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  # 244
Southampton Boat Show
15th - 24th September 2006
 



The new Brig Eagle 645



The debut of the Ceasar P850

Revenger Flagship - The new 31 Tourer

One of several Ribcraft models on static display

New central location for Valiant Boats

Jon (ICOM) on left - Cookee, right with his BananaShark Seventy Seven Sports

 

Ahoy me hearties!
This year's show theme was pirates, and quite a swashbuckling range of RIBs were found on show. New suppliers with many different models from many different parts of the world now make up an extremely wide choice being offered to the British RIBster.

Alan Morgan
The first very pleasant surprise at the show was the welcome from Alan Morgan the new Chairman of National Boat Shows. Alan, who as many know, is the MD of Avon Inflatables Ltd and has certainly put the rigid inflatable boat fraternity on the map by his latest appointment.

RIBs On Display
Some two dozen RIB makes were on show manufactured from as far a field as Norway, Poland, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa and Malaysia, alongside the many models made in the UK:

Avon : Banana Shark
Bombard : Brig
Ceasar : Cougar Ribs
Goldfish : Hunton
Lodestar : Mako
Marlin : Predator
Response : Revenger
Ribeye : Rib-X
Ribcraft : Stingher
Tornado : Valiant
Willams : XS Craft
Zar : Zodiac

New Models
Several manufacturers and dealers premiered new models at the show or had brought together some great package deals, of particular note were:

Brig (Boating Sports UK)
Boating Sports made the public debut of the new Eagle 645. A worthy successor to the acclaimed Eagle 600 which has now ceased production after 6 years. Using the same proven hull design the 645 has been styled to reflect Brig's eye for form and function. This boat is completely new from the water line up, it's reported that during testing this boat exceeded 57 knots fitted with a non standard 200hp outboard! The production boats will be limited to have a maximum of 175hp.
Visit: www.brig-uk.com

Ceasar
The Ceasar P850 official launch was made at the Southampton Show. A stunning good looking boat, this model is designed to please. With a re-invented reverse chine, but utilising a new cutting edge designed hull the performance is said to be quite remarkable. Listening to Ceasar's test pilots, Kevin and Dog (Phillips) the reverse chine spray rails keep the hull firmly on track even when in +40 knot power turns! The hull has been water-tank tested and perfected at the leading marine university; Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Complementing the exceptional hull is the aesthetically appealing wrap-around console, a unique over-sized 'A' frame and the optional teak deck finish. The console can also accommodate the privacy of a sea toilet and shower within its 1500mm headroom, if desired.

Ben Donovan, director at Ceasar Marine Ltd explains, "We were looking to develop a RIB specifically for the luxury leisure market and to move RIB design forward into the 21st century. The Ceasar P850 is a vessel that is cosmetically suited as a luxury tender and sports boat. Its build quality and performance will also fulfil the most vigorous requirements of the family leisure user." Check out www.ceasarmarine.com for more info.

Revenger
Another new debutant at the show was the latest Mike Sloggett Revenger 31 Tourer. With some great finishing touches this latest craft now extends their range in the luxury yacht tender and sports boat sectors. Lots of attention to detail has resulted in some fine styling and ergonomic features on the 31.

The very deep cockpit brought about by the design incorporates externally fitted inflatable tubes. In effect the tube set could be removed and you would still have a conventional sports boat. The tubes come into effect and work with the hull under adverse sea conditions or extreme boat handling situations. Check out our full Revenger 31 review or visit Revenger’s website at: www.revenger.co.uk

Ribcraft
For the second year running Ribcraft laid on another extensive display of their model range incorporating their latest addition to the range (launched at London, Jan 06) the all new 750 Sports. Located at the show alongside Sunseeker and en route to the Guinness stand Ribcraft enjoy a very popular position. Ribcrafts are always to be found on duty doing the show patrols and this year was no exception. One of their larger models, a bright yellow and blue 11m fitted with twin 250hp Suzuki 4 stroke outboards, owned by UK Sea Safaris, was on the come and try it boat pontoons, awesome!
See: www.ribcraft.co.uk

Valiant
Valiant had moved this year to the central position in amongst the outside RIB Park area. Valiant also enjoyed a larger pitch and therefore had the benefit of more RIBs and inflatables on display than any other exhibitor. Valiant are to be congratulated in bringing to the market what are probably the best value production RIBs around. If you're looking to get on the water quickly, safely and cost effectively as either a family with a runabout or support to a diving group, Valiant are a must to check out. Some of their specials comprising boat, engine and trailer are simply great value for money and come complete with an extensive list of standard fitted equipment.
Check out: www.valiant-boats.com

More RIBs
Other RIBs on display which caught the eye were the Williams, an industry first range of turbojet 4 stroke engine tenders. A UK builder, new to the jet tender market sector with a quality of products challenging Avon for the crown 'king of jets'. A RIB range strangely titled 'Goldfish', as these luxury yacht tenders come in at 29ft and 25ft in length you would never get one in a goldfish bowl! Built in Norway these models are truly luxury with price tags to suit. Cookee from BananaShark recently returned from racing on the Red Sea and with his raceboat still on ship somewhere in the Mediterranean brought along his BananaShark Seventy Seven. Sporting the hull from the raceboat design it's suitably fitted out with sports console and seating.
See: www.bananasharkracing.com

A new cabin RIB, Response 870, built in Malaysia was found on the pontoons. Constructed of an epoxy e-glass laminate with Corecell foam the Response 870 is extremely light. With design criteria based on weight reduction and maximum strength the displacement weight without engine comes in at 1.1 tonnes for this 8.7m craft. The Cougar sports RIB also on the pontoons was interesting, with a race bred pedigree and powered by a single Honda 175hp fourstroke the boat sped to 58 mph effortlessly. The hull was very soon on the plane and the ride so smooth that no real sensation of the speed could be felt. With a 250hp on this hull it should be awesome.