In its first year as title sponsor of the RYA Dinghy Show, Suzuki has launched three RYA-recommended safety boat packages for affiliated sailing clubs...
Suzuki and Rigiflex
At the entry level, it has teamed up with Rigiflex, renowned for building some of the best compact roto-moulded plastic safety boats around.
These joint-free, one-piece, polyethylene craft are massively robust and have proven well able to provide years of maintenance-free service. This particular model (the Newmatic 360) is spot on for the rough and tumble of concerted inland and inshore use and is being packaged with a Suzuki DF9.9 for just £3,860.
Suzuki and Ribcraft
Further up the scale, there has been a rekindling of the team that helped provide the fleet for the London Olympics.
On the one hand, you have Ribcraft (famous British RIB builder and friend to the traditional mariner who values substance over swagger); and on the other you have Suzuki (perennial eschewer of the big shows, regular attender of the small ones and self-styled ally of the grass-roots boater).
The two models selected for the scheme are the Inshore 4.8 and the Coastal 5.85 – the former with a Suzuki DF40 for £13,832 and the latter with a DF90 for £21,483. Okay, so these prices are apparently “special” RYA club deals, but I have no doubt that if you give the builders a bell, they will be able to sort something out – and if they can’t, then how about a third (rather extraordinary) option that also appeared on the Suzuki stand...
Suzuki and Winboat
Yes, it’s a foldable boat from little known Russian builder, Winboat. Established in 2008, the company builds RIBs that fold into a single compact unit, enabling rigid-hulled boating alongside compact inflatable convenience.
There are several models in a range that goes from 3.3 to 5.3 metres in length and I have to say, the concept looks extremely promising - but I have yet to get one on the water, so rather than recommend it now, I shall add it to the priority list and get back to you with a test report as soon as I can...