The FRIB is a Foldable Rigid Inflatable Boat. The original design was commissioned by the Russian Federation Emergency Response Agency who had a requirement for a robust, fast deployment craft that could be transported inside a helicopter.
Steve Bruce, our MD, got involved in 2014 when he was operating a yacht sales business and was introduced to the FRIB development team by an Estonian yacht builder he was working with.
Intrigued by the incredible strong and simple design, that locks together by slotting and bolting the floor together with a few wingnuts, he realised this could revolutionise boating and tenders.
Having previously struggled to find suitable, affordable tenders that were easy to stow for his cruising customers, he was seeking an alternative to the small inflatable rubber tender.
Ocean cruisers need a tender to head ashore or explore the coast in a wide range of conditions – not just a flat clam. The FRIB has the extra seaworthiness, speed and stability of a RIB yet takes up minimal stowage space on board. Easily transported inside a car and stored in a garden shed or garage, it makes owning a small boat much more feasible too.
Initially, The SBS Ltd set up as the importer of Foldable RIBs for the UK and subsequently Europe. Since then, the boats have been adopted by cruising sailors, fishing enthusiasts, caravan owners, the police, rescue and safety services.
By 2016, The SBS Ltd had taken on overall responsibility for product development and global distribution, which has since led to bringing manufacturing to the UK. A new factory, with new tooling and moulds now produces the FRIBs on the edge of Portsmouth Harbour.
The new FRIB designs have been tweaked to improve their quality, weight and detailing, with the first production boats being launched at METS in November 2021.