Solent RIB Ride in a Rigid Inflatable Boat, Simply Awesome Speedboats!
It’s fair to say there are a few perks working at Fresh Egg – copious amounts of Tea and Coffee, many cake fests but the best perks of all involve our clients and boy did we have a treat on Saturday thanks to Jonny, Louise and Bev at http://www.ribsforsale.com/.
For those of you who may have thought that a RIB was something you devour at your local Chinese restaurant, read on and discover the real meaning of the term RIB.
Let me just state that I am no way a sailor, other than a booze-cruise to Bilbao and a few cross-channel ferries to Calais and Dieppe I have no authority upon boats at all, so on Saturday I was the total laymen.
For those of you that had not got the Blog title, RIB is the acronym for ‘Rigid Inflatable Boat’ or the water equivalent of Grease Lightning!
So back to Saturday, and a drive down to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth to rendezvous with Jonny from RibsforSale. We were supposed to hit the Solent two weeks ago, but in fairness we bottled it after reading the early weather forecast, Adam and I thought it may be a little chilly for us. In retrospect the decision was correct as the weather on Saturday went as high as the mid 20′s and both Portsmouth and The Solent looked glorious because of it.
The sun was shining, there was not a cloud to be seen in the sky and there was no wind at all – From our viewpoint on the Quayside at Gunwharf, all looked calm and to be fair I could not wait to get into the RIB and head over to the Isle of Wight for lunch. We were being treated to a ride in a 7.8 metre Ballistic RIB which is similar to the one pictured below.
Firstly we had to fuel the boat; so after embarking and putting on the obligatory life-jackets – we were off! A quick trip to other side of the harbour found us at a floating petrol station filling up! As we took the short journey across the port, the Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers were clearly in view although I believe there is an exclusion zone around the ships now due to Terrorist threats! Once filled we were off; and in a short space of time we had left the calm waters of the protected harbour and were out into The Solent. At this stage there was a decided difference in the Sea, going out into the open sea led to a slightly choppier ride – it was at this time that Jonny put hit the throttle and opened the engine up – oh boy, a RIB can really move.
You might not think it but these RIB’s can hit as high as 60mph, so does that make a RIB a speedboat? Maybe not traditionally to look at, but in raw aggression these things really shift, and doing 60mph is somewhat different to doing 60mph in a car. In no time at all we were cutting a swathe through The Solent. The hazy outline of The Isle of Wight soon became clearer as the raw horsepower at one stage took us to 55mph. Jonny soon relinquished control of the RIB to Adam (our MD) who quickly found the knack of acceleration – Adam was in his element and was pushing the RIB as hard as his metal would allow him. We did hit one big wave which brought Adam’s speed rushes back down to sensible levels, in no time at all we arrived in Cowes and followed harbour route until we reached our destination point of The Folly.
The Folly let me tell you was a very busy pub that served some very nice food; serving the people on the many boats who were cruising up and down the River Medina, here is how the official website of The Folly describes the location: “The Folly is a rustic pub perched on the banks of the River Medina, just up the river from Cowes in Whippingham, with lovely views from a large beer garden and patio. The Folly Inn is easily accessible by road or boat with its own mooring attracting a large number of both yachtsman and motor boat people along with tourists and visitors to nearby Osborne House. A friendly river taxi ‘The Folly Waterbus’ can transport you up the river from Cowes.”
After being refreshed at The Jolly we re-boarded the RIB for the return leg back to Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays. Our route back was longer than our initial trip to the Isle of Wight. With Adam at the controls again we were soon experiencing high speeds on what was now a really warm afternoon. The chill from The Solent had now been burnt away by the bright April sun.
On our way back to Portsmouth we went right up close to two of the sea forts that were built back in the 19th Century to help protect Portsmouth from invading forces.
The Sea Forts are stunning feats of architecture which were built by hand with Spitbank Fort now a successful Events Venue. The journey from the final Sea Fort back to Gunwharf Quays seemed to take no time whatsoever. At one time the Spinnaker Tower was just visible in the distance but then in a matter of minutes this huge structure loomed into view.
This was my first time on a speedboat and to be honest I loved every minute of it. During lunch we were debating how people would be searching for this type of boat in a Search Engine. Would it be ‘speedboat’, ‘fast boat’, ‘motor boat’; we all decided that RIB would not be the search of choice, purely for the fact there are so many people who are unaware of the whole RIB phenomenon. To be honest I had no idea what a RIB was until we started work on the site; but now that I have experienced the thrill that Rigid Inflatable Boat can offer I have to say that I am hoping we get another invitation from the team at Ribs for Sale.
If you are looking for a new toy to play with, you could do a lot worse then get yourself a RIB. So how are RIBS different to normal speedboats? Well, for one you don’t have to moor a RIB, a RIB can be safely stored in a driveway on a trailer and taken to and from the shore at the owners leisure. I was talking to my partners cousin’s husband yesterday at a BBQ and was showing him the footage of my RIB ride and he got on to tell me that his Brother had a boat not so long ago, but had to get rid of due the expensive mooring fees. It makes the use of a RIB even more inviting and cost effective.
My education of RIBS is at a level where I now have a little taster for RIBS, they’re fun, they’re quick and they are flexible, there is not a lot that you cannot do in a RIB that you would do in another type of boat or speedboat.
From parts of the south coast if you have a RIB you can reach France and Guernsey in a matter of hours, and at the same time you can get out onto the sea and have some exhilarating fun.
You can experience the thrill of a RIB for yourself as RibsforSale.com in one of their monthly demonstrations at Gunwharf Quays – visit Ribs for Sale for more details.