Skip to Navigation Skip to Content


Early adoption

The inflatable collar or sponson that attaches to a conventional rigid hulled boat was conceived as fendering to assist life boats in coming alongside. It quickly became clear that this 'fendering' was actually a breakthrough in boat design giving exceptional sea keeping, safety and a 'variable geometry' hull that helps to absorb shock loads in big seas.

Atlantic 21' Lifeboats

The RNLI named their first Ribs after the College and the Atlantics have been the mainstay of the RNLI inshore rescue fleet ever since, although they are now bigger and faster versions designated Atlantic 75's and 85's. The RNLI makes all of its Ribs at its own Rib building facility in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

Leisure market

Boatbuilders were quick to adapt the design to a retail specification. The market has grown exponentially over the last forty years. 4m Avon Sea Riders have given way to boats that are not uncommonly 8m in length. Solent Rib Charter have a 15m cabin Rib in build.

Offshore production

Many well known UK manufacturers have 'offshored' their production but the majority of serious 'commercial' boats are still produced in the UK by firms like Ribcraft, Halmatic, Delta and MST. Solent Rib Charter have purchased some forty Ribcraft boats from new over the last fifteen years.

Talk to us
Do you have an event in mind? Send us your details using the form below or have a quick chat with one of our experts on 01590 607101.

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Return to the Top of the Page