Walker Bay Generation 525 RIB: A Tender that’s a Serious Contender
The Walker Bay Generation 525 may change the way you look at RIBs
By Lenny Rudow
August 5, 2016
Most boaters know of Walker Bay for their polyethylene boats, but the new Generation 525 RIB runs on a fiberglass bottom. At 17’2” long, it’s also the largest boat they build. And with a big bench seat in the stern and bowrider-like lounges in front of the console, it’s most certainly going to be the most comfortable Walker Bay on the water.
The Walker Bay Generation 525 is no dinghy. In fact, it’s more than the average tender, too.
Construction isn’t just what sets it apart from the rest of the Walker Bay fleet, it’s also what sets it apart from the average rigid inflatable boat. The five-chamber tube is fabricated from UV-protected ORCA CSM fabric (AKA Hypalon), which is backed by a 10 year warranty, and stringers incorporated into the deck are polyurethane composites. The hull and deck are bonded with unidirectional glass and a polyurethane grid, and hardware like the grab rails, tow rings, davit lifting points, pop-up cleats, and even the cup holders are all stainless-steel.
Aside from the beefy build Walker Bay incorporated some unique touches into the Generation 525. For starters, the teak boarding steps are recessed into the gunwales. The driver’s seat has a flip-up bolster, and there’s an optional ski pylon you can add if you or the kids enjoy tow-sports. Heck, there’s even a 10 gallon freshwater tank and a shower at the transom—have you ever seen a feature like that on a 17-foot RIB? We didn’t think so.
Although the windscreen is just a tiny deflector, taken on the whole the Generation 525 has the brawn to serve as a runabout as well as a tender for larger yachts. Plus, Walker Bay says that with 115 horses on the transom it can hit speeds of 44 MPH. That’s an awful lot of zing for a boat of this size, and it means you’ll have no problem pulling tow-toys or yanking water skiers out of the hole. So whether you’re looking for a way to get from the yacht to the beach or you just want a RIB runabout, the Walker Bay Generation 525 is an option you’ll want to see.
Other Choices: The Williams Sportjet 520 is another 17’ RIB that has day-boat potential. The larger (and more expensive) Novurania Customline CL600 is also quite a bit more substantial than the average RIB, and was noted as exceptional in Rowdy RIBs: Five Rigid Inflatable Boats that are Beyond Awesome. To learn more about inflatables in general, read How to Choose the Perfect Inflatable Boat. And to learn more about RIBs in specific, read RIB Buying Guide: The Top 10 Questions You Should Ask. For more information, visit Walker Bay. See Walker Bay listings.