Highfield Sport range to spur further growth

Highfield Boats on a banner year - new launches and adapting to supply chain challenges

The last 12 months have proved pivotal for aluminium RIB and inflatables manufacturer Highfield Boats, which has seen – despite the turmoil of Covid – demand for its products surge, not least for its new flagship Sport 800.

The Sport 800 represents a flag in the ground for the manufacturer’s ambitions going forward. With an order book running into 2022, and financials that saw it round out 2020 with turnover up 8% on budget – despite shutting down manufacturing in China for six weeks at the height of the pandemic – the brand is doubling down on its successful strategy with consolidation of its tender ranges and a new, bigger model, on the cards for this year.

Highfield Sport-800-09

Highfield's flagship Sport 800

“We really wanted to challenge ourselves with the Sport 800,” says European Brand Manager, Steve Harrison, with Highfield employing the services of Norwegian race hull designer Petter Martens to develop a unique triple-step aluminium hull, to offer extra seakeeping and performance capability. “We have produced a boat that is good for 200 offshore miles and can carry a family in comfort across the Channel (it can be spec’d with onboard toilet, shower, sink and fridge). Customers understand that about Highfield; that seakeeping capability with comfort is where we win.”

The Sport 800 embodies the brand’s ambition for now – but this year a new Sport 900 will hit the water as Highfield pushes the technological and luxury envelope that bit further. “Five years ago our turnover was derived 70% from our tenders, 30% from RIBs – today it’s much more 50/50,” explains Harrison, a balancing act that Harrison says is imperative to growing the business on two fronts. For all its advances with medium and larger RIBs, the manufacturer remains fully committed to developing and growing its tender business.

The manufacturer will produce some 5,000 this year, adding to the 40,000 or so it has delivered since it launched a decade ago.

“Seakeeping capability with comfort is where we win.”

European Brand Manager, Steve Harrison

Despite the success of its model launches, robust order book and growing demand, Harrison says Highfield has its eyes wide open to industry challenges ahead – not least supply chain and logistical issues as the world adapts to Covid.

“Our guys have been managing to cope with raw material supply issues, for instance for our for instance for our tube fabric, as the strong financial footing of the business allows us to carry a lot more raw materials inventory, but logistics are undoubtedly a problem. This time last year we were paying around $4k a container for shipping – now it’s $12k! But we have a loyal and stable dealer group with which we’re sharing those costs without passing them all on to the end user.” Outboard engine supply is another temporary headache Harrison admits, but in the greater scheme fails to take the gloss of what is already turning into another banner year for the Sino-French firm.


Highfield Boats is a world leader in aluminium rigid inflatable hull boats delivering some 40,000 RIBS globally since 2010. Offering a complete line of tenders, family RIBS and high-performance commercial craft ranging in length from 2.4 metre tenders to the 5 metre plus sector where it is a global player. Featuring exclusive powder-coated aluminum hulls, Highfield boats are built in the company's state of the art production facility covering 10,000sqm in Weihai, China and operating under European management.

  • Founded 2010
  • Chinese - French ownership
  • 200 employees worldwide
  • Factory in Weihai, China
  • Facilities in Australia, China, UK and US
  • Product lines:
    • Ultralite and Classic entry-level tenders
    • High-performance commercial craft
    • Sport range luxury family RIBS
  • Distributed in over 40 countries
  • Main markets: France, US, Canada, Australia, UK

Highfield fleet for Vendee Globe

Highfield supplied key support again to the Vendée Globe yacht race. A total of 46 of Highfield’s offshore RIBs from 6.6 metres to 8.6 metres provided organisational support and fleet security for the 2020-21 event.

Highfield Boats New range large to small 3000x

Highfield Boats exceeds 12-month sales expectations


The US supplier of RIBs and tenders overcomes severe logistical challenges

Highfield US HomePage

Highfield Boats launches North American website


Highfield Boats, the US manufacturer of aluminium RIBs and tenders, has launched a new website specifically for the North American market.

Screenshot 2021-01-12 at 17.04.41

Highfield Boats appoints new dealers


Erie Marine, Datrex Inc and Defender Industries join US RIB and tender builder’s US dealer network

Highfield fleet before the start

Official supplier Highfield Boats front & centre at start of the Vendée Globe


The eighth edition of the Vendée Globe sailboat race got underway yesterday with 33 racing yachts and a fleet of Highfield RIBs orchestrating the security and organisation of the start.


Highfield Boats appoints SA distributor


Knysna Yamaha to represent Highfield’s RIB and tender range in South Africa

Highfield Sport 76

New range, new vision as Highfield looks to redefine the RIB and inflatables sector


As Covid-19 turns the world upside down, Highfield has been doubling down on a growth strategy that will transform the RIB and inflatables landscape. A raft of new model launches targeting new markets and a refinement of its current extensive portfolio, look set to give the Sino-French firm a strategic ...


Highfield Boats launch electric RIB line in partnership with Pure Watercraft


Highfield Boats, manufacturer of aluminum-hull rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), has announced a strategic partnership with Pure Watercraft, makers of the Pure Outboard complete electric marine propulsion system.