RIBs for HM Customs Gibraltar

Capable of speeds of over 50 knots, Gibraltar's two RIBs are based on standard production hull designs Capable of speeds of over 50 knots, Gibraltar's two RIBs are based on standard production hull designs

Performance patrol boat specialist FB Design has recently delivered two high speed RIBs to HM Customs in Gibraltar. Capable of speeds of over 50 knots these two RIBs are based on standard production hull designs developed by this Italian builder but they have been fully customised to meet the requirements of the Customs.

Both are based on the same 11.16 metre long deep vee hull design, the FB RIB 34. This triple stepped design has been well proven in military and para-military roles and it incorporates the 'Structural Foam' construction system that ensures full floatation integrity in the event of any damage and good sound reducing properties.

The inflatable RIB tube is attached to the hull with a patented bolt rope system that allows the tube to be removed for repair or replacement very quickly. The tube itself is protected by heavy duty rubbing strips to reduce the chance of damage when alongside other vessels at sea.

One of these Customs RIBs is fitted with a full enclosed wheelhouse to offer protection on long endurance patrol duties. Inside there is the FB Design sprung seating for a 6-man crew which offers the option of a sitting or standing position. A full outfit of electronic systems is installed.

This RIB is powered by a triple Mercury Verado outboard installation totalling 900 hp. This gives a high chase and interception top speed and the 750 litre fuel tank capacity is divided into three tanks and it allows a long range when patrolling at lower speeds. The full load displacement including full fuel and the crew is 4845 kg and the design has been sized so that it will fit into a standard 40 foot container for easy transport.

The second RIB in this Gibraltar Custom's contract is similar but with an open cockpit shelter which reduces the full load weight to just 4210 kg. Here the shelter and the crew seating is located further aft and the seats are the lighter sprung saddle seats again developed by FB Design with individual seats for a six-man crew.

On this lighter version the power units are twin Mercury Verado outboards of 300 hp each and this yields a similar high performance as its heavier and more powerful sister. The fuel tank is reduced in size to 700 litres shared between two tanks.

FB Design focuses all of its production on high performance patrol and interception craft based on deep vee hulls that have been well proven in arduous offshore patrol duties and operations. They range in size from 5.18 metres up to 25 metres in length and speeds of up to 70 knots are possible with the fastest versions. Most designs are offered in both RIB and conventional deep vee hull versions and they have been supplied to military and para-military organisations around the World.

By Dag Pike

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