BRIG: The Eagle Series
BRIG have been a favourite of the market for years now, creating innovative and excellently designed rigid inflatable boats for over 28 years.
The technical precision and cutting edge technology exhibited by their RIBs is born from BRIG’s origins as military aeronautical engineers. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, they transferred their skills from fighter jets to leisure craft.
This reinvention of the factory has proved to be a wise decision, with BRIG now holding the title as the largest manufacturer of premium rigid inflatable boats in the world, as well as being the best-selling around the globe.
In January, BRIG visited boot Düsseldorf to display their Eagle Line. This series combines contemporary style and comfort with excellent capabilities of power and performance, covering every model, from high-end sports tender to stable cruiser.
The BRIG Eagle 8 has been awarded ‘Sportsboat & RIB of the Year’ 2020 by Motor Boat and Yachting Magazine. An evolution of the 780 luxury sports cruiser, this 8m model has contemporary styling as well as a sociable layout and excellent sea keeping performance.
We visited the BRIG stand to take a look at their refreshed Eagle line and speak to their founder and managing director, Slava Rodionov about the manufacturer’s success:
So can you tell us about BRIG and how it all began?
“BRIG was established in 1991, after being created by a few aircraft engineers in the beginning who organised the company. Since that time, we have strived to make our boats continually better throughout the years.
26 years ago in 1994, we were here at Düsseldorf Boat Show in a very small stand, with very small boats at the time. 26 years later, we have this beautiful, big stand you see here and we are leaders within the RIB market worldwide. So, that's a long journey from nothing, to the best RIB builder in the world.”
Coming from an aircraft background, could you explain how BRIG boats have taken inspiration from the aeronautical experience?
“There are a lot of similarities between boats and planes, particularly within the design and production. First of all, safety is always the most important factor when producing craft for water or air. Both environments are very dangerous for humans and this means that at every stage of the design and when developing your product, safety is at the forefront of every detail. We want to ensure that before everything else, the safety of the owners and passengers aboard our RIBs is of the highest priority and quality. The other similarities are within hydrodynamics and aerodynamics, both being very transferrable and both have driven the construction and design. So there are a lot of areas that have combined between the aircraft experience towards our RIB production.”
So you're here today with the ever-popular Eagle line, having both the 8 and the 10 being nominated for MBY sportsboat of the year! What is it about BRIG do you think that makes them so popular and award-winning in their class?
“We are very proud of that. Our attention to detail, attention to design and use of every square foot. The focus for comfort, safety and to allow our owners with as much versatility as possible. So they can be used in a variety of ways and conditions and be suited to them specifically I think. We also strive to be as efficient as possible at every stage, which keeps the price as competitive as possible and therefore more affordable for our customers. All of this combined, has provided the success we have received over the years I believe.”
You also have the new 6.7 and the 4 with you, are you expecting a similar level of success?
“We expect even greater success. This is because of our continual improvement and we hope owners of previous models, like the 650 and 645 would be eager to buy and move on to these, as they are better in every square inch rather than every square foot. So these boats have improved sea performance and efficiency - being able to use less fuel over the same distances essentially. We are making a concerted effort towards the environment by producing more ecological craft also, with better comfort and stability. We also keep our prices within the same range, so making our boats better but keeping the price the same, where we can. So we expect even more success and it is already showing with production at the moment.
So new models such as the Eagle 4 and 6.7, before they are released for sale, could you talk us through the tests that take place?
“We do a lot of testing. When we test a new model, or for any tests that we undertake, we use our own lake nearby to our city and we also give them to our distributors to test for themselves. The tests are hugely important for us to try and make every single detail better than the previous models. We have been very happy with the feedback we receive and some crucial changes have been made because of the constructive responses we have had. Following this, we believe these are the best boats on the market for this size.”
Have you noticed any changes to the market over recent years?
“We are seeing the average size of boats are becoming bigger and bigger. I cannot say for sure whether this is reflected across reports and for the UK but for ourselves in particular, in just three years our average order value has doubled. Each year we are selling bigger and bigger boats and more of them. Perhaps across the market, there might be fewer customers who are buying but the ones who are, are buying larger boats it seems.”
Do you recommend first-time buyers to begin with RIBs?
“Yes, it is probably easier to get into boating with inflatable boats because a RIB will be more forgiving than a fibreglass hull will be towards mistakes of a novice. I would recommend people to start with a small RIB but also to get people involved in boating, it is about being as close to nature as possible which low-profile boats allow. In a fibre-glass boat, the ride is different and generally, you won’t be as close to the water. In a RIB you can touch the water beside you and have that feeling in a more forgiving ride, that consumes less fuel because the boat is lighter. So I would say it suits many boaters in a few ways but particularly the first time owners. They can have a more affordable option and a boat that is easier to maintain and take in and out of the water, eradicating mooring costs. Everything is a little bit easier.”
Is there anything that you're doing at BRIG to be more environmentally friendly?
This is a complicated question because we have to use the same technology as the entire market. What we do is work on the drivability of the boats and fuel efficiency so that less is consumed but the engineers work on this constantly, whilst not compromising on the overall performance of our boats. We are also committed to build quality so you can get more out of our boats that can last for years to come, which in itself is better for the planet to have something that isn’t scrapped and useless after a shorter period.”
So what's next for BRIG in 2020/1?
There are a lot of plans and ideas ahead. Many are top secret, I cannot tell you right now I’m afraid but next year there will be new boats to launch next year and we hope to surprise the market again.
Lastly what advice would you give to someone looking to buy a RIB this year?
Look at the quality. Look at the design and details. Choose the best quality you can afford. Try to avoid paying more than once to get something turnkey ready.