RIB Report

Wednesday, October 30, 2002
AB Inflatables www.abinflatables.com

The 10.5 ft. Oceanus 3.20VSC from AB Inflatables is a sporty RIB with a deep V hull construction large, 17-in.-diameter tubes, and a rounded, European-style console and seat. In fact, the company has redesigned each boat in the Oceanus line to be even more attractive and distinctive. The tubes are now a softer gray color and have a sportier, more recognizable stripe to help identify the brand. To add to the fresh new look, nylon lifelines have been replaced with long-lasting, dark Grey hypalon fabric handles, carefully placed for ease of grip and functionality. The boat has a 5.5 ft. overall beam and 7.5 ft. interior length. Suggested retail price of the Oceanus 3.20VSC is $5,995, without engine. Aluminum Chambered Boats www.acbboats.com

Aluminum Chambered Boat (ACB) offers a rugged aluminum construction vessel that has proven to be a solid, fuel-efficient performer in both rough and calm weather. ACB was established in a 30,000-sq. ft. facility in Bellingham four years ago. The origin of the concept comes from New Zealand and Australia. Owner Larry Wieber and Bill Hickok, ACB operations manager and a production specialist, spent much time devising a reasonable, systematic and standardized production process (patent-pending) for building high quality boats at a lower cost. He has settled on a method that depends on the in-house production and outside supply of airtight aluminum chambers (made from marine grade 5052 aluminum) that create the critical "lifejacket" collar for the boat. The pre-bent, pre-cut aluminum chambers are then set in place and individually tested.

The ACB boat is flexible, embodied in its wide variety of applications, from recreational craft to heavy duty commercial workboat to military and patrol craft.

Hoping to penetrate the military and coastal defense markets, ACB - in August 2001, had ready for testing a prototype vessel for the Navy. Almar Boats www.almarboats.com

Almar of Tacoma, Wash., recently completed a two-boat contract for Seatow Brunswick of Brunswick, Ga. Almar was chosen for the job for its ability to produce large diesel/water jet propelled rigid inflatables. These two vessels were the largest of the class to date, and they reportedly exceeded the customer's specification in terms of speed, handling, ride and noise levels. Both boats will be in service by early November. Avon Inflatables

Avon offers a complete line of Heavy Duty Workboats, designed to carry out any number of tasks from diving, ferrying, marine research, police and coastguard, rescue and reconnaissance. The design pioneered by Avon is easy to assemble, inflate and launch, giving planing speed performance, large buoyancy tubes with a wide beam give high stability and outstanding performance whatever the conditions. Avon Heavy Duty workboats have been supplied to Defense Forces all around the world.

The compact W341 is the lightest in the range, and carries up to 5 persons or 585 kg of equipment. It is designed to be powered by outboard engines from 10 to 30 hp and will reach speeds of 40 kph. High performance and precise handling make it an ideal rescue boat.

The 7-person W400 is in the middle of the range. It's ideal for sub-aqua work and has had extensive use with British Forces expeditions. It takes up to a 40 hp outboard, is easily transported and can be powered or paddled for special operations.

The 10 person W465 and the 12 person W525 are suitable for diving, assault and reconnaissance roles. Able to withstand the most demanding conditions and having a large aluminum deck to carry exceptional loads (up to 1,100 kg and 1,250 kg), these craft, able to take up to 60 and 70 hp outboards are specified by military and commercial users. Halmatic www.halmatic.co.uk

Halmatic is providing a new fleet f 8 boats to the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). The fleet is designed to fulfil the MCA's wide operational requirements and will be based around the UK. The new craft will be built to Lloyds Register of Shipping Rules Report 10 and the MCA Brown Code Category 3 Rules.

As part of the comprehensive testing and trials program the craft are subjected to a series of tests to ensure their structural robustness. Part of the procedure involves a series of drop tests. Three drops are made from a height of 3 m - the first with the boat level, the second at a 45 degree bow down angle and the third with a 45 degree stern down angle.

