The Ballistic is an internationally acclaimed rigid inflatable boat (RIB) and is regarded as one of the most innovative and well-constructed types of RIB in the world. A phenomenal high-performance RIB – the Range Rover Sport of the sea – the Ballistic is used for wide range of commercial, military and family leisure purposes.
The Ballistic RIB design originates from expert Lowestoft boat builder Paul Frankowski, whose aim was to create a high-performance boat with a superior load-carrying capacity. In the mid 1990s, entrepreneur Nick Parish bought the rights to Frankowski’s design and created the Ballistic brand. Parish spent a few years developing the Ballistic RIB brand in the leisure and commercial markets from his Hayling Island base before deciding to find a partner to boost production levels.
In 2002, Parish teamed up with Hampshire-based JBT Marine, (now RIBs For Sale) one of the leading second-hand Rigid Inflatable Boat distributors in the UK. But not before his new partner had put several Ballistic RIBs to the test in the unforgiving Trans Agulhas race in the shark-infested waters of Cape Agulhas off the southernmost tip of South Africa. The Ballistics performed superbly.
Parish and JBT Marine worked together to build the reputation of the Ballistic, in particular in the family leisure boating sector, before JBT Marine bought the rights to the boat in 2005. JBT Marine has since further expanded production of the Ballistic and continues to update and improve the boat’s design. It has also begun to build a global distribution network for the Ballistic. The brand is established in Scandinavia, where the boats are proving popular on the waters of Norway, Denmark and Sweden. With the sailing in the 2020 Games in Tokyo a new distributor has been appointed in Japan.
Built to the highest standards, the Ballistic Rigid Inflatable has a proven reputation for safety, stability, speed and seaworthiness, and is one of the best-equipped RIBs on the market. Hence, it is no surprise that Ballistic rigid inflatable boats are very popular with a wide range of users. Ballistics are used by military and law enforcement agencies across the world, including the Metropolitan Police in London, the South African police, the Norwegian police and the Fisheries Protection Service in Sierra Leone. Ballistic RIBs are also widely used by coastguards, harbour masters and dive clubs.
There are five boats in the Ballistic range: the Ballistic 4.3m, 5.5m, 6.0m, 6.5m and the Ballistic 7.8m. All are capable of supporting heavy loads at speed while at the same time giving a stable and comfortable ride.
The Ballistic family will grow in size, with smaller and larger models currently being tested. One of the new larger Ballistics in development is the Ballistic 12m Cabin RIB, which will combine the look, speed and handling of a rigid inflatable boat with the hard-top comfort of a cruiser (featuring a cabin, bed and toilet), a combination of performance and practicality that many other RIB manufacturers have so far struggled to achieve.
The core feature of the innovative Ballistic design is its unique three-part structure, which comprises individual hull, internal ladder chassis and deck mouldings. These three mouldings are bonded together with Lloyds-approved high quality resins and notably, there is no wooden panelling under the deck that can rot. This cutting-edge construction process sets the Ballistic apart from other RIBs and makes it one of the strongest and most durable rigid inflatable boats on the water.
The Ballistic’s superior, high-speed load-carrying capacity comes thanks to its unique reverse scallop chines which, coupled with its deep-V shape hull, gives it immense lift and pace. In addition, the Ballistic has a great finish, is easy to keep clean and its surfaces are non-slip.
The Ballistic also has a quite unique dual-purpose layout. This two-part design features jockey seating at the rear of the boat, enabling safe and comfortable rides at high speeds, and bench seating and room for a removable sunbed at the front, which allows the boat to be used for more relaxing activities.
The high quality of the Ballistic rigid inflatable boats enables the manufacturer to offer a superb guarantee. Each Ballistic RIB has a comprehensive, no-nonsense three-year guarantee for leisure users and JBT Marine offers excellent customer support, promising to fix any problem with one of its Ballistics.
Here’s a great piece of video footage showing a few Ballistic Rigid Inflatable Boats in action:
Here’s a link to a Ballistic boat test and review conducted by Hotribs Magazine: Hotribs Magazine Ballistic Test.