Cobra is of one of the UK’s leading rigid inflatable boat brands and was one of the first family leisure RIBs. The Cobra RIB – the Volvo Estate of the sea – has a reputation for reliability, value for money, good performance and a quality finish.
The history of Cobra RIBs dates back to 1969 with the establishment of Picton Boats in Bridgend, South Wales by expert boat builder Dave Picton. Picton Boats first entered the RIB sector in 1989, drawing on a background of powerboat design and construction, with the creation of the Picton Cobra rigid inflatable boat.
The Picton Cobra RIB was a commercial boat but the brand was quickly developed. Picton Boats was amongst the first RIB companies to recognise the potential of RIBs as family leisure craft, a realisation that led to the launch of the Cobra Nautique RIB brand, a luxury family rigid inflatable boat line. In total, since the late 1980s, over 200 Cobra RIBs have been manufactured.
The ownership of Picton Boats and the Cobra rigid inflatable boat portfolio changed hands in March 2007, when the company was purchased by Dorset-based entrepreneurs Stephen Arkell and Malcolm Patrick. The two Cobra RIB enthusiasts have promised to develop the Cobra RIB range in the UK and across Europe.
Originally conceived for commercial use, Cobras were widely used by dive clubs and were renowned for their excellent build quality and sea-keeping ability in the British coastal waters.
The creation of the Cobra Nautique luxury family leisure boat range has brought the Cobra RIB brand to a much wider audience and the family boats have gained a reputation for combining safety with speed. These comfortable rigid inflatable boats give a dry, smooth ride and possess good rough water handling capabilities.
A pioneer in the development of the family leisure RIB sector, Picton Boats was among the first boat builders to experiment with sculpted seating, forward seating areas and sunbeds on RIBs. Every Cobra Nautique RIB is now fitted with a bench seat at the rear which is designed for family use.
Cobra RIBs also boast a unique a dual purpose driver seat design, meaning that the driver of the boat can either sit in the seat as if it were an armchair or stand and lean against the seat, using it as a back support.
Another stand-out feature of Cobra RIBs is their deep V-shaped performance hull, the design of which helps give them strong sea-keeping ability.
Today, the Cobra Nautique luxury family leisure RIB is Picton Boat’s main product. The company also custom builds Heavy Duty Cobra RIBs for commercial use.
The Cobra Nautique RIB line ranges from 6m to 14m, with the Cobra 6.6m, the Cobra 7.55m, the Cobra 8.6m, the Cobra 9m and the Cobra 10.25m the main models. Cobra Heavy Duty rigid inflatable boats range from 6m to 20m.
The new Cobra Nautique 6.6m was launched at RIBEX 2007 (www.ribexhibitions.co.uk), with its design based on the larger Cobra 7.55m model. The Cobra 6.6m features a higher bow shear and slightly tapered tubes, giving it the performance capabilities of its larger stablemates. It also has new jockey seating.
The new Cobra Nautique 8.6m was launched at the London Boat Show (www.londonboatshow.com). This sleek looking boat features a higher bow shear and slightly tapered tubes as well as a new sunbed stowage box and a new contoured bench.
The majority of Cobra RIBs are powered by outboard engines but there are a number of inboard models available, all of which are sized 8.5m and upwards. Cobra RIBs are compatible with engines ranging from 25hp to a massive 350hp.
Cobra RIBs are not designed for use with any particular engine, however Suzuki (www.suzuki-marine.co.uk), Yamaha (www.yamaha-motor.com) and Mercury (www.mercurymarine.com) are all popular choices.
Outboard-powered Cobra RIBs can also be used with other engines, such as Evinrude E-Tec, Yanmar, Tohatsu, Optimax and Mariner.
Follow this link to the Rib Magazine website where you can see a Cobra Nautique 8.5m in action: Rib Magazine Cobra Nautique 8.5m Review