The attached pictures show an Arctic 22 (7.15m) Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) being drop tested. The craft passed with flying colors and will now complete its trials program prior to hand over to the customer. The Arctic 22 RIBs will be trailer mounted for ease of deployment and will be powered by twin 90 hp outboard motors. Nautica RIBS www.nauticaintl.com

The new Nautica RIB 22 Widebody in style and deck layout is based on the Nautica RIB 18 Widebody, with a hull adapted from the RIB 22 Jet line. The RIB 22 Widebody was created in response to demand to build a Widebody model to fit in the gap between the RIB 18 and RIB 25 Wideboady models. The manufacturer aimed to offer an improvement over the existing RIB 22 Deluxe, with more interior space and a wider transom due to its nine-ft. beam. The wider transom accommodates the installation of the newer twin four-stroke engines, which are larger and heavier than the two-stroke engines. More specifically, the RIB 22 Widebody was designed to be powered by the Yamaha four-stroke 225-hp or twin 115-hp four strokes. Novurania www.novurania.com

Novurania of America Inc. introduced a new model for the commercial/law enforcement division. The new Protex 1200 measures more than 38 ft. (11.6 m) in length and features twin inboard turbo diesels engines, a deep V stepped hull, and Novurania's Protex foam collar. The Protex collar first introduced several years ago and now installed aboard several large custom Novurania tenders, has been well received and constantly improved. The design available on the Equator model boats features a "D" shaped protective collar that is designed to increase the interior volume, and also raises the freeboard wrapping the personnel inside the boat for safety and design considerations. The Protex foam collar offers the same soft sidedness when coming alongside another vessel with the added buoyancy and stability of an inflatable.

The Protex 1200 (38 footer) is available in many configurations and power options. The Pilot version includes an enclosed pilothouse complete with generator and marine air. The first production model is expected completed and ready for sea trials in October 2002. It will feature twin 300 hp Volvo Penta turbo diesels with duo prop drives. The prototype recently tested achieved speeds in excess of 50 mph. With the stepped deep V hull it is capable of operating in extreme conditions offshore. The self-bailing deck with full 360 degree walk around, advanced construction techniques, and precision engineering will make the Protex 1200 the ideal choice for commercial and law enforcement applications.

To further complement the Equator series, Novurania introduced the Equator 500. Measuring 16 ft. in length, the new model is the smallest in the line which includes the Equator 530, 600, 660, 720, and 800 (26 ft.). The newest Equator 500 features an inboard 120 hp turbo diesel engine and stern drive, along with an innovative seating arrangement for seven persons. OTECH

OTECH has recently built and delivered 19 Ocean Sprint 7-m fiberglass RIBS to the U.S. Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command. Each vessel is driven by a Cummins 6BT inboard diesel engine with Mercruiser Bravo outdrives. OTECH also offers SOLAS/USCG models in 4.8-, 5.6- and 7-m sizes. Protector www.protectorboats.com

The Protector range of RIBs are designed as multi-purpose vessels to serve military and workboat requirements worldwide, featuring a conventional Deep-V hull for smooth ride and great handling. With models ranging from 22 to 40 ft., the boats can be deployed as a rapid response vessel in all extreme conditions, it is capable of being highly maneuverable in the rescue of personnel in emergency situations, and gives the crew the ultimate in protection and safety, as well as comfort. Contstruction of Protector boats are of RayGlass/High Modulus hull design; all hand-laid, non-cored all laminate fiberglass hulls. The Protector 8.5 m RIB is a Rapid Response vessel, designed to be highly maneuverable in extreme weather. Ribcraft www.ribcraftusa.com

Ribcraft USA offers a stable of RIBS - 4.8, 5.85, 7.8 and 9.0 m - that are designed for a wide variety of military, law enforcement and commercial applications. In 15 years the company has more than 1,000 operating hulls, and it is able to design customer experience into each new boat. The company's 7.8-m model is designed as a commercial rough weather boat, an offshore RIB able to transport crew and equipment in the harshest conditions. It has a long steep sheer towards the bow and an impressive to provide superior performance. The boat, which allows for a maximum 400-hp, is configured to allow for any number of customization features, to ensure that the boat is 100 percent prepared for its given task. The standard tubes on the Ribcraft 7.8 are bonded to the top and bottom of an extended tube flange, giving superior strength. Weight, without engine is 1,653 pounds, and the maximum recommended total load is 8,465 pounds. SeaArk Marine

