A construction of very good quality, quite large stowage compartments, two spacious sundecks that can accommodate four adults in comfort and extremely soft ride are some of the main reasons why Sea Quest 7.60 is worthy of the respect and appreciation of many sea-friends.
Definitely, there are plenty of choices when we are interested in an open rigid inflatable boat between 7 and 8 meters in length, and this is undoubtedly one of the best.
Sea Quest 7.60m is a renowned Hellenic rib which, despite its almost 15 years of production, still manages to be high on the preferences of the people even today.
It is easy to tow and launch and on the other hand large enough to face rough seas. It is able to travel long distances by maintaining very good cruise speeds with low values of fuel consumption offering an excellent combination of performance and capability of nautical camping that make it standing out in its class.
Sea Quest runs on a typical deep-V hull, with an unusual geometry of its two spray rails which begin a few centimeters before the stem.
With a deep bow entry of 48 degrees and a deadrise angle of 24 degrees at the transom, where the keel ends in a sharp V without pad, it immediately shows its off shore orientation, providing very soft ride in rough seas, since it has the ability to knife the waves keeping pounding to a minimum.
In the bow area of Sea Quest 7.60, a large sundeck with dimensions of 1.80m x 1.20m is formed, which can become even larger with the appropriate extention, reaching a total length of 2.30m. Under the bow cushions there are two large and independent lockers that can accommodate the luggage of even four people.
The foredeck of Sea Quest has the necessary space for easy passage to the rib while a small hatch on its back provides access to the anchor locker.
The console is located on the starboard side of the deck, leaving not only more passageway on the opposite side, but also helping the balance of the boat during the ride, countering the clockwise torque of the propeller.
In the front of the console there is a separate two-person seat at a distance of 50 cm from the bow sundeck.
The steering wheel is positioned on the right side of the console, while the engine’s analog gauges are located just above it and in direct view of the driver. The compass is in the centre of a flat surface above the dashboard, while on its right and left there is the proper space for the installation of navigation and sonar devices.
The windscreen is quite tall, providing the necessary protection while being surrounded by a stainless steel rail that gives ample grab handles to driver and co-driver. Beneath the steering wheel there is a large hatch that gives access to the very useful compartment of the console where we can store essentials.
The helmseat is located on a bench with a single cushion, 45 centimetres behind the console.
It is formed in an inclined shape for a semi-standing driving position with the appropriate height so as to provide very good visibility over the bow, allowing direct wave control when leaning.
The three-position tilting stainless steel backrest is fitted with a cylindrical cushion for the necessary support of the driver and co-driver.
The bench-styled seating itself offers an extra dry stowage compartment accessible from the hatch on its back.
The stern area is probably the strongest point of Sea Quest 7.60, due to the possibilities it offers related to its length.
37 centimetres behind the driver's seat there is the aft three-seater sofa beneath of which a large and independent storage space is housed. Directly behind we find the aft sundeck, which with the extension of the sofa’s backrest can be turned into a very large sunbathing and sleeping area measuring 2.07m x 1.20m, which is the size of a double bed offering plenty of space for two adults.
On the tubes, to the port and starboard of the aft sundeck, there are the wide fibreglass platforms that are used as access passageways and support the stainless steel roll bar.
The largest storage space of Sea Quest 7.60 is beneath the aft sundeck offering some outstanding internal capacity for a pleasure rib of this length and houses the batteries and cut-off switches.
Two long swim-platforms extend to both the right and left of the outboard engine, one of which accommodates the auxiliary engine, while the other, which includes the ladder in its own compartment and a small locker for storing the aft anchor, provides the easiest way to board the rib from a dock.
Except of our test-day, we had the opportunity to travel several times with Sea Quest 7.60 even long distances with not always the best conditions. So we know from firsthand experience the behavior of its hull, its ride quality and the facilities it offers for nautical camping.
Sea Quest 7.60 can travel with great comfort, even when the sea is not by our side, offering impressively soft and dry rides. Its spaces and two large sundecks can accommodate a family of four or even four adults with their luggage, which is very difficult to find in other ribs of its category.
On the transom of Sea Quest 7.60 the four-stroke Suzuki DF 225hp outboard engine was hung which was turning a 16" x 21.5" Suzuki three-blade stainless steel propeller.
On the day of our test the sea-state was corresponding to winds the force of which was more than 4bf while we were three people on board and the rib was carrying all the gear we usually need for many-day vacation as well as 100 liters of water and 200 liters of fuel.
Under these conditions, Sea Quest got on a plane at 3000 rpm with 14.5 knots, while it reached from standstill to 30 knots in about 11.5 seconds.
The most economical cruise speeds were between 20 and 30 knots, with fuel consumption ranging between 1.2 and 1.4 liters for each nautical mile.
At wide open throttle the tachometer topped out at 5800 rpm, where the rib’s top speed reached 40 knots.
The slip values after 4500 rpm were slightly more than 10%, a rate definitely satisfactory for a deep-V hull, but not the best possible one because of the relatively high pitch of the propeller in relation to the loads we were carrying.
Our general feeling is that the Sea Quest 7.60 may need more horsepower so it can gain more agility and acceleration highlighting this way the hull's potentials.
You can see our measurements in the PDF below:
In order to validate once again the quality of its ride, we turned the bow directly on the waves, pushing the throttle to its limits. Sea Quest’s hull was penetrating the crests of the waves, leaving us impressed with its extremely soft ride, robust construction, ease of handling and amazing stability.
Even when the hull was landing from a relatively high height we did not feel any annoying pounding or got slammed even at high speeds and the rib had a solid and comfortable feeling while cutting the waves with its keel without requiring special handling by the driver.
All the above mentioned, of course, show that the design and geometry of Sea Quest’s hull works very well and gives confidence to the helmsman, who feels that he drives a particularly seaworthy rib, which allows him to keep high cruise speeds even in difficult weather conditions.
Of course, we have to note that when carrying fewer loads we will obviously have 2 to 3 knots of higher top speed with the particular set-up.
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