Unless you have been out of the waters for a while, then you have probably heard about inflatable boats. Or as some boaters would call them RIBs which stands for rigid inflatable boats. There are many benefits to inflatable boats when you compare them to their traditional counterparts, all of which we will be listing today.
If you have been thinking about buying a boat but are now switching over to considering rigid inflatable boats, then we have got you covered. Below are our top picks for the five best rigid inflatable boats.
Table of Contents
- What Are RIBs?|Rigid Inflatable Boats
- What are the Top 5 Best Rigid Inflatable Boats?
- Why are Rigid Inflatable Boats so Popular?
- The Takeaway | Are Rigid Inflatable Boats for You or Are You More Traditional?
What Are RIBs?|Rigid Inflatable Boats
Luckily, rigid inflatable boats are not one of those terms with confusing definitions. The truth is in the name. Rigid inflatable boats are inflatable boats that have structure (a deck, a bow, transoms, all sorts of layouts to maximize top speed and performance). They are very stable and easy to use.
Over the years, rigid inflatable boats seem to be taking over and they have many advantages over traditional hard-hull boats.
Rigid inflatable boats get their name from their construction or the way they were built. They were built with a hard v-hull with inflatable sliding. Due to this unique design, rigid inflatable boats are both tough and versatile.
Rigid inflatable boats originated at Atlantic College in Wales. They were used as high-performance, rough-water rescue crafts. This is because rigid inflatable boats were designed for the toughest weather conditions. They are not prone to abrasions or damage, even at the seams. And, if you do, pick up an emergency repair kit.
Their functionality is also a reason why so many people know about them and are interested in them. Not only are they popular with the general public but also with the United States Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and even law enforcement.
When it comes to rigid inflatable boats, it is best to know that they are popular for a reason. If you are curious and want to know which rigid inflatable boats you should be keeping an eye out for, then you are in luck. We will not only give you one, but we will give you five options.
What are the Top 5 Best Rigid Inflatable Boats?
Please note that although these rigid inflatable boats are numbered, they are in no particular order. Each rigid inflatable boat listed below has features that make them stand out; therefore, it is best to see which option sounds best to you.
Each of these boat options has received great reviews from customers.
1. Zodiac Boats
- First, on our list, we have Zodiac Boats. Zodiac Boats are quite popular so you might have already heard of them.
- This is because these manufacturers’ Boats have made quite a name for themselves in the marine industry. Not only do they look great but Zodiac Boats are known for being well built and most importantly, reasonably priced.
- One of the main reasons people opt to not buy a boat is because they do not have thousands of dollars to invest in a fishing boat or if they do, they feel like it is too much money.
- However, Zodiac Boats eliminates that choice.
- Zodiac Boats offer great vessels at great prices. Don’t believe us? Be sure to check them out for yourself.
- Zodiac Boats have a low center of gravity as well as a deep V-Hull design which in turn, makes for a better ride.
- The design for the Zodiac Boats is also quite interesting since the buoyancy design is on the outside edges of the boat. This is done so the outside edges of the vessel will complement the V-hull. In turn, this will generate great stability.
- There is a reason why Zodiac Boats are so well known and if you are looking into buying Zodiac Boats, there are plenty of reviews for you to check out.
2. BRIG Boats
- Next on our list of boat builders, we have the Brig Boats.
- Now we did mention that these rigid inflatable boats are not in any particular order but if we had to choose one that you should look into, we would choose Brig Boats.
- This is because Brig Boats’ vessels are known to be top quality. They offer luxury boats to increase comfort and top speed.
- Brig Boats take the number spot, selling wise, in the United Kingdom, Australia, Holland, and even Sweden.
- People love their versatility. There is enough room for all your rod holders or a swim platform and ladder.
- They also love their style and quality.
3. Ribcraft Boats
- Ribcraft Boats are also a great rigid inflatable boat brand to look into.
- Ribcraft Boats were made to go the distance so you do not have to worry whether or not you have to stick around the store with this one.
