A rigid-hulled inflatable boat, (RHIB) or rigid-inflatable boat (RIB) is a lightweight but high-performance and high-capacity boat constructed with a solid, shaped hull and flexible tubes at the gunwale. The design is stable and seaworthy. The inflatable collar allows the vessel to maintain buoyancy if a large quantity of water is shipped aboard due to bad sea conditions. The RIB is a development of the inflatable boat.
Uses include work boats (supporting shore facilities or larger ships) in trades that operate on the water, military craft, where they are used in patrol roles and to transport troops between vessels or ashore, and lifeboats.
RIBs are commonly 13 to 28 ft long, although they can range in length between 7.5 and 55 ft. A RIB is often propelled by one or more outboard motors or an inboard motor turning a water jet or stern drive. Generally the power of the motors is in the range of 5 to 300 horse power.
RIBs are used as rescue craft, safety boats for sailing, dive boats or tenders for larger boats and ships. Their shallow draught, high maneuverability, speed and relative immunity to damage in low-speed collisions are advantages in these applications.
RIBs up to about 7 metres in length can be towed on trailers on the road; this, coupled with their other properties, is making them increasingly attractive as leisure craft.
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