When you find yourself by the sea, the sun shining and your spirits buoyed by the excitement of summer, there are few better – or cooler – ways to make the moment even more memorable than by taking a boat out with friends. If this boat happens to be a luxury, high performance boat that oozes style and character, you are likely to want to make sure this moment happens again and again. Recently Bowler & Beach had the pleasure of being introduced to Ribeye Boats, a family-run company based in Dartmouth, Devon who happen to make very cool boats just like this to make these memorable moments a reality for their very lucky customers. We realised that on top of our love of the sun and sea and having an eye for style, Ribeye and Bowler & Beach have a lot in common, so in our ever-popular 10 questions in 10 minutes format here’s our conversation with Ross, one of the siblings now at the helm of the business…
[Bowler & Beach] For those who don’t know who Ribeye Boats are, how would describe the business and what you are about?
At Ribeye Boats, we specialise in building market leading British leisure boats and super yacht tenders that we sell around the globe. As a team or rather ‘family’, we live and breathe all things to do with the water and see our work as more of a hobby which we in turn put a lot of hours into like any business.
An important thing to us is to build boats that have an extremely high level of finish but are also strong and functional, made to last – like a Land Rover of the sea! As a 2nd generation family business we feel our experience and hands-on approach makes us different to the rest of the market which is shown in craft performance and features, as well as the way we conduct ourselves personally in a very niche and specific market.
We are based in the beautiful town of Dartmouth in Devon which has a strong naval maritime and boat building history, therefore it important for us ‘locals’ to produce products and to deliver a level of service that we and the rest town can be proud of.
Like Bowler & Beach, Ribeye is a family business – tell us more about the family members working on the business and something about them that not many people know…
The company was founded in 1998 by my parents Charles and Peta Chivers (now retired). My family, like many of our clients, used to holiday in Devon, spending lots of time on the water using boats such as Dorys or the legendary ‘Fletchers’! The family decided to move down to the Dart permanently, and the choice was made; Dad to start a boat company and to design a range of boats that would fill a gap in the market.
Apart from boats, Charles’s main passion is motocross, only recently retiring from the race track due to a big crash, with a long race career riding some beautiful British classic bikes. If you don’t know what a Triumph Metisse is, Google it! Peta’s main hobby is rowing and can often be found competing in various parts of the UK and also the annual ‘World Championships’ at the Isle of Scilly. Yes, my Mum is a World Champion Super Vet!
Today, we currently have three siblings working within the business, myself (Sales), my twin brother Danny (Operations) and my elder sister Ella (Marketing). Danny and I live and work together, we like to think that this makes us a lethal business team due to the time we spend endlessly going over our business in terms of strategy, products etc. However one will throw the odd jab and right hook from time to time… When Ella (another rower) joined the business around 6 years ago having left a 6 year career in London, she thought it wise to recruit yet another family member to Ribeye, Charles the Dog! Office dogs do seem to be the thing right now and for me being the Salesman when with clients, I often struggle getting the topic back to boats!
What is your favourite place in your local area to take your boats to?
For me, my favourite run out in a Ribeye is heading over to Salcombe from Dartmouth which covers some beautiful coastline. Whilst on route you will head past ‘Slapton Sands’ where you can bring your boat in very close to the beach which runs parallel a road, which then in turn enables you to race cars in a boat!
Upon arrival to Salcombe there are endless things to do. The first being to get the ‘swimmers’ – or Bowler & Beach swim shorts – on and to do a bit of wakeboarding before dropping anchor and swimming into the golden sandy beaches…bat and ball anyone? The Salcombe town centre is also bubbling with things to do. Island Street Bar and Grill has got to be one of the most picturesque places to have lunch by the water in the country with the best vibe. Just down the road there is also the new Salcombe Gin Company. Don’t drink and boat, however I would suggest picking up a bottle of their gin and having a double measure once home with a slice of grapefruit…phenomenal!
Quality, craftsmanship and detail are very important to you – like they are for Bowler & Beach – and your boats incorporate the very best in British craftsmanship and design cues – what are your favourite touches?
I think some of the keys similarities of Bowler & Beach and Ribeye Boats are the finishing touches and finer details. When the first Ribeye was designed, the number one thing to incorporate was to have a hull design that enabled the most advanced driving or helming experience on the market. Off the back of achieving this, the company has continuously looked to refine finish and features: more fabrics, more textures, different colours used.
When speccing a Ribeye there really is a plethora of different options available to the client, making every boat unique. My favourite part of my role is taking a client or family through the different stages of the build process, starting with the laminate construction, all the way through to choosing the piping on a seat. It’s by this step by step process that our clients leave us knowing they have acquired something quite special and unmistakably British.
What are your favourite Bowler & Beach swim shorts and why?
Well for me my number one is ‘the Seahorse’. Most of my B&B shorts are of that of nautical name and design and I love pastel colours. The Seahorse were my first pair and came as an obvious first choice as one of my favourite Ribeye boat builds to date was a super yacht tender provided to a yacht called Seahorse. By the way, Seahorse is available for charter if you fancy a nautical holiday in a big boat, with a beautiful Ribeye tender..!
We have fitted out boats out with all sorts over the years from cameras, to custom dog baskets with lighting and water supply! However it’s usually the more bespoke yacht tenders that go pretty off the wall. Last year we had a Super Yacht owner who insisted he would only choose the Ribeye if we were to upholster the seats in actual Hermes orange... If you are in the French Riviera at all this season, keep an eye out!
Which three famous people would you like to take out on one of your boats and what would you do?
1. Lewis Hamilton. I think Lewis is pretty cool and wears some decent gear (says the Devon Boy). I would like to take Lewis out in one of our Ribeye PRIME’s which are our new high-end range of market-leading boats. I was once watching the Monaco grand Prix on television and during the build-up just before the race, the camera suddenly captured a Ribeye blasting in through a marina carrying Lewis, who was slightly running late to the party, or race, in this instance. This got some good attention for us, however the Ribeye itself was one of our slightly older models, hence why I would love that exact scene to happen again but in one of our finest.
2. Gary Vaynerchuck. This guy is an awesome personality to follow for business, branding and sales inspiration. He like me worked for his family’s business and I can relate to a lot of the things he talks about. He’s also funny as hell and loves good wine, so I think a boat trip would be a lot of fun and filled with deep business talk. I could go for hours!
3. Ben Howard. When I’m not listening to house music I like to go unplugged or rather, just listen to Ben Howard. I don’t know Ben but I do live in the very small quirky town called Totnes where he is from. Like the millions of others, his music is sensational and really does take me back to certain times in my life which is an amazing thing really. Everyone at Ribeye sees Ben as ‘our boy’, so I think a boat trip with Ben from Totnes, up the River Dart to the Ribeye Boats HQ in Dartmouth would be really chilled, however I would only do this if he brought his guitar!
Where will you be wearing your Bowler & Beach swim shorts this summer?
Despite summer 2017 looking to be the most busy summer of my life and for Ribeye boats, there will definitely be some times where I find myself in a boat, in the sun, wearing some decent shorts so to name a few abroad: Monaco, Cannes, Ibiza (two of the three work related…and house, house house!) and in the UK: Dartmouth, Salcombe, Jersey, River Exe and maybe London.
Suns out Guns out? Not for me.. rather ‘Which way to the Bowler and Beach?’!!
If you want to know more about Ribeye and their very cool boats check out their website http://www.ribeye.co.uk/ and their Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/ribeyeboats/, and watch this space as we are likely to do more with the Chivers and the Ribeye family over the summer!