|So you want a traditional, workmanlike RIB of medium size, that you can really go to sea in and pretty much know it will accomplish anything you put it to. It also has to be competitively priced because, like most people, your budget isn’t endless. Oh yes, and you want to isolate a manufacturer that is able to customize the fit-out according to your own individual needs, including the tastes of your wife! Well, if that just about sums up your essential wish list then we may have a RIB suited for inclusion on your short list. The Humber 6m Destroyer is a ‘true blue’ example of typical British RIB design. The company itself has been around for longer than virtually all others, barring Avon and Flatacraft perhaps, and remains, just as it was thirty years ago, a genuine family business. Furthermore, Frank Roffee, the founder and current principal of the company, has been responsible for encouraging many other, now well-established names into the business of building RIBs, and for that reason could rightly be considered as making a very large contribution to the industry as a whole. As regards the product itself, simply put: it works. Much of this is down to the hull design, which it has to be said is still one of the best on the market - even after all these years. Every boat in the range, from four metres right through to ten metres, rides level, benefits from good forward buoyancy, is soft riding and grips the water well. Sounds OK doesn’t it, I have been offshore in most of the Humber models and always felt that they were capable of looking after me. Let’s face it, a RIB, if it really is ‘worth its salt’, should above all make one feel secure. It’s a well known fact that these boats have been used and abused, I might say, by divers for decades. Latterly of course, serious offshore leisure types as well as professionals have employed the six metre and larger models in the range for a whole host of tasks, including: record attempts, long distance cruising, fast rescue operations as well as passenger and charter work. Such a convincing track record says much about the craft. This six metre model would represent the optimum size for a lot of people who are definitely not in the market, re storage reasons etc, for a 7 metre plus RIB. |
The Destroyer is still just large enough to carry a decent payload of say 4-5 persons and remains wholly manageable for trailing and launching. Power wise, a 115hp would suit the bill but you could go to a 130hp Suzuki if the budget allowed, or even perhaps just get away with installing a small diesel. This size of craft therefore affords a certain amount of flexibility. If I had one criticism to make of the brand, though, it would be Humber’s internal styling. Whilst it’s typically functional, in my view it could be enhanced by the services of a naval designer - a professional, an ‘outsider’, someone who could approach the design of consoles and seats etc., with a completely fresh viewpoint - whilst obviously taking onboard all the ‘know-how’ and expertise the Roffees have acquired these past thirty years. It’s just a thought, but in the meantime, this latter consideration doesn’t really detract from the fact that these are sound, sea-going boats of much ability with a string as long as your arm of very happy, loyal Humber owners.