Rigid Inflatable Boats : RIBS and Inflatables
 
 
[ rib reviews ]
  # 022
Air-Craft 6.8m
Review by Kevin Goulding
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Air Craft RIB

Air Craft RIB

"A solid conventional built RIB based on a full length deep 'V' hull at 24° deadrise.."

 

Liverpool Power Boats
Ian and Ged from Liverpool Power Boats have established a deserved reputation as being honest, down to earth, 'common sense' type of guys. For more years than I can remember Ian has been a force to be reckoned with in regard to his knowledge in fitting out boats and engines on Merseyside.

Indeed, Ian fitted out many a RIB in the days of the Chinooks when he was one of the prime suppliers of their power units. One year, in the very early days of BIBOA and the challenging Round Scotland events, he fitted out a 6.5m RIB with a 265hp V8 OMC inboard petrol engine. In the early 90's it was quite revolutionary to be putting such large inboards in a RIB. This craft went on to successfully rescue the Helensburgh RNLI team from the perils of the Firth of Forth in the same event!

This gives the background to the development of a new RIB on the market from Liverpool Power Boats. An innovative name "Air-Craft" has been chosen, for obvious reasons, and it has been built with the serious RIB user in mind. It's not a sports finish or high performance RIB, but a go anywhere, anytime, do anything watercraft.

Robustly built in the traditional manner, GRP hull with marine ply GRP glassed transom and deck. The 'A' frame alone is testimony to the heavy weight build construction of the boat. Based on a deep 'V', 24 degree deadrise hull, the tubes are Hypalon 45cm (18") diameter and have 5 independent inflation chambers. These Air-Craft come in three models a 5.4m, 6.8m and a 7.8m all taking a long shaft outboard motor.

 


 

Overall
An opportunity was taken to ride the demo 6.8m Air-Craft out on the Solent and in the squalls that beset this years RIBex.

The performace was pleasantly comfortable thanks to the deep 'V' hull and heavy weight construction. Also the 175hp Evinrude matched the craft extremely well, it was like a 'jack rabbit' out of the hole and more than enough power on what was not really designed as a performance boat. Steering was precise and balanced.

My only disappointment was the oversquare console, screen and seating which although provided maximum storage space, presented sharp angular corners and a rather dated appearance.

This new Air-Craft should be very comfortably placed in the dive, coastal exploration and workboat market. A craft built to simply do its job in our more demanding coastal environments.

 

The recessed engine-well to keep the deck dry and the substantial stainless steel 'A' frame, along with the stainless steel transom mounted corner sampson posts, mark this out as a no-nonsense working rib. These are features which really demonstrate the thinking behind the robustness of the build construction.

Basic boat prices include; console, fuel tank, underdeck trunking, twin jockey seats and recessed transom engine-well, (except 5.4m). The popular 5.4m comes as a very economic package deal. Complete with a 60hp Evinrude two-stroke outboard engine, a standard transom and trailer all at a remarkable £10,500.

CE Category
All three models meet the design requirements of CE Category C.
C - Inshore: Designed for voyages in coastal waters, large bays, estuaries, lakes and rivers where conditions up to and including wind force F6 and significant wave heights up to and including 2m may be experienced.

 

Air Craft RIB

Air Craft RIB

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for a larger view.

 


Air Craft RIB Air Craft RIB
Air Craft RIB Air Craft RIB
Air Craft RIB Air Craft RIB
Air-Craft 7.8m Air-Craft 5.4m

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Air-Craft 5.4m
Air-Craft 6.8m
Air-Craft 7.8m
Internal Length:
4.0m
5.9m
6.9m
External Beam :
2.1m
2.6m
2.6m
Internal Beam:
1.20m
1.70m
1.70m
Tube Diameter:
0.45m
0.45m
0.45m
Dry Weight :
350 kg
650 kg
750 kg
Required Power:
60hp - 90hp
115hp - 175hp
175hp - 300hp
Price from:
Package:
Engine & Trailer
£10,500 (inc vat)
£13,600 (inc vat)
£15,600 (inc vat)

Contact Ian, Liverpool Power Boats: 0151 944 1163
Or Ged [ North Wales - Conwy ] for Demo: 07831 199 992

July 2007


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Rigid Inflatable Boats : RIBS and Inflatables