Sport inflatable boats have their advantages. Easy on the pocket, easy to store sport inflatable boats are stable enough to serve as diving and fishing platforms. The stability of a sport boat highly depends on its bottom. There are various types of flooring for sport inflatable boats and more often than not the bigger problem is lies with sport inflatable boats with fabric flooring. Why? For one, it is virtually impossible to design a keel out of fabric. Second, to bottom fabric is not always taut and when there s slack the loose fabric hinders its speed. Third, it is difficult to see damages and abrasions on fabric bottoms as they not all models are pressurized.
Fourth, a highly efficient inflatable sport boat is more likely to be more difficult to inflate, deflate and store. There is yet hope for this dilemma as innovative boat designers merged the qualities of sport inflatable boat and that of a rigid boat. Inflatable sport boat is lightweight and possesses high volume buoyancy on top of its secure tubular construction. Rigid boat is durable and generally has an effective keel design. The combination resulted in a new type of boat rigid inflatable boat or RIB. RIBs are much like a sport boats in its upper portion but the lower position is made of molded fiberglass or aluminum hard bottom in the shape of traditional rigid boat s V hull in place of the usual layered fabric bottom or its fabric-covered wood or aluminum flooring. The RIB s hard bottom makes this type of inflatable sport boat durable with a high performance rate.
Some RIBs are designed to carry up to 100 horsepower outboards. HBI (Hard Bottom Inflatable) Company in Sherborn, Massachusetts, manufactures to 40-foot RIB that can accommodate 40 passengers and an outboard of up to 800 HP (horsepower). What makes HIB RIBs more interesting is that the company designed inflatable tubes to be attached to a fiberglass boat instead of just gluing to molded bottom into an inflatable boat.