A Longstanding Relationship of supplying Icom Communication Equipment to Ribcraft
One of the greatest testimonies to any manufacturer is when another well respected company chooses to use your equipment as standard. That happens quite a lot for the Icom brand in all its market places. In this case it is leading RIB Manufacturer Ribcraft, based in Yeovil Somerset. Ribcraft was founded 23 years ago by Mark Gardiner out of his hobby of diving. Mark wanted to build a RIB to his own specification and went to make the first boat from scratch. Somebody obviously liked it so much that they purchased it so he made another one for himself….and the business took off from there. These days, Ribcraft manufactures hull sizes from 4.2 to 18.0 metres, all of which can be either used for Commercial or leisure use. Mark Gardiner who is now the Managing Director of Ribcraft said, ‘70% of our operations are in the commercial sector with 30% being in the leisure market. 70% of the commercial vessels that we build feature Fishery Patrol Boats, Police Boats and those involved with harbour work. We build RIB’s involved in surveillance, operations, safety and security’. The facility in Yeovil is impressive with a huge investment in the latest design and manufacturing equipment to keep the company at the cutting edge of boat design. Ribcraft are one of the few British Commercial and Leisure boat manufacturers who have the capabilitiy to design and manufacture the complete boat 'in house' to a rigorous testing and commissioning schedule. Mark said, ‘We invest a lot in ‘on the job training’. It has to be that way, because our field is so specialised. For instance, the ‘Tubers’ work in such a specialist area, they spend time learning about tube building before they build tubes. The boat fitters similarly they spend time doing basic parts of boatbuilding working their way up to becoming a qualified fitter’. Ribcraft have been fitting Icom radios for 15 years now. So what do you like about the Icom product and Icom UK as a company? Mark said, ‘We like the reliability, functionality in fact you can say the bullet proof performance. The team at Icom UK are very good to work with. They provide good product support and there is importantly someone on the phone. You don’t get an answering machine you get a reliable steady staff who you have known for many years’. What’s the future for Ribcraft? Mark Gardiner, Managing Director of Ribcraft said, ‘The market has changed tremendously with the leisure sector declining due to the recession. There has been demand for more sophisticated RIBs has increased. We expect bigger commercial boats, more specialist markets, more exports and Icom radios as standard’. For more details about Ribcraft and their range of vessels, visit http://www.ribcraft.co.uk.