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Why buy a RIB? Benefits

Why buy a RIB? Benefits

Are you a boating enthusiast and thinking of taking the plunge and buying your own boat?

While you can of course choose to go for a sailing boat, today we will be talking about motor boats, and more specifically about Zodiac type boats, i.e. boats with a "semi-rigid" hull, as opposed to "rigid" hull models.

Although they are not exactly inflatable boats, RIBs do have air-filled floats, are often very easy to manoeuvre and are versatile, allowing for all types of marine activities: water sports, fishing, diving, boating and mini-cruising.

But what exactly are the advantages of these semi-rigid boats, and why should you choose them over rigid hull models? Our answers in this article.


Advantage 1: Sizes and equipment choices

First of all, let's break a myth: yes, a RIB can be luxurious, have a lot of equipment, and carry a large number of passengers .

Usually, when we think of a Zodiac type boat, we imagine a boat that is certainly fun but a little modest, accommodating 2 or 3 people, or with limited functions.

In fact, it's not! We invite you to read our article on the best RIB models.

You will find that prices for RIBs can reach considerable sums, with high quality services and equipment, such as cabins, sanitary facilities, complete state-of-the-art electronic equipment, modular decks, sunbathing areas, kitchenettes and plenty of storage space.

The semi-rigid inflatable boats can also comfortably accommodate up to 20 passengers.

In short, there are hundreds of models on the market to discover, for all tastes and budgets.


Advantage 2: Maneuverability, responsiveness, speed      

Due to its light weight, a RIB is ideal for manoeuvring in tight environments, especially in harbours. This makes it an ideal choice especially for beginners, but not only!

It is no coincidence that rescue workers at sea, diving clubs, firemen or coastguards are often seen at the controls of RIBs: their manoeuvrability and responsiveness are immense.

And this "light" weight does not prevent RIBs from carrying one or more very powerful engines. Once again, make no mistake: if you are a speed enthusiast, you will have plenty of time to enjoy a semi-rigid boat!

Beware, however, that this lightness (even if, once again, it is relative to the model chosen) implies a sometimes treacherous wind grip not suitable for rough seas, especially for models under 6.5 metres.

zodiac rescue

Advantage 3: Buoyancy

Again, this may seem counter-intuitive, especially after what was said earlier, but RIB boats enjoy much better buoyancy than rigid hull models!

Because in reality, a semi-rigid boat behaves on the water a bit like a catamaran, i.e. it is always in contact with the water with the inflatable bladders.

This ensures good stability and that you don't get wet at any time. This is also due to their lower centre of gravity than rigid hull models, so it is almost impossible to capsize with a RIB. This lower centre of gravity also makes RIBs ideal for launching divers.


Advantage 4: Strength and durability

Again, RIBs will surprise you, because in reality, in many configurations, they are stronger than rigid models. The ribs, while they can of course burst, are in fact very strong and, unlike rigid boats, can absorb shocks. In fact, most ribs have a pressure relief valve that prevents a dangerous increase in tube rupture pressure.

In the event of a measured impact, the bladders will therefore be able to absorb the impact, whereas a rigid shell (often made of fibreglass) will be irreparably affected in its structure.

You can also easily buy strong fabric to repair or reinforce your socks.

On the whole,maintaining a RIB is relatively easy, and does not require any particular investment if you do the minimum on each trip.


Advantage 5: Transportation

With a lighter weight than a rigid hull - 760 kg for a 6 m boat compared to 1,020 kg for a rigid hull of the same size - the RIB is more easily transportable.

Remember that to be transported on a trailer, a boat must not exceed 2.55m in width. But as long as you can deflate and dismantle your floats, you can actually have a boat wider than this and still be able to tow it wherever you want.

The other consequence of this is that launching is also made easier. For more information on this point, see our article on launching RIBs.

Zodiac Transport

Advantage 6 : Price

If you want to treat yourself again, you have the possibility to offer a high quality product with a RIB boat.

But one of the advantages of RIBs is that they are in the entry level of boats at very affordable prices, from as little as €10,000! 



RIBs are competitive in many ways and offer unique advantages over traditional rigid hulls.

Take the time to study the characteristics of the various models offered by the plethora of manufacturers on the market, and you are sure to get satisfaction! 

Orca Retail is there to guarantee the maintenance of your future RIB boat, whether it is maintenance kits or repair cloths for your floats. 


You are passionate about boating and semi-rigid boats? 

Discover our products!


Read more about the world of RIBs :

Previous article Zodiac and Semi-Rigids repairers Bouches-du-Rhônes
Next articles How to maintain your RIB boat?

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