Just as distinctive as the creatures from which they take their name, Scorpion RIBs are dominant in the rigid inflatable boat market. Featuring a unique, specially designed hull, a Scorpion is the ultimate RIB for speed and safety. Managing director Patrick Byrne explains the reasons behind Scorpion’s success, and its growing appeal as a super yacht tender.

Patrick Byrne was a customer of Scorpion RIBs before he acquired the company in 2008. ‘I first bought a Scorpion in 1999 to buzz around Chichester Harbour and pop over to the Isle of Wight,’ he explains, ‘but by the end of the first month, I’d done 2000 miles. It’s different to every other RIB I’ve bought – once you’ve driven one you don’t want to stop.’

After taking the helm of the company, Patrick has driven Scorpion to become a powerhouse for superyacht tender builds. For yachts under 70m that require a chase boat towed behind, the renowned stability of a Scorpion is especially effective in high seas – and the RIB won’t damage the yacht’s hull. ‘A Scorpion is the perfect superyacht workhorse,’ says Chris Cecil-Wright, ‘it offers the right mix of performance and flexibility in customisation – and for a reasonable price.’ 

Founded 20 years ago in the UK (where the rigid inflatable boat was invented and developed) Scorpion redefined the market in 1995 by devising a deep V hull specifically for a RIB. The consequence was a supremely smooth and safe ride, even in rough seas and at great speed. Scorpions have since broken several international racing records and challenged traditional RIB stability tests, ‘The Silurian 1080 is stable beyond 90 degrees,’ says Patrick, ‘which is off the charts.’ 

The company’s reputation for reliability, build quality and fuel efficiency has secured its presence in the world of professional sailing, namely a prestigious partnership with Land Rover, Ben Ainslie Racing (including supporting the team in the 2015 America’s Cup), and a commission from Oracle Team USA for a custom built chase boat for the 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

The Scorpion standard range consists of five handcrafted models spanning 8.8m to 11m, but the dedicated facility in Lymington can custom build to an owner’s specifications. ‘We can coordinate seating and colours to the yacht and add anything from sound systems and water atomizers, to ice boxes and fly rod holders,’ Patrick explains, ‘We even have an option of an opening nose with carbon steps so you can run on to the beach.' 

Discerning owners of yachts such as NATORI, QM OF LONDON and HAMPSHIRE II have all purchased Scorpion RIBs, recognising their hardwearing nature and quality finish. HEMISPHERE – the largest catamaran in the world – has bomb doors to lower its Scorpion RIB onto the water. Patrick often hears from enthused clients and captains, and HEMISPHERE is no exception: ‘Of the several tenders onboard HEMISPHERE, the 8.2m custom built Scorpion is the only one that hasn’t needed repeated repairs.’

“We call them ‘Chase & Escape’ boats, as you’ve got no problem going 50miles up the coast in a Scorpion RIB for the day. You couldn’t do that in a limousine."

Patrick Byrne

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