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RIB Experience Days & Gifts

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A RIB is the ideal vessel to nip down the Thames or the Solent.

Reinforced inflatable boats are nippy, lightweight and incredibly fast, and best of all, you don’t even need to drive! Your experienced skipper doubles up as your tour guide for the day (this is deliberate) and may actually say words like ‘port’ or ‘starboard’.

Or maybe not. Depending on the location you choose, you may even get to experience the sheer power and agility of a RIB in open water. Wowee! Hold on tight for an extreme yet super-safe thrill that the whole family can enjoy.


Q: Oh yes, my RIB adventure, can’t wait for that with all it’s... things.
A: You don’t know what a RIB is do you?
Q: Not exactly, no.
A: Don’t feel sad and inadequate. RIB is an acronym for Rigid Inflatable Boat. It’s a super sturdy, massively speedy water-going craft, that gets incredibly fast and fairly bouncy as you power along within it. They are astoundingly manoeuvrable.
Q: Goodness, I was way off. What will my relationship with this vessel be?
A: You’ll be a white-knuckled passenger, as you zoom across the surface of the water at such as clip that you’ll tell your grandchildren about it.
Q: But I have my ‘usual trouble’ most of the time?
A: Most of our Powerboating goes down in the delightful Solent area of Hampshire, near the thoroughly nautical environs of Southampton.
Q: But what if I live many, many, many miles from there?
A: Don’t worry, from the looks of you, it should be fine. The RIB fun is not suitable for pregnant women or people with back, neck or leg injuries. If you’re not sure if a medical issue applies, just ask us.
Q: Should I bring along the lifejacket I made out of boxes and foil?
A: You can leave it in the lock-up! Any equipment required and any forms of safety apparatus will be supplied on the day.
Q: But I like bringing things along...
A: Then bring along a change of clothes. This experience is both wet and wild, so as a consequence, you get a little damp. Try to dress appropriately for the weather on the day of your activity and wear flat soled footwear, like trainers.
Q: And Sebastopol Jr? What about her?
A: Usually the minimum age is 8 years for the RIB experience and under 18s must be accompanied by a participating adult. But we also have a kids RIB adventure on the Thames for little ones up to the age of 16.
Q: Will I ever see the sweet fields and gullies of England ever again?
A: We make sure that safety is paramount with all our extreme activities. All boats have been certified by the Maritime Coastal Agency and have on board the latest safety equipment. As well as having an inbuilt VHF Radio on the boat, crew also carry at least one hand held radio as back up. And the skipper and crew are as qualified as it is plausibly possible to be. But if you have any questions in this area, then just ask the supplier or contact us.

Fun Facts

  • 1. The first commercial RIB is believed to be the Searider which was launched at the January 1969 London Boat Show. I can’t imagine it was the only rigid, inflatable thing at the show – it was the sixties after all.
  • 2. The history of the inflatable boat may go back as far as 880 BC, when the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II ordered his troops to cross a river using greased animal skins, which they inflated continuously to keep afloat. It was either a smart tactical move or a very early version of Total Wipeout.
  • 3. In 1844, a Lieutenant Halkett designed a circular inflatable boat which was used in several Arctic expeditions. Great for crossing rivers and also if you have sat for too long on cold surfaces.
  • 4. In 1867, Captain John Mikes and two able seamen crossed the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Southampton on a three tube raft called Nonpareil. And of course, as air travel hadn’t yet been invented, they had no choice except to raft back again.
  • 5. In the 1950s, the French Naval officer and biologist Alain Bombard was the first to combine the outboard engine, a rigid floor and a boat shaped inflatable. But I’ll leave it there, I don’t want to bombard you with Bombard facts.
  • 6. The first lifeboat station in Britain was at Formby beach, established in 1776 by William Hutchinson. Why didn’t they take his name and call it a ‘Willy Hutch’? Oh yes, now I can see why.
  • 7. The RNLI was founded on 4 March 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, with Royal Patronage from George IV. Shame they didn’t keep the original name as it almost spells out ‘nipples’.
  • 8. For his cameo in the 1944 film Lifeboat, director Alfred Hitchcock decided to pose for ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos for a fictional weight-loss drug, ‘Reduco’, shown in a newspaper ad which was in the boat. Which was better than his original idea of dressing up like a giant seagull.