Our Day Out on a RIB, Courtesy of JBT Marine

Valerie Stafford

I have just got back from a day out on a rib, courtesy of JBT Marine. It was amazing!!

For those of you who have'nt heard of a rib before, RIB stands for "Rigid Inflatable Boat".

I have little knowledge of sailing and the likes, but when Johhny from JBT Marine was kind enough to extend an invitation to Fresh Egg to spend the day with them down in Portsmouth I was more than happy to say yes please!

Woke to beautiful weather, sunshine, no wind, perfect! Adam picked Lee and myself up and it was a good clear run down to Portsmouth. Having parked up we made our way to the quay. There we were greeted by Johnny and Beverley.

Now, I'll be honest and admit I really did'nt know quite what to expect. When you hear the words "rigid inflatable boat" I suppose what comes to mind is a type of dingy. But you'd be mistaken a rib is much smarter than that. Our boat was a "Ballistic Rib" and was a fair size, probably able to accommodate about 9 - 10 people. The dashboard was impressive with the various sonar instruments which Johnny ran through with us. Once aboard and with our safety harnesses strapped on we were off.

There was just so much to see. Activity everywhere, from great ferries manoeuvring their way in and out of the harbour to small boats going about their business. As we pulled out of the harbour the imposing "Spinnaker Tower" loomed above us soaring to an incredible 557 feet and then as we rounded a corner I could see "The Victory" over in the distance. Both of them amazing constructions, just a thought but I wonder if the Spinnaker will do as well as Victory and still remain standing in another 242 years.

We had'nt got that far out when Johnny asked Adam if he would like to take over at the controls! He did'nt need asking twice and with a little guidance soon got the hang of it. The further out we got, the quicker we went and we found ourselves hanging on tight with both hands, it was really exhilarating. Just as good as a speedboat and a great feeling of stability. It was'nt long before we reached the Isle of Wight and headed towards Cowes. Again, lots to see, boats of every shape and size, it was quite an eye opener. So much more of a relaxing way to travel than driving a car, these seafaring people have got it right!

Next stop, lunch! We moored up close to a quaint pub, The Folley, where we spent an hour or so having drinks and meal outside in the sun.

Then back on board and once again Adam took the controls and guided by Johnny we were off. On the way back we passed a few of the old forts which had been built in the Napoleonic war. Then a last attempt by Adam to break the sound barrier!

All too soon and we were arrived back at the harbour and moored up. Back on terra firma we thanked Johnny and Beverley for their hospitality and for making our day with them so enjoyable.

Anyone out there thinking of buying a rib or indeed needing specialist help about them would be well advised to give JBT Marine a call, or take a look at their website, http://www.ribsforsale.com/index.asp. They certainly have my recommendation!!

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