SeaArk Marine, Inc., of Monticello, Ark., recently delivered a multi-boat order for Naval Sea Systems Command. SeaArk's 2810 - V Dauntless, designated the Harbor Security Boat (HSB) Medium, the first of several boats delivered to the Pacific Fleet. It features a 20º Radical Vee Deadrise Hull, twin outboard propulsion, on board AC power, air conditioning, head, galley, electronics suite, an integral outboard mounting bracket, a foam filled, air cushioned collar for boarding and shouldering operations and M-60 weapons mount foundations. The Dauntless reached a top speed of 38 knots during trials.

Several of SeaArk's 27' Commander Class RAM, designated the Harbor Security Boat (HSB) Small, were ordered by Naval Sea Systems Command and will be delivered to the Atlantic Fleet. Powered by twin 4-stroke outboards, the Commander RAM also has a foam filled, air cushioned collar for boarding and shouldering operations.

The vessels also have on-board AC power, air conditioning, M-60 weapons mounts, and electronics suite. The RAM reached a top speed of 35 knots during trials. Both sets of boats were built to specifications administered by Combatant Craft Department of Naval Sea Systems Command. All boats will perform harbor security, vessel traffic control, and patrol functions at various U. S. Military Installations worldwide. Willard Marine www.willardmarine.com

Willard Marine, Inc. is a leading builder of RIB's and other small craft for the U.S. Government, delivering more than 900 military boats during the past 20 years. The company's factory is in Anaheim, Calif., with waterfront for sea trials, testing and commissioning located in Long Beach.

Based on this experience, the staff at Willard Marine understands the importance of the relationship between the boat, and it's crew, mission and payload. Willard Marine is the primary boat builder of FRP RIBs and boats for the U.S. Navy, as well as builders of U.S. Coast Guard craft, pilot boats, water taxis and other boats for the tourist industry. Currently four principal sizes of Willard RIB's are being delivered for force protection, mobile security, homeland security and Navy ship's boat use. Most RIB's delivered are now being equipped with a force protection package of equipment, and designed and tested for C-130 air transport certification.

The flagship of the Willard RIB line is their heavy weather, versatile 11-m craft with twin diesels (up to 440 hp per engine), water jet or propeller propulsion, and construction available in FRP or welded aluminum, with or without full cabin enclosure. The wide beam of this RIB allows seating of up to 30 persons, or a very large area forward or aft for mission equipment and cargo. This R.I.B. has been contracted as the ship's boat for the new Navy LPD-17 class of amphibious assault ships for the marines. (See photograph)

Next in the RIB line is a 32-ft. Harbor Security Boat, which presently when delivered are immediately loaded into C-130's and flown to the middle - east for force protection duty. These RIB's have full cabins, which are quickly removable and stowed on the aft deck during air transport. Each RIB has a force protection package, which includes four gun mounts and full electronics.

Also in Willard's line of RIB's is the U.S. Navy standard 7-m, which is carried aboard most naval ships. Currently these RIB's also are being equipped with a force protection package including a gun mount that attaches to the forward bow post. Power is a single diesel engine with outdrive propulsion, and over 200 have been built by Willard for the Navy.

Rounding out the Willard RIB line are the 4.9-m, 5.4-m, and 6.7-m which are built as SOLAS Rescue Boats and which have U.S. Coast Guard Certificates of Approval. The 5.4-m is currently also under contract by the U.S. Navy as a ship's boat. Zodiac www.zodiac.com Zodiac unveiled Armorflate (patent pending), an inflatable bulletproof system for inflatable boats. The Armorflate system inflates in about 40 seconds to protect troops and inflatable tubes from gunfire. The Armorflate system shown is installed on the Zodiac F470 CRRC (Combat Rubber Raiding Craft), which is used by military and special forces operations worldwide. (Photo credit: Bob Wheeler)

The inflatable Armorflate system made its debut on the Zodiac F470 CRRC inflatable boat, which has a long history of military and special forces operation. The Armorflate system is available with either soft or hard armor protection, made from a bulletproof material provided by Simula, Inc.

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