21 Dec End of Year Review
As we come to the end of 2006, it is once more time to reflect on the progress of the last year and look towards the year ahead. 2006 has been a fantastic year for Redbay Boats, with many interesting projects completed and a very busy year in manufacturing. If you lined up every RIB that was completed during the last twelve months, the total length would come to over 260 metres. It comes as no real surprise that the most popular model in 2006 was the Stormforce 11, whilst 60% of RIBs were over 8.0 metres.
New Model – Stormforce 11 Touring
Cuchulainn, launched in July, was our major new design for the year – the Touring version. The Touring concept came from customer feedback for a Cabin RIB that could comfortably accommodate 12 passengers and have facility for a full headroom toilet and a small galley. Accompanying this were additional tweaks taken from other designs, such as the incorportated air breather boxes at the stern of the vessel.
Along with the new Cabin moulding, we also renewed our 11m hull mould. No changes were made to the running surface of the hull, and the new mould has significantly improved our hull manufacturing time for the 11m.
New 8.4 Wrap Around
With the launch of the highly successful Expedition design last year, we had always anticpated taking the concept mouldings further and creating a canopy version. The new Wrap Around version features many of the design features of the Expedition. The one piece deck moulding incorporates the twin berths in the bow, massive seating area in the main cockpit (with seating for up to 8 and wrap around sides), dash, side decks and the engine bay. Instead of fitting the glass screen and hard top, an A-Frame and Lexan screen are fitted which are then topped off with a removable canopy. We also now have the option of a sea-toilet for both the hard and soft top versions.
Sea Safarai RIBs
2007 has seen a large interest in our passenger RIBs. The 11m Wrap Around version is proving to be very popular with operators both in Ireland and Britain. The year has seen Sea Safarai Redbays going to all parts of Ireland (e.g. Brian Boru, Lady Slievemore), and also to Scotland (Rathmor, Kintyre Express). All RIBs have reported a very busy season.
Increasing our presence around the world, we are currently preparing an 11m Patrol RIB for delivery to Bermuda. The RIB is based on the Stormforce 11m with a Short cabin and engine well for the twin Yamaha 225hp outboards.
Built for the Environment and Heritage Service of Northern Ireland, S.V. Modiolous was one of the most advanced RIBs for her size. The Stormforce 7.4 featured the newly designed Patrol Console and Self-righting A-Frame. The Console was kitted with a vast amount of equipment including a marinised PC, monitor and keyboard. The RIB was designed around being a dive platform, and featured a folding dive ladder for easy access directly unto the deck.
After disappointing weather in 2005, any trip to Ardbeg in 2006 would have been highly enjoyed. In fact, the weather for the trip way back on the 13th May couldn’t have been better, and no less than 32 Redbay RIBs of all sizes made the trip across the Irish Sea. A great day was had by all and the event was highly memorable.
We are beginning 2007 with almost full order books right across the model range. An even higher number of 11m RIBs are already on order, and going as far away as Norway. A high percentatge of the 11m RIBs will be for commerical applications, but we also have a large number of leisure and cruising RIBs on order. We also have a number of prestigious "P5" licensed RIBs on order for operation in the Republic of Ireland.
There has been a continued demand for our Fastfisher range. Production capacity in the main Redbay Boats factory is now dedicated to the Stormforce RIB range, but we are now delighted to say that we are setting up a dedicated manufacturing facility for the Fastfisher range. The new factory will be starting production shortly with the Fastfisher 19 being available in April 2007. The 166 and 21 models will follow before the end of 2007. We plan to revamp and update the Fastfisher website over the coming months.
We hope that you have had a great year, and have had a safe and long season. I wish to take this opportunity wish all our customers and website visitors a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.