Carson Interceptor 9.5m review

Having been invited up to the Moray Firth to visit Probond Marine please find below our review of the Carson Intercetor 9m RIB

First impressions Location

When walking to the boat the first thing that will go through your mind is where you are. This needs to be stated as simply this is the remote Moray Firth and if it goes wrong here, the odds are you are not coming back. 
Please just look at a map and see where their test grounds are for the Carson RIBs. Some would call it brave or stupid but for experienced RIB users this is one of the best places to really try a RIB where the ride and handling is vital.

First Impressions of the Boat

OMG. Someone has over sized a Tonka toy! This boat looks tough. It makes the face of Mike Tyson look sweet an innocent. Old Landover fans will love it. People who appreciate commercial machinery will drool. This is a commercial model and it is not being shy about it. It also screams indestructible and though nothing is, it does you give a feeling that it built to be used.
If all you want to do is show off to your white teeth pals, whilst the RIB sits in a marina never to be used apart from a quick trip in the harbour look elsewhere!

A closer look

Climbing on board down harbour steps was easy due to the D tubes and what’s more the obvious extra space this gave is there for all to see. I have been told this option is available on 6m and upwards RIB’s. The square bow also gives more space a bit like a Brigg but with a very very different hull and that I think is a key difference when it comes to ride as they are miles apart!!!

The stainless steel transom that is on all Carson RIB’s is a nice standard and displaces the loads of the engines through the rest of the hull. Do I understand this from a technical side….. NO. I do though like the added thought that has gone into the boat and that this has been put there for added longevity.

Fundamentally the biggest thing you notice is space.

Probond Claim 30% more for the same sized RIB and I must say that it at least feel like that. Space on RIB’s is always a problem and this means I could buy a smaller RIB that will need a smaller trailer, smaller engine, less cost , easier to tow etc if it handles……….

How it handled

Most people love to show me what the boat will so called “do” but as some RIB manufactures know I like to do things a bit different and Colin simply said OK to my request so lets play.

Balance. Considering the 900HP on the back the balance was good. It was not perfect as the boat had been set up for storage in the bow that was simply not on board, and to be fair this looked like a huge amount of space.

Turning. Like all RIB tests owners like to turn sharp and show what it will do and to be blunt for a 9m+ RIB it was stunning. Yes some boats will turn a fraction tighter but….. only 1 boat have been on does it with as little drama as this girl. The boat seems to handle what is asked with ease and though I don’t want to keep saying the same thing this again was done with drama at all.

Coming off the plane: Buzzing around does not impress me. What does though is how smooth and how quick the Carson stops without smashing your face off a console or needing to hang on for dear life like a lot of boats do. So in our none PC direct and blunt way, give that man a bacon role. This is high class, and very few RIB’s can match this.

Wave bashing. As daft as this will sound I asked Colin to go and play and not tell me when he was going into waves or wakes from the few commercial boats that were out. My reason for this is simple. In Scotland conditions change a lot and to be honest I am often thinking of other things and not concentrating on the boat. 
To say I was surprised is an understatement. This could be the ultimate no drama boat that has ever been built. You could be on this for hours and work on your laptop, enjoy Scotlands west coast and simply not care or worry as the ride is that smooth. I openly exaggerate here but it like being in a Rolls Royce on a F1 track it is that smooth!

Overall

You look at the boat an expect it to bash into waves but it doesn’t it slices them and gives a smooth ride. You expect it to be hard to handle and yet even I could handle this at over 60 knots without a care in the world. You expect it to bang and yet the only noise is the verado engines. You expect it to fight you like a badly handling supper car and yet it so easy to live with you will simply stay out far longer than you had planned for.

Summery

Sceptics will tell you rubbish as they have not tried it. Bling fans will look at this and go OMG, people though who know their boats will try it and fall for it head over heels. With the first pictures released of 5.5 m that looks far more wife friendly and will be shown at the Scottish boat show the Carson will be a must test for serious RIB users who will want to spend hours on the water who apriciate the small differences that make a good RIB a great RIB.

Notes

We are hoping to test the new 5.4 at the Scottish boat and more info on the soon

Techincal details: We simply tested the boat and hence please speak to Probond Marine directly as we are not dealers for their RIB’s. https://www.probondmarine.co.uk/

Commercial RIB, Carson 9.5, Probond Marine Ltd