What A Marine Surveyor Needs To Know About Surveying Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs)
The marine surveyor may often be asked to survey one of the many rigid-hulled inflatable boats to be found around the world (commonly known as RIBs) which feature cushioned inflatable large diameter synthetic rubber tubes called sponsons around a simple rigid hull. RIBs are some of the most versatile boats available and are used as rescue boats in the UK by the RNLI, as patrol boats by the military, as workboats, as race boats in international competitions and as tenders to yachts. Because they are designed to travel at high speed – often in excess of 40 knots – RIBs plane over the top of the water surface and are subject to severe pounding loads on the bottom. For that reason the marine surveyor must understand the hull construction and if the vessel is structurally sound and fit for the intended purpose.
The hull is most often constructed of fibreglass but may be of wood, steel or aluminium surrounded by an inflatable tube constructed of fibre reinforced rubber often called a sponson. Traditionally, a sponson was a structure that projected over the side of a ship or boat – most often a projecting gun platform or a support for paddlewheel boxes – but the name has been used for an air chamber built into the gunwale of a canoe or RIB.
Author: Elliott Berry
Size: 40 pages
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