It’s hard to fit the new Walker Bay Generation 525 into a narrow boat category, because this new, luxurious 17-footer offers so much: It’s a RIB, certainly, but it also can be a sport boat, a day boat, a tow boat, a runabout or even a megayacht tender. It would be fun to have the 525 just to zip around a harbor by yourself, or to take a crowd – the boat’s rated for ten passengers.
A California company (located in Fairfield, about half-way between San Francisco and Sacramento), Walker Bay is known for its innovation and creative design. Indeed, the company has won more than a dozen awards in the past 20 years. The new Generation 525 reflects this heritage with its smooth ride and handling, due to an innovative build process.
Many other RIBs use plywood stringers to support the hull and deck. Walker Bay, by contrast, uses a polyurethane composite stringer grid bonding system, making the boat stronger and lighter while providing positive buoyancy. Powered by a 115-hp Honda outboard, the boat tops out at about 38 knots. It has a 20-degree deadrise at the transom.
Easy to drive, the Generation 525 has a flip-up bolster seat for the captain and a hydraulic tilt steering wheel. Five teak steps and handrails on the forward seat and console make for easy boarding, and cushions make all the seats comfortable. A solid stainless retractable ski post offers water sports, and a ten-gallon fresh-water shower on the transom is a large yacht touch on a 17-foot RIB.
Specs.: LOA: 17’2”; Beam: 8’4”; Draft: 1’0”; Disp.: 1,733 lbs.; Fuel: 32 gals. Max horsepower: 115 hp. Base price: $49,995. http://walkerbay.com
Take a look at the video, it’s fun: