by Vaughn Entwistle, Managing editor, International Aquafeed

The workboats used in aquaculture are not meant to be sexy. These boats are the workhorses of the industry, and are typically employed in hauling fish farmers, sacks of fish feed, tools, netting and other heavy equipment. They must endure a rough and ready life, pounded by heavy seas, or being beached on stony shores. It"s not a glamorous life, but Steinsvik has recently debuted a new boat which demonstrates that when-form-follows-function, the results can be surprisingly alluring.

Steinsvik recently launched a new boat with an old name: the HardRIB. Many will remember the HardRIB name fondly, and the old boat"s reputation for toughness and longevity is clearly evident in the DNA of the newest boat to share that illustrious name.

When Steinsvik opted to re-introduce the HardRIB they decided to do everything right. The new
hull was developed in collaboration with Ola Lilloe Olsen, who is known, among other things, for his work on Palmer Johnson boats. The result is that this new edition of the HardRIB achieves a new level of seaworthiness and the way the boat is designed and constructed ensures that it can take a beating without suffering battle damage.


Unique hull design

Steinsvik has a patent pending on the boat"s entire structure. The hull is built around the two pontoons and a unique keel tube that combine to produce a dynamic boat. The hull is 46 degrees in the bow, 27 degrees amidships, and 19 degrees aft. This ensures fantastic turning characteristics while providing stability and excellent fuel economy. The fuel tank is mounted low in the boat, below the water level, to optimise stability.


Practically unbreakable

The pontoons are constructed in 15mm PHED and the keel pipe in 20mm PHED. The chosen material and the thickness ensure that this is a boat
that can take abuse and soldier on. The HardRIB can take rough weather conditions as wells as a mooring on the cag or barge, day after day, and year after year.


Purpose designed for the aquaculture industry

The HardRIB is designed specifically for the aquaculture industry. But with its rough appearance and robust design, the boat is also a great tool for everyone from hobby fishermen to divers. The hull is made from HDPE-100, which is recyclable, corrosion-free, and durable. The boat is also virtually unsinkable and requires very little maintenance. All boat parts are machined and welded by approved plastic welders according to current standards.


Great cargo capacity

Cargo space is important, and the boat is certified for up to 12 people, or up to 1600kg of cargo. Smart solutions for fastening and maximum use of load space relative to hull size ensure that you rarely need to make two trips.


Tested in the Stadt towing tank

When Steinsvik decided to re-introduce the HardRIB they decided to do
it properly. The design and hull have undergone extensive tests and CFD analysis in the Stadt towing tank, perhaps the market"s most advanced laboratory for testing and verifying vessel seawater properties. It has been tested at several load conditions and shows good speed characteristics and carrying capacity both in quiet sea conditions and in waves. The tests carried out confirm that the boat can maintain high speeds even in rough waters.

The technical specs are very impressive, and I find the HardRIB to be one gorgeous boat. I can"t help but daydream about steering one of these beauties through the Florida Key.

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