What is BIBOA?

BIBOA Ltd is the UK RIB club for those who like to cruise and socialise in Rigid Inflatable Boats. Read more.


To take part in any BIBOA sea-going event the skipper of the boat must be a paid up BIBOA member and there must be valid 3rd party insurance for the vessel. Non BIBOA Members are very welcome indeed as crew accompanying a BIBOA skipper. 

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Safe Cruising Guidelines - Hints on Organising a Cruise.......

BIBOA has been organising safe cruises and races for many years - but it can be all too easy to forget that when we started boating everything that many of us take for granted as "normal good practice" has often been learnt by making mistakes that could have been avoided.

The following articles are meant to be food for thought, and their relevance will of course depend on where you are boating, the size of your RIb, the weather, etc etc  - but even if you only pick up one tip them they will hopefully have been worth reading and thinking about .............

A Guide to Cruise Organisation
These notes are intended as a guide to members organising a cruise and are not intended to “teach my grandmother to suck eggs”. Any organiser will start with their first cruise, as we all have done. These notes are to assist in the safe planning and have been put together from the experience of those who have gone before.......
The organiser is the person that cruising participants will turn to for advice, and it will instil confidence if enquires can be answered clearly and accurately. If you are unsure, ask other experienced cruisers in BIBOA, who will be more than pleased to assist – Please DO NOT guess!
"Policy Statement"
'To arrange safe enjoyable cruises for BIBOA members.'
This will entail pre-cruise planning and managing the event on cruising days to maximise ribbing time.
Pre-Cruise Planning
  • Time spent on Planning is rarely wasted.
  • Cruise participants have become more and more committed to time. Time for families, time on other activities, time of school holidays, time for family holidays not involving ribbing and last but by no means least for most Time involved in working – to finance Ribbing.
  • Early planning is a necessity.
  • Involve a friend to help with the planning – “two heads are often better than one”.
  • Back-up options if the weather is not conducive to a seaward passage – rivers, estuaries, harbour.
  • Tides – can the marina be accessed at all states of the tide? Is it only available at certain times?
  • Where applicable, launching/craning for participants can be a stressful period. Suggest if possible that a competent person be organised to assist with this - especially if several RIBS are required to be launched/recovered in a short period.
  • Obtain all telephone numbers that will be required on the cruise, before the day.
Briefing Notes
  • Ideally a set should be sent/ e-mailed to members as soon as they show interest in the cruise.
  • Emphasise that timing can be of paramount importance, for instance, if a marina is only available at certain states of the tide or the tide is required for safe passage and depth, e.g. River Alde to Snape.
Pre-Cruise Brief
  • All skippers to be briefed before casting off. If boats are intending to join the cruise mid passage, ensure that the “late” boats have the cruise brief and cruise passage and contact details before the cruise starts.
  • What VHF Channel?
  • Latest weather forecasts and other important announcements e.g. gunnery practice off St Albans Head.
On the Cruise
  • The organiser requires to keep overall control and this can often be best facilitated from the rear of the fleet as the “sweeper”. A lead boat of an experienced local participant, to ensure safe passage on what may be unfamiliar coastline with hazards.
  • Pair up RIBS of similar size or a larger vessel who is prepared to shepherd on a “buddy” system. DO NOT leave RIBS behind to fend for themselves!
  • VHF check after leaving the berth.
  • On long runs, a rest stop for beverages and sustenance may be required.
Off the Water
  • Arrange evening meal together, where the days cruising can be actively discussed.
  • Ensure that all participants are aware of the following day’s itinerary, including start time - Suggest on the water with engines running and fuel tanks filled!
  • At the start of the cruise, try and coerce a member to write a short report with photos (if available) for inclusion in RIBLINES.

Happy and Safe Cruising!

Please Note - the above information should be used only as a guide to help you cruise safely. BIBOA cannot be held responsible for any ommisions and/or errors in the information given.