July 09, 2008
RIBS: Ahead Of The Times
When it comes to fuel efficiency, RIBs have been ahead of their times and the US Market is just catching up. For this reason, RIBS have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe over for decades.
Unlike the United States until recently, Europe has long suffered from high fuel (petrol) costs. These higher costs forced Europeans to look to smaller fuel efficient cars and smarter more efficient boat designs when it came to on the water activities. As such, Europeans have preferred RIBs over solid sided boats for decades because of their fuel efficiencies.
RIBs sport a light weight design and sleek hulls with far greater planning capabilities. They require less horsepower to achieve the same speeds as solid sided boats because they are lighter weight and have less drag through the water. These design characteristics deliver excellent efficiencies which lead to fuel savings.
With the fuel challenges in the U.S. hitting everyone, RIBs are the answer to stress free boating and represent future of the boating market.
In his August editorial, Soundings Magazine Editor William Sisson, raised the question of whether or not rising fuel costs will fundamentally change how we get out on the water in the decades to come? He stated that the auto industry is in the midst of retooling to produce more energy efficient automobiles and that boat builders will need to do the same. The result, he said, could be a new generation of hulls both lighter and more efficient.
Sisson theorized that perhaps people are going to have to change their expectations about speed, performance and in some cases ride. He wrote: "I suspect we will need to readjust our priorities about what we expect out of our boats". Sisson says that successful planing boats of the future will be lighter, have flatter sections aft, and run on longer narrower hulls – as a result they can be powered by smaller, lighter engines, requiring less fuel capacity but he says you'll have to sacrifice performance in rough weather.
People no doubt will begin looking towards improving fuel efficiencies. For those of you who already own a RIB you already have it. A RIB delivers all of these "futuristic" properties Sisson discusses. But what a RIB doesn't do is sacrifice performance – instead it improves it. So, I agree that people's expectations will change, but it will be that they can finally have their cake and eat it to - better fuel efficiency and better rough weather performance.
A RIB is the boat of the future available today. Gone are the days of people looking to heavy hard-sided boats like Grady White and Boston Whaler. Boaters will now do as they've done in Europe for decades and turn to RIBs.
Posted by ribcraftusa at July 9, 2008 06:07 PMBack To Index