The other RIB manufacturer there with a presence were Highfield, via Bosun's locker (there were also some SIBs but I didn't study them). They had two boats:
- a cute wee 3.9m with a 20HP Honda on the back (pic 2 and 4) which, as the owner of a similar sized arrangement, looked rather fun.
- 5.4m boat coupled to a 90HP (pic 3) which should appeal across a range of markets. It would be interesting to try that seating arrangement for real, but unlike the big shows down south there wasn't a chance to try any of the RIBs afloat. (Anyone thinking of going tomorrow might be interested to know that there was a chance for kids to have a shot in a sailing dinghy though).
I've never studied an Aluminium RIB close up before and the finishing on the welding surprised me a little (pic 5). Perhaps this is normal - but I expected something a little less industrial looking for the leisure market.
Finally there is an odd little feature on the front of the boat (pic1)- I couldn't work out its for?
Overall - its an OK couple of hours - its obviously not Southampton, but it is free and with various marine and non-marine side shows too. Interestingly the kids found the whole experience interesting and seemed to enjoy the concept of spending money we don't have!