20 Jun The New Stormforce Expedition 8.4
The first new Expedition 8.4 was launched on Saturday, 18th June, built for Mr. Ruairi McNaughton. This RIB is one of the most advanced designs, and has been explicitly designed around the requirements of both existing and new customers; production is now in full swing.
The design is a combined development from the existing wrap around consoles, and from the full GRP Cabin versions of the Stormforce 11. Feedback from our customers was that although they loved the warp around console with canopy, the canopy never really got removed, and a full GRP cabin would be more practical.
Initially, the basic concept was drafted in 2D, from which a 3D model and subsequent renders were generated in house. This allowed the design and mould fabrication teams and the customers to view the design and revise details before construction. The 3D model was highly successful, and was used extensively in the fabrication of the moulds.
The obvious feature is that the Expendition has a full GRP cabin. This has allowed us to manufacture an extremely strong and safe RIB, which has been fitted with wrap around toughened glass screen for maximum visability and safety. The cabin has cut down on a lot of wind and engine noise, leaving a much more pleasent ambience for offshore cruising. Access around the cabin is via wide side decks, and the design has more interior space.
The Stormforce 8.4, for the first time, now has a hardnose version. Over the years, the hardnose feature of the Stormforce 9.1-11 has proven itself very worthy, and it was felt that this feature should be incorporated at an early stage in the development of the Expedition. The hardnose has the most important safety feature of helping prevent detubing, which is a risk when offshore cruising in large seas. It also provides a secure anchoring point, and in the Expedition version we have fitted an anchor locker within the nose, to make full use of this benefit. The hardnose has also allowed us to do something that would have otherwise been quite difficult; we have fitted two berths in the bow, and also provided a lot of storage space. There is adequate room to comfortably sit upright in the forward cabin; this was another of the major requirements for the new design.
The stern/engine bay was designed around that of the new Stormforce 11 Wrap Around Console. This is highly advanced in reducing and eliminating spray and sea water from entering the engine bay and reduces any risk of the engine flooding. It also provides a large seating/sun lounging area aft.
Interior & Fitout
The most striking feature about the interior is just how airy it is, which helps to ensure maximum comfort for all onboard when at sea. The cabin has been fitted with a combination of both a smooth gelcoat finish and high quality carpet. The gelcoat finish is due to the fact that the interior sides, rear seating, console, exterior deck, sides, bow and engine bay are all taken from the one mould! This ensures the highest quality finish, reduced build times and is perfect for the lower sides of the cabin which can be subject to the usual bumps, knocks and mucky fingers! The quality carpet headlining helps provide a superb finish and creates the perfect mood inside.
Along with having two moulded side benches with integral storage aft, the first RIB has been fitted with four High Back Comfort seats, with storage beneath. This is likely to be the standard seating arrangement, as the Scotia seats add a higher level of comfort and security.
This RIB has been fitted with the usual array of electronics and navigation aids, including:
- Raymarine C120 Mulitpurpose plotter
- Navman Fuel Monitor
- Navman Fish Finder
- Raymarine DSC VHF Marine Radio
- Apple IPod Dock (yes, Redbay love to fit the latest Apple products to our RIBs!)
- JVC CD Stereo System
- Warm Air Heating system
- LED Floor lights and Cabin lights
The Expedition has been fitted with the usual Yamaha ME421 240hp Stern Drive Diesel plant, providing the Expedition with a top speed of over 35 knots.