HotRIBS - The online RIB Magazine
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  # 151
RIB Round Up - 50th London Boat Show
8th - 18th January 2004



Polymarine provide the most comprehensive holding of wholesale and retail RIB products in the UK. Everything that's needed to build and repair and maintain a RIB is available from their catalogue. They are a leading supplier of all Avon & Bombard products, and the UK and Ireland distributors of the Italian Nuova Jolly (King RIBs) and Caribe, SIBs and RIBs range.

For more information visit:

Three new radios were showcased by Icom and some may be of interest to RIBsters.

All hand helds, the first being the new PMR 446 which is licence free. Unsuitable for offshore use but OK for keeping in touch with others when in close proximity to each other. Perfect for marina's and inland waterways and being licence free anyone can use the radio to keep in touch, including the kids.

Professional users will find the IC-F51 for VHF & the IC-F61 for UHF marine frequencies are the first waterproof Icom handportables for the Private Mobile Radio Market.

The final showcased model was their IC-M31 VHF designed to be simple to use. At under 160 this radio represents great value for money.

Icom have just completed a major overall and expansion of their website. Each product page contains downloadable items including Manuals and Leaflets.

For more information visit:


Four new boats were presented at the show by Zodiac. Three being their latest models in the updated and remarkable Futura inflatable boat range. The other was the debut of the new Yachtline YL 420 Deluxe RIB. This year's larger stand permitted not only the display of more boats but also the inclusion of the flagship luxury Medline III.

The new Futuras ( soft hull inflatable boats - SIBs) incorporate a 20% larger tube with truncated cone ends. They also have a 25% deeper interior offering a more comfortable seating arrangement and a better feeling of being 'inside' the boat. The inflatable hull design incorporates twin speed tubes which are 50% larger.

The Futuras come in three sizes 3.7m, 4.1m and 4.5m, and a choice of three floor types, aluminium (for high strength), plywood (economical and simple to use) and H2P (light and compact). These craft reach remarkable speeds with moderately sized outboards (60hp max on the largest Futura).

The YL 420 DL introduces a new hull design specially adapted to four stroke engines and provides for instant on the plane, without rearing up. Its deep V hull and high console provide a comfortable ride.

The new Yachtline 420 Deluxe improvements are applied across the range to include the 340 and 380 models. These changes mark a decisive development in Zodiac's concept of yacht tenders.

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New to the RIB scene in 2003 and operating out of Denton, Manchester, (Inspector Frost country) they displayed two RIBs from their sport range. The 5.3m and the 5.8m. The range also includes a 6.3m model all at very competitive prices.

The characteristics of this new range of RIB are unknown and I look forward to having a trial on them later in the year. If any current owners can add their views to the HotRIBS forum it would be greatly appreciated.


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At the show Yamaha announced that with immediate effect Yamaha Motor (UK) has taken over the UK distribution of the 4.55 to 7.4m Classic and Freeway RIB ranges of Ribtec of Southampton.

Ken Watson representing Yamaha told me that.. "Ribtec packages are part of a larger Yamaha pan-European initiative to build on existing boat partnerships and create new opportunities to increase customer choice of Yamaha powered boat packages."

Yamaha and Ribtec also supplied RIBster Alan Priddy, culminating in a World circumnavigation. As a result Alan has travelled some 200,000 sea miles with Yamaha and Ribtec.

I find it's interesting to track down those smaller specialist companies at the boat shows. Not carrying 'full blown' international branding they understand quickly the requirements of their customers, the end user, and respond immediately.

Ravenspring, the specialist dry suit manufacturer is one of those companies who in the turmoil of the show manage to listen intently to your specific needs. It's very important that you buy the best and most cost effective clothing system for your specific needs. It's quite literally a matter of survival!

Ravenspring have a new mail order brochure out for 2004.

For more information visit:


An entirely new range of wetsuits designed by Stuart Hutchins (formally Gull & Sola) was launched at the show. Suitable for every variety of surface watersports Pulse wetsuits come in a variety of fashionable colours.

With a choice of one piece, shorty or long john and 20 different sizes I was impressed with the cost. Starting from 29.95 to 69.95 they looked very good value for money for such a pedigree suit.

For more information visit:

Gecko Head Gear
For as long as I can remember, I've been stopping off at the Gecko stand to speak with Jeff. A bright smile and cheeky grin always makes one welcome.

On this occasion Jeff was over the moon and led me to the Honda Marine stand to point out the helmets worn by all the mannequins. You've guessed, Gecko Head Gear. Obviously this, albeit small, company from Cornwall is proving to be a success.

For more information visit: