If you want to understand why “super RIBs” are now showing up at boat shows and marinas nationwide, you have to go back in time about 40 years
If you want to understand why “super RIBs” are now showing up at boat shows and marinas nationwide—with features and amenities the simple dinghy could never have imagined—you have to go back in time about 40 years, to the era of Cabbage Patch Kids, MTV and Caddyshack.
It was during the 1980s and into the 1990s that rigid inflatable boats really started to evolve for recreational boaters. The style of boat had been invented in the 1960s in the United Kingdom, where the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was trying to find a fix for wear and tear on the fabric bottoms of inshore lifeboats. They tried using plywood, but it cracked up in rough waters. Eventually, various builders figured out how to use fiberglass and aluminum with an inflatable collar wrapped around it.
By the time Pat Benatar, REO Speedwagon and Blondie were beaming videos into homes all across America, boaters in France and Italy had fully embraced the RIB as a…