A RIB is a Rigid Inflatable Boat. It has a solid, usually v-shaped hull and inflatable tubes for gunwales.
The solid hull gives it the handling and performance to be used safely in rough conditions, and the soft tubes provide a gentle cushion to soften low-speed collisions. It is a development of the inflatable boat allowing for much greater loads and more stability. Most RIBs have a hull designed for hydroplaning at a reasonably low speed, minimising drag. The naturally buoyant nature of the inflatable tubes enables the boat to be completely filled up with water without sinking.

RIBs are commonly used in yachting as tenders to larger boats, safety craft in sailing, or as (professional) rescue boats. Most are outfitted with one or two outboard engines, but larger ones may be outfitted with inboard diesels. The smaller ones are usually very easy to drive, although a certain level of competence can make the ride a lot more comfortable and in rough weather even a RIB can't keep an unskilled captain absolutely safe.

RIBs are sometimes referred to as Zodiacs after the French company that developed and marketed the first succesful RIB. Another nickname is rubber, since many people inaccurately perceive the tubes to be made from rubber.

Rib (?), n. [AS. rib, ribb; akin to D. rib, G. rippe, OHG. rippa, rippi, Dan. ribbe, Icel. rif, Russ. rebro.]

1. Anat.

One of the curved bones attached to the vertebral column and supporting the lateral walls of the thorax.

⇒ In man there are twelve ribs on each side, of which the upper seven are directly connected with the sternum by cartilages, and are called sternal, or true, ribs. The remaining five pairs are called asternal, or false, ribs, and of these each of the three upper pairs is attached to the cartilage of the rib above, while the two lower pairs are free at the ventral ends, and are called floating ribs. See Thorax.


That which resembles a rib in form or use.

Specifically: (a) Shipbuilding

One of the timbers, or bars of iron or steel, that branch outward and upward from the keel, to support the skin or planking, and give shape and strength to the vessel

. (b) Mach. & Structures

A ridge, fin, or wing, as on a plate, cylinder, beam, etc., to strengthen or stiffen it.


One of the rods on which the cover of an umbrella is extended

. (d)

A prominent line or ridge, as in cloth

. (e)

A longitudinal strip of metal uniting the barrels of a double-barreled gun.

3. Bot.

The chief nerve, or one of the chief nerves, of a leaf.


Any longitudinal ridge in a plant.

4. Arch. (a)

In Gothic vaulting, one of the primary members of the vault. These are strong arches, meeting and crossing one another, dividing the whole space into triangles, which are then filled by vaulted construction of lighter material. Hence, an imitation of one of these in wood, plaster, or the like.


A projecting mold, or group of moldings, forming with others a pattern, as on a ceiling, ornamental door, or the like.

5. Mining (a)

Solid coal on the side of a gallery; solid ore in a vein.


An elongated pillar of ore or coal left as a support.



A wife; -- in allusion to Eve, as made out of Adam's rib.

[Familiar & Sportive]

How many have we known whose heads have been broken with their own rib. Bp. Hall.

Chuck rib, a cut of beef immediately in front of the middle rib. See Chuck. -- Fore ribs, a cut of beef immediately in front of the sirloin. -- Middle rib, a cut of beef between the chuck rib and the fore ribs. -- Rib grass. Bot. Same as Ribwort.


© Webster 1913.

Rib, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ribbed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Ribbing.]


To furnish with ribs; to form with rising lines and channels; as, to rib cloth.


To inclose, as with ribs, and protect; to shut in.

<-- 3. To kid; to poke fun at. -->

It [lead] were too gross To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave. Shak.

To rib land, to leave strips of undisturbed ground between the furrows in plowing.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.