This was my first visit to a Ribex exhibition and admittedly I had expected something a little busier, particularly in view of the extensive marketing of the show. Yes, the lack of trade stands was disappointing, although having visited the London and Southampton boat shows this year I didn't necessarily feel the need to peruse racks of clothing and accessories. On the other hand some visitors may well have wanted to and certainly a bit more in the way of electronics would have been interesting.
The real purpose of my visit, however, and I suspect that of the majority of show goers, was to sea trial an array of RIBs and engines to gain a better insight into what differences exist between specific engine/boat combinations. In this respect the show was superb and there was no shortage of available RIBs to hitch a ride on.
Particularly memorable from my point of view was the blast in the 7m Humber Ocean Pro with Suzuki 200hp where the helmsman ably demonstrated the massive mid-range performance of the V6 and quite astonishing sea-keeping characteristics of the hull. The 715 Revenger coupled with Honda 150 made an interesting comparison, and although we reached 50mph fairly rapidly, felt relatively pedestrian after the Humber!!! The show also afforded the opportunity to trial the new Evinrude ETecs for the first time in public, and the twin 90s on the Redbay were impressively quiet.
It's always much easier to criticise these events than it is to organise them of course, and I think on balance Hugo Montgomery-Swan should be congratulated on putting together what is undoubtedly a difficult and complex event to arrange. The pricing was more than reasonable and the Red Funnel High Speed Ferry link proved very effective. I certainly had a great and highly educative day and was able to trial more RIBs in one day than I could possibly hope to do in an average season. Well worth the effort to get there!