Flexboat’s strong, sturdy ribs

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I attended a Honda Marine media event this summer where Flexboat had an inflatable and two RIBs available for testing: the 7-1/2-foot Miniflex-S, the 12-foot SR-12 SLX RIB and the 25-foot SR-760 RIB (below).

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“We’re trying to get people to realize that quality RIBs are lifetime boats, not disposable rubber toys,” says Rob Creemers, who with his wife, Jenny, owns AI Boats Marine Sales & Service in St. Petersburg, Florida. AI is the exclusive North American importer/distributor for Brazil-based Flexboat, whose fleet runs from 6-1/2 to 34 feet.

Flexboat uses military-grade Hypalon, says Creemers, who began selling the line last fall. The boats are shipped bare, and AI finishes them, installing the wiring, console, T-top, propulsion, steering and options. Creemer says AI has been a Flexboat dealer since 2007 but now has importation rights.

I put the SR-760 through its paces on a relatively calm Lake Oconee in Georgia. The boat exploded up on plane, keeping her bow down, and showed impressive midrange acceleration with twin Honda BF150s. This boat-engine package gets 3.8 mpg at 28 mph — that’s with twin 150s.

“It’s really a do-anything boat,” says Creemers. “It can be a fish boat, dive boat, tender, military boat, commuter or just for a family.”

The test boat, with its many options, was about $149,000. AI Boats, (727) 828-9953. www.aiboats.com

September 2014 issue