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Spotlight: Fluid Watercraft’s specialized patrol boats designed by law enforcement, for law enforcement

Derived from a standard design and equipment layout, the company’s RIBs strive to meet the unique needs of the law enforcement community

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Company name: Fluid Watercraft
Headquarters: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Signature product: Bespoke rigid hulled inflatable patrol boats

1. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?

The inspiration behind Fluid Watercraft’s business model, offerings and the overall company was recognizing the need for readily available marine assets that are more than just a compilation of components from third party vendors. Rather than just grabbing consoles, seats, etc., and cobbling a boat together, we invested our resources into building RIBs that accounted for the needs of police, fire and state departments. Our goal was – and still is – to produce a high-quality product to suit any mission. We want to eliminate the gap in the market by making this type of product accessible to first responders.

2. What is your signature product and how does it work?

We build bespoke rigid hulled inflatable patrol boats. We offer three models: the center console Patrol 21’, Patrol 26’ and Patrol 29’ (which is also available with a closed cabin). Our boats come well-appointed with everything first responders need to work on the water while also meeting all mission capabilities. Derived from a standard design and equipment layout, our RIBs strive to meet the unique needs of the law enforcement community.

3. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?

Starting off, Fluid Watercraft built boats for any use. We built custom recreational boats for the B2C sector, as well as specialized tow boats for commercial use in B2B markets. We occasionally sold business-to-government (B2G), securing a few POs for local municipalities.

However, in 2021, we made the transition from building RIBs for any consumer to solely producing patrol vessels for law enforcement, first responders and government agencies. Our biggest challenge was navigating the B2G industry full-time, along with adapting to the nuances of government procurement procedures as a newcomer.

4. What makes your company unique?

Our product availability and quality.

Unlike traditional patrol boat manufacturers who customize each vessel individually and build each boat to order, we keep a stock of well-appointed patrol RIBs ready for immediate delivery. This allows us to have a lead time less than 30 days: a rarity within the patrol boat market. Our well-appointed workboats are equipped to fulfill any mission with no afterthought add-ons necessary. All of our boat models come standard with the highest quality features: military-grade removable ORCA Hypalon tubes, and U.S. manufactured EPA/ABYC/USCG compliant components and structures.

5. What do your customers like best about you and your products?

The highest praise we receive from our customers is that our RIBs are built with the end-user in mind. Each and every feature was meticulously designed to help accomplish any mission that may arise on the water.

Fluid Watercraft is the ultimate result of our collaboration with police departments and their top professionals. Our highly specialized patrol boats were designed by law enforcement for law enforcement, built to work as advertised.

6. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?

The most rewarding part is knowing that we provide a high-quality, reliable, long-lasting and safe RIB as their primary marine asset.

7. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share about you or your company?

We are the largest supplier of RIBs to the space industry.

8. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?

As we look forward into 2023 and beyond, we are hoping to build more relationships within the fire rescue community. We have taken the initiative to formulate a RIB that is perfectly suited to meet fire and rescue mission capabilities. We hope to see more of our patrol boats on the water being used in fire and rescue applications.