30 Apr Swedish Stormforce 11
Never a company to rest on its laurels, Redbay Boats once again pushes the boundaries of the commercial 11 metre RIB and once again goes that little bit further to be sure that the customer gets exactly the boat that he needs to do the job he needs it to do .
If anyone ever asked you take a saw to the front of your RIB and blunt the nose you would tell them to take a very long walk of a very short pier! Well ,that is exactly what Tommy Olsson of Karlskrona, Sweden asked Tom McLaughlin to do to his beloved Redbay Stormforce 11 design.
Mr Olsson is Swedish. Now as you know, they are a clever bunch over there and he had very good reason for making this rather strange request. Aside from being a boat builder himself, Mr Olsson runs a very special taxi service and he has a very regular requirement for boarding people on and off the bow of his boat. He therefore needs a vessel that can drive square on to harbour walls, windmills and other landing spots in sometimes less than ideal conditions, to get people on and off safely with minimum fuss and use of ropes. He knew of the Stormforce 11’s fine reputation as a sea boat and as a passenger boat and he knew that if he could marry that with a bow boarding solution he would have the perfect Vessel.
After the initial shock and determining that Mr Olsson was not in fact clinically insane, Redbay agreed to give the blunt bow design a go. I’m sure you have all heard the expression ‘give an inch’; well once Mr Olsson realised that he had Tom on the back foot and that he was on a roll, he really got going and managed to get a third window on the bow, which then became a door and somehow, to cap it all off, a set of steps to tramp through that beautifully ergonomically designed Stormforce console!
I did say those Swedes were a clever bunch and I have to say that this is evident in this design because it really does work brilliantly and the finished product is very functional – another Swedish trait.
This is the third vessel to be added to the the Sjotaxi fleet and the first RIB. The boat will do some extremely demanding work, including a 150 mile round-trip to a windfarm installation.
Redbay Boats have a reputation for building some very unique vessels and although the functionality can sometimes take away from the form, functionality is everything on this RIB. This boat really is an amazingly good vessel and one that should be considered by any commercial operator needing a bow boarding solution
Mr Olsson took delivery of the vessel on the 25th of April and is sailing the vessel back to Karlskrona in southern Sweden on its own bottom, via the English channel.
It is also with regret that I inform you that this boat marks the end of a great relationship with the Yamaha Motor Corporation, as it is the last vessel to be fitted with the Yamaha Stern-drive package; an engine solution that we have had great satisfaction from over the years.
Redbay Boats would like to wish The Olsson family and Sjotaxi the best of luck with their new vessel.
P.S. Did I mention that there is also a bow thruster and any of you who know Tom will know how much he hates bow thrusters!!