- Ribcraft Boats were designed to do well in offshore conditions.
- Ribcraft Boats have customers from all different fields whether it be recreational, commercial, or emergency.
- If you are someone that lives in an area where the conditions or waters seem to be on the rougher end, then you should consider a Ribcraft Boat. This is because Ribcraft Boats were created to handle the toughest conditions.
- Ribcraft Boats have a lot of loyal customers but the majority of their customer base seems to come from professional boaters who spend the majority of their day on the water.
4. Zar Formenti
- Zar Formenti boats have been around for quite a while, more than twenty years.
- Zar Formenti boats were established in the year 1979. The brand has been specializing in rigid inflatable boats and twenty years later, that has not changed.
- Today, the ZAR by Formenti boats is one of the main boat products on the European market.
- Zar Formenti boats are unique. They feature rubberized parts and these rubberized parts have high-tenacity polyester fabric as well as CR coating. This is great because they are proven to be quite a reliable boat brand.
- Zar Formenti boats have a versatile range and they are also easy to use.
- If you are a first-time rigid inflatable boat user, then you should consider Zar Formenti boats as an option. Why? Because they are reviewed to be quite easy to use and they are also very comfortable.
- Do not forget that Zar Formenti boats have been around for a while so they know what they are doing as a company.
- As of now, Zar Formenti boats currently utilizes CNC. CNC stands for computer numerical control. They use these computer numerical control machines to ensure the precision of all of their prototypes, molds, as well as a full size.
- Ending our list, we have what else, but Walker Bay Boats.
- Walker Bay Boats are not only well known with local boaters but also with the Marine industry as a whole.
- This is because Walker Bay Boats, as a company, know what they are doing. They target specific buyers so instead of casting a wide net, hoping to catch anyone, they do think about their customer base.
- If you are looking to buy a smaller boat or if you prefer a smaller boat experience then you will want to look into Walker Bay Boats.
- They are not super fancy but that is why most people like them.
- Walker Bay Boats make a center-console steel vessel in addition to a series of tenders. This makes it so it is easy for you to transport back and forth.
- If you are worried about spending a lot of money on a rigid inflatable boat that will not last, then let Walker Bay Boats put your worries to rest.
- Walker Bay Boats promises that their boats were made to last. They standby their products and their customer retention record seems to back this up.
Why are Rigid Inflatable Boats so Popular?
There are plenty of reasons why rigid inflatable boats are so popular but here are a few:
- They are lightweight:
- Rigid inflatable boats are lighter than traditional boats thanks to their inflatable sliding and laminate hull construction. This not only makes them faster but also fuel-efficient and easier for storage. Often, the heaviest individual component is the full fuel tank.
- They are powerful:
- Yes, they are quite powerful. When you think of anything that is “inflatable” you might not consider them powerful but you will be surprised at how much power a rigid inflatable boat is. Many come with outboard motors.
- They are stable:
- Rigid inflatable boats get their great stability thanks to their hard-hull. The hard-full, inflatable-collar combination gives rigid inflatable boats their strong stability and great handling when compared to their traditional counterparts.
- They are easy to use/maneuver:
- Because rigid inflatable boats are lighter than traditional boats, it makes them easy to use and maneuver.
- It would be a great choice for beginning boaters.
- They are fast/quick:
- Due to their lightweight, they are a lot faster than you might think, reaching high mph fast due to their lightweight and powerful engines.
The Takeaway | Are Rigid Inflatable Boats for You or Are You More Traditional?
We live in a world that is constantly evolving and that goes for technology as well. Before, only those with a lot of money to spare would consider buying a boat. However, with the invention of rigid inflatable boats, that dream can become a reality for many more people.
If you have been wanting a boat for a while but were iffy about it due to expenses, then we hope you will consider rigid inflatable boats. Rigid inflatable boats seem to be taken over the waters and we would not be surprised if they soon overtake traditional boats one day.