Commercial Rib fleet on the Solent

What is a RIB or RHIB? And what are the advantages?

Sometimes we are asked what ‘RIB’ or ‘RHIB’ actually stands for, and why they might be better than conventional designs.

RIB is the commonly used acronym for Rigid Inflatable Boat, if it contains an H, it stands for Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat. Both RIBs and RHIBs are the same thing, they are light-weight, high performance powerboats constructed with a solid hull, and inflatable tubes or ‘sponsons’ around the outer edge. 

The addition of inflatable tubes to a solid hull increases the shock-absorbing qualities of the vessel giving it a hull that can essentially change shape under the impact of waves,  known as a Variable Geometry Hull, something that is unique to a RIB. 

Originally developed in the 1960’s by Atlantic College in South Wales for the RNLI, the incorporation of tubes was initially intended as a protective measure to limit damage to other vessels the Lifeboat needed to come alongside.  

RIBs are incredibly versatile boats, their design means they are very stable, seaworthy and very durable making them the perfect tool for any commercial work. Added buoyancy from the tubes means that they have an impressive load carrying capability, and if the integrity of the hull is compromised they will still have adequate flotation to make it back to a safe haven.    

Click here for full information on CRC’s fleet of RIBs.