Vorteq Boats

A brief history of the World’s toughest RIBs.

Vorteq in action

Video shows Vorteq and Tornado boats performing at sea with footage over the years from 1980 to 2018.

Pioneering developments and exploits

  1. First to make boat tubes in Polyurethane. (40 years ago)
  2. First to weld polyurethane tubes together (30 years ago)
  3. First to make a jet drive Rib (40 years ago – see photo)
  4. First to develop a covert Special Forces Rib that submerged and went along underwater (35 years ago - see photo)
  5. First to build Police and Customs drug smuggler chase boats. These often ended up chasing themselves - but always won. (30 years ago)
  6. First Ribs into war, reference the Falklands conflict. (36 years ago).
  7. First Ribs used for commercial tourist tours and whale watching operations.
  8. First Rib boats used by GreenPeace for sea going protests.
  9. First Rib boat used by 11 year old Hugo Alves.
  10. First Rib to circumnavigate the British Isles – non stop, the first Rib to cross the North Sea in Winter from Scotland to Norway, the first Rib to cross the Meditterean sea to Africa.
  11. First self righting system, first transom lockers, first non slip tube top panels, first welded life line system, first intergrated ergonomic console design, first suspension seats, first bow lockers, first rib built in carbon and kevlar with lightweight inner core (balsa), first use of 1880 ultra heavy weight fabric for tube manufacture.
  12. First Rib to be tested in Force 12 seas and 120 mph winds, in winter, and 20m breaking waves, 100 miles out in the North Atlantic.
  13. First Rib to do over 70 knots (130 kph) with two 300hp engines. First triple engined Rib.
Circa 1977
Circa 1977
Circa 1979
Circa 1980
Circa 1983
Circa 1984
Circa 1988
Circa 1990
Circa 1992
Circa 1999
Circa 2008
Circa 2012
Circa 2016

A history of Tornado RIBs

Tornado Boats was founded over 40 years ago by David Haygreen. An ex-professional diver and aircraft engineer, David is still very much involved with the boat design and construction including marine engineering and diving.

David is also a director and owner, along with Hugo Alves, of Divexpro. Divexpro is based in Peniche, Portugal where, apart from its high tech boat construction facility, the company is overseeing the underwater installation of the ‘Wave Roller’ energy recovery system.

Hugo, a professional diver and skilled engineer, has over 25 years experience of Rib use - from diver training, to tourist tours and off-shore rescue operations. The latter into the hostile seas that roll in off the Atlantic in Winter storms. Perfect testing grounds, where huge surf waves up to 25m high (the World’s highest) can be found.

Circa 1977
Circa 1977
Circa 1979
Circa 1980
Circa 1983
Circa 1984
Circa 1988
Circa 1990
Circa 1992
Circa 1999
Circa 2008
Circa 2012
Circa 2016

The Tornado name

We are often asked how we chose the name Tornado and how long we have been using it. The Tornado name was chosen over 40 years ago as an analogy to the awe inspiring forces in nature’s most powerful wind. The logo started out as simply a (T) inside a circle but through several iterations developed into the modern 21st century type face seen today.