Our RIBS from 17ft (217 Series) come with either a Bimini that neatly folds into the ‘A’ Frame, or ‘T’ Top, both giving great sun shelter. They also provide plenty of storage lockers for all your gear. Bench seats and convertible loungers through to ski poles and Italian hypalon multi chambered tubes, with a 5 year warranty and automatic release valves, mean you have a RIB that delivers great performance and stability.
All of our boats have vacuum formed GRP hulls and Hypalon tubes as standard, along with GRP A frames that give a great looking and affordable RIB without compromising on quality. All our Rigid Inflatable Boats are CE approved and have ISO6185, ISO12217 accreditation.
Our tubes are made in Italy using the highest quality Marine Hypalon from Italy http://www.orca.eu/uk/
Layout and equipment on the two test boats were similar but the larger boat is 50cm longer and 16cm wider, with a carrying capacity of seven, versus four in the 213 Series. Both hulls are solid ’glass construction and feature a deep 20degree V deadrise and spray rails along the sides to help keep passengers dry. Neat, modern styling is complemented by gleaming white gelcoat against light grey tubes with the distinctive GRANTHAM BANKS logo. The tubes built from Hypalon imported from France. This product is used in all quality inflatables for its durability and puncture resistance. It’s even claimed that cared-for Hypalon tubes can last up to 20 years before being replaced and even then the cost is relatively low.
Three separate air chambers in the 213 and four in the larger boats add a measure of safety in the unlikely event of a tube being punctured.
Up front in the is a narrow fibreglass fairlead with a stainless steel cleat leading back to the bow seat. Here, a clip-down cushion lifts to reveal a wide, screw-in waterproof hatch. Another seat is located alongside the console that’s offset to starboard and there’s seating for two more at the helm. Both seats lift to access the 60lt fuel tank, battery and dry storage area that can hold all safety equipment and leave room for some personal items.
The moulded ’glass console has a stainless steel grab rail conveniently placed on top to assist passengers moving about and instrumentation is kept simple with only a fuel gauge in the dash and a Humminbird 153 black-and-white sounder mounted on top.
Power is from a 30hp Yamaha and it had plenty of punch for the lightweight 195kg hull to get two of us on the plane at 10kts and easy cruising at around 17kts across a small chop. At full throttle I saw 25kts on the GPS with the boat tracking true and feeling stable and safe. The fibreglass hull cut through the chop easily and the tubes soaked up any bumps for an incredibly soft ride. Any spray was deflected well away from the boat keeping us dry across the slight breeze.
Size sure makes a difference to the 214 model, which really feels a lot bigger than the extra 50cm shown on the spec sheet. Part of the upsize includes wider tubes and higher carrying capacity. There’s plenty of space for five to spread out on extended jaunts to secluded shores, and the maximum of seven passengers will be okay for short hops but otherwise a bit squeezy.
A low stainless steel bowrail encloses a fibreglass bowsprit that can double as a boarding step. Under the front cushion is a large anchor locker with a hinged hatch that has draining channels around the edge to keep the hold dry. In front of the offset console is a fixed seat with a second one alongside that can be removed to create a walkway between bow and stern.
The 214’s console has a larger dash panel to accommodate the Yamaha 50’s more comprehensive instrument display of speed, revs, voltage, oil pressure, trim and fuel. Engine controls are neatly mounted to the side of the boat rather than on the console. They fall to hand naturally and all wires and cables are concealed inside the hull for a clean look. Under the twin helm seat is a useful storage area where the battery is secured in its own box and a 2000lt/h bilge pump is easily accessed.
Driving the 214 with the extra grunt of the 50hp Yamaha is a load of fun; there’s more pop out of the hole and good acceleration through the rev range. With a bigger footprint on the water it feels even more stable than the 213, especially in turns where the prop had no trouble hanging on – even in tight cornering
A GRANTHAM BANKS tender resting in a cradle on the deck of a luxury motoryacht would make a good match, but they will also find homes on the jetties of commuters or those who like the idea of a simple, safe boat for a day on the water.
All RIBs come with five-year hull and three-year tube warranties and as such are well priced, coming standard with a canvas boat cover, a waterproof repair kit and a high-volume foot pump for inflation.