Recently Powerboat & Rib magazine carried out a Top Gear type test on the Rib X Explorer 450 rib.

This is the entry level Rib which has an overall length of 4.5m and a beam of 2.05m and this particular rib is rigged with a Mercury 60Hp, rear bench seat and helm bench seat (other seating options are also available).

The PBR tester Alex Smith made the following comments:

-'You can squeeze the nose up with a flick of the throttle, making things much more fun in a following sea'.

- 'The greatest dynamic pleasure here comes in the charming nature of 450's handling. There is a very pleasant balance between grip and slide in evidence here and it enables you to sling this little boat about in the most gung - ho and self indulgent manner'.

'-The 450 is a well priced and attractive little Rib'.

The PBR tester was not so impressed with the seating position / layout of the Rib or access from the water back onto the Rib, but this is all about personal preferences and Rib X will custom build to the customers requirements and various seat configurations / types are available; including Jockey seats, bench seats, leaning posts, console seats etc and a boarding ladder can also be fitted.

Overall the test confirmed that the 450 has great handling and sea keeping abilities and the full test report is available in the August / September edition of PBR magazine.

Comparing this to a test carried out by Sports Boat several years ago on the 450, the Sports Boat tester Bethan Ancell summarised as follows:

'This is a boat you can really get excited about, she lies there just begging to be taken out and thrashed and even on a grey, drizzing day you will discover a fresh passion for boating you might have thought you had lost. For a boat of this size and budget the XP 450 would make a great training boat for the kids and a top toy for the young at heart, she is dry , she is forgiving and she is awesome fun!

The 450 should definitely be a consideration if you are looking for an entry level size rib which is designed and manufactured in the UK