Having played a big part in the success of Brig RIBs in the UK, the Wolf Rock Boat Company in Devon has added a very distinctive new powerboat brand to its portfolio.
Launched across Scandinavia in 2019, IRON Boats has brought to market what it calls “a unique concept in hybrid RIB sportsboat design”.
In place of an inflatable collar sitting astride the gunwales, it uses a low-profile D-shaped fender with a sequence of air channels.
It’s positioned relatively low down, around the periphery of the boat, enabling it to drop the centre of gravity and add extra protection during tricky coming alongside manoeuvres.
In spite of its RIB-style aesthetic, the fact that the collar sits outboard of the mouldings also means that an IRON boat is able to make full use of its internal volume, exactly like a conventional hard boat.
Designed among the wild archipelagos of Sweden by the largest RIB retailer in the world, the seagoing credentials of these boats look very strong.
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Whether you opt for the 647, 707, 767 or the flagship IRON 827 (pictured here), each of the four boats in the fleet benefits from the input of the Mannerfelt Design Team, whose hulls have scooped no fewer than 26 UIM Offshore Powerboat Racing World Championships.
And the IRON designers have worked hard to maximise that potential with centre console layouts for optimised weight distribution, alongside elevated bows and low-slung hull sides for a combination of reduced weight and uprated splash deflection.
While the IRON 827 is rated to carry a 450hp Mercury outboard for a top speed in excess of 60 knots, Wolfrock is choosing to equip its boats with Suzuki outboard engines to help ensure a reliable supply and to preserve the affordability of its on-the-water packages – and their value for money looks impressive.
By building their boats in Poland and simplifying construction with the integration of various modules that are common to all four boats, even the flagship IRON 827 is available at an all-in package price of less than £72,000 inc VAT.
At first glance of course, this new hybrid might look more akin to an offshore sportsboat in a wraparound fender than a high-performance RIB with sportsboat internals.
But if it does manage to combine the dynamics of a RIB with the space of a hard boat, it stands every chance of becoming another big success story for the Wolfrock Boat Company.
IRON 827 specifications
LOA: 27ft 5in (8.35m)
Beam: 8ft 6in (2.44m)
Engines: Single 250-350hp Suzuki outboard
Top speed (estimated): 50 knots
Starting price: £61,788 (ex. VAT)