PALM BEACH 2014 VIDEO: Builders offer bevy of RIBs

A Ribcraft on display at the recent Palm Beach International Boat Show.

A Ribcraft on display at the recent Palm Beach International Boat Show.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — I was surprised by the number of rigid hull inflatable boats in the 20- to 40-foot range — both open and pilothouse versions — that were on display at the Palm Beach International Boat Show.

During a 30-minute walkthrough at the show, I clicked off photos of RIBS from eight manufacturers: HIB, Pirelli, Ribcraft, Zodiac, Capelli, Protector, Novurania and San Juan.

You might be surprised that San Juan Yachts, a manufacturer of luxury Down East-style day cruising boats, is now offering a RIB.

"We are not moving away from what we have historically done," said Donald M. Campbell, owner of the Anacortes, Wash., company. "We are adding to what we offer. The [luxury day cruiser] market has slowed down for us out west. This is a departure, for sure, and we're very excited."

Campbell was showing his new San Juan 32 RIB, powered with twin 300-hp Mercury Verado outboards. She can cruise at 30 knots and tops out at over 55 knots.

Campbell has watched the rise in popularity of pilothouse RIBs for recreational use. "We thought we would look at what is on the market and offer some improvements," he said. "We offer a nice separate head and ample headroom. We have galley and fridge modules. We have tried to make the pilothouse roomier."

The pilothouse RIB market has great potential, especially on the West Coast, he said. "Seas can be rough on the West Coast, and with this boat you don't have to pick your weather — you can run," Campbell said. "There is a reason why the military uses RIBS — they give you a soft, predictable ride in nasty weather."


Wholesale Shipments Drop in September

NMMA: Easing supply chain constraints should enable more manufacturers to build boats.

Dealers: What’s Your 2021 Retail Outlook?

The monthly Pulse Report asks marine retailers to weigh in on November market conditions.

2020 On Track for More Than 300,000 Boat Registrations

It’s the highest number since 2007, when there were almost 400,000 boats registered for the year.

A United Industry Voice Impacts Summer Sales

The comprehensive collective effort of the Get on Board campaign was a key factor in generating boatloads of new customers.

Boating Writer Scholarship Now Open

The BWI Active Interest Media Boating Journalist Scholarship is now accepting applications through January 15. College students are encouraged to apply for the $3,000 scholarship.

Quick Hits: November 24, 2020

Bluewater Yacht Sales expands; ICOMIA issues yacht coatings guide; and Elcome expands forecasting services.

Iris Innovations Launches Garmin OneHelm Compatible Camera and Alarm Management System

The UK-based company’s new products allow users to manage all onboard cameras and alarms via Garmin MFDs.