Ribcraft recently made the first of what’s to be multiple deliveries to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife of their 5.85 meter (19 feet, 4 inches) rigid-inflatable crafts. The first two boats went to the department’s southern districts that cover Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
According to the builder, they were chosen by the CDFW for their versatility — an open deck is ideal for officers and their gear, and the RIBs can be easily launched and towed — as well as the seamanship and ease of operation common to these vessels.
The Marblehead, Mass.-based builder outfitted the boats with a heavy-duty T-top with windshield, full Raymarine electronics package and Shockwave suspension-mitigating seating. The first two vessels are powered by a single, 115-hp Yamaha outboard, good for speeds over 40 mph.
“Ribcraft is proud to be working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and look forward to supplying our professional grade RIBs to the State for years to come,” the builder said in a statement.
Ribcraft also announced plans to build shipboard RIBs for the CDFW’s long-range fleet, vessels made to be launched on rescue and boarding operations up to 200 miles offshore.
The builder says they plan on utilizing the same hull, with a modified layout.