A Guide to RIB Boats

Rigid, inflatable buoyancy (RIB) boats are craft constructed from lightweight, rugged materials. They derive their resilience to sinking from air tubes, which are joined to their hulls. If you are looking for an affordable RIB for sale, eBay is the right place to shop.

Types of RIB boats

The basic RIB engineering concept can be applied to many types of watercraft:

  • Cabin cruisers - RIB cabin cruiser hulls can be made from fibreglass, aluminium, or composite plastic. These RIBs range from small utilitarian vessels to more luxurious craft that are loaded with interior and exterior amenities.
  • Dinghies - RIB dinghies tend to be more stable and manoeuvrable once they are in the water than conventional inflatable dinghies. This is because the RIB contoured, V-shaped hull design rises up and climbs toward the surface of the water automatically so that RIB dinghies are able to stay on plane with little effort.
  • Fishing boats - RIB fishing boats are common throughout Europe. Their buoyancy is a tremendous advantage on rough seas.
  • Folded RIBs - Some RIB boats are designed with three-section articulating hulls, which allow them to be folded more easily when they are on land.
  • Amphibious RIBS - Amphibious RIBS are equipped with motorised, retractable wheels, which allow them to be used as a motor vehicle on land.
What are RIB air tubes made from?

Affordable RIB air tubes are commonly made from one of three materials:

  • Hypalon - Hypalon is the brand name for a type of chlorosulfonated polyethylene synthetic rubber that is manufactured by the Tosoh Corporation of Japan. Hypalon is not completely airtight, so the compound is combined with the synthetic rubber Neoprene in RIB boats for sale.
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) - PVC air tubes have a functional life of approximately 10 to 15 years. It is an inexpensive option for manufacturing RIB air tubes.
  • Polyurethane (PU) - PU is extremely tough, and sturdy PU air tubes will often last for 20 years.
What can you look for when you are buying a used RIB boat?

In many ways, buying a used RIB boat is not dissimilar from buying any other type of used boat. Part of the RIB boat design, however, is a distinctive V-shaped hull. You will need to consider whether there is sufficient protection at the helm for you and the others with whom you will be sharing your boat. You also need to see high-resolution pictures of all metal fixtures and fittings so that you can check for rust. If rust is present, you need to have a plan in place for dealing with corrosion.