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Ribbing for Increased Pleasure
by Ian Greenwood

RIB’s (Rigid Inflatable Boat) have been around for a number of years now. They have increased in popularity year on year and are known as the 4x4’s of the sea. They are robust, reliable and are seen in use by the RNLI due to their versatility and durability.

For those using them for pleasure, RIB’s can be taken out in sea conditions that keep hard boats onshore. I have had mine on the Solent in a force 8 gusting 9 and along with one other RIB were the only two boats on the water.

RIB’s are seen in use not just by emergency services but by many dive clubs as they make a superb and economical dive platform. They are also operated for water skiing/wakeboarding and other waterborne activities.

Cruising is great fun in company and often we have a fleet of six or seven RIB’s making day and weekend cruises in Cardigan Bay and around the North Wales. A circumnavigation of Anglesey was undertaken by six RIB’s and about twenty people. This covered almost 100 nautical miles and took 10 hours.  It involved entering small bays and areas of the island which are not normally visited by land.

Ribbing around the coast of Llŷn

In the North West of England, the West Midlands and North Wales there are a group of RIB owners and enthusiasts called the North West Ribsters. They hold an annual get together to discuss what they wish to do during the year. This is always at a pub and often includes slide shows and talks. The most adventurous in recent years was a RIB expedition from North West Canada up to Alaska. Exciting to say the least. They also have their own website, so feel free to visit them at NWR

Travelling past South Stack Lighthouse, near Holyhead

There have been a number of Transatlantic RIB records set, and a round the world. There is really nowhere and nothing that a RIB can’t do, but the best of all is to get out on the water and have great fun. An open boat gets the elements to you directly, don’t sit in a protective cabin, feel the wind on your face.

The iconic Britannia Bridge across the Menai Straits

I have now upsized from my previous RIB and run ‘Adrenalin rides’ in Cardigan Bay for those keen to experience the thrill of speed on the water. When travelling at 50mph + it feels like double that. Put a few waves in the equation and you have an awesome ride.

Ian on his RIB leaving Pwllheli Harbour

For those thinking of buying a boat, don’t make a decision until you have experienced a RIB. If buying new you can specify the layout of seats etc. to your requirements. If buying a used boat, there are plenty available and you will find one that suits both your requirements and your budget.

(Since writing this article, Ian has set a world record time around the coast of Anglesey on his boat (pictured above) Blackjack!)

Ribbing!  Give it a try.

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