High-performance aluminum-hull boats in a virtually unsinkable platform.
At SAFE Boats, innovation has been an integral part of our success from the day we were founded. Our design and manufacturing process is collaborative and ongoing. Our goal is simple: meet our customers' operational requirements and exceed crew expectations. Read on for more information on the features that set SAFE vessels apart.
SAFE Boats is the sole source manufacturer of foam-stabilized watercraft in North America. Working under a set of exclusive patents and licenses allows only SAFE to utilize a full-sized foam collar system for flotation, stability and fendering (Patent Numbers: #5,282,436 #5,647,297, and #5,870,965).
More durable than an Air Collar System or RIB. Many different manufacturers attempt to use a pneumatic tube system for air collars or RIBs, which are susceptible to deflation and catastrophic failure due to temperature fluctuations, live fire/bullets, or striking docks, buoys, pilings or other obstacles. With SAFE’s collar system, there is no deflation of the collar in any circumstance (because it is 100% foam).
Vastly easier maintenance. Some of the tubes used by competitors are enclosed within a cloth or nylon sheath and may contain as many as three different components. This elaborate system often requires excessive maintenance and costly repairs in order to maintain its airtight integrity. Conversely, a novice can make a SAFE vessel collar repair within hours, as opposed to days or weeks.
Incredibly tough. The polyethylene foam for the SAFE Boats collar system was designed to insulate the Alaska oil-pipeline. It is inherently UV stable, impervious to petroleum products, harsh solvents and extreme weather conditions.
Helps keep crews safe. The standard SAFE Boats collar system has been shown to stop small-arms fire from penetrating the hull. With the addition of ballistic material placed behind or actually laminated into the collar, it has been shown to withstand ammunition of up to 7.62 mm. A recent test was performed at a 3-meter standoff and with both hardball and JHP-rounds.
Four scuppers are standard on all SAFE vessels. These tubes allow water to exit from the decks while the vessel is at a standstill. Due to SAFE’s innovative hull design, no forward movement is required to self-bail. In one example, the 250 Defender/RB-S has been proven in tests with the US Coast Guard to self-bail in less than 60 seconds while sitting static.
Every SAFE boat starts with a watertight hull designed to displace kinetic energy while under way. Aluminum has several distinct advantages over fiberglass, from less day-to-day maintenance to ease of repair. Our hulls are constructed from marine-grade 5086 aluminum and are bilge-less, airtight and watertight with pressure-tested air chambers. As a result, SAFE Boats do not require forward movement in order to be self-bailing. Here are some of the hull features that set us apart.
Angled stringer system
SAFE Boats uses an innovative angled stringer system in its hull to protect against failure and improve durability. Normally, when a wave hits a boat, energy is transferred to the hull structure. With perpendicular stringers, this energy flow has to take several 90-degree right-angle turns as the energy displaces through the hull. This causes higher stresses at those points.
In contrast, SAFE Boats hulls use an angled stringer system which displaces energy in a natural direction, starting forward and flowing aft. We tie all of the ribs on the bottom of our boats to the centerline keel at an angle, (opposed to perpendicular) then into the stringers, chines, and transom. This allows the energy to be displaced over the largest area possible in softer angles, which results in lower fatigue on the hull, longer lifespan, and lower life-cycle costs.
We improved the performance of our already advanced hull by creating a step just forward of the transom. Reducing motor drag, the stepped transom is an important feature of the overall performance of a SAFE Boat.
This redirection of water allows the engines to be mounted higher on the transom and decreases the drag of the engines through the water and reduces slip ratio. Some of our vessels utilize our Force Air Stepped Hull Technology (F.A.S.T.), an offshore racing–inspired variation hull design for even greater speed and fuel efficiency while maintaining traditional SAFE incredible handling characteristics
The speed shoe (also called a planing shoe) is part of the SAFE advanced hull design. It is built into the keel of the boat, starting at the step in the hull and running forward, tapering into the dead-rise of the hull. It is composed of thicker material than the rest of the hull to withstand extreme duty demands. The shoe also decreases the operational draft of the boat compared to a full V-shaped keel design and improves the overall zero-to-plane time.
The speed shoe also helps decrease the friction of the hull running through the water by allowing the boat to ride higher out of the water. The results: higher speeds at lower RPM and lower planing speeds, yielding more economical cruising speeds and longer mission range and duration.
Most small boats incorporate strakes into the hull design. Strakes can be designed for cornering, while some can built for planing or lift. At SAFE Boats we were able to design and construct our own custom strake exclusively for our vessels, enabling us to control the efficiency of the boat as it moves through the water. Our design incorporates the properties of both a planing or lifting strake and a cornering strake. The radiused design provides maximum lift and clean separation of water from the hull. More lift and less wetted surface means less drag, so our boats go faster than boats with flat strake surfaces.
The performance fin is a unique hull feature found on a SAFE Boat. The fin enhances the already superior handling of the vessel, providing a stabilizing effect while cornering and a lift effect while planing. When the SAFE Boat enters into a corner the fin dips into water, creating an area of low pressure or suction (Bernoulli Principle Effect), that maintains inboard heel and stability through the turn. In nautical terms, it will not “trip” to the outboard side of the turn (also known as “catching a chine”). Performance fins are composed of 6061 marine-grade extruded aluminum alloy. They are welded to the side plate of the hull just above the chine and do not penetrate the hull at any point. The fins are gusseted for added support and longevity.
It’s not just our innovative design features that make SAFE boats the vessels they are. It’s also the craftsmanship that goes into making them.
We are known to “run the ball out” when it comes to finishing our boats. When you step onto a new SAFE vessel, you know it’s ready for the mission at hand. Nothing has been left undone; there is no punch list to complete. Our extreme attention to detail at the finish stage means you get a vessel where nothing has been overlooked—carpet, window seals, all those small details that point to a quality build.
We put this same level of detail into the places you can’t see. Our wiring structure is a revelation to technicians used to dealing with a rat’s nest of wires in what should be a simple plug-and-play replacement of a small part. The way we see it, a little extra care up front by us means less time on maintenance for our customers. We think that’s the right way to build boats.