Half A Century of RIBs on The Humber!
50 years in business is a remarkable achievement for any company. It is something that both Icom and Humber RIBs have in common and their business relationship continues to flourish well into the 21st century. Both companies share similar approaches earning reputations for technical excellence, good customer service and product quality. It was 50 years ago that Frank Roffee started building inflatable boats in the 1960s mainly because he was a keen diver and wanted a practical boat that could get him out to dive sites. When other divers saw what Frank was using they wanted one and soon the production started, using his garage as a workshop. The conversion to RIB building started soon afterwards and as the demand increased the company expanded into larger premises. The first serious production facility used by Humber was a derelict shipyard with a wharf along the River Humber which allowed direct launching into the water for testing. Today the company operates from two large sites still located in Hull. Humber does the whole building operation in-house using only the best materials such as Hypalon for the tubes and over 11,000 RIBs have been built by Humber since they started. Today Humber RIBs offers a range of RIBs that cover virtually every requirement of the commercial, professional and leisure sectors. At the start of the range are the small Sea Pro Tender and Coastal ranges and these are often carried by land based vehicles such as fire and rescue tenders for use in floods and for river and canal rescue work. This range extends from 3.1 to 4.77 metres and they are based on a multi-chine shallow vee hull. Humber has a partnership with Quinquari Marine when it comes to the manufacture of bespoke large RIB’s. Humber and Quinquari have worked closely together for the past 20 years in the production of specialised and larger RIBs. This particularly applies to RIBs with wheelhouses and those designed for thrill rides and these have been produced in sizes up to 14 metres in length. Both the Humber and Quinquari RIBs have been used in a wide variety of commercial applications such as police, patrol, rescue, tourist and oil rig supply. One of the most recent applications has been in the offshore wind farm sector where specialised RIBs have been developed for personnel and stores transfer to wind farms close offshore. Humber continues to expand and it is very active in the service and support sector with the company offering full refits and tube replacement services. Humber RIBs also runs an active second hand sales service with both their own and other manufacturer’s models available for quick delivery. At any one time Humber may have up to 60 RIBs in stock. An important business relationship for Humber is the one they have with Icom UK. Sue Richardson of Humber RIBs, said, ‘We use Icom products on our RIBS because of their high quality and excellent durability. The range is very good with different products to suit differing customer requirements. She added, ‘the service and sales back from Icom UK is excellent. We don’t often require assistance but when we do they are quick to reply. For more details about Humber RIBs and their range of vessels, visit http://www.humberinflatables.co.uk/.