RIBEX 2001 photo feature
by John Kennett
May 18-20 saw the RIBEX exhibition take over Ocean Village, Southampton for the second year after moving here from Weymouth. It's a high profile site, but the lack of access to challenging conditions is a pity as Southampton Water hardly compares to Portland Bill as a RIB trial area! However there was plenty to see, with several new developments on show.
Zodiac International were showing off a Zodiac Hurricane 633 fitted with foam filled tubes and equipped with Ullman suspension seats and handlebar controls.Studies by the US Navy indicate that this system reduces the impact on the body by up to 70% compared with sitting, and up to 40% compared to standing.
Coastline RIBs also have a new seating design, this one featuring substantial wrap around supports combined with a fairly conventional jockey seat.
Zodiac's Open Pro 650 features a console with a neatly recessed side mount throttle control box. An interesting alternative to using top mount controls.
Lee Fairweather of Fairweather Marine was raving about the new 1.7 litre compact diesel from Mercruiser. He reckons that it will push a 6 metre RIB at 50 miles an hour!
The stunning race version of Mark Pascoe's SportRIB with its Ocke Mannerfelt hull was finished just in time for the show after an all night session to get it ready. Team Pascoe seemed to have cornered the market for Red Bull on Friday! They also managed to get a brand new leisure version, based on the same hull, ready in time for the show.
Scorpion RIBS had an open boat and a cabin RIB on display, featuring matching turquoise tubes -- certainly distinctive! They looked particularly sleek contrasted with the military spec Halmatic on the next berth. Graham Jelley was telling anyone who stood still long enough all about the new cabin RIB that is in production at the moment. It will be a top quality ten metre, twin inboard engined, cabin RIB with a whole list of items normally relegated to the options list, and should be available in time for the start of next season.
Another cabin RIB, this one from Ribtec. A serious cruising boat, with twin diesel engines and more space inside than most.
Finally, the Landau 20. I don't care what anyone says -- this is not a RIB! Ribeye may make the "tubes", but they are no more than inflatable fenders.