With an appreciative audience of VIP guests, suppliers and media in attendance, the very latest Scorpion RIB, a 9m model named the STRIKE, was unveiled on Press & Preview Day at the PSP Southampton Boat Show last Friday. There were audible gasps of ‘WOW‘, “amazing“, “well, that’s not what I expected“, heard around the attractive Boat Show stand as the black covers were lifted off to reveal a stunning duck egg blue and cream boat, the like of which has not been seen before from this most famous of RIB marques. A round of spontaneous applause followed the cheers as the minutes passed and everyone took in what they were actually seeing. She is a stunner, of that there is no doubt. The Editor of RIB International, Hugo Montogomery-Swan, told me that without a doubt it was one of the best-looking RIBs he’d ever seen and the best launch (and quality turnout) he’s been to! Praise indeed.
I noticed that in the few photographs I’ve seen from the launch, that the Managing Director of Scorpion, Patrick Byrne, is always looking at his boat, his baby. Meanwhile, his Sales Manager, Stewart Thornley, appeared quite choked as he pulled back the covers to reveal the STRIKE. “It feels like I’ve just given birth”, quoth he.
The 9 metre Scorpion STRIKE redefines the RIB as we know it, blurring the edges between a practical rigid inflatable and a sports boat. This is a well priced, high quality, stunning looking Sports RIB that takes the legendary ride and handling of a Scorpion to another level and will make the owner the envy of the pontoon.
The hull modifications have been worked out between Scorpion’s Greek sister company, RIBCO and Scorpion RIBs UK and the superstructure of the boat has been designed under the guidance of Andy Griggs, Scorpion’s head of design.
The Scorpion STRIKE is based on a remodelled Scorpion stepped hull and fitted with a single outboard engine. Scorpion’s objective was to manufacture a high quality RIB with superior ride quality, good performance, safe handling and good fuel economy.
This model also sees the start of a collaboration between Ullman Dynamics of Sweden, the world leaders in shock mitigation seating, and Scorpion RIBs. With Scorpion, safety is paramount and the design and handling capabilities give owners the confidence to know that they are always in control at the helm.
Twin-engine performance from a single outboard
Prototype STRIKE hulls have been on test in a secret location during the past year and, using a single engine 300hp four stroke outboard, have been reaching speeds comfortably above 55 knots with fuel consumption of about 1 litre a mile at 35 knots. Both the ride and the handling have been above expectation.
The Scorpion STRIKE with a single Mercury 300hp Verado, Ullman seating, VHF Radio, Chart plotter and Flexitek Decking is priced at £79,450 inc. VAT delivered ex Works Lymington.
Other models on display at the Show are the exquisite-looking twin engine Scorpion Serket 8.5m (maroon and grey colour scheme is fabulous) and the sharp-looking single engine Scorpion Sport 6.5m.
Scorpion has also launched a brand new website where you can read all about the company, and its range at http://www.scorpion-ribs.co.uk
Postscript : I will await the press comment and boat tests with interest. Regrettably this is my swansong with Scorpion after working with the brand since 2007 when it was under previous ownership. The new Owner and MD Patrick Byrne has decided after two years that he has ‘outgrown me’. I might just be driven to comment on this decision further, and in due course, on my personal Blog at http://www.theamuse.wordpress.com