Cobra Ribs

A Dorset based boat building company is to launch a new range of family leisure boats that will help it to compete on the international stage, with funds and support from the South West Growth Fund and SWMAS Ltd.

The project

Cobra Ribs, based in Christchurch, has been at the forefront of the luxury rib market since the late 1980s. It not only has a strong UK following, but exports its handcrafted boats across Europe, as well as other destinations such as the US, Australia, Hong Kong and the Caribbean.

Through working with SWMAS, the company secured a £20,000 grant through the South West Growth Fund, to fund the design and launch of a new series of Rigid Inflatable Boats (ribs) aimed at the family market.  

SWMAS is supporting the business with improvement projects to help streamline production processes, create capacity to fulfil demand for the new range and really accelerate the impact of the grant.  SWMAS has helped to reduce waste and improve layout to increase efficiency, as well as helping to facilitate problem solving and developing and supporting a prioritised action plan.


Cobra Ribs has seen a significant number of immediate benefits to its business through the implementation of the improvement projects. The support has led to a reduction in costs brought about by the more efficient use of space which has reduced the unnecessary movement of materials. Factory layout has been improved through the installation of a purpose built customer viewing platform as well as a new visual production area and the set up of sub assembly cells. Through the investment, Cobra Ribs is aiming to grow its core team from 8 to 12 over the next 2 years.


It is fantastic to be able to support such an innovative company with its exciting plans, as it strives to expand its operations and make changes that will have long- lasting benefits. The team have all engaged and there is an obvious desire to continually improve to be the best. We see this as just the beginning of a longer term partnership of support with the business on its voyage of growth. The SWGF programme is unique by offering not just grants, but in house support to ensure the projects are a complete success – even when the funding has gone SW MAS will be on hand to support any manufacturing business with a passion for growth and operational excellence

Paul Gilbert , Manufacturing Specialist

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