Back in black
Each year in January, a fleet of superyachts glides into the Bay of Islands for the NZ Millennium Cup superyacht regatta. They annually bring with them an entourage of tenders, chase boats and official vessels vying for attention with the big girls – this year though; a sleek, black tender slipped into the Bay of Islands waters like a hawk amongst the pigeons.
It was a JP RIBS 10-metre, custom built for one of the competing yachts and launched just days before the regatta began. Charcoal grey tubes, matte stainless steel, slicks of glossy grey surface areas and touchably-soft graphite upholstery leathers had those on water and land craning for a closer look. As one young onshore observer commented, “whose is the batmobile-boat”?
It’s not the first head turner the team has built.
Futuristic & Exciting
In 2015, JP RIBS launched on to the scene with sleek, sexy RIBS and a driving ambition to bring something new to the market. Since then Jonny and Phil Edgar; a superyacht captain and master boat builder respectively, have been creating RIBS which are futuristic, exciting and have the clean lines which comes when good design meets form.
The first few iterations were matte black Custom 800 RIBS, available with or without cabins, followed by specially produced dive boats and several orders destined for superyachts. As the 10m launched in January, two sister boats were about to head to Italy to join their mothership; a 41m new build superyacht scheduled for launch mid-2018.
Common among them all is a heavy custom element which sees JP RIBS design each vessel specifically around the owner’s lifestyle. The larger of the vessels destined for Italy at the start of this year for example, was a similar size to the 10m creating a stir off Russell, but incorporated inboard engines and other elements to make her easy to load onto the mothership and be transported while underway.
Over on this side of the world, the tender destined for the Millennium Cup competitor was built for speed and comfort to explore remote regions as a day boat, with twin Mercury Verado 300 XL outboards to get her there.
Rough Water Capable
The hull design is by Anastasia Yacht Design and is a 23 deg deep V with plum bow and wide chines. The addition of a 900mm flange adds stiffness and great support for the tubes; a key factor in creating the excellent ride in rough sea conditions the vessels demonstrate. Coming from a mould range of 6m to 12m, the proven hull has been a popular choice for new orderers enamoured with its ability to cut through messy seas.
Ultra-stability mean these boats will handle a chop with ease and have been designed to keep passengers dry and comfortable – something which no doubt influenced the buyer of an 11m ordered as a day boat for the 36th America’s Cup and destined for the choppy waters of the Hauraki Gulf.
Keen yachting fans themselves, the JP RIBS team is fielding growing enquiries for America’s Cup chase vessels, with the average RIB they build easily achieving 50 knots while remaining an easy ride for guests. That pleasant experience is key in the design process. As a superyacht captain, having guests bumped around is anathema for Jonny, and as experienced spectators, ensuring guests are comfortable enough to spend a whole day on the water is crucial for both he and Phil.
Workhorse & Show Pony
Back on the waters of the Bay of Islands, the newly-launched 10m was showing her stripes for her new owner. Acting as tender to a racing superyacht means this vessel needs to be both workhorse and show pony. The aft U-shaped seating area provides a sumptuous lounging space for guests but can also be removed in its entirety to accommodate the mother yacht’s sail wardrobe if necessary.
With guests onboard, the centre aft seat is easily removable to allow for walkthrough access from the deck to the swim platform while leaving plenty of seating around the remainder of the U for passengers to enjoy the sun. The aft boarding platform is finished in Flexiteek and extends past the two outboards on either side of the vessel, with a swim ladder and custom ski pole adding to the boat-to-water connection.
A fridge drawer and expansive sunpad adds to the RIB’s credentials as a day boat though the design has been optimised to provide comfort without taking away from the ability to transport passengers. Case in point; at this year’s Cup the new owner’s crew was able to transport extra race crew and guests with ease around the Bay of Islands racing grounds, with the vessel comfortably accommodating 10-12 passengers with room to move and plenty of seats.
Storage is under the bow seats and in the centre console, which also houses a compact toilet and is accessed by a canvas zip entry. The helm itself is a custom piece with bespoke dash moulding for switches and instruments and finished in the glossy charcoal grey of the owner’s choosing, while a custom through-hull anchor controlled from the helm makes anchoring a fuss-free operation.
The twin Ullman jockey seats at the wheel are a talking point. Minimalist and sporty-looking, they’re designed to optimise body posture for comfort at high speed by allowing the human muscular reflex system to synergise with the mechanical suspension. And it works; riding at speed through the Bay of Islands waters as Jonny puts the vessel through her paces and Phil looks on from a nearby superyacht, the ride is exhilarating rather than impactful. There’s no sense of needing to brace every muscle on this RIB, even as she’s taken to her heights of performance.
Whether it’s the luxuriously-touchable upholstery, the soft tunes pumping from inset speakers, or the easy lull of a RIB which rides well in the water, this boat is, simply, a good place to be.
- Model & Model: JP RIBS 10m
- Priced from: POA
- Type: Centre Console RIB
- Construction: GRP/Hypalon
- LOA: 9.90m
- Beam: 3.50m
- Displacement: 2500-3000kg
- Deadrise: 23 deg
- Test Power: 2 x Mercury 300 Verado
- Power options: Twin Outboard or Sterndrive
- HP Range: 200-800hp
- Fuel Capacity: 450 litres