Boat Review By Pierce Hoover

The Walker Bay Solution

As if supplying the world with affordable hard dinghies isn't enough, Walker Bay introduces a line of small RIBs

After capturing a share of the dinghy market with its unusual thermo-formed products, Walker Bay USA has turned its attention to RIBs. With its Genesis line of 9- to 11-foot rigid inflatable boats, the company is inject ing some fresh ideas into this popular category of tender.

What this Yakima, Washington, manufacturer brings to the small-boat arena is the ability to create hulls that are not only more ding-resistant than traditional fiberglass offerings but also sophisticated in design and detail. The key to this is the company's access to large-scale injection-molding technology. While this is common for small, high-volume items, not all facilities can create molded parts the size of Walker Bay's signature 8- and 10-foot dinks. But Walker Bay has just such a plant right in Yakima, the center of the state's inland fruitgrowing empire, where a 70-

ton steel mold—used to form apple crates—applies working pressures of up to 5,000 tons per square inch.

This device, plus Walker Bay's ability to keep up with the demand for its most popular sizes, enables it to offset the significant costs of tooling and manufacturing. Rather than simply mimic existing RIB designs in a new material, Walker Bay's design team undertook extensive R&D that explored the shape of the bottoms and such seemingly minor details as the composition and positioning of tube-mounted carrying handles. Taking advantage of the characteristics of thermoplastic materials, the designers sculpted hull shapes that incorporated details not found on traditional fiberglass RIBs.

Among these are a replaceable urethane grounding plate, inset nylon trim tabs that increase lift at the transom, and two built-in wheels that allow the boat to be rolled easily on the hard by one person. The hull also incorporates chines to improve turning performance and a V-shaped keel pad near the transom that directs cleaner water to the prop. The removable bench seat has a recessed cup holder and a removable gear tray set under a hatch.

Removable floor panels allow a fuel line to run from

SkySail Luxury Condominiums & Marina and SkySail Yacht Club, set in historic New Bern, North Carolina, near the famed Outer Banks, welcomes you home.

SkySail Luxury Condominiums & Marina and SkySail Yacht Club are now taking reservations for move-in the summer of 2007.

If) © 2006, Soleil Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

LUXURY CONDOS FROM THE 230's PROTECTED INTRACOASTAL MARINA

www.SkySailNewBern.comwww.SkySailYachtClub.com

100 Middle St. New Bern, NC 100 Middle St. New Bern, NC

866.759.4220 866.759.4220

LUXURY CONDOS FROM THE 230's PROTECTED INTRACOASTAL MARINA

www.SkySailNewBern.comwww.SkySailYachtClub.com

100 Middle St. New Bern, NC 100 Middle St. New Bern, NC

866.759.4220 866.759.4220

Ownership includes the opportunity to place your unit in a rental arrangement.

Rigid Inflatable Boat Plans

All Walker Bay Genesis RIBs are designed to turn efficiently and plane quickly, even with a single passenger and no tiller extension.

a bow-mounted tank to the engine, which is attached to an extruded aluminum transom that can easily accommodate a 10- or 15-horse-power four-stroke, depending on the RIB model (see "Walker Bay Genesis by the Numbers," page 126).

Tubes are constructed of either Heytex PVC or PennelOrca Hypalon, depending on the model selected, and the boats feature bluff bow sections to increase interior volume. All seams are glue sealed and buffed both inside and out. The injection-molded hull also permits a feature usually found on much larger and more expensive RIBS: the ability to remove the tubes for repair or replace-

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