SCORPION, a British manufacturer of rigid inflatable boats, has only produced 350 boats in its 20 years in business – less than one and a half per month.
Yet two of the teams in the 35th America's Cup that has just taken place in Bermuda relied on Scorpion models as support boats.
So what makes these boats stand out from the myriad of other RIBs that are available, usually at much more modest prices?
More than two decades ago Scorpion RIBs were among the first to explore the possibilities of a boat that was neither a totally practical Land Rover of the seas, nor a load carrying picnic boat with capacity for lots of people in flat water but compromised abilities in rough weather.
Instead the company re-imagined the RIB as a stylish all-weather boat that would give owners a comfortable, dry ride, with outstanding ability and confidence in rough conditions.
This quickly earned the company an impressive haul of world endurance records and racing results. The deep V hull, with a 24 degree deadrise, is both fuel efficient and gives a comfortable ride at speed when taking big waves head on.
The 36ft Scorpion 1080 for instance has a super lightweight resin infused, vacuum sealed hull. This, along with the sleek lines, means it can achieve high speeds with a smaller engine, which saves further weight.
That means it can achieve a given range with smaller fuel tanks, saving even more weight. These factors all contribute to the comfort, reliability and fuel efficiency of the design.
All models are customised to suit the needs of individual owners and can be equipped with either outboard or inboard diesel engines, including jet drive options.