Rigid Inflatable Boats : RIBS and Inflatables
[ rib reviews ]
  # 020
Scorpion Pioneer
Review by Kevin Goulding
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" The new Pioneer did
not disappoint.."

Scorpion Ribs

" 10mm toughed glass.."

10m of Sheer Delight
An invitation from Graham Jelley, the 'boss' of Scorpion RIBs, to be the first for a preview of the latest addition to their range was readily accepted, even on a crisp and foggy November day! Scorpion's Pioneer has been developed to bridge the gap between their open model RIBs and their 10m Cruiser range for the 2007 season.

Scorpion performance is legendary with many offshore world records broken, along with some remarkable endurance expeditions all undertaken by Graham’s devoted customers in his expertly crafted boats. Performance and quality are key words simply demonstrated by the Scorpion ethos.

The Pioneer as its name suggests is also the first model out of the new mouldings and was still in the process of final fit-out. Built around Scorpion’s renowned record-breaking hull design, several optional items including a fridge and galley amongst others were still waiting to be fitted. The vessel was however sea going commissioned and was able to be launched for a demo of its full capabilities.


First impressions were dominated by the enormous cabin windscreen which weighs 60kg. It’s made from 10mm toughened glass, with foul weather visibility maintained by a massive single HD wiper. It reminded me of the latest Virgin Express Pendolino trains with its wrap around open view. A serious piece of toughened glass at, I guess, a serious amount of £'s.

This latest cabin layout is in response to listening to customers needs. As Graham explained, " They told us they wanted the open feel and thrill of a RIB ride but with greater levels of protection and security. And as our design team are always wanting to go one better, they’re naturally innovative and are always on the lookout for new ideas, and we came up with this new covered cockpit design."

For me, I'm not too sure about the latest aesthetics but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Scorpion finish their craft beautifully for sure. My lasting impression however was of seeing a cygnet which turned into a swan, but more of that later.



As to be expected from Scorpion, build quality was second to none. Fitted out with pop-up stainless steel cleats, electric anchor windlass controlled remotely from the helm, teak cockpit and cabin sole, marine toilet, the latest Scorpion design racing-style seat bolsters and a forward deck accessed through a front hatch. Like all Scorpion RIBs, every part is made in-house, apart from the stainless steel and the cushions, all of which are made locally in Lymington. This means that Scorpion keep a careful watch on every stage of construction. And with every vessel made to order, customers can choose which design and fit-out options best serve their requirements. The Pioneer can also be built with a stepped hull or an open deck, and optional features include berths, a toilet, shower, microwave and even a barbeque.

Graham Jelley added, “As a high performance family vessel combining speed, safety and comfort, the Pioneer can genuinely fill a hole in the market - one that has, until now, prevented many people from experiencing the sheer enjoyment of RIBs. This is a truly unique craft that is beautifully designed and built – we’re really very proud of it. What more can I say?”


Silky Smooth
This first Pioneer has been fitted with twin 300hp Yamaha HPDI outboards and an array of electronics by the owner including radar with twin Raymarine E120 GPS/plotters and twin VHF radios, auto pilot and a night vision camera!

Onboard, with a feeling of spaciousness, the ergonomics and the clear view from the aerodynamic covered cockpit was very refreshing and immediately impressed me as being a very comfortable RIB to be on. Once we cleared the fog of the Lymington River and arrived in the clear Solent air it was time to feel the pace of this new breed of Pioneer. This new Scorpion did not disappoint.

A smooth transition from semi-displacement to planing speed followed by reaching cruising speed at around 40kts and then hitting a top speed of 56kts was sheer delight. All within one minute, incredible. The hull performed silky smooth and the power units matched perfectly the 10m hull with its full fuel payload.

It was so much fun to drive with the very responsive power assisted hydraulic steering.

Scorpion Ribs

" great fun to drive.."

Scorpion Ribs

" overall room and comfort
was astounding.."


Scorpion Ribs

" full length cabin and heads.."

" extensive electronics compliments the cockpit.."


In Summary:
Tight high speed turns to port or starboard were completed without any slippage or concerns. Doing 56kts seemed like 30kts when enclosed within the wind and weather protected covered cockpit. The cockpit was light and airy. All round vision was superb and the elbow room and overall comfort was astounding. The Pioneer simply carved through the sea, the harder it was pushed the more remarkable the performance. I've never been on a more comfortable and responsive RIB, ever. This RIB marries sports performance with cruising comfort exceptionally well. A cygnet transformed into a swan!

If you are in the market for dry RIB riding at this level of quality, performance and price it's essential to put the Pioneer through its paces. It’s a must to put this one on your list for a trial.

November 2006

Scorpion Pioneer RIB

Scorpion Pioneer 10m - with twin 300hp outboards: bespoke build.
Scorpion Pioneer 10m - with twin 245hp diesel inboards: bespoke build.
Ex Lymington
All prices are Ex VAT

For full comprehensive specification, Tel: +44 (0) 1590 677805
Web: www.scorpionribs.com
contact e-mail:
Scorpion RIBs

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