

To further complement its successful Equator series of boats, Novurania has introduced its new Equator 500 - measuring just 16 ft. in length overall. Touted as the smallest in the line, which includes the Equator 530, 600, 660, 720 and 800, the 500 boasts an inboard 120-hp turbo diesel engine and stern drive - along with a seating arrangement for seven passengers.

Protector Range is Extensive

Protector's range of RIBs are designed as multi-purpose vessels to serve military and workboat requirements worldwide, featuring a Deep-V hull for smooth ride and handling. With models ranging from 22 to 40 ft. (6.7 to 12.1 m), the boats can be deployed as a rapid response vessel in all extreme conditions, and it is capable of being highly maneuverable in the rescue of personnel in emergency situations.

Protector vessels are comprised of RayGlass/High Modulus hull design; all hand-laid, non-cored all laminate fiberglass hulls for use in extreme weather.

Ribcraft Awarded U.S. GSA Supply Contract

Ribcraft USA's line of rigid inflatable boats has been approved for the U.S. Government's General Services Administration (GSA) Awards Schedule, a government approved listing of suppliers and manufacturers for all government agencies. The GSA Awards Schedule provides United States federal agencies, their affiliates, and other "friendly nations" access to Ribcraft's entire model line, which range from 15 to 26 ft. , as well as all accessories. Inclusion in the Schedule enables government contracting officers to purchase all Ribcraft models, with the assurance that the company is offering their agency Ribcraft's most favored customer status.

Designed and built for the most inhospitable of conditions, Ribcraft boats are true workhorses - built to go anywhere and do virtually anything. With 15 years experience and more than 1,500 boats in active use around the world, Ribcraft has gained an enviable reputation as one of the leading builders of semi-production rigid inflatable boats.

Ribcraft uses Dupont Hypalon for our tubes, which is universally accepted by the industry as the premier material for commercial applications. Should a customer's requirements mandate it, Ribcraft can and will build tubes using alternative materials.

Rough Water "New Rib on the Block"

Rosborough Boats of Halifax Nova Scotia recently introduced its line of semi custom Heavy Duty Rigid Hull Inflatable boats. The Rough Water line was developed to meet the new and growing demand for Rigid Hull Inflatables with more personnel carrying capacity, workability space and operational stability. Canada's Fisheries & Oceans Conservation and Protection Police took delivery of four 30 ft. Rough Water full wheelhouse, wide body boats this winter (for operations off the Canadian Atlantic coast), and more are expected to be contracted for later this season. The Rough Water designs offer a 26 ft. and 30 ft. narrow deep V (33 degree) configuration, as strictly Chase Boat, and the larger 30 ft. version modified deep V (24 degree) hull. The Wide Body Rough Water 30 boasts a full 6 ft. 4in. working floor width, roomy five crew wheelhouse and a forward cuddy area for equipment, toilet, safety gear etc. Working and cockpit floor areas are large with a fore deck area at the bow. All decks are molded in nonskid and hatches are tread plate. The under floor area forward accessed through two water tight hatches offer large storage and hold capacity.

The dual fuel tanks are equal in capacity and together provide a total of 164 gallons for extended operations.

The units supplied to the DFO Canada were fully equipped with diesel furnaces for year round operations in the North Atlantic. The Wheelhouse is configured with pilot doors each side and full sliding rear door to aft work area. A unique nonskid side deck system allows for ease of travel up the side of the vessel with out walking on the Hypalon tube set and there is a crouch access hatch forward out through the cuddy as well. Powered with twin Yamaha 150 hp. HPDI outboards, the 30 ft. reached a top speed of 45 knots with continuous cruise speeds up to 35 knots. Rosborough's test version of the Rough Water 30 wide body was configured with a pair of Mercury 225 hp. EFI Offshore outboards that provide a top of 55 knots with a continuous cruise of 45 knots.

Tube sets are made in house at Rosborough Boats of Pennel Hypalon fabric with inner seam tapes to every seam and a 6 chamber construction configuration. The very unique tube attachment system, developed by Rosborough, allows for easy removal of the tube for repair or replacement which can be done in the field without the craft having to go to the shop. Tubes are available custom equipped to individual requirements with either lacing cuff or D ring life lines etc.

SeaArk Marine Offers Maximum Protection

SeaArk Marine, Inc., of Monticello, Ark., delivered the first of a multi-boat order for Naval Sea Systems Command. SeaArk's 34-ft. (10.3-m) Dauntless RAM, destined for Naval Coastal Warfare units, is the first of 36 boats to be delivered to the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. These boats feature a 20-degree Radical Vee Deadrise Hull, twin 370-hp Cummins 6BTA5.9M-3 diesel propulsion with Konrad 520 series stern drives, on board AC power, air conditioning, head, galley, electronics suite, foam filled air cushioned collar for boarding and shouldering operations, 4 - 50 caliber weapons mount foundations, ammunition storage, weapons storage, sona buoy storage, recessed forward gunner area and foundations and accommodations for future installation of classified electronics. The Dauntless RAM reached a top speed of 36 knots during trials. The 36 boats, which were built to specifications administered by Combatant Craft Department of Naval Sea Systems Command, will all be used to protect U. S. Military Installations worldwide.

Willard Marine Teams With Scarib

Willard Marine is expanding its line of commercial and tour boats with an alliance with Scarib, Inc. Scarib Inc. was founded by Larry Smith, whose "Scarab" line of offshore race boats are world-renowned. Willard will be offering and building the Scarib 54 RIB, which is the largest RIB to be Coast Guard approved for up to 60 passengers. Several of these RIBs, of various lengths, are in service in the Hawaiian Islands and the Caribbean as passenger ferries off-loading cruise ships, rafting adventures, snorkel excursions, dolphin and whale watching, ecology tours and corporate charters.

The craft are built in high-strength, low-maintenance fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP). Design features include two heads with 6.5 ft. headroom, optional beverage bar and lunch box facilities for full-day excursions, and a fresh water shower.

The 23-degree deadrise deep-vee hull shows its offshore racing pedigree with a ride designed to be smooth and comfortable in rough seas.

It can be fitted with conventional shaft, water-jet, I/O, or surface drive propulsion matched o the customer's choice of diesel power. Standard engine installations are Cummins Mercury diesels from 300 to 600 hp. The inflatable collar greatly increases ride comfort and stability, and is manufactured by Wing Inflatables.

Wing Inflatables Keeps RIBs Going Strong

Wing Inflatables manufactures original equipment and replacement sponsons for virtually any RIB. Air-holding or air/foam hybrids, all of our tubes are designed and manufactured in the USA, using 40oz industrial grade, 100% polyurethane coated fabric. Our use of polyurethane coated fabric, advanced construction techniques, and superior design ensure that equipping your RIB with a Wing sponson is the best choice you can make for a long lasting, great looking, precise fitting, and low maintenance tube.

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