What is a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB)

Boaters who are just now getting to know rigid inflatable boats (RIB) may not know how they are constructed or why they are so popular today. We thought we would take this opportunity to explain a little more about these watercraft and explore their features and capabilities. Ready to learn more?

What is a RIB?
RIBs come in all kinds of shapes and sizes today and are a spin-off of fully inflatable vessels that have been used for years to paddle around in or move from ship to shore. With the advancements happening in the marine industry, the market is now seeing large scale vessels that are taking the place of many standard recreational style boats. RIBs are lightweight boats that have a high-performance capacity combining tube-based vessels and traditional structure vessels. The hull of the boat is made from either a composite material like fiberglass or aluminum and is surrounded by rubber, caves and other inflatable materials.

These vessels are popular among law enforcement and emergency personnel since they are fast, responsive and can manage varying conditions on the water. They are also incredibly safe and are known in the industry to be virtually impossible to sink. They come in sizes from about 9-feet to 55-feet in length and are propelled by outboard engines.

RIBs are great for small work vessels like taking larger boat passengers to shore to run errands or go through customs but are also used recreationally as boats to free-dive from, snorkel, cruise coastlines in, and so much more.

How do RIBs Perform?
The rigid inflatable boat design is constructed to be aerodynamic, have a low center of gravity and hydroplane across the water. Since they are lightweight, they compete with other recreational vessels but are becoming even more attractive as they move in and out of the water with fewer collision concerns and more accurate maneuvering.

These vessels are incredible at sea, their buoyancy and one-way drainage systems help captain and crew feel safe in even the harshest conditions. After all, these are typically the vessels that Coast Guard crews use when they know they have to do rough weather rescues.

Are RIBs Safe and Comfortable for Families?


One of the better features of RIBs is how aligned they are with pleasure boating experiences. Sometimes it’s a little hard to imagine an inflatable having so much to offer considering how small in structure they can be. However, modern rigid inflatable boats can accommodate 20 or more people depending on their size. They are trimmed with exceptional materials all designed to stand the test of time and unfavorable outdoor conditions.

Many manufacturers of these vessels have equipped these boats to handle heavy loads of people and keep them high and dry like traditional fiberglass style boats. They have bimini tops, kitchen prep areas, stoves, and water tanks. Some even have a sleeping cabin typically designed for two people.

Additionally, RIBs are designed for pleasure cruising and sports-seeking adventurers. They have sundecks and premium seating spaces, swim platforms and optional shower kits to rinse off. Watersports lovers will appreciate the power they can get out of a RIB and added features that make towing other inflatables or wake surfers and other toys a snap.

As far safety is concerned, RIBs are a superior choice to comparable composite style vessels. If one part of the vessel fails, for example, chances are the entire boat will plummet. The RIB styles don’t sink because they are built in chambers. If one chamber fails, the others still keep their inflated integrity. This design gives boaters great confidence in their vessels and putting the most important elements inside of them, their family members.

BRIG rigid inflatable boats have plenty of options for adventure seekers and cruisers alike. Check out our collection of vessels to find one that most suits the adventure that you and your family want to have. We look forward to meeting you on a showroom floor soon.

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