The Ultimate Boat Company
Motor Boat & Yachting|October 2021
The name may sound rather hubristic but thanks to a revolutionary new hull design it may not be far from the truth
Simon Everett

The 1950s and 1960s were a time of great innovation, driven by the race to the moon and the Cold War, which, believe it or not, is where the Ultimate Boat Company’s new range of rugged high performance RIBs has its roots.

The Ultimate Boat Company may be a relatively young Scottish-based yard but its talented team of designers includes a highly experienced naval architect by the name of John Moxham. Familiar to older MBY readers for hand-drawing the beautiful 3D colour layouts we used to publish back in the day, he is also an extremely talented boat designer. But he didn’t always design boats, he learned his trade in the aerospace industry, designing aircraft.

Back in the 1960s Moxham worked on the XB70 Valkyrie, a high-altitude supersonic bomber capable of flying at Mach3. It flew higher and faster than any fighter plane of its era. The key to its performance was specially shaped wing tips that trapped the air to give the increased lift and stability required to keep it flying in the thin atmosphere at 70,000ft.

The hull of the Ultimate Boat Company’s X-Class uses the very same principle. Instead of throwing the water out sideways, it rides on a cushion of entrapped water held there by Moxham’s specially shaped ‘retaining rails’. It is counter-intuitive but the compressed water also acts like a shock absorber, helping to soften the ride. In Moxham’s own words,

“When a boat is moving at speed, tonnes of water are moved to either side of the boat in the form of wash. Viewed from above, this wash forms a V shape. The new hull has vertical retainer rails which prevent the wash moving away from the hull. As the water is unable to move sideways or downwards a hydraulic force is formed which lifts the boat upwards, hence the principle of hydraulic lift.”

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