Great acceleration, amazing ride and excellent built quality!
These are some of the main features of Prince 30 with the new 2 x 250hp Verado outboards, an exceptional combination in all performance areas, including overall handling.
I would not hesitate to point out that the Prince 30 Rib is one of the best rigid inflatable I've ever tested, really enjoyable to drive even in difficult weather conditions.
It is a Rib that immediately gains the confidence of the driver, will travel us dry and soft without getting pounded, and, most importantly, safely to our favourite destinations.
Our test boat was equipped with twin new 4.6L V8 Verados 250hp which were hung directly on the Prince’s 30 transom, at the highest possible position (5th hole), and with a reduction ratio of 1.85:1 they were turning two 16" x 21" ECO Enertia propellers.
Maybe on the day of our test wasn’t blowing at all, but the short swell period, with its wave’s height exceeding one meter, gave us the opportunity to evaluate the capabilities of the Prince 30 hull, which without any dose of exaggeration is enormous.
It took me only a few minutes to feel the mode of the hull’s behaviour and the way it was handling the abundant torque that Mercury's new engines provided. So, very soon, I started pushing the throttles forward and driving my bow in every direction to get a full picture of Prince’s 30 ride capabilities.
Indeed, while the throttle response was immediate and the acceleration so strong, Prince 30 was showing that it can handle the 500 horses it had on its transom with great comfort, quickly gaining our confidence and making us feel completely safe, even when running to the limits, having the throttles lay wide open and trimming the engines out excessively.
Initially putting the waves on aft quarter and holding a constant speed of 30 knots, the hull was climbing effortlessly on the waves’s crests while the bow stood steadily high without the slightest tendency to dive into the waves’ backside, although I did not particularly help it by trimming the engines out nor taking any advantage of the propellers’ high blade rake.
Coming around and turning the bow again to take the waves on the beam, I was driving across the swell and was able to increase much more the speed.
The hull was now running entirely out of the water mainly due to the exceptional overall lift of the particular propellers, and I was impressed by the fact that the rib was sitting nice and flat despite the very high degree of transom’s deadrise.
Having riding for quite a while, «surfing» on the back of the waves, I turned the bow into the waves holding the rib at an angle of 45° to the swells. With the engines turning at 3000 rpm, taking my hands out of the steering wheel and without helping with the trim, we were running for several minutes, and I was just watching how the rigid inflatable was keeping its course constantly passing lightly the crests of the waves showing an excellent behaviour.
The Prince’s 30 ride was so sweet that it challenged me to open wide the throttles. Nodding to Fabio sitting beside me, whose experience is quite great for his young age, the throttle levers were pressed totally forward and my hands were now holding tight the steering wheel.
Verados’ power was instantly released and the rib was flying from wave to wave, maintaining steadily its excellent riding angle, offering incredibly comfort and soft ride thanks to the characteristic sharp entrance of the brand and its 25 degrees deadrise at the transom.
It is characteristic that even in our low «flights», which usually lasted for several meters, the hull was landing extremely soft in the water, without feeling any pounding at all, that if we did not hear the propellers’ screaming we would bet that the hull was not losing its contact with the surface of the sea not even for one moment.
The hull was always landing with its keel, without the need of any special handling from the driver, showing extremely balance and robust, while the intense reverse spray rails eliminated any spray providing an absolutely dry ride.
After really enjoying the offshore features of Prince 30, we headed for the coast to record its performance.
The rib was staying on plane only at 2000 rpm where our speed was 10.5 knots, an excellent performance we will appreciate particularly when travelling in rough seas.
The cruising speed ranged from 24 to 41 knots, at 3000 and 4500 rpm respectively, and it is up to us to choose which one to prefer depending on the fuel we want to spend. However, the most economical cruising speed is recorded at 3000 rpm where the engines were drinking 1.66 litters per each nautical mile.
The swell did not allow us to trim the engines out a lot neither to keep the throttle wide open for a long time, so we compromised at 51 knots we got at 5500 rpm, while according to Nuova Jolly’s drivers who are used to doing a lot of testing with their boats, Prince’s 30' top speed reaches 55 knots at 6000 rpm.
Η ταχύτητα ταξιδιού κυμαινόταν από 24 έως 41 κόμβους, στις 3000 και 4500 στροφές αντίστοιχα και δεν μένει παρά εμείς να επιλέξουμε ποια θα προτιμήσουμε ανάλογα με τα καύσιμα που θέλουμε να δαπανήσουμε. Η οικονομικότερη πάντως πορεία καταγράφεται στις 3000 στροφές όπου οι κινητήρες ζητούν 1.66 λίτρα για κάθε ναυτικό μίλι.
Ο κυματισμός όμως δεν μας επέτρεψε να τριμάρουμε ψηλά τους κινητήρες και να κρατάμε τέρμα ανοιχτό το γκάζι για πολύ ώρα, και έτσι αρκεστήκαμε στους 51 κόμβους που είδαμε στις 5500 στροφές.
Concerning the time Prince 30 takes to «get out of the hole», it is one of the lowest we have ever recorded ranging between 2.5 and 2.8 seconds, while the rib accelerates from standstill up to 30 knots in just 7 seconds.
Our analytical measurements can be found in the following table:
A careful look at the above table will show us an ideal set-up and an excellent combination of boat-engines-mounting height-propellers.
Observing the extremely low slip numbers across the whole rpm range and not only at WOT, we can undoubtedly say that this set-up is working perfectly in all performance areas.
With the specific loads and the propellers’ pitch, the engines reached the upper limit of the recommended rpm range, which means we can load as much as we want the rib without risking dropping below the middle of the recommended rpm range at WOT, a very important factor for the longevity of our engines.
We can also conclude that the new Verado's lower units fit perfectly with ECO Enertia propellers, which play a very important role in Prince 30's overall performance and behaviour.
The ECO Enertia's progressive rake, which reaches its maximum value at the outer edge of its blade and is 25% more than even the Revolution one, improves its performance by allowing it to work very well even in high mounting heights or in excessively trim angles shifting much higher the crucial limit where ventilation phenomena begin to appear.
Its large diameter also leads to a significant reduction of slip numbers resulting in higher cruising speeds and greater fuel economy.
There is no doubt that in this set-up we will especially appreciate the ECO Enertia propellers when the rib is much more loaded for our summer vacation or when travelling in rough weather, where we can hold a planning speed at much lower rpm comparing to other propellers.
On the other hand, if we accept that more pitch means more speed and fuel economy at the midrange rpm, then it is really worth testing the Bravo I FS propellers on our test rib.
Οι These propellers allow us to increase the pitch by three inches more than the ECO Enertia ones, retaining almost the same engine’s rpm, and so it is certain that, beyond the higher top speed that Bravo I FS will give us due to their smaller diameter and longer pitch, we will also achieve significantly higher cruising speeds and therefore even greater fuel economy.
Nuova Jolly Marine
Via Bologna, 3/5 - 20060 Bussero (Milano)
Tel. 02/95334031 - Fax 02/9503235