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Brig Eagle 8: 50-knot super RIB impresses in Guernsey test drive

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BRIG isn’t just the best-selling RIB brand in Europe, it is also the largest RIB manufacturer in the world – not bad for a Ukrainian company that emerged 25 years ago from the ashes of a former Soviet fighter jet factory.

So when it launches a new 8m model aimed squarely at the family leisure cruising market rather than the high-performance niche which British RIB builders tend to favour, it’s worth taking a closer look.

The Brig Eagle 8 is a handsome-looking craft. The iconic but dated radar arch and GRP end caps that used to identify the previous generation of BRIGs have gone to make way for sleeker, classier styling that could pass for a superyacht chase boat costing two or three times as much.

The large diameter hypalon tubes have a matt-effect textured finish as standard, while a fully moulded GRP deck with integrated seating that wraps around the stern makes it look and feel more like a high-end sportsboat than a utilitarian RIB.

Even the detailing cuts a dash, with rectangular section grab rails wrapped in matching hand stitched fabric and stainless steel cupholders recessed into both the helm console and transom bench armrests.

The layout is equally well thought out with a pair of comfortable bench seats facing each other across a removable table that stows away in a dedicated slot in the transom locker when not in use.

More seats in the bow can transform into a large sunpad, making clear that this is a boat designed to be just as enjoyable at anchor as it is under way.

And most importantly of all there’s a really generous heads compartment under the centre console that doubles as a handy dry storage area for everything from cushions to inflatable tenders.

To read our full review of the Brig Eagle 8, pick up the November 2019 edition of Motor Boat & Yachting, which is